Washington, Jan 12 : A new report has indicated that 2007 has been the second warmest year on record since 1880, with a global average of 14.73 degrees Celsius (58.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
The report, issued by the Earth Policy Institute, has stated that the year 2007 fits into a pattern of steadily increasing global temperature, with the eight warmest years on record all occurring in the last decade.
In fact, according to ENN, by looking at the northern hemisphere alone, 2007 temperatures averaged 15.04 degrees Celsius (59.1 degrees Fahrenheit) - easily the hottest year in the northern half of the globe since the record began in 1880.
Although 2007 did not post a new record high, the year stands out as being extremely warm despite several factors that usually cool the planet.
For example, the bygone year saw the development of La Ni±a, which usually depresses global temperature. In addition, solar intensity in 2007 was slightly lower than average because the year was a minimum in the 11-year solar sunspot cycle.
But, despite the combination of these factors, 2007 was still one of the warmest years in human history.
This strongly suggests that the warming effect of increased greenhouse gas concentrations is now dwarfing other influences on the Earth's climate.
The impacts of the exceptional warmth of 2007 were seen around the world.
While summer sea-ice extent in the Arctic Ocean shrank dramatically to a new low, southeastern Europe suffered through temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius in a heat wave that killed up to 500 people. In Japan, the temperature reached 40.9 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature ever recorded in that country.
While some areas baked under intensive heat or drought conditions, others were flooded by record amounts of rain.
While England and Wales experienced widespread record flooding during May to July, in South Asia, some of the worst flooding in decades affected at least 25 million people and killed more than 2,500. Other countries that saw exceptional or record flooding in 2007 include China, Indonesia, Mexico, Uruguay, and fifteen countries across Africa. ccording to the report, future warming on the scale projected by the IPCC will bring with it a multitude of outcomes that can only be described as disastrous, the report added.
"With the record for 2007 now complete, it is clear that temperatures around the world are continuing their upward climb", writes Frances Moore in the report.