We had a record-melting 2006, which is going down as the sixth warmest year for the globe and the warmest for the United States. Meanwhile, predictions place 2007 as the warmest, thanks to the combined forces of El Ni±o and global warming.
Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit in the UK, describes what we are facing:
El Ni±o makes the world warmer and we already have a warming trend that is increasing global temperatures by one to two tenths of a degrees celsius per decade. Together, they should make 2007 warmer than last year and it may even make the next 12 months the warmest year on record.
El Ni±o is not a sole scapegoat for the warm weather, nor an excuse for inaction on greenhouse gases. El Ni±o combines with global warming and does not replace or disprove the realities of climate change.
2007 is upon us, and it is utterly crucial that we bear in mind the relationship between global warming and El Ni±o so as not to lose sight of the component we control. The heat is on to put into practice the polcies and technologies necessary to fight anthropogenic warming.