Predicting annual temperatures a year ahead

RealClimate –

I have a post at Nate Silver’s 538 site on how we can predict annual surface temperature anomalies based on El Niño and persistence – including a (by now unsurprising) prediction for a new record in 2016 and a slightly cooler, but still very warm, 2017.

The key results are summarized in the figures that show how residual variations in the global temperatures (after detrending) related to the ENSO phase at the beginning of the year (defined using the MEI), and the predictions for 2016 (two methods) and 2017.

Note that this analysis was done with only data until July. With the August data included as well, there is a small reduction in the uncertainty (purple bar), but the mean prediction is basically unchanged. I think this might be the first prediction for the 2017 annual mean specifically – we’ll have to wait ~18 months to see how it pans out.

I’m happy to get deeper into the analysis here if there is interest. Additionally, I’d be interested in ideas and/or suggestions for climate issues that might fit the 538 style for followup posts.

(c) RealClimate – Read entire story here.