Global temperatures in 2016 could be as warm or even warmer than in 2015, Britain’s Met Office has reported. Forecast indicators place the coming year among the warmest on record.
The weather forecasters expect the global mean temperature for 2016 to be between 0.72 degrees Celsius and 0.96 degrees Celsius above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14 degrees Celsius.
These figures put global warming nearly halfway towards the maximum two-degrees Celsius temperature rise that climate negotiators in Paris recently agreed on.
“2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record, and this forecast suggests 2016 is likely to be at least as warm, if not warmer,” Professor Chris Folland, Met Office research fellow, said in a statement.
Driving the high temperatures are man-made global warming, combined with the smaller effect from El Niño from unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Met Office’s forecast.
The forecast is based on the key drivers of global climate, but it excludes random events, such as large volcanic eruptions, which can cause a temporary cooling effect.
As the Met Office has previously reported, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are all likely to be amongst the warmest years on record.
Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office, commented in a statement: “This forecast suggests that by the end of 2016 we will have seen three record, or near-record years in a row for global temperatures.”
The Met Office does not expect this run of records to continue indefinitely. However, it explained that the current situation shows how global warming can combine with smaller, natural fluctuations to push our climate to levels of warmth that are unprecedented in the data records.
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