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Hottest year in history expected in 2007

(3 January 2006) - THIS YEAR will be the hottest on record, according to Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, England.

Jones says the greenhouse effect and the El Niño climatic phenomena will lead to warm temperatures throughout the planet.

The predictions from Jones, director of the Climate Research Center at the university, indicate that extreme conditions could cause drought in Indonesia and flooding in California.

The expert's opinion was published in the British newspaper The Independent. Jones explains that global warming will be enhanced by the arrival of El Niño, caused by increased temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, US scientist Jim Hansen warns that unless measures are rapidly taken to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, excessive global warming could lead to permanent changes around the globe.

David King, scientific advisor to the British government, agrees with Hansen and says it is "essential" to reach an agreement on CO2 emissions as soon as possible.

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