Ocean temperatures have been off the charts since mid-March 2023, with the highest average levels in 40 years of satellite monitoring, and the impact is breaking through in disruptive ways around the world.
Climate change is already driving warming, and combined with the impact of El Niño, there stands a strong chance we will exceed the 1.5°C target.
It’s been very cold over North America for days, but globally, 2017 has ended up smashing the record for the hottest year on record without an El Niño. And that has scientists worried, since the warmest years usually happen when the long-term human-caused global warming trend gets a short-term boost from an El Niño’s enhanced warming in the tropical Pacific.
The year 2017 has seen some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded, only slightly below the record set in 2016. It has also seen unusually low Arctic and Antarctic sea ice for much of the year, though the summer Arctic minimum was only the eighth lowest on record. 2017 is also almost certain to be the warmest year without an El Niño event. When the effects of El Niño and La Niña are removed from the temperature record, the first nine months of 2017 are likely the warmest ever recorded.
The current El Nino event may be showing humanity where the edge of the climate positive feedback cliff is, we would be wise to act upon that warning.
This year’s El Niño phenomenon is spawning extreme weather around the planet. Now scientists are working to understand if global warming will lead to more powerful El Niños that will make droughts, floods, snowstorms, and hurricanes more intense.
As perhaps the strongest El Nino on record forms in the eastern Pacific Ocean, public officials in California are preparing for a winter in which the state’s drought emergency might be interrupted by disastrous floods.
Humans find it very hard to identify a trend that is affected by natural variability, instead getting caught up in short term variations like the "Climate Pause". This may have disabled humanity’s urgency in taking a sustainable path,
One of the worst North American droughts in history could be getting a whole lot worse.
[O]nce the short-term warming and cooling influences of volcanic eruptions, solar activity, and El Niño and La Niña events are statistically removed from the temperature record, there is no evidence of a change in the rate of greenhouse warming.