This year and next will likely be the hottest on record, new research suggests, the latest sign that a so-called hiatus in global warming has ended.
The report, published by the British Met Office, predicts that this year’s occurrence of El Niño will exacerbate global warming, leading to the hottest years on record in 2015 and 2016. El Niño, a climate phenomenon that occurs sporadically, increases rain in some ares in the Pacific region while also driving up temperatures. Recent forecasts have suggested that the strongest El Niño ever recorded has developed and will likely last into next year.
The two years of record temperatures will be sufficient to end a slowdown in temperature change that occurred in the first decade of the 21st century, according to the report. While global temperatures continued to rise between 1998 and 2012, they did so at a rate less than half as fast as between 1951 and 2012, according to a 2013 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Scientists have explained that slowdown as the consequence of volcanic eruptions and climate patterns in oceans, among other things.
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SOURCE: TIME, Justin Worland