The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially views a warm El Niño event as possible towards the end of the year, also raising the odds that the event will overlap with global warming and push global temperatures to new all-time records.
Although it is hard to believe, the planet has been under the influence of a phenomenon that cools the climate globally for three years, La Niña. It is the counterpart of El Niño, which warms it.
These are two events between which the weather oscillates naturally. In both cases, the phenomenon originates in the Pacific Ocean, depending on whether the equatorial ocean surface is colder or warmer.
In addition, the energy that this immense body of water generates when trying to compensate for the difference in temperature with the atmosphere ends up altering atmospheric pressure and changing weather patterns around the world.
Now, the latest WMO update published this Wednesday indicates that the return of El Niño is “probable”, although it will be preceded by neutral conditions beforehand. That is, there will be neither El Niño nor La Niña between March and May, with a probability of 90 per cent; 80 per cent in April-June and 60 per cent in May-July.
Hottest year ever in next three
The WMO estimates a 93 per cent chance that at least one year through 2026 will be the warmest on record and a 50:50 chance that global temperatures will temporarily reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial times.
The current La Niña began in September 2020 and had a brief summer hiatus in 2021 and has been associated with persistent drought in the Greater Horn of Africa and much of South America, as well as above-average rainfall. in Southeast Asia and Australasia.
Global Seasonal Weather Forecast
In addition to the long-established ENSO Update, WMO now also publishes regular Global Seasonal Climate Updates (GSCUs), which incorporate influences from the other major drivers of climate, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Arctic Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole.
The WMO ENSO and Global Seasonal Climate Updates are based on forecasts from the WMO Global Long-Range Forecast Production Centers and are available to assist governments, the United Nations, decision makers and stakeholders in climate sensitive sectors to mobilize preparedness and protect lives and livelihoods. .
A return to near-normal ENSO conditions is forecast for the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures are generally forecast for other ocean regions. This contributes to the widespread prediction of above-normal temperatures over land areas, according to the GSCU.
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