The El Niño weather phenomenon, usually associated with rising global temperatures, has officially begun and is expected to “gradually increase” in the coming months, raising fears of more global warming and more extreme weather events.
According to the US Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), which on Thursday announced the official arrival of El Niño, the latter “may lead to new temperature records” in certain regions.
In addition, “depending on its strength, El Niño could have a range of effects, such as increasing the risk of heavy rainfall and drought in some parts of the world,” said Michelle Laureux, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), noting that Climate change may exacerbate or mitigate some of its effects.
– ‘Massive repercussions’ –
El Niño is a natural weather phenomenon characterized by higher than normal surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, but with consequences for the entire planet. It occurs approximately every two to seven years.
The last El Niño period dates back to 2018-2019 and has given way to a particularly long episode of nearly three years of La Niña, which causes opposite effects, in particular a drop in temperatures.
But despite this moderating effect, the past eight years have indeed been the hottest on record.
In early May, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned that 2023-2027 would certainly be the hottest period on record on Earth, given the combined effect of El Niño and greenhouse gas emissions.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimates there is a 66% chance that the annual mean surface temperature will exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5°C for at least one of the next five years. This was one of the limits that should not be crossed under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
At this point, it is not yet possible to predict the intensity or duration of the current El Niño phenomenon. The last one was weak, but the one that preceded it, between 2014 and 2016, was strong and had serious consequences. In general, the effects of El Niño are seen on temperatures in the year following its onset.
However, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, sounded the alarm, insisting on the need to prepare because “the implications for health, food security, water management and the environment will be significant.
Australia warned this week that an El Niño event would bring hotter, drier days to the bushfire-prone country, while Japan said a developing El Niño was partly responsible for its hottest spring on record.
– Contradictory effects –
Scientists fear that this summer and the coming summer will be particularly difficult in certain regions, especially the most disadvantaged.
“The poor have already been pushed to the brink by droughts, floods and storms caused by the use of fossil fuels, and they will now have to deal with the extreme temperatures of the El Niño effect,” Mariana Pauli emphasized Thursday. Christian Aid Humanitarian Organization.
In the United States, the effects of El Niño should be more mixed: It should be weaker during the summer but more pronounced from the end of fall through spring, notes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In the winter, this would result in wetter-than-average conditions in parts of the country from Southern California to the Gulf Coast, but drier conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley. It also increases the chances of higher than normal temperatures in the northern parts of the country.
L’Amérique du Sud, la Corne de l’Afrique and l’Asie centrale pourraient également être concerns by a house of précipitations, tandis qu’El Niño pourrait provoquer de graves secheresses in Australie, in Indonesia and certaines parties of l’Asie From the south.
In contrast, El Niño tends to dampen hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean, but favors it in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
“Travel aficionado. Incurable bacon specialist. Tv evangelist. Wannabe internet enthusiast. Typical creator.”