Next year is forecast to be the 10th consecutive year in which global temperatures will be at least 1C above pre-industrial levels, the Met Office said.
The forecast estimates global average temperatures in 2023 will be around 1.2C above what they were before humans started to drive climate change – putting it on track to be one of the world’s hottest years.
The Met Office said the projection would make it the 10th year in a row to see global average temperatures reach at least 1C above what they were in pre-industrial times, measured as the period 1850-1900.
The current record hot year in the records dating back to 1850 is 2016, a year that saw an “El Nino” climate pattern in the Pacific which pushes up global temperatures on top of global warming trends.
Professor Adam Scaife, head of long range prediction at the Met Office, said: “Without a preceding El Nino to boost global temperature, 2023 may not be a record-breaking year, but with the background increase in global greenhouse gas emissions continuing apace it is likely that next year will be another notable year in the series.”
The Met Office’s Dr Nick Dunstone, who has led the 2023 global temperature forecast, said: “The global temperature over the last three years has been influenced by the effect of a prolonged La Nina – where cooler than average sea-surface temperatures occur in the tropical Pacific.
“La Nina has a temporary cooling effect on global average temperature.”
But he said: “For next year our climate model is indicating an end to the three consecutive years with La Nina state, with a return to relative warmer conditions in parts of the tropical Pacific.
“This shift is likely to lead to global temperature in 2023 being warmer than 2022.”
Dr Doug Smith, a leading Met Office expert in climate prediction, added: “The fact that global average temperatures are at or above 1C for a decade masks the considerable temperature variation across the world.
“Some locations such as the Arctic have warmed by several degrees since pre-industrial times.”
The Met Office is forecasting a global average temperature of between 1.08C and 1.32C, with a central estimate of 1.2C above what it was in the second half of the 19th century.
Last year, the Met Office predicted 2022’s global temperature would be between 0.97C and 1.21C above pre-industrial levels, with a central estimate of 1.09C, while data for the year to October suggests the temperature is around 1.16C above the pre-industrial era.