The Met Office has estimated that 2016 will be the hottest year ever recorded, with a global mean temperature expected to be between 0.72C and 0.96C above the annual average (14C). Forecasters previously said that 2015 would be the hottest year on record.
A combination of climate change and this year's strong El Nino are expected to be behind the peak in global average temperatures in 2016. The El Nino weather phenomenon is expected to continue into the new year, bring more mild weather for many.
Professor Chris Folland, a Met Office research fellow, said: "2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record, and this forecast suggests 2016 is likely to be at least as warm, if not warmer."
Weather experts have at the Met Office have said that temperatures in 2016 could be 1.1C above pre-industrial levels. The forecast comes five days after world leaders reached a historic climate change agreement in Paris, during which they pledged to limit global warming to 1.5C. The forecast for 2016 now shows that it will prove difficult for global leaders to stick to the pledge as years continue.
Earlier this year the Met Office and the World Meteorological Organisation (IMO) said that 2015 would surpass 2014 as the warmest year on record by roughly 0.14C. The mean temperature for 2015 is likely to be 0.71C above the 14C annual average. The steady rise in temperatures coincides with earlier research published by the Met Office, which said that global temperatures were rising again after a brief halt.
Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office, said: "This forecast suggests that by the end of 2016, we will have seen three record, or near-record years in a row for global temperatures."
While the Met Office has said that they don't expect the trend to run back-to-back indefinitely, they believe that the forecast shows how global warming and smaller weather-related events can drive world temperatures up.