UN forecasts world heat records

UN forecasts world heat records

Álvaro Soto

Thursday, May 4, 2023, 00:51

The United Nations Organization (UN) believes that the meteorological phenomenon known as ‘El Niño’, which causes droughts or floods in different parts of the world and, in general, more heat, will arrive during this summer, which will cause them to reach New record global temperatures. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), belonging to the UN, points out that there is a 60% probability that ‘El Niño’ will arrive between May and July, 70% if the period extends until August and up to 80% between July and september.

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Although recent years have already been the hottest in history, the probable irruption of ‘El Niño’, which will replace ‘La Niña’, will raise the thermometer even higher. “We have just had the eight warmest years on record, despite the fact that in the last three we have had a cooling caused by ‘La Niña’ that has acted as a temporary brake on the increase in global temperature,” he recalled yesterday. WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas. The world is now in a neutral period, of transition between both meteorological phenomena and “most likely it is that the development of ‘El Niño’ will cause a rebound in global warming and increase the chances of breaking temperature records”, predicted Taalas. The WMO says it can’t predict the strength or duration, or estimate to what extent a rise in temperatures will cause it, but it does confirm that it will.

The data

2016was the year

hotter due to the “double whammy” caused by ‘El Niño’ and climate change.

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‘El Niño’, ‘La Niña’ and the neutral state, which alternate in an irregular cycle called the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), are the phenomena that modulate the global terrestrial climate. ‘El Niño’, which tends to be more frequent, warms the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, especially at the equator and along the coasts of South and Central America, causing more rain in that area.

Between nine and twelve months

‘La Niña’ has the opposite effect: temperatures of the tropical Pacific Ocean cool down, which reduces precipitation. The heat and rains move to the other side of the ocean, so the weather in Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia is wetter and warmer than usual. ‘El Niño’ (in reference to the baby Jesus) is the name by which South American fishermen know this phenomenon because some of its most acute effects occur, in this part of the world, at Christmas.

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The hottest year in history was 2016 due to the “double whammy” caused by the combination of ‘El Niño’ and climate change, UN experts recall. Since then, ‘La Niña’ has prevailed, which has cushioned the heat, and even so, maximums have continued to be beaten. The WMO predicts a 2023 and above all, a 2024, of triggered thermometers “because the effect on global temperatures usually manifests itself the year after its development.”

Beat Records

“Most likely, the development of ‘El Niño’ will cause a rebound in global warming”

“The world should prepare for ‘El Niño’, which is often associated with increased heat, drought or precipitation in different parts of the world,” Taalas insisted. The only good news is that this phenomenon also causes rain, which “could bring a respite to the drought in the Horn of Africa”, an area where ‘La Niña’ causes a decrease in rainfall. The other side of the coin is that in this region, one of the poorest in the world, it could also unleash “more extreme phenomena.”

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‘El Niño’, which occurs every two to seven years and whose episodes last between nine and twelve months, can mean an added rise in temperature of 0.2 tenths, which would make it difficult to get it below two degrees, the target set in the Paris Agreements in 2015.

The reservoirs, below half of their reserves

For the first time since last January 23, the swamps have fallen below half their capacity; Specifically, they are at 49.6% occupancy compared to 50.07% in the last update that the Ministry for Ecological Transition provided eight days ago. The rains registered throughout all this time have not allowed to alleviate the water reserves of the reservoirs, which in the last week have increased. In fact, 251 cubic hectometres have already been lost, which represents 0.4% less. At the moment they store a total of 27,823 cubic hectometres, which is twenty points below the average of the last ten years.

  • Themes
  • HIM
  • Ministry for Ecological Transition
  • World Meteorological Organization
  • Summer

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