A new study suggests that the global warming “hiatus” is about to come to an end and make way for even higher temperatures. While the past four years have been the warmest on record, the new data suggests that natural factors are going to push our already heating planet even further into extreme temperature ranges.
“It will be even warmer than the long-term global warming is inducing,” said Florian Sevellec, lead author of the study.
The recent “hiatus” is the result of natural variability of the planet, which has been running for almost a decade.
“I’m not at all surprised by the results,” said John Fyfe, senior research scientist at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis at Environment and Climate Change Canada. “And the reason for that is that we have gone down this long slowdown period primarily due to internal variability, and the expectation was that we’d come out of it.”
However, it is important to note that these predictions are based on probabilities, not certainties. In particular, the study’s model suggests that temperatures will be higher than predicted due to increased carbon dioxide levels.
“Because we tested it over the last century, we know that we are accurate for the likelihood,” Sevellac said. “But the likelihood doesn’t mean it will occur … there exists a small chance of being cold.”
While the study shows that Earth’s natural variability can have short-term influence, it also points to future trends.
“I think it’s also a demonstration that global warming will still be there after all this natural variability,” Sevellac said.
The findings were published in Nature Communications.