Forecast suggests Earth’s warmest period on record

Published by  News Archive

On 6th Feb 2019

The forecast for the global average surface temperature for the five-year period to 2023 is predicted to be near or above 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, according to new figures.

If the observations for the next five years track the forecast that would make the decade from 2014 to 2023 the warmest run of years since records began.

The figures released by the Met Office include data from a number of sources including the latest publication of provisional figures for 2018, co-produced by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, and the publication of the latest Met Office decadal forecast to 2023.

Records for annual global average temperature extend back to 1850.

Year

Forecast Global average surface temperature

(°C difference from 1850-1900)

Observed Global average surface temperature

from HadCRUT4

(°C difference from 1850-1900)

Uncertainty (±)
(95% confidence range °C, unless otherwise stated)

Notes

2019 to 2023

The five-year mean is likely to be in the range between 1.03 and 1.57 °C

 

(90% confidence limit)

According to Met Office decadal forecast 2019-2023

 

2019

1.1

 

0.12

Annual forecast issued December 2018.

 

 

2018

 

0.91

0.1

Provisional figure without US data for December 2018.

Information based on provisional observations.

2017

 

0.99

0.1

The warmest year on record without the influence of an El Niño.

 

2016

 

1.11

0.1

The warmest year on record in a series stretching back to 1850.

The figure was boosted by an El Niño.

2015

 

1.08

0.1

The first year to break the 1.0 °C threshold in the series stretching back to 1850.

 

Professor Adam Scaife, Head of Long-Range Prediction at the Met Office said: “2015 was the first year that global annual average surface temperatures reached 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels and the following three years have all remained close to this level.  The global average temperature between now and 2023 is predicted to remain high, potentially making the decade from 2014 the warmest in more than 150 years of records.”

Averaged over the five-year period 2019-2023, forecast patterns suggest enhanced warming is likely over much of the globe, especially over land and at high northern latitudes, particularly the Arctic region.

Dr Doug Smith, Met Office Research Fellow said, “A run of temperatures of 1.0 °C or above would increase the risk of a temporary excursion above the threshold of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.  Predictions now suggest around a 10 per cent chance of at least one year between 2019 and 2023 temporarily exceeding 1.5 °C.”

Alongside this forecast, 2018 is cited to be nominally the fourth warmest year on record globally in data released by the Met Office, at 0.91±0.1°C above the long-term pre-industrial average. It follows 2015, 2016 and 2017, which are the three warmest years in the 169-year record of the HadCRUT4 dataset.

Prof Tim Osborn, director of UEA’s Climatic Research Unit, which co-produces the HadCRUT4 global temperature figures with the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “The warmth of 2018 is in line with the long-term warming trend driven by the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases.”

The effects of climate change are not limited to surface temperature. Warming of the climate system is seen across a range of climate indicators that build a picture of global changes occurring across the land, atmosphere, oceans and ice.

The Met Office decadal forecast show that global average surface temperatures may be close to reaching 1.5 °C, but this would be a temporary exceedance rather than the climatological level of warming in the Paris 1.5 °C threshold.

Latest News

  News
Person peeling an 'I voted' sticker from a strip with USA flag in the background
23 Oct 2020

Join UEA students & experts as the US election unfolds

Political experts and students from the University of East Anglia (UEA) will join universities from across the world in an online debate of the US presidential...

Read more >
  News
Ziggurats on UEA campus
22 Oct 2020

Force of nature: UEA campus wins Green Flag Award for fourth straight year

In a year when making the most of the great outdoors has been more important than ever, UEA’s campus has won a Green Flag Award for the high quality of its...

Read more >
  News
Aurora logo
21 Oct 2020

Aurora Network turns four and introduces Student Champion Scheme

UEA’s students will get the chance to make their voice heard on a continental stage as a Student Champion, as the Aurora Network celebrates its fourth anniversary.

Read more >
Are you searching for something?
  News
Minoo waterfall in autumn, Minoo Park, Osaka, Japan
21 Oct 2020

Improving access to and awareness of parks are key to a more equitable Japan

Increasing the awareness of and access to green space could create more health equality across socioeconomic groups in Japan, according to new research from the...

Read more >
  News
Diatoms
21 Oct 2020

New project aims to provide genetic insights into key aquatic microbes

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are to embark on the largest algal genome sequencing project to date.

Read more >
  News
Image of a student handing over a food package
20 Oct 2020

Volunteering linked to improved life satisfaction, happiness, and quality of life

Research revealing how volunteering can increase wellbeing, and how charities can avoid volunteer burnout as they plan their response to the effects of the...

Read more >
  News
Trail runner, view of training shoes, landscape and bright sun
20 Oct 2020

UEA launches new institute for healthier living and ageing

From physical activity and nutrition to stopping smoking, sleep and socialisation, a new research centre has been set up by the University of East Anglia to...

Read more >
  News
Health care worker in PPE knelt against wall with head in hands
16 Oct 2020

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff

Mental health problems such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression are common among healthcare staff during and immediately after pandemics –...

Read more >
  News
Cancer cells reproduction
15 Oct 2020

£2 million for UEA’s Future Leaders

From drug discovery to cancer treatment, two University of East Anglia research projects are set to benefit from a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) award worth...

Read more >
  News
Freshwater carp feeding with sunlight reflecting off of the surface of the water
15 Oct 2020

Australian carp virus plan 'dead in the water'

Plans to release a virus to reduce numbers of invasive Common Carp in Australia are unlikely to work and should be dropped – according to new research involving...

Read more >