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Global temperature in 2023 expected to be among highest on record

According to UK Met Office’s annual global temperature forecast, 2023 is likely to be one of the hottest on record, with average temperatures rising to 1.2C above pre-industrial levels. If these predictions turn out to be correct, this will be the tenth year in a row with global temperatures above 1C. 

Until now, the hottest year on record – since scientists began keeping track of global temperatures in 1850 – was 2016, a year in which the ‘El Niño’ climate pattern in the Pacific played a major role in increasing temperatures all over the globe.

“Without a preceding El Niño to boost global temperature, 2023 may not be a record-breaking year, but with the background increase in global greenhouse gas emissions continuing apace it is likely that next year will be another notable year in the series,” said Adam Scaife, the head of long-range predictions at the Met Office.

“The global temperature over the last three years has been influenced by the effect of a prolonged La Nina – where cooler than average sea-surface temperatures occur in the tropical Pacific. La Nina has a temporary cooling effect on global average temperature,” added Nick Dunstone, the Met Office scientist who led the 2023 forecast.

 “For next year our climate model is indicating an end to the three consecutive years with La Nina state, with a return to relative warmer conditions in parts of the tropical Pacific. This shift is likely to lead to global temperature in 2023 being warmer than 2022.”

However, scientists warn that the fact that global average temperatures are at or above 1C for a decade masks the significant temperature variation across the globe, with locations such as the Arctic having warmed by several degrees above pre-industrial times.

Thus, it is crucial to take swift action to keep global temperatures below 1.5C in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, by substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly transitioning to sustainable energy sources.

More details and statistics can be found on Met Office’s website.

By Andrei Ionescu, Staff Writer

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