The world’s climate has reached a major turning point and is set to deliver record-breaking global temperatures in 2015 and 2016, according to a new report from the UK Met Office.
Natural climate cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are reversing and will amplify the strong manmade-driven global warming, the report concludes. This will change weather patterns around the world including more heat waves.
“We will look back on this period as an important turning point,” said Professor Adam Scaife, who led the Met Office analysis. “That is why we are emphasising it, because there are so many big changes happening at once. This year and next year are likely to be at, or near, record levels of warming.”
The record for the hottest year was broken in 2014, when heat waves scorched China, Russia, Australia and parts of South America. But, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions continuing to trap more heat on Earth, the last decade has seen relatively slow warming of air temperatures, dubbed a “pause” in climate change by some.
In fact, global warming had not paused at all. Instead, natural climate cycles led to more of the trapped heat being stored in the oceans. Now, according to the Met Office report, all the signs are that the pause in rising air temperatures is over and the rate of global warming will accelerate fast in coming years.
(Text from the Guardian, www.guardian.co.uk)