September 14, 2015 / 1:17 PM / 3 years ago

Global warming hiatus could be coming to an end: UK’s Met Office

LONDON (Reuters) - Record temperatures and changes to climate patterns in the world’s oceans are among signs that a global warming pause is coming to an end, Britain’s Met Office said in a report on Monday.

Smoke billows from the chimneys of Belchatow Power Station, Europe's biggest coal-fired power plant, in this May 7, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Peter Andrews/Files

The report comes just over two months before negotiators from almost 200 countries meet in Paris to thrash out a U.N. deal to curb global climate change.

In 2013, a United Nations report on climate science made an observation that temperatures had increased at a slower rate in the years since 1998 than the preceding 50 years.

But on Monday, the Met said in a report that observations of climate patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans combined with record global temperatures last year and expectations 2015 and 2016 would be near record highs pointed to a changing trend.

“All of these signals are consistent with what we would expect to see at the end of the slowdown,” Adam Scaife, one of the reports authors, said at a press briefing.

Last year was the warmest since records began in the 19th century, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization.

The El Nino weather phenomenon - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - is likely to contribute to another year of record temperatures in 2015. But Scaife said man-made contributions to global warming would also play a part.

“A lot of things can occur without the influence of human beings. However, they are now occurring on top of the influence coming from man’s activity,” Scaife said.

“When an El Nino comes and raises the global temperature...that is the extra bit that creates a record,” he said.

One of the main goals of the U.N. climate pact is to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, what scientist say is needed to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change such as worsening floods, droughts, storms and rising seas.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by Susan Thomas

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