2007 : The fifth warmest year in 127 years

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Washington, Dec 31 (UNI) Even as the top world leaders gear up to fight the menace of global warming, the year 2007 is expected to be the fifth warmest year since 1880.

According to National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, USA, the global annual temperature - for combined land and ocean surfaces- for 2007 is expected to be near 14.44 degree celcius, and would be the fifth warmest since records began in 1880. Some of the largest and most widespread warm anomalies occurred from eastern Europe to central Asia, the Science Daily reported today.

However, preliminary data will be updated in early January to reflect the final three weeks of December and is not considered final until a full analysis is complete next spring.

Including 2007, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997. The global average surface temperature has risen between 0.6 degree Celcius and 0.7 degree Celcius since the start of the twentieth century, and the rate of increase since 1976 has been approximately three times faster than the century-scale trend.

The greatest warming has taken place in high latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Inconsistent warmth in 2007 contributed to the lowest Arctic sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979, surpassing the previous record low set in 2005 by a remarkable 23 per cent.

UNI

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