How scary is El Nino this time?
Temperatures have risen in the North Atlantic, while sea ice in Antarctica has dropped, raising fears of widespread damage from extreme weather.
"Very unusual," "disturbing," "frightening," and "crazy" are words that describe scientists' response to the increase in North Atlantic surface temperatures over the past three months.
It raises whether the world's climate is entering a more erratic and dangerous phase when the global warming El Nino phenomenon begins.
Since April, warming seems to have entered a new trajectory, according to the Guardian.
"If a few decades ago some people thought climate change was a relatively slow-moving phenomenon, now we are seeing climate change at a frightening rate," said Professor Peter Stott. , the head of climate monitoring and distribution for the UK Climate Office said.
"As El Nino forms for the rest of this year, it adds to the dangerous impact of artificial global warming. Millions of people across the planet and many diverse ecosystems will face an extraordinary challenge, and at the same time suffer great damage," he stressed.
El Nino is a natural climate pattern arising from the hot waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It forms when trade winds blowing from east to west along the equatorial Pacific slow or reverse amid changes in air pressure.
It immediately affects marine life that is not used to a few degrees warmer waters. More worryingly, the excess energy in the ocean - the world's giant heat sink - could lead to more intense storms than usual. At the same time, it brings with it more destructive rains and longer-lasting heat waves.
When record-high ocean surface temperatures were reported in April, some hoped it was only a temporary problem. However, in May, the average temperature in the North Atlantic region reached its highest since 1850.
This anomaly has many experts questioning whether something unforeseen - like a "black swan" event - is happening in the climate system.
Some say it's more likely the result of El Nino and other natural factors, amplified by greenhouse gas emissions from cars, factories, and deforestation.
Against this backdrop, Michael Mann, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, warns it's more important to focus on the big picture.
Burning fossil fuels is leading to more substantial and destructive storms. At the same time, it provides "fuel" for extreme weather events, such as droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and floods.
Around Ireland and England, coastal waters are several degrees warmer than average for the year. Hurricanes are forming in the Atlantic Ocean earlier than usual, almost certainly due to excess energy accumulating in the ocean's surface layer.
For the first time in June, there were two named tropical storms in the Atlantic simultaneously, Bret and Cindy.
Rather than treating the temperature spike in the North Atlantic as a one-time event, Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the Met Office Hadley Center, said: could happen more often."
"The charts (of Atlantic surface temperatures and Antarctic sea ice) are like another hammer blows to the climate emergency we are in," he said.
While anthropogenic emissions and El Nino are likely the main drivers of the spike in temperatures in the North Atlantic, Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with the Breakthrough Institute, said more is needed—time to learn other potential factors. For example, dust levels in the Sahara have been deficient this year, with large amounts of water vapor in the stratosphere, slowing ocean circulation and increasing the frequency of El Nino events.
More broadly, Hausfather says the trends are consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate model. The model suggests that warming will accelerate in the coming decades unless emissions are reduced.
How bad the outlook is will depend on the intensity and duration of this El Nino. Carlos Nobre, one of Brazil's leading climate scientists, says there's a 60 percent chance this year's El Nino will be vital.
This would be "very worrying" for the Amazon rainforest, which experienced some of the worst recessions between 2015 and 1016 when an El Nino event lengthened the dry season and caused vegetation to fall. More easily flammable.
Elsewhere in the world, the latest El Nino has caused misery.
Several cities recently broke records for the hottest days in Mexico, including Chihuahua, Nuevo Laredo, and Monclova.
Many Texas cities are also smothering in their worst-ever heatwave. This is also happening in China, where more than 20 cities, including Shandong, Tianjin, and Huairou, have reported new hot peaks.
In Europe, the Austrian town of Oberndorf recorded a midnight temperature of 36.1 degrees Celsius. It was one of the continent's highest-ever nighttime temperatures.
In the Middle East, people are used to the heat, but they often expect temperatures to be more comfortable when they are higher. However, that did not happen in Iran last week when the temperature in Saravan reached 45 degrees Celsius. It was one of the hottest days ever recorded at an altitude of more than 1,000 meters.
Source from the Internet