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Met Office Decadal Forecast - 2017


Met Office Decadal Forecast - 2017

Taking into account natural variability as well as human interference the Met Office decadal forecast is produced to predict changes in the climate over the next few years. It is created by analysing climate models in relation to observations of the current climate state. Issued in January 2017 this decadal forecast gives predictions over the next five-year period from 2017 to 2021.

Previous Forecast

The forecast issued in 2011 suggested that enhanced warming would take place over higher Northern latitudes and that cooling would take place in parts of the Southern Ocean and South-Eastern tropical Pacific. This was generally accurate; however, broadly speaking the forecast was generally too warm in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean and was too cool in the equatorial Pacific.

2017- 2021 Forecast

Patterns now suggest that temperatures will continue to remain high over land and at higher Northern altitudes in particular. Almost all areas will see a continuation of the high temperatures with the possible exception of some areas of Southern Ocean and the North Pacific.

2016 was the warmest individual year according to the Met Office Hadley Centre global temperature record. This was largely due to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere but can also be attributed to other changes in the climate system, including the largest El Niño since 1997. 2017 is not forecast to break this record as El Niño declines but the temperature will continue to remain at a similar level to late 20th century readings.

El Niño is a climate cycle originating in the Pacific Ocean; this has an impact on weather patterns across the globe. The climate cycle starts with warm water in the Western tropical Pacific Ocean which then moves eastward towards the coast of South America. Normally, this warm water would stay near the Philippines and Indonesia.

Global temperature increase is measured against the long-term 1981-2010 mean. 2016 was 0.46°C above this and the highest on record. During 2017 - 2021 global average temperature is expected to remain between 0.42°C and 0.89°C above the long term 1981 – 2010 mean, with an average over these five years estimated somewhere between at 0.51°C and 0.78°C

Met office decadal plan increasing temp

Copyright Met Office 2017. 

Water Conservation

Climate change can and is having a significant impact on our fresh water supplies. With warming temperatures comes the increased risk of drought and flooding. Although more rainfall has the potential to increase our fresh water resources, often the effects of flooding lead to more rapid movement of water, contaminating our current systems and increasing the rate at which the water is distributed from the atmosphere and in to the oceans.

With temperatures set to remain at significantly high levels for the foreseeable future, water conservation is a key area of concern not only worldwide but in the UK too. Although there has been an unprecedented level of flooding in the UK in recent years there, has also been a record number of hosepipe bans; this demonstrates that despite the rapid distribution of fresh water, levels overall remain consistently low.

Please see Freeflush’s product range for further details on how you can become more water efficient.

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  • Jack Cairney
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