LONDON --1997 will be the hottest year on record, a British climatologists said recently. The average temperature recorded around the world in 1997 was about 0.43 degrees Celsius (0.77 F) warmer than the average for 1961-90, according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.
"It is unlikely that the estimate for 1997 will be more than one or two hundredths of a degree different from final figures," they said. 1995 had been the warmest year on record, with temperatures 0.38 C above the 1961-90 average. Global records date back to 1860.
"Global temperatures in 1997 have been boosted by El Nino, a natural warming of the tropical east Pacific which occurs every few years," said David Parker, header of climate monitoring at the Hadley Center.
"Sea temperatures off Peru rose sharply in May, and are now up to 6 degrees C higher than normal in some areas. El Nino affects temperature, and weather in general, in many parts of the world, not just in its immediate locality."
The Hadley Center is part of Britain's Meteorological Office. The center predicts that global temperatures will rise by 2.5 degrees C over the next century. A recent report by the Meteorological Office and Britain's Department of the Environment said that 200 million people worldwide will be affected by coastal flooding by 2080 if no protective countermeasures are taken. (AP)
Return to the U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water News Homepage