A recent piece in The Economist predicts that 2010 should be the “hottest year on record.” It also acknowledges that this “may seem implausible at the moment as northern Europe, Asia and parts of America shiver in the snow.”
According to the article, there are a few factors driving this prediction. One is El Niño, a phenomenon in which “the tropical Pacific is currently dumping heat” that has been stored in the sea back into the atmosphere. The past few years, we have experienced the opposite phenomenon – the cooling Nina.
Additionally, “the sun fluctuates over an 11-year cycle” and 2009 the sun was at the bottom of the cycle. Hence the expectation for the sun to begin to re-brighten.
In the dead of winter, the potential heat sounds promising. But it will be interesting to see if 2010 is in fact the hottest year on record and the resulting implications.