Research: Next Two Years ‘May Be World’s Hottest’

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The next two years could be the hottest on record globally, says research from the UK’s Met Office. It warns big changes could be under way in the climate system with greenhouse gases increasing the impact of natural trends. The research shows that a major El Nino event is in play in the Pacific, which is expected to heat the world overall. BBC reports:

But it also reveals that summers in Europe might get cooler for a while as the rest of the globe warms. The scientists confirm that in 2015 the Earth’s average surface temperature is running at, or near, record levels (0.68C above the 1961-1990 average).

Met Office Hadley Centre director Prof Stephen Belcher said: “We know natural patterns contribute to global temperatures in any given year, but the very warm temperatures so far this year indicate the continued impact of (manmade) greenhouse gases.

“With the potential that next year could be similarly warm, it’s clear that our climate continues to change.” An external reviewer, Prof Rowan Sutton, from the University of Reading, confirmed: “Unless there’s a big volcanic eruption, it looks very likely that globally 2014, 2015 and 2016 will be among the very warmest years ever recorded.