"Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007 due to the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.
The World Meteorological Organisation's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.
This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.
But experts have also forecast a record high temperature within five years.
La Nina and El Nino are two great natural Pacific currents whose effects are so huge they resonate round the world.
El Nino warms the planet when it happens, La Nina cools it. This year, the Pacific is in the grip of a powerful La Nina.
It has contributed to torrential rains in Australia and to some of the coldest temperatures in memory in snow-bound parts of China.
Mr Jarraud told the BBC that the effect was likely to continue into the summer, depressing temperatures globally by a fraction of a degree.
This would mean that temperatures have not risen globally since 1998 when El Nino warmed the world.
A minority of scientists question whether this means global warming has peaked and the earth has proved more resilient to greenhouse gases than predicted.
But Mr Jarraud insisted this was not the case and noted that 1998 temperatures would still be well above average for the century.
"When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year," he said. "You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming."
"La Nina is part of what we call 'variability'. There has always been and there will always be cooler and warmer years, but what is important for climate change is that the trend is up."
Experts at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for forecasting in Exeter said the world could expect another record temperature within five years or less, probably associated with another episode of El Nino."
No need to even ponder such things, the libs are taking care of us--
Less gas at the pump By Debra J. Saunders April 5, 2008
"This week, American truckers staged protests against the rising cost of diesel fuel while members of the U.S. House of Representatives competed to see who could do the best job of hectoring oil-company executives — on-camera — about the high price of gasoline.
"Also this week, the House voted to double the size of two national marine sanctuaries off of the Northern California coast, which now are permanently protected from offshore oil drilling. This is the same House that has supported a ban on new offshore drilling off the entire California coast and opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
"It's a mystery of modern life that educated voters can grouse about the high price of gasoline, yet see no nexus between rising prices and dwindling domestic supply.
"Make that: Rising prices, rising global demand and dwindling domestic supply. The left argues that, because of President Bush, America has a poor image abroad. Well, it can't help when Mr. Bush goes to the 13-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and asks OPEC to boost oil production, as he did in January, that Washington keeps passing measures to block domestic oil drilling.
"'If Americans want more oil and more stable [gasoline] prices, [then] we need to look here at home,' noted Jeff Eshelman, spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
"Sierra Club Deputy Executive Director Bruce Hamilton defended the House vote on the marine sanctuaries by noting they are home to important fisheries and that the amount of oil from the sanctuaries is so modest it would not affect the pump price. He argued the solution to high gas prices is more efficient cars and energy use. Got it.
"But when I asked Mr. Hamilton where it is OK to drill in California, he could only accept pumping 'existing' oil fields. No new drilling. Anywhere.
"While the Sierra Club no longer calls for high European-style gasoline taxes to reduce energy consumption, that's where its no-new-drilling policies lead — to European-style gas prices. Existing oil wells are becoming depleted and, because most people aren't walking to work, more oil has to come from somewhere — or prices will continue rising. While the greenies tout new technologies as the answer, that's a someday solution. It's not a real solution for today."