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'95 HEAT COOKS RECORD BOOKS AS WEATHER TAKES A NASTY TURN

Warning that global warming could be producing extreme weather, U.N. scientists say 1995 brought the world record heat, unusually severe hurricanes, unseasonable floods and a gaping ozone hole.

The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday that the weather might be part of the pattern of global warming, but it stopped short of pinning the blame on human beings.According to the report, 1995 was the hottest since records were first kept in 1861. The average surface temperature was 0.72 degrees higher than in the prior three decades. Parts of Siberia were as much as 5.4 degrees warmer.

The 1995 Atlantic hurricane season included 19 tropical storms. Eleven were of hurricane strength, the second highest total since records began in 1886.

More than 1,000 people died during the heat wave in large portions of the United States in July. In India, temperatures during June were up to 9 degrees higher than average.

Most scientists believe greenhouse gases like carbon monoxide, which trap heat, are increasing the Earth's temperatures and could cause sea levels to rise. Other scientists argue that the warming is due to natural causes.