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Many applications in wireless sensor networks like video surveillance have the requirement of timely data delivery. Real-time routing is needed in these applications. Because of the limitation of node energy, energy efficiency is also an important concern in routing protocol design in order to increase the network lifetime. In this paper, we propose a global-energy-balancing routing scheme (GEBR) for real-time traffic based on directed diffusion (DD), which balances node energy utilization to increase the network lifetime. GEBR can find an optimal path in sensor networks for data transfer considering global energy balance and limited delivery delay. Simulation results show that GEBR significantly outperforms DD in uniform energy utilization. GEBR achieves better global energy balance and longer network lifetime. The time for real-time service of the sensor networks using GEBR is prolonged by about 4.37% and the network lifetime is prolonged by 44.6%.