2007 TO BE THE WARMEST ON RECORD

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2007 TO BE THE WARMEST ON RECORD

 user 2007-01-04 at 12:37:00 pm Views: 60
  • #17259

    2007 to be ‘warmest on record’
    The
    world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007, the
    UK’s Met Office says.An extended warming period, resulting from an El
    Nino weather event in the Pacific Ocean, will probably push up global
    temperatures, experts forecast.They say there is a 60% chance that the
    average surface temperature will match or exceed the current record
    from 1998.The scientists also revealed that 2006 saw the highest
    average temperature in the UK since records began in 1914.The global
    surface temperature is projected to be 0.54C (0.97F) above the
    long-term average of 14C (57F), beating the current record of 0.52C
    (0.94F), which was set in 1998.The annual projection was compiled by
    the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre, in conjunction with the University
    of East Anglia.

    El Nino effect
    Chris
    Folland, head of the Hadley Centre’s climate variability research, said
    the forecast was primarily based on two factors.The first was
    greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, he said.”This is a
    statistical method; it is a number that represents the heating of the
    atmosphere.”Greenhouse gases cause heating, while aerosols cause
    cooling,” Professor Folland told BBC News.”The other factor which
    allows us to make a forecast that whether one year is significantly
    different from the next is the effect of the El Nino.”El Nino events
    are marked by the arrival of unusually warm waters off the
    north-western coast of South America, and are described as the largest
    influence on the year-to-year variability of the Earth’s climate.This
    year’s potential to be a record breaker is linked to a moderate
    strength El Nino already established in the Pacific Ocean.The World
    Meteorological Organization (WMO) said that it was expected to continue
    into the first quarter of this year, which would have a knock-on
    effect.”There is a big lag between the El Nino and the warming of
    global temperatures – it takes about four months or perhaps a bit
    longer,” Professor Folland explained.”We have two methods of
    forecasting the effect of the El Nino. One is a statistical method
    based on two patterns of sea surface temperatures in the El Nino
    region, and the other is a complex mathematical model.”He said that the
    forecast was then fine-tuned by looking back over data from the
    previous 50 years.”We have actually run this forecast three times,
    updating it every month… and it is completely stable.”The 60%
    probability that 2007 would set a new record meant that it “was more
    likely than not”, he concluded.The Hadley Centre has been issuing the
    annual forecast for the past seven years and says it has just a 0.06C
    margin of error.In December, the WMO released provisional data on the
    global average surface temperature for 2006. It estimated that last
    year was 0.42C (0.75F) above the 1961-1990 average, making it the sixth
    warmest on record.However, the UK experienced the warmest year on
    record in 2006, according to Met Office figures released alongside the
    global forecast.The meteorologists said the mean temperature for the
    year was 9.7C (49.5F), 1.1C (2F) above the long-term average, based on
    the period between 1971-2000.