record temperatures are being forecasted for the start of the next millenium. According to experts, high temperatures will increase the risk of natural disasters. Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia, usa , has predicted hurricanes in Mexico and storms in California, Peru and Ecuador. Severe floods, linked with warmer-than-average winter temperatures, could hit uk and the rest of Europe. There may also be extreme drought in places such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and parts of Australia. Forest fires may flare up, destroying thousands of hectares.
The forecast is based on rising levels of greenhouse gases, temperature trends during the last 40 years and mounting evidence that El Nio is becoming more frequent and more severe. Jones said it now seems likely that the next El Nio will appear in 2001 or 2002, making that year "probably the warmest for more than a millenium". The warnings came as leading academics, scientists and politicians signed a declaration urging countries to agree to cut 70-80 per cent carbon emissions from 1990 levels.