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WASHINGTON – The year 2008 was the ninth-warmest year since instrumental temperature measurements began in 1880, and all of the nine warmest years have occurred in the past 11 years, NASA reported Tuesday. The new data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and other government agencies adds to the evidence that scientists have been observing about a warming Earth as burning fossil fuels emits heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
When Rick Small began growing wine grapes in the 1970s as a third-generation farmer in Lowden, Wash., winemaking in the state was largely an experimental venture. “I wasn’t sure that it was going to be successful,” said Small, co-owner of Woodward Canyon Winery. “I just was excited about the possibilities.”