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Rising chance of El Niño sparks concern for heat records

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By illuminem

· 2 min read

🗞️ Driving the news: The UN warns that the probability of an El Niño weather event occurring has increased, likely leading to higher global temperatures and heat records

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimates a 60% chance of El Niño developing by the end of July and an 80% chance by the end of September

Rising Chance of El Niño Raises Concern for Heat Records

🔭 Science 101: El Niño is a climate pattern that typically occurs every few years in the tropical Pacific Ocean

  • During an El Niño event, the ocean's surface temperatures in this region become unusually warm, which causes a variety of climate-related effects around the world
  • In 1997-98 and 2015-16 El Niño events, sea surface temperatures rose more than 2.5 degrees °C above the long-term average (source: NASA)

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: The development of El Niño is significant because it can exacerbate global warming and lead to extreme weather events

  • The last eight years have been the warmest ever recorded, despite the cooling effect of the lengthy La Niña event. The arrival of El Niño could result in a new spike in global heating
  • Besides, warming ocean surface temperatures hurts food webs and marine ecosystems. Already, the global population of marine species has declined by an average of 50% since the 1970s (WWF)

⏭️ What next: In the coming months, The WMO and national meteorological services will closely monitor the development of El Niño and the related impact on global temperatures and weather patterns

  • The effects of the El Niño event will however become more apparent in 2024

💬 One quote: "We are expecting in the coming two years to have a serious increase in the global temperatures" (Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Head of the WMO’s regional climate prediction services division)

Click for more on climate change

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