UN forecasters say global temperatures to decrease in 2008

Forecasters have predicted lowering temperatures due to the cooling effect of the La Nina weather pattern. Photo: La Nina returns to Australia. Credit: EOnn/Flickr

UN Meteorologists have predicted global temperatures will fall this year relative to 2007, due to the cooling effect of the weather phenomenon La Nina.

Forecasters from the World Meteorological Organisation have said  La Nina, currently in the Pacific, will continue to affect weather patterns into the northern summer.

This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, when La Nina's corresponding weather pattern El Nino, warmed the planet. The evidence has prompted climate change skeptics to question the prevailing theory about an imminent rise in global temperatures.

Some scientists are suggesting global warming has peaked and the following years may see a moderation of world temperatures.

However Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, told the BBC the key in examining climate change was to look for a long-term trend.

"When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year," he said. "You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming."

"La Nina is part of what we call 'variability'. There has always been and there will always be cooler and warmer years, but what is important for climate change is that the trend is up."

The BBC reported that climate experts at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for forecasting in Exeter have predicted a possible record global temperature within five years as the El Nino weather pattern reasserts itself.

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