So, no white Christmas for the Balearics and last year's blanket of snow across the region may have been the last for some years to come with average temperatures on the rise. While last year the Balearics shivered through Christmas and into the New Year with no less than five snow falls, the first coming in mid-November, temperatures in Palma on Christmas Day reached a maximum of 17ºC with a minimum of 14ºC. But is has not just been the Balearics where average temperatures have been higher this year. The earth's temperature in 2000 is expected to be the fifth highest since global records began 140 years ago, the UN weather agency says. World Meteorological Organisation secretary general Godwin Obasi says global warming is causing an increase in the severity and frequency of storms and droughts. He says the world should take seriously the need to cut the emission of greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, 2000 has seen the wettest April and the wettest autumn in England and Wales in the 235 years that observers have been measuring rainfall. WMO says the global mean surface temperature for 2000 was expected to be 0.6 C (1 F) above the long-term average, which is taken as 15 C (59 F). The overall high was set in 1998. The long term forecast is not good news for the Balearics where even the Chief Minister Francesc Antich has asked the Three Kings to forget the presents and just bring some rain in an attempt to try and bring an end to the drought, the worst to have hit the region for the past century, gripping the Balearics causing ecological and economical misery for some and problems for the authorities.

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