Using a new forecasting technique, scientists in a study published Tuesday predict that the rest of 2018 through 2022 may be warmer than expected around the world as human-caused global warming and natural factors combine to heat the planet.
“The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures,” the study says.
Scientists say that although the Earth will be warmer than average overall, it may not be hot everywhere for everyone:
“We are not predicting another heat wave – a warmer year doesn’t always mean (that),” study lead author Florian Sevellec told Deutsche Welle. “That’s because the forecast only covers global mean temperatures, not regional temperatures in certain parts of the world.”
The past four years have been the Earth’s four warmest on record (2016, 2017, 2015 and 2014, respectively).