La Niña Will Moderate Global Temperature

Sunday, December 24, 2017 - 16:17

The Met Office global temperature forecast has predicted that 2018 will be another very warm year globally but is unlikely to be a new record due to a moderate La Niña in the Pacific.

The Met Office forecasts the global average temperature for 2018 to be between 0.88 °C and 1.12 °C, with a central estimate of 1.00 °C, above the pre-industrial average period from 1850–1900. This corresponds to an increase of between 0.28 °C and 0.52 °C, and a central estimate of 0.40 °C above the 1981–2010 long term average of 14.3 °C, Met Office reports.

Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office, said: “2018 will be very warm globally but is unlikely to exceed the recent record, set in 2016.”

The 2018 forecast is based on the key drivers of the global climate, but it doesn’t include unpredictable incidents such as a large volcanic eruption which would cause a temporary cooling. Professor Scaife added: “For example, Bali’s Mount Agung, which has recently experienced modest eruptions, could cause a temporary but significant drop in global temperatures if it undergoes a major eruption in the coming year.”

The forecast for 2018, including the range of uncertainties, again places the coming year amongst the warmest years on record: 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have now occurred since the year 2000.

Dr Doug Smith, Met Office research fellow, said: “For 2018, the global temperature will remain high, but the current La Niña conditions suggest that average temperatures will be around 0.1 degrees lower than we would otherwise expect in 2018.”

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