El Niño could be 'significant' event: NOAA
Compared to only one month ago, the current view places more confidence in El Nino's creation and intensity based on a number of factors.
The US' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) remarkably improved the prospect that an El Niño event will form in the tropical Pacific Ocean this summer, accelerating climate change and changing global weather patterns.
Zeke Hausfather, climate research lead at payments company Stripe, said as quoted by Axios that this could bring about the first year in which the global average surface temperatures bump up against the Paris Agreement's more rigid climate change target of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels.
According to NOAA, an El Niño of at least moderate strength is predicted to start in May and last through the summer and into the coming winter in the Northern Hemisphere due to the rapidly rising waters of the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean.
In comparison to only one month ago, the current view places more confidence in El Nio's creation and intensity based on a number of factors.
Among these include the changing trade winds, rising sea surface temperatures, and the existence of exceptionally warm waters below the surface that are sloshing from the Western Pacific eastward.
Additionally, projections made by computer models on the growth and severity of El Nino have increased its likelihood.
What is El Niño?— Civil Services Insider (@cseInsider) May 9, 2023
El Niño is a phenomenon that affects the climate of the Earth, especially in the tropical regions. It is characterized by the unusual warming of the surface waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, usually around December. The name El Niño means… pic.twitter.com/O2ufQI5K0j
The chances of an El Niño developing through July and persisting into the Northern Hemisphere winter are currently 82%, with the probability reaching 90% later this summer, NOAA found.
In April's projection, the probability for the period from May to July was slightly above 60%; now they are just over 70%.
At the end of the year, there is an 80% likelihood of at least a mild El Niño and a 55% chance of a strong El Nio event.
Due to probable errors between the ocean and atmosphere, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center gave a mere 5% to 10% possibility that an El Niño won't occur.
El Niño is coming
Changes in atmospheric and oceanic conditions must reinforce one another in a complicated chain of events for the climate cycle to emerge.
Recent months have seen record-breaking global ocean surface temperatures, a pattern associated with the development of El Niño.
Naturally occurring El Niño episodes allow the rate of climate change brought on by human activity to temporarily increase due to the extra heat in the ocean, some of which is transferred to the atmosphere.
The most recent record-warm year was 2016, which also included a powerful El Niño. Since then, the earth has kept warming. The past eight years were the warmest eight years on record. This puts 2023 and 2024 in a good position to approach or surpass the new standard.
"A moderate to strong El Niño substantially increases the chance that 2024 will be the warmest year on record, and the odds that it might be the first year to surpass 1.5°C," Hausfather said in an email, as cited by Axios.
This would be a symbolic milestone, as the Paris Agreement's focus is on long-term warming, not a specific year.
In short, El Niño shifts weather worldwide, suppressing much-needed rains for millions, and leading to floods in other regions. Furthermore, El Niño is predicted to cause a marked increase in global temperature as well as more extreme weather occurrences.
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