EXETER, UK, August 10, 2007 (ENS) - Get ready for the heat. In the world's first near-term global warming forecast, British climate scientists say the planet's temperature will plateau for two years and then rise sharply through 2014.
Using powerful computer models, scientists at the British meteorological service's Hadley Center predict that at least half of the years after 2009 will exceed temperatures during 1998, the warmest year currently on record.
Wildfires will increase as the planet heats up. Here, firefighters battle a blaze in California. 2007. (Photo credit unknown)
This forecast means that while it has taken a century for the global temperature to rise 0.8°C (1.44°F) it will take only 10 years for the planet to heat up half again as much.
Published in the journal "Science," today, the forecast indicates that a natural cooling trend in the eastern and southern Pacific Ocean has kept global warming in check, but that trend is about to end.