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Ben Geman Oct 19
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It's been the second-hottest year since the 1800s

Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

The first nine months of 2017 are the second-warmest in records that date back to the late 1800s, according to the latest monthly National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report Wednesday.

Why it matters: The data underscore how this year is part of a long-term warming trend that scientists say is largely due to human influences.