The UK's Meteorological Office predicts that 2007 will be the hottest on record, due to a combination of global warming and the El Niño weather phenomenon, Reuters reports.
This year will, the Met Office and prediction partner the University of East Anglia say, top the current record set in 1998. 2006, meanwhile, currently lies sixth in the all-time hottest years globally chart. All ten of the hottest years during the last 150 (when records began) have occured since 1994, the UN's weather agency adds.
Specifically, the upshot is that the world's average temperature in 2007 will be "0.54 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 long-term average of 14.0 degrees". 1998 clocked up 0.52 degrees above said average.
Met office scientist Katie Hopkins said: "This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world."
The long-term prognosis is alarming. As Reuters puts it: "Most scientists agree that temperatures will rise by between two and six degrees Celsius this century due mainly to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport." ®