Is El Niño Back Again? Temperatures Set To Break Records, According To Studies

by Tejashee Kashyap
Is El Niño Back Again? Temperatures Set To Break Records, According To Studies

For all the soaring high temperature that hasn’t come down, well, there’s a reason! The chance of an El Niño weather phenomenon developing in the coming months has risen. The effects of this weather phenomenon are likely to be back in the upcoming months, which may lead to higher global temperatures and perhaps new heat records.

Chance Of El Niño Rises Again!

El Niño
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According to climate projections, the globe will witness a return to El Niño, the warmer counterpart, later this year. During an El Niño, warm water is pushed eastward and the winds flowing around the equator slow down, raising the temperature of the ocean’s surface.

According to Reuters, El Niño conditions will likely return in the late summer. Although climate change has contributed to severe temperatures even in years without the El Nino phenomena, 2016 was the warmest year on record so far. The eight warmest years on record occurred in the past eight years, which is a reflection of the longer-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s average global temperature is now 1.2 degree celsius higher than in pre-industrial times.

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What Is El Niño?

El Niño
image credits: Unsplash

El Niño is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in the tropical Pacific Ocean and is associated with warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures. It was first noticed by fishermen in Peru and Ecuador, who observed that the water temperature in the ocean would warm up and reduce the amount of fish they caught.

The effects of this are far-reaching and can cause droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events in different parts of the world. During an El Niño event, the winds in the Pacific weaken, which allows warm water from the western Pacific to move eastwards. This leads to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific, which in turn affects weather patterns worldwide.

A marine heatwave might look like just another climate phenomenon affecting the oceans but it is not so. Marine heat waves can inundate local bays. And for many marine organisms that are highly adapted to specific water temperatures, these heat waves can make living in the ocean difficult.

El Niño events typically occur every three to seven years and can last for several months to a few years. The strength and duration of these events can vary.

Cover image credits: Unsplash