Extreme temperatures likely for next four years

The world can expect abnormally hot temperatures in the coming years, scientists have warned, as manmade climate change amplifies natural warming.

This summer’s worldwide heatwave has made 2018 a particularly hot year. But according to scientists, the trend is set to continue.

Extreme temperatures are expected from 2018 to 2022, as natural warming intensifies due to manmade climate change.

According to the study led by CNRS researcher Florian Sévellec, warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions is not linear. It appears to have lapsed in the early 21st century in a phenomenon known as a global warming hiatus, explained a statement.

However, a new method for predicting mean temperatures suggests that the next few years will “likely be hotter than expected”.

The system, developed by researchers at CNRS, the University of Southampton and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, does not use traditional simulation techniques.

Instead, it applies a statistical method to search 20th and 21st century climate simulations made using several reference models to find “analogues” of current climate conditions and deduce future possibilities.

Due in particular to a low probability of intense cold events, the new method predicts that mean air temperature may be abnormally high in 2018 to 2022 – higher than figures inferred from anthropogenic global warming alone.

There could also be an increase in tropical storm activity due to this high probability of heat events, warned the scientists.

Currently the method, which can obtain predictions in a few hundredths of a second, only yields an overall average. Scientists would now like to adapt it to make regional predictions and estimate precipitation and drought trends.

Photo credit: Nicholas Erwin/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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