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2007 'warmest year on record'

This year has been one of the warmest on record, provisional figures for 2007 have revealed today.

The temperature statistics coincide with the final day of the UN climate talks in Bali that are seeking to agree a deal to reduce global warming. The 11 warmest years since 1850 have occurred in the last 13 years, with preliminary data showing 2007 to be the seventh warmest on record.

Temperatures in the northern hemisphere ranked second warmest since 1850, while those in the southern hemisphere ranked ninth warmest.

2007 could have been even warmer had a La Nina event, which usually reduces temperatures, not occurred at the end of April.

Data on temperatures was released by the Met Office Hadley Centre and researchers at the University of East Anglia.

Commenting on the effect warm temperatures are having on the world, Met Office climate scientist David Parker said: "This year has seen sea-ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere below average in each month of 2007, with record minima sea-ice reported in July, August and September.

"In the southern hemisphere, sea-ice coverage has remained close to average."

Earlier this week the UN secretary-general called on all nations to "meet the moral challenge of our generation" and tackle climate change.

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