Hotter and hotter

Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

scientists in the us say that 1997 was the hottest year. Global temperatures increased by an average of 0.083 c as compared to 1990, the previous record year. Statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa), usa , show that the temperature rise was recorded in the eastern Pacific, northeastern and east Asia.

Above-average temperatures -- 2 c and above -- were observed in west Europe, the west coast of the Americas, the Caribbean, sub-Arctic regions, west and southeastern Africa, south India and northern parts of Southeast Asia, while lower-than-normal temperatures were recorded in eastern North America, the Black Sea area, north India, Pakistan, Indonesia and northern Australia.

The precipitation map of noaa shows that most of central America, the Caribbean, Chile, northern South America, Africa, parts of Indonesia, peninsular Southeast Asia, and the western Asia-Pacific, including Japan, have experienced progressively less rainfall after 1901.

According to the noaa findings, the lower atmosphere is gradually warming up. Recent estimates suggest that the increase in greenhouse gases could heat up the global climate by anywhere between 1 c and 3.5 c in the next hundred years.

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