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UN: Global warming here for now despite La Nina

Global warming is unlikely to reverse in the long term despite the La Nina weather phenomenon of cooler temperatures in parts of the Equatorial Pacific region, the UN's World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said.

Temperatures this year will stay above the long-term average, even though La Nina is likely to persist through to the middle of 2008, WMO said.

Although parts of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean have seen cooler sea surface temperatures in recent months, and cooling has also been noted over China, Central Asia, Turkey and the Middle East, WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud said the overall trend in temperatures remained on an upward path.

While El Nino warms the planet La Nine cools it, he explained.

"For detecting climate change you should not look at any particular year, but instead examine the trends over a sufficiently long period of time," he said.

Australia, Scandinavia, Russia, the western US, Mexico, north-eastern Brazil and the southern part of South America have seen higher than average temperatures since last December, WMO said.

WMO said the world temperatures would soon exceed those in the record year of 1998 because of global warming.

The decade 1998-2007 was the warmest on record, with global average surface temperature having risen by 0.74 degrees C.

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