UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has officially announced the arrival of a climate-heating El Niño event. Experts are sounding the alarm, emphasizing the critical need to prepare for severe weather conditions to protect lives and livelihoods.
The last significant El Niño occurred in 2016, making it the hottest year ever recorded. Now, we are facing another El Niño event amid the ongoing global heating caused by human-driven carbon emissions.
The WMO labeled this a “double whammy” effect, capable of intensifying extreme weather events. As a result, temperature records are already being shattered both on land and at sea worldwide.
#ElNiño is a natural climate pattern associated with warming ocean surface temps in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. But it takes place in the context of a climate changed by human activities.
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) July 4, 2023
The WMO has stated that there is a 90% likelihood of the El Niño event persisting until the end of 2023, with moderate strength or higher.
Meanwhile, US authorities estimated in early June that there is a 56% chance of a strong and even hotter El Niño occurring by the end of the year.
El Niño and its cooler counterpart, La Niña, occur due to natural changes in winds and ocean temperatures in the Pacific. These irregular switches between the two phenomena are the planet’s most significant natural climate patterns, impacting billions of people worldwide.
Record high global temperature on 3rd July
Based on the data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Monday, July 3, marked the hottest day ever recorded on a global scale.
The average global temperature soared to 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 Fahrenheit), surpassing the previous record of 16.92 degrees Celsius (62.46 Fahrenheit) set in August 2016. Heatwaves scorched various parts of the world during this time.
During El Niño events, certain regions experience distinct weather patterns. In the southern United States, southern South America, the Horn of Africa, and Central Asia, there is typically an increase in flooding.
On the other hand, eastern Australia, Indonesia, South Asia, and Central America often face severe heatwaves and droughts, reported The Guardian.
Petteri Taalas, the Secretary-General of the WMO, emphasized that the emergence of El Niño significantly raises the chances of surpassing temperature records and experiencing more intense heatwaves across numerous regions globally, both on land and in the ocean.
He stated that the WMO’s declaration serves as a signal to governments worldwide, urging them to take immediate action in preparing for the potential impacts.
Timely warnings and proactive measures against extreme weather events linked to this significant climate phenomenon are crucial in order to protect lives and safeguard livelihoods, Taalas added.