Global temperature

 2022 may continue the trend of world’s warmest years: UK Met Office

This will be the eighth consecutive year when the global average temperature would cross the 1°C

By Akshit Sangomla
Published: Friday 07 January 2022
Photo: istock
Photo: istock Photo: istock

The year 2022 may continue the trend of the world’s warmest years, according to the United Kingdom’s Met Office.

The weather agency has predicted that global average temperature would be between 0.97 degrees Celsius and 1.21 degrees Celsius (°C) higher than the pre industrial average (1850-1900), with a central estimate of 1.09 °C.

This will be the eighth consecutive year when the global average temperature would cross the 1°C.

The ongoing moderate La Nina conditions, forecast to continue until March, along with other worldwide climatic phenomena have been taken into account to calculate the predicted global average temperature.

What has not been taken into account are unpredictable events such as volcanic eruptions that can also have a cooling impact on temperatures temporarily.

The La Nina is the cooling phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation phenomenon and generally has a cooling effect on global temperatures. This is why the predictions for temperature rise have been lower in both 2021 and 2022 than some previous years such as 2020.

The prediction for 2020 was of 1.19°C. The year took scientists and observers by surprise as the observed global average temperature was 1.27°C above pre industrial levels, just 0.01°C less than 2016 (1.28°C) which is still the hottest year ever recorded.

There was a very strong El Nino event in the east and central Pacific Ocean in 2016 that would have aided the increase in global temperatures.

But such an event did not happen in 2020, showing the impact of global warming due to human greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

“Forecasts for the coming year illustrate that the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is now warming the globe at such a rate as to make the El Nino years at the end of the 1990s cooler than the La Nina years two decades later, ” Adam Scaife, head of Long Range Prediction at the Met Office, said in a press release.

The press release also highlighted that the warming in different parts of the world is often masked by the global average. For instance, the Arctic region warmed at more than twice the rate as the rest of the world in 2021.

For 2021, the Met Office had predicted a central estimate for global average temperature of 1.11°C. Data till September of last year showed the average global temperature being 1.09°C above the pre industrial levels.

It was the seventh warmest year on record despite La Nina events at the beginning and end of the year. The world also witnessed the impact of warming in the form of record-breaking extreme weather events all through 2021, especially in the Arctic region.

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