The year 2022 may continue the pattern of the world’s warmest years, according to the United Kingdom’s Met Office.
The weather office has predicted that the 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 core estimate of 1.09 °C.
This will be the eighth straight year that the global average temperature would cross the 1°C.
The ongoing moderate La Nina conditions, anticipated to last until March, coupled with other worldwide climatic phenomena have been taken into account to compute the predicted global average temperature.
What has not been taken into account are unanticipated events such as volcanic eruptions that can potentially have a cooling impact on temperatures briefly.
The La Nina is the cooling phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation phenomena and generally has a cooling effect on world temperatures. This is why the estimates for temperature rise have been lower in both 2021 and 2022 than some earlier years such as 2020.
The estimate for 2020 was of 1.19°C. The year took scientists and spectators by surprise as the observed world average temperature was 1.27°C above pre industrial levels, barely 0.01°C less than 2016 (1.28°C) which is remains 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 supported the increase in world temperatures.
But such an event did not happen in 2020, illustrating the influence 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 underlined that the warming in different parts of the planet is sometimes disguised by the worldwide 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 anticipated a centre estimate for world average temperature of 1.11°C. Data till September of last year shows the average world temperature being 1.09°C above the pre industrial levels.
It was the sixth warmest year on record despite La Nina episodes at the beginning and close of the year. The world also witnessed the impact of warming in the form of record-breaking extreme weather occurrences all through 2021, especially in the Arctic region.