Australia is in the grip of an extraordinary heat wave that looks set to break existing temperature records. The warm period is expected to extend until March. It is going to be a long hot summer, which brings with it the possibility of bush fires.
Recall the extraordinary heat waves that gripped North America last year in (March and June) in which thousands of temperature records were smashed. Let us not forget the 2012-12 drought that covers 80% of the United States.
In December of last year the British Meteorological Office predicts 2013 may be one of the warmest on record:
Taking into account the range of uncertainty in the forecast and observations, it is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest ten years in the record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012.
The prediction follows provisional figures for the observed temperature in 2012, published by the Met Office and University of East Anglia last month. These showed that global average temperatures in 2012 were 0.45 °C above the long term average based on data from the three international global temperature datasets used by the World Meteorological Organization.
2012 is currently ranked the 9th warmest year on record. The global average temperature for 2012 falls well within the range predicted by the Met Office for 2012 of between 0.34 °C and 0.62 °C, with a most likely value of 0.48 °C above the long term average. This is consistent with the Met Office forecast statement that 2012 was expected to be warmer than 2011, but not as warm as the record year of 2010.
In 2011 over 34 billion tonnes of CO2 were released into the atmosphere – a 3% increase on the previous year and the highest on record.
But hey, coincidence right?