Global temperatures predicted to reach new extremes in the next five years

Last week, this year’s WMO Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update by the World Meteorological Organization was released. The Nansen Center contributes to these updates by running climate predictions with NorCPM, the Norwegian Climate Prediction Model. This happens through the collaboration within the Bjerknes Climate Prediction Unit.

Photo: pexel.com, cottonbro studioPhoto: pexel.com, cottonbro studio

François Counillon, one of the NERSC researchers on the NorCPM team: “This WMO climate prediction initiative has a great societal impact because it informs on the near future climate and accounts for both natural variability and the response to climate change. Such a coordinated experiment allows us to better quantify uncertainty in our forecast.”

According to the latest update, global temperatures are predicted to continue to rise. The coming five years (2023-2027) are the subject of investigation, and record highs for air temperatures are on the horizon.

We will, with a 66 % likelihood, see the annual average near-surface global temperatures rise over the 1.5 °C threshold compared to pre-industrial levels, at least in one of the coming five years. The pre-industrial average is defined as the global temperature during 1850-1900, before human and industrial activities began releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

With a 98 % likelihood, at least one of the coming five years will be the warmest on record, beating the extreme temperatures from 2016, which were partly caused by a very strong El Niño event. The latest update by the WMO also forecasts the development of another El Niño event throughout this year. El Niño is a weather phenomenon that causes an increase in global temperatures the year after it develops – 2024 is therefore a candidate to break the 2016 temperature records. 

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