This year is set to finish up as the hottest year on record and, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), 2016 could be even hotter due to the El Nino weather pattern.
The organisation warned yesterday that global temperatures could rise by six degrees Celsius or more if action is not taken to address climate change.
Monday sees a global climate change summit begin in Paris, and Director General of the WMO Michel Jarraud believes there is still time to agree steps which will help reduce the impact of global warming.
“You have scenarios assuming very strong decisions, very quick and sharp reduction of greenhouse gases, and you have other scenarios with business as usual, where you end up with predictions of additional warming of five, six degrees, maybe even more. That will very much depend on the decisions.”
According to the WMO, eight of the world’s ten warmest years have occurred since 2005, a statistic Jarraud says is “bad news for the planet”.
The El Nino weather pattern affects ocean temperatures in the Pacific and can cause droughts and flooding.