Experts predict Earth could see hottest year on record in next 5 years

Dustin Dorsey Image
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Experts predict Earth could see hottest year on record in next 5 years
A new report is projecting it's very likely that at least one year in the next five will be hotter than the warmest year on record, 2016, due to global warming and El Niño conditions.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you thought the weather in the Bay Area has been hot the last few years, stay tuned. The World Meteorological Organization is projecting that we may see the warmest year globally on record in the next five years.

According to WMO's recently released Global Climate Update for 2023 to 2027- with nearly a 100% certainty, their experts predict that in the next five years, we will see the warmest year on record.

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The report says the chances of at least one year being hotter than the warmest year, 2016, is very likely. The chance that the five-year average for this time period is also very likely to be higher than the last five years as well.

San Jose State Meteorology and Climate Science Professor Eugene Corderosays this is likely due to global warming and El Niño conditions.

"And that means some of the warm ocean temperature goes closer to the atmosphere," Cordero said. "So, we expect the atmosphere, and historically we've seen, the atmosphere gets warmer when we have these large El Niños."

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California's 2023 wildfire season expected to be average despite barrage of atmospheric rivers, will peak for Northern CA in August into September.

Cordero says we have seen our temperatures rise steadily over the last few years, but this report shows we could see even bigger changes for our Bay Area weather.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see that, over the next few summers, we experience some very, very hot temperature extremes and maybe we will be breaking some records like we've never seen before," Cordero said.

Cordero says that doesn't bode well for fire season. Our wet winter has produced a lot more fuel than in years past and hotter temperatures increase fire risk.

Sempervirens Fund Executive Director Sara Barth says forest management will be key to mitigating that concern.

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With its increasing ability to measure both glacier melt and sea level rise, NASA is hoping to more accurately predict what the future may hold.

"That includes things like, bringing in prescribed fire, which is low severity fire, thinning the forest to help make them healthier and more a kin to what they were more than 100 years ago before they were logged," Barth said.

Barth is confident that the work now to prepare for our possible record future is the best chance for our forests to survive what's to come.

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