Global warming shows little signs of diminishing, despite the decline of the El Nino weather event that boosted temperatures through 2015 and 2016.
The UK Met Office says 2017 is likely to be warmer than the long term average, but unlikely to beat 2015 and 2016, the warmest years on record since 1850.
“The global average temperature for 2017 is expected to be between 0.63C and 0.87C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0C, with a central estimate of 0.75C,” it said a statement.
This year saw temperatures tip 0.84C above the 1961-1990 average, with 0.2C of that due to El Nino, said professor Chris Folland, a Met Office research fellow.
A global weather phenomenon that occurs every 3-5 years, El Nino drives up global temperatures and disrupts rainfall patterns, leading to drought across much of Africa and flooding in Latin America.
Even without El Nino, next year will be “very warm globally” said professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office.
Earlier this year levels of carbon dioxide – the world’s most prolific greenhouse gas – in the air passed the historic high of 400 parts per million for what one scientist described as a “lifetime”.
Further warming is likely to lead to an increase in extreme weather events such as erratic rainfall, drought and sea level rise, says the UN’s IPCC climate science panel.