Europe to be hot until 2022, new climate study says
The next four years will see high temperatures across Europe, including summertime highs similar to the heatwave experienced this year, a new European-wide scientific study has concluded.
The study - from scientists at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), the University of Southampton and the Royal Meteorological Institute in the Netherlands - sought to present a new way of modelling future climate conditions, named “ProCast (Probabilistic Forecast)”.
It works by researching similar weather conditions to today, creating predictions made using simulations of climate across the 20th and 21st centuries.
This methodology already correctly predicted that a rise in temperatures would come after 1998.
Now, the study - published in the scientific journal Nature - has predicted that the years 2018-2022 will be especially hot, in a similar vein to the heatwave seen this year.
The CNRS said: “[temperatures will be] higher than normal [and] higher than the values caused by human-generated global warming alone”, explaining that normal variations in the planet’s climate would also contribute.
Human-created global warming and natural planet variances will contribute to make temperatures twice as hot as they would have been without humans, the study suggests.
It added: “This is notably due to a low probability of intensely cold episodes”.
The predictions show that it will be hot on land, but also on the surface of the planet’s oceans - in part due to tropical storms expected to be caused by the overall heat.
The risk of storms and hurricanes will likely also be higher due to the heat.
For the moment, this method only predicts the overall average yearly temperature of the planet, but researchers hope it will eventually allow them to forecast regional weather and the likelihood of rain or drought.
This will allow them to “respond to an ever-growing societal demand for precise and reliable forecasts from one year to the next”.
The predictions come after a heatwave gripped most of Europe this summer; with forecaster Météo France already saying that the first half of 2018 was one of the hottest on record.
Figures suggest that since the pre-industrial era, the planet has already heated up by 1°C due to human activity - a rate of 0.01°C per year.
The last three years overall have been the hottest ever recorded.
Despite measures ushered in by the Paris Agreement, predictions suggest that Earth could heat up by 3°C compared to pre-industrial levels, causing flooding, droughts and storms in future years.
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