And the weather for 2014…

Over the next ten years, climate will continue to warm and 2014 is likely to be 0.3 °C warmer than 2004, a new report by the Met Office shows.

Climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre revealed their climate predictions for the next ten years using computer simulations in a report published last week in journal Science.

The study finds that total global warming, on a decadal average, is 0.8 °C since 1900, 1998 is the current warmest year on record with a global mean temperature of 14.54 °C, and at least half of the years after 2009 are predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.

Team leader, Dr Doug Smith said: “Occurrences of El Nino, for example, have a significant effect on shorter-term predictions. By including such internal variability, we have shown a substantial improvement in predictions of surface temperature.

“Observed relative cooling in the Southern Ocean and tropical Pacific over the last couple of years was correctly predicted by the new system, giving us greater confidence in the model’s performance.”

The new model incorporates the effects of sea surface temperatures as well as other factors such as man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, projected changes in the sun’s output and the effects of previous volcanic eruptions — the first time internal and external variability have both been predicted.

The scientists say that the study’s predictions are very relevant to businesses and policy-makers who will be able to respond to short-term climate change when making decisions today. The next decade is within many people’s understanding and brings home the reality of a changing climate, they say.

James Murphy, one of the report’s authors and head of climate prediction, Met Office in Hadley told Edie:

“There’s a lot of inertia on the climate system. It’s very unlikely we can do anything to [improve things] in the short-term over the next ten years, however, over a longer time-scale, it is possible to make a difference. Calculations suggest going beyond Kyoto Protocol.

“We provide predictions and evidence…it’s difficult to translate what it means, but given the trend over the last 30 years it’s of interest to see if the trend continues.”

Dana Gornitzki

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