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How much Earth will warm in response to future greenhouse gas emissions may be one of the most fundamental questions in climate science - but it's also one of the most difficult to answer.
And it's growing more controversial: In recent years, some scientists have suggested that our climate models may actually be predicting too much future warming, and that climate change will be less severe than the projections suggest.
Data from these instruments is used to calculate the average temperatures of different layers of the Earth’s atmosphere.  * The lowermost layer of the atmosphere, which is called the “lower troposphere,” ranges from ground level to about five miles (8 km) high.  According to satellite data correlated and adjusted by the National Space Science and Technology Center at the University of Alabama Huntsville, the average temperature of the lower troposphere increased by 0.60ºF (0.33ºC) between the 1980s and 2000s, mostly from 1997 to 2010: * Sources of uncertainty in satellite-derived temperatures involve variations in satellite orbits, variations in measuring instruments, and variations in the calculations used to translate raw data into temperatures.  * According to temperature measurements taken near the Earth’s surface that are correlated and adjusted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Earth’s average temperature warmed by 1.5ºF (0.8ºC) between the 1880s and 2000s, mostly during 1907–19–2014: * According to temperature measurements taken near the Earth’s surface that are correlated and adjusted by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the U.
Natural processes absorb the equivalent of all natural emissions plus about 57% of man-made emissions, leaving an additional 16 billion metric tons of CO2 in the atmosphere each year. † In permafrost regions, perennial snow accumulations trap air bubbles that leave records of past airborne CO2 concentrations,   and because regional CO2 concentrations vary by less than 10 parts per million over the Earth, these local records are globally representative.  * Instruments located on satellites can measure certain properties of oxygen that vary with temperature.As the visualization shows, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be mixed and transported by winds in the blink of an eye.For several decades, scientists have measured carbon dioxide at remote surface locations and occasionally from aircraft.This visualization provides a high-resolution, three-dimensional view of global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015.The visualization was created using output from the GEOS modeling system, developed and maintained by scientists at NASA.