A group of researchers working together in Met Office have predicted that 2019 is possibly going to be the hottest year ever recorded. Well, looking on the signs, we don’t need to hold a Ph.D. degree to know that this year is going to be the hottest, though.
Icebergs in both our poles are melting in such dramatic rate, in addition to how Nepal is under the threat of massive flood from Himalayan glaciers. Yes, the coldest parts of our planet are starting to melt, no wonder that upcoming years are going to be our hottest years.
Do we need to again explain why all of this things happen? It is all because of our fault, from destroying climate-controlling forests to piling up pollutants in our atmosphere. Not only that, the biggest cause of this is actually the growth of our ignorance toward the nature.
Well, it might be the same story as we have told earlier, but this time we get additional data to show you. How hot it can be? How much time left for us to save this planet? Here in this article we are going to talk about this.
19 Out Of 20
2016 had been ‘hell’ for us since it has been nominated as the hottest year ever recorded after pre-industrial era. The fact is, 2016 temperature peaked at 1.15 degree Celsius above 1850-1900 period, produced several heatwaves in many areas all around the globe.
Although in 2017 and 2018 the temperature has been pretty hot too, but it hasn’t reached the 1-degree Celsius borderline. In fact, even though it felt as hot as former years, the highest peak reached during those years was ‘only’ 0.96 degree Celsius.
The fact is, 2018 was the ‘coldest’ one among other 5 past years, yet it is still one of the warmest years on record. 2015, 2016, and 2017 was the hottest ones according to the data, but how about the year we are currently living in?
Researchers predicted that 2019 is going to peak above the 1-degree Celsius borderline again for at least 0.1 degree. “The forecast for 2019 would place next year amongst the five warmest years on record, which would all have occurred since 2015,” Dr Doug Smith, Met Office researcher, said at the end of 2018.
Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at Met Office added that 2019 might even belong to the hottest years ever on record. “Our forecasts suggest that, by the end of 2019, 19 of the 20 warmest years on record will have occurred since the year 2000,” he explained.
El Nino Factor
To calm you down, we have to inform you that the rise of temperature in 2019 is not entirely human’s fault. El Nino, a complex series of climate change affecting areas around equatorial Pacific region, will also play part in the rise of temperature.
El Nino happens when the temperature of water surface in equatorial Pacific Ocean rises above normal. The warming will reduce the amount of rainfall in South East Asia and Australia. On the other hand, rainfall and tropical cyclone formation will increase in tropical Pacific Ocean.
This phenomenon also contributes to changes in global temperature, typically warming influence, which may last from 4 to 16 months in one occurrence. Like in 2016, the occurrence of El Nino ‘successfully helped’ the year into a record-breaking one.
However, the phenomenon’s contribution to global temperature rise is actually not as big as suspected. The occurrence of El Nino plays only a small part in the rise of global temperature, with human activities playing the main role.
“If there was no El Niño during that period, I still suspect that 2016 would have still ranked as the second warmest year on record globally due to the steady increase in greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which trap heat closer to the surface,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist, Brett Anderson.
There is no other problem that we are facing nowadays bigger than our own carbon emission. Carbon emission as a result of modern day human activities is the greatest contributor to global temperature rise.
Even the Paris climate deal which aims to limit the rise of temperature only to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level mainly bases its strategies on reducing carbon emission. However, using currently applied strategy, researchers are still pessimistic toward the goal.
“What’s interesting is that 2018 started out under La Nina (the opposite condition of El Nino) conditions, which usually has a cooling influence on global temperatures, but it was not nearly enough to cancel out the warming from the release of man-made greenhouse gases,” said Anderson.
We need a more developed and efficient strategies if we are going to pursue the goal made. One of the most effective ways is to quickly convert our energy consumption to renewable energy like wind-generated electricity or solar panels.
“It’s making extreme weather harsher and more likely, meaning that extreme heatwaves scorching the UK and Europe could become the new normal unless we treat this growing climate crisis as a genuine emergency. That means fast and deep emissions cuts, to net-zero by 2045 at the latest, to save our world,” Gareth Redmond-King, the WWF’s Head of Climate Change.
Temperature Is Killing Us
As Redmond-King explained above, extreme heatwaves might become a new trend for us if we keep on living this way. Thus, as researchers predicted 2019 is going to be a ‘pretty warm’ year, it means that there is a big potential for extreme heatwaves to occur.
A study conducted by Michael E. Mann and his colleagues, predicted that extreme heatwaves and natural disasters caused by climate change will take more lives in the future. Death caused by those two factors is predicted to rise up to 50% than previous similar disasters from now on.
It should be noted that the number may rise up to 300% if the rate of greenhouse gasses emission continues to rise up. Most of above predictions we talked about were made in latter 2018. As we are currently living in the year of 2019, we don’t have much time left to stop and stare.
The change we need should be executed immediately before it is too late for us to change anything. Record-breaking temperature is coming, and we need to prepare ourselves. There are two things we need to prepare: embracing what’s been predicted, and preventing it from getting worse in the future.