2015 will likely prove the warmest year on record, U.N. researchers formally predicted on Wednesday.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that it expects the global average temperature in 2015 to be about 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial average, making the year the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880.
The five-year period between 2011 and 2015 is also set to be the hottest such stretch on record, the WMO, a United Nations weather agency, reported on Wednesday.
Researchers said a strong El Niño in the Pacific is responsible for ratcheting up ocean surface temperatures, but the agency said manmade climate change is also to blame for rising temperatures around the globe.
American weather researchers have previously warned that 2015 was likely to go down as the hottest year on record. Eight months so far this year have broken their individual temperature records, including October, which shattered the previous high mark.
The WMO said its temperature report is meant to inform policymakers who are set to meet in Paris next week to discuss an international agreement to take on climate change.
The agency has previously warned about record-setting greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. A potential temperature record, taken together with the greenhouse gas levels, spells “all bad news for the planet,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.
“Greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing climate change, can be controlled,” he said. “We have the knowledge and the tools to act. We have a choice. Future generations will not."