23 Responses to UK Met Office: Global warming plus El Ni±o means it’s “more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest year in the instrumental record.”
Barring a major volcano, of course
The UK’s Met Office (originally the Meteorological Office), which is part of its Ministry of Defence, predicted yesterday on its website:
A combination of man-made global warming and a moderate warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon known as El Ni±o, means it is very likely that 2010 will be a warmer year globally than 2009.
Recently released figures confirm that 2009 is expected to be the fifth-warmest year in the instrumental record that dates back to 1850.
The latest forecast from our climate scientists, shows the global temperature is forecast to be almost 0.6 °C above the 1961-90 long-term average. This means that it is more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest year in the instrumental record, beating the previous record year which was 1998.
A record warm year in 2010 is not a certainty, especially if the current El Ni±o was to unexpectedly decline rapidly near the start of 2010, or if there was a large volcanic eruption. We will review the forecast during 2010 as observation data become available.
NASA made a preliminary prediction along these lines back in January, and recently NASA scientists have reiterated it; moreover, it seems unlikely that El Ni±o will soon decline rapidly.
What’s news here is that the prediction was made by the Met Office, which uses the Hadley/CRU dataset — a dataset that excludes the Arctic, “just where recent warming has been greatest” (see “Why are Hadley and CRU withholding vital climate data from the public?“).
If this record is set, it’ll be in spite of the fact that we’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.” Such is the march of anthropogenic global warming.
The Met Office reaffirms its 2007 prediction from the journal Science that it’s going to get much warmer over the next few years (see “Climate Forecast: Hot “” and then Very Hot“)”:
Looking further ahead, our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010-2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far “” 1998.
Interestingly, that study also had predicted slower warming in this decade: “Our system predicts that internal variability will partially offset the anthropogenic global warming signal for the next few years.”
The Met Office provides some further background on its prediction today:
- The 1961-90 global average mean temperature is 14.0 °C.
- Global temperature for 2010 is expected to be 14.58 °C, the warmest on record.
- The warmest year on record is 1998, which reached 14.52 °C, was a year dominated by an extreme El Ni±o
- Over the ten years, 2000-2009, since the Met Office has issued forecasts of annual global temperature, the mean value of the forecast error is 0.06 °C.
- Interannual variations of global surface temperature are strongly affected by the warming influences of El Ni±o and the cooling influences of La Ni±a in the Pacific Ocean. 2009, with a provisionally observed temperature of 14.44 °C, can be compared with the identical forecast value of 14.44 °C.
The Met Office, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, maintains a global temperature record which is used in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Each December or January the Met Office, in conjunction with the University of East Anglia, issues a forecast of the global surface temperature for the coming year. The forecast takes into account known contributing factors, such as El Ni±o and La Ni±a, increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the cooling influences of industrial aerosol particles, solar effects, volcanic cooling effects if known, and natural variations of the oceans.
Looks like it may be a close thing for 2010 setting the Met Office record, but again that is mostly the result of ignoring the rapid warming in the Arctic over the past decade.
For NASA, 2005 was the warmest year and 2007 second, though 2009 could edge out 2007, as will soon find out (see “Must-see NASA figures compare 2009 to the two hottest years on record: 2005 and 2007“). The likelihood of 2010 being the warmest year for NASA would seem to be much higher.
Next year should be very interesting.