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A just released National Weather Service climate analysis shows worldwide temperatures climbed a tad during 1993, but the agency doesn't know whether that means global warming has resumed.

After a two-year global temperature decline caused by the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, worldwide temperatures edged upward one-quarter of a degree in '93 as heat waves and hot spells warmed the southeastern and southwestern United States, Siberia, China and Alaska.The year also had a rash of unusual weather events including the worst Mississippi-Missouri floods in 100 years, the so-called "Storm of the Century" along the East Coast, the breakup of California's drought, and heavy rains and snows in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia.

"We're really not sure what last year's temperature increase means," said research meteorologist Vernon Kousky. "The only thing we know for sure is the warming trend that began in 1910 continued last year and we're wondering whether it will ever reverse."

Since 1910, the world's surface temperature readings have climbed about 2 degrees, with the peak being reached in 1990. Global warming believers believe that another 2-degree increase during the next 60 years would melt some of the world's ice, expand the oceans and threaten the world's largest seaports.

Kousky is among the meteorologists and climatologists who are wondering whether the 83-year-long world temperature increase is real. He pointed out questions have been raised about the accuracy of temperature readings being reported for many large cities around the world.

"Many of the new temperature sensors installed in the 1980s aren't ventilated too well and they may be reporting readings that are 3 or 4degrees too high," he said.

Kousky also noted the worldwide temperature increase from 1910 to 1940 occurred during an era of enormous coal burning, a usage that undoubtedly warmed the Earth's atmosphere.

The 1993 National Weather Service climate analysis provided hopeful signs that global warming won't be as severe as pessimists have predicted.