Wednesday, January 18, 2023

El Niño is coming, expect some record temperatures

Last year was the fifth hottest on record worldwide (sixth warmest, according to some temperature rankings). Only fifth, you say? You might be tempted to think that global warming is starting to slacken off. Not so. The eight hottest years ever have all happened since 2014.

There are also other factors involved. The last three years have all been La Niña years, in which ocean temperatures - an important driver of land temperatures, although far from the only one - are cooler than usual, temporarily dampening the underlying effects of climate change. So, 2022 was the fifth hottest year, EVEN THOUGH it was a La Niña year, and it was certainly the hottest La Niña Year on record.

This year, 2023, will be an El Niño year, leading to even higher temperatures, and probably officially taking us over the dreaded 1.5°C threshold. The El Niño effect actually tends to occur during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so we probably won't feel its full effects until 2024. But, make no mistake, hot crazy weather is coming. Climatologists are predicting the temperatures in 2024 will be "off the charts".

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