The Met Office has forecasted that 2023 will be warmer than 2022, despite this year being one of the hottest on record. It will be the tenth year in a row that the global temperature is at least 1°C above average, predictions suggest.
The Met Office said that a cooling effect known as “La Niña” is likely to end after being in place for three years as part of a natural weather cycle. But it also noted that scientific evidence shows human-induced climate change is driving up the global temperature.
The world has already warmed by around 1.1°C compared to the period before the Industrial Revolution between 1750-1900, which saw humans burning large amounts of fossil fuels. 2023 temperatures are forecasted to be between 1.08 and 1.32°C warmer than the pre-industrial average.
Since records began in 1850, the hottest year was in 2016 which meteorologists said was down to a weather phenomenon known as El Niño boosting global temperatures. The past three years have been affected by another weather cycle called La Niña when cooler-than-average sea temperatures in the Pacific lowered the average global temperature.
With that effect now predicted to end, warmer conditions in parts of the pacific will most likely lead to the global temperature increasing again in 2023. It is not expected to be another record-breaking year like 2016 as El Niño is not expected to push up the global temperature, despite some parts of the world such as the Arctic warming at a faster rate than average.
Richard Allan, professor of climate science at University of Reading told BBC News: "Next year the natural and temporary braking effect of La Niña will wane. The full-on gas pedal will invigorate warming over the coming year and continue into the future, along with more severe wet, dry and hot extremes, until policies are in place to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Governments across the world have promised to cut emissions to keep temperature increase below 1.5°C , in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. It comes after temperature records were broken in various parts of the globe in 2022, including in the UK which recorded a sweltering 40°C.
This year saw devastating wildfires hit parts of Australia and Europe, while India and Pakistan endured temperatures of 51°C.