As we reach the end of a likely record breaking year for global temperatures, what might we expect for 2015?
Global average temperature:
The Met Office have released their annual forecast: 0.64°C (95% range: 0.52-0.76°C) above the 1961-1990 average. This prediction is based on a combination of a statistical prediction and a GCM forecast.
Both of these central estimates would make 2015 the warmest year on record, partly due to anthropogenic influences, and partly because of the ongoing weak El Nino event.
Central England Temperature:
2014 has been a record year for temperature for most of Europe, with Central England very likely experiencing its warmest year since records began in 1659 – close to 1.5°C above the 1961-1990 average. However, observations from the University of Reading field site suggests that 2014 will be the second warmest on record for Reading, slightly cooler than 2006.
The weather in the UK has been favourable for warmer conditions in 2014, so I expect 2015 is more likely to be cooler than 2014, although still very likely above the 1961-1990 average.
In previous years Climate Lab Book has discussed Arctic sea-ice for the year ahead. In 2012, the forecast was for a recovery from the record minimum that year, which turned out to be correct. In 2013, the forecast was for a lower (but similar) extent the following year, which was also correct.
What about 2015? I think a lower extent than 2014 is slightly more likely, but as usual, the spring and summer weather will play the dominant role in determining how much ice melts.
Anyone else want to make a prediction?