2023 is expected to be one of the warmest years on record and the tenth year in a row that global temperatures have reached 1°C or more above pre-industrial times (1850-1900). The United Kingdom Meteorological Service (MET Office) estimates that global temperatures will be 1.08 °C to 1.32 °C (median estimate 1.20 °C) above average next year.
“Over the past three years global temperatures have been affected by the impact of a prolonged La Niña, where average sea surface temperatures occur in the tropical Pacific. La Niña has a temporary cooling effect on global average temperatures”, explains a report. MET Office Scientist Nick Dunstone led the global temperature forecast for 2023.
La Niña is a natural phenomenon that, unlike El Niño, involves a decrease in the surface temperature of the waters of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. Like El Niño, its occurrence creates a series of changes in the planet’s rainfall and temperature patterns. “Next year, our climate model indicates the end of three consecutive years of the La Niña state, returning to relatively warm conditions in the tropical Pacific. This change will lead to global temperatures in 2023, warmer than 2022. “, the scientist adds.
A streak of warm years began in 2014. Since that time, global temperatures have been more than 1.0°C above pre-industrial times. The forecast is based on major global climate factors, but does not include unpredictable events such as large volcanic eruptions that cause temporary cooling.
Adam Scaife, head of long-range forecasting at the MET Office, says, “So far, 2016 has been the warmest year in the observational record since 1850. 2016 was an El Niño year in which global temperatures were driven. Warmer waters in the tropical Pacific, without a previous El Niño, would have driven global temperatures. 2023 may not be a record year, but given the backdrop of global greenhouse gas emissions continuing at a steady pace, next year will be another. A significant year in this series.”
However, experts explain that some places, such as the Arctic, have already warmed several degrees since pre-industrial times.
For the year now ending, definitive data will be released in January, but earlier forecasts fluctuated between 0.97 °C and 1.21 °C, with a central estimate of 1.09 °C. Data from January to October 2022 show a global average temperature of about 1.16 °C above pre-industrial temperatures.
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