The meteorological year — which runs from December 2007 to November 2008 — was 0.42° C hotter than the global mean temperature from 1951 to 1980, according to calculations by NASA, the United States’ space agency. The figures are close to those reached by the Met Office, Britain’s meteorological authority.
At the beginning of the year, climate scientists had predicted that 2008 would be relatively cool because there was a strong La Niña event — a weather phenomenon characterised by abnormally cool ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
"Human influence, particularly emission of greenhouse gases, has greatly increased the chance of having such warm years," said Peter Stott of the Met Office.
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