Experts are reporting that 2018 will not be as hot as its preceding years due to the La Niña weather event which brings cooler temperatures. According to the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service, active volcanoes could also contribute to global cooling next year.
2017 was the third hottest year on record, and 2016 was the hottest. While 2018 will still be among these record hot years, below-average temperatures in the south Pacific will make it relatively cooler.
Experts report that the eruption of active volcanoes could further cool the planet.Professor Adam Scaife is the head of long-range prediction at the Met Office.
“2018 will be very warm globally but is unlikely to exceed the recent record, set in 2016 – but could be cooled further from volcanic eruptions,” said Scaife. “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.”
La Niña has developed over the past couple of months, bringing below-average sea surface temperatures to the Pacific. When these temperatures are cooler than average by at least 0.5 degrees Celsius, along with consistent atmospheric signals, a La Niña is considered to be underway.
La Niña does not have the exact same effects each time it occurs, but there are some indications it is already influencing the northwestern United States. During October and early November, this region experienced below-average temperatures and early low-elevation snow.
Despite the range of uncertainties in forecasting 2018, it will undoubtedly remain among the warmest years on record. Of the 17 hottest years ever documented, 16 of them have occurred since 2000.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer