El Nino Pushing Superheated Globe to New Record

Climate change scientists predict that 2007 is likely to be the warmest year on record globally, beating the current record set in 1998. Calling it a “startling forecast,” scientists at the British Meteorological Office said Thursday that the potential for a record 2007 arises from an El Nino warming pattern already established in the Pacific. The El Nino is expected to persist through the first few months of 2007.

An El Nino is a warm ocean current that typically appears around Christmas time off the coast of Peru and lasts for several months, but may persist into May or June.

The huge temperature shift in the Pacific Ocean spawns climate changes globally. El Nino climatic events include heavy rains and blustery storms as well as drought with associated wildfires.

The lag between El Nino and the full global surface temperature response means that the warming effect of El Nino is extended, therefore it has a greater influence on global temperatures during the year, the Met office said.

There is a 60 percent probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than the current warmest year, which was 1998. Temperatures are expected to rise +0.52 degrees Celsius, above the long-term 1961-1990 average, according to the Met office forecast.

The global temperature for 2007 is expected to be 0.54