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I keep reading that global air temperature has been recorded since 1880, but considering that it wasn't until 1911 that Amundsen became the first person to reach the South Pole, it cannot be assumed that air temperature was globally recorded. Since when have regular air temperature data been available from, for example, the two polar regions?

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    $\begingroup$ "Global" in this context simply means "from many locations across the world", not "from EVERY location across the world". Until we had satellite measurements (which have accuracy issues), we didn't have tightly gridded measurements of global temperature. This forms the basis for one of my objections to global warming theory, and this sentence forms the basis for a flame war which will follow $\endgroup$ Mar 22 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Earliest estimates have wider uncertainty but everywhere coverage is not required to get useful averages. Whilst the earliest estimates left out polar (and other regions) there is a context of other observations that are indicators of changing temperatures, eg sea ice extents and temperature around the edges. If evidence of significant change predating more recent estimates of global average temperatures were found it would affect the levels of uncertainty and would matter but no such evidence has emerged. $\endgroup$
    – Ken Fabian
    Mar 27 at 0:04

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