We know that prediction is difficult, especially about the future as the saying goes, but as an entertainment in the festive season we are asking for your 2018 global temperature forecast.
Every year at this time the UK Met Office issues its forecast of the global annual temperature for the following year. This time it says that 2018 will be another very warm year globally, but it is unlikely to be a new record due to the cooling effect of about 0.1 °C from a moderate La Niña in the Pacific.
The Met Office forecasts the global average temperature for 2018 to be between 0.59 °C and 0.83 °C, with a mean forecast of 0.71 °C above the 1961–1990 long term average of 14.0 °C. This means that global temperatures will more or less stay the same, or just 0.05 °C below the estimated 14.75 °C for 2017.
During the so-called Warming Pause (1997-2014), Met Office predictions were often wide off the mark. In the past few years, however, with records being broken due to the record warm 2015/16 El Nino, elevating global temperatures above the static warming pause, the Met Office has mostly been very good with its forecasts.
In 2014 they forecast the global mean temperature for 2015 to be between 0.52 °C and 0.76 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average, with a central estimate of 0.64 °C. It was 0.77 °C so it was 0.15 °C warmer than predicted. Within the errors but not a very good prediction.
In 2015 they said the global mean temperature for 2016 was expected to be between 0.72 °C and 0.96 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average, with a central estimate of 0.84 °C. 2016 was indeed 0.84 °C.
In 2016 they said the global average temperature for 2017 was expected to be between 0.63 °C and 0.87 °C above the long-term (1961-1990), with a central estimate of 0.75 °C. So far it is 0.75 °C.
Personally I think 0.71 °C for 2018 is too high, and we will have further discussions about it when the annual temperatures for 2017 are confirmed by all the global datasets.
But what do you think? We know that prediction is difficult, especially about the future as the saying goes, but as an entertainment in the festive season we are asking for your 2018 forecasts.
The winner will get a bottle of House of Lords Scotch and a copy of Bernie Lewin’s brand-new book. What better incentive could you want?
[Update: the poll is now closed. The winners will be announced in early 2019]