Photo: 2007 to Be Warmest Year on Record, Forecasters Say



British scientists have predicted that 2007 will be the hottest year ever recorded—in large part because of El Niño, a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean off the northwest coast of South America.

The previous record holder, 1998, also had a strong El Niño, seen above in white. But 2007 will be even hotter, scientists say, since concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased significantly since then.

Image courtesy JPL/NASA


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