By ELAINE MATTHEWS

The year 2009 tied as the Earth’s second warmest year since 1880, when thermometers first became widely used. The very warm temperatures of 2009 occurred even though North America experienced a very cool December.

“There’s a contradiction between the results … and popular perceptions about climate trends,” said James Hansen of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) who conducted the temperature study, “Global warming has not stopped.”