Thursday, January 04, 2007

Will 2007 be the warmest year on record?

This post isn't about a particular business or innovation per se, but we're definitely going to need both to keep tackling the global warming problem, which could be exacerbated by the presence of El Nino this year. In fact, global warming and El Nino have led British climate scientists to predict that 2007 has a 60% chance of being the hottest year on record. The current record holder is 1998, who was unavailable for comment.

El Nino is a weak, warm current that happens in the Pacific Ocean around the end of December. Its appearance is irregular, but about every three to seven years, it appears and may last for many months, having significant economic and climate consequences around the world. The last one was in 2002 and increased temperatures worldwide then also. The 2007 El Nino is not as strong as the one in 1998, but the combination of it and global warming's effects could break the record.

Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia
is on the team of scientists. From the Associated Press:

"Because of the warming due to greenhouse gases, even a moderate warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top...El Nino is an independent variable, but the underlying trends in the warming of the Earth is almost certainly due to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."
The numbers aren't in yet for 2006, but scientists predict it will rank among the top 10 hottest years on record.

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