The University of East Anglia (UK), in conjunction with the British Met Office, has made its annual temperature prediction for 2008:
2008 is set to be cooler globally than recent years say Met Office and University of East Anglia climate scientists, but is still forecast to be one of the top-ten warmest years.
Each January, the climate scientists at the university work with the British Met Office to forecast the expected temperature, taking into account conditions such as El Niño and La Niña, greenhouse gases, industrial aerosols, particulates, ocean trends and solar impact.
The assessment for 2008 is that there will be a "strong La Niña" event in the Pacific, which will limit the warming trend for the year (whilst still being one of the warmest years):
During La Niña, cold waters upwell to cool large areas of the ocean and land surface temperatures. The forecast includes for the first time a new decadal forecast using a climate model. This indicates that the current La Niña event will weaken only slowly through 2008, disappearing by the end of the year.
La Niña events have been associated with increased Atlantic cyclone (hurricane) activity in the past. The 1995 hurricane season was a La Niña year. We'll have to wait for the National Hurricane Center's predictions to see where 2008 will fall in their estimation, but it is something to watch, as well as the continuing trends associated with climate change.
From Professor Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia: "The fact that 2008 is forecast to be cooler than any of the last seven years (and that 2007 did not break the record warmth set on 1998) does not mean that global warming has gone away. What matters is the underlying rate of warming - the period 2001-2007 with an average of 0.44 °C above the 1961-90 average was 0.21 °C warmer than corresponding values for the period 1991-2000."
Which means it will be cooler than expected and warmer than it should be.
Here's the report.