A building El Niño in 2018 signals more extreme weather for 2019

A building El Niño in 2018 signals more extreme weather for 2019

SOURCE: Grist DATE: May 22, 2018 SNIP: In case you couldn’t get enough extreme weather, the next 12 months or so could bring even more scorching temps, punishing droughts, and unstoppable wildfires. It’s still early, but odds are quickly rising that another El Niño — the periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean — could be forming. The latest official outlook from NOAA and Columbia University gives better-than-even odds of El Niño materializing by the end of this year, which could lead to a cascade of dangerous weather around the globe in 2019. That’s a troubling development, especially when people worldwide are still suffering from the last El Niño, which ended two years ago. El Niño has amazingly far-reaching effects, spurring droughts in Africa and typhoons swirling toward China and Japan. It’s a normal, natural ocean phenomenon, but there’s emerging evidence that climate change is spurring more extreme El Niño-related events. On average though, El Niño boosts global temperatures and redistributes weather patterns worldwide in a pretty predictable way. Initial estimates show that, if the building El Niño actually arrives, 2019 would stand a good chance at knocking off 2016 as the warmest year on record. Images by Patrick Brown and NOAA’s National Weather...
2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost

2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: January 18, 2018 SNIP: 2017 was the hottest year since global records began that was not given an additional boost by the natural climate cycle El Niño, according to new data. Even without an El Niño, the year was still exceptionally hot, being one of the top three ever recorded. The three main global temperature records show the global surface temperature in 2017 was 1C above levels seen in pre-industrial times, with scientists certain that humanity’s fossil fuel-burning is to blame. The data, published on Thursday, means the last three years have been the hottest trio ever seen, with 2017 ranking second or third depending on the small differences between the temperature records. Furthermore, 17 of the 18 hottest years recorded since 1850 have occurred since...

2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: January 2, 2018 SNIP: 2017 was the second-hottest year on record according to Nasa data, and was the hottest year without the short-term warming influence of an El Niño event. In fact, 2017 was the hottest year without an El Niño by a wide margin – a whopping 0.17°C hotter than 2014, which previously held that record. Remarkably, 2017 was also hotter than 2015, which at the time was by far the hottest year on record thanks in part to a strong El Niño event that year. For comparison, the neutral El Niño conditions and the level of solar activity in 1972 were quite similar to those in 2017. 45 years later, the latter was 0.9°C hotter than the former. For each type of year – La Niña, El Niño, and neutral – the global surface warming trend between 1964 and 2017 is 0.17–0.18°C per decade, which is consistent with climate model predictions. America was also battered by climate-fueled extreme weather events in 2017. Research has already shown that global warming boosted Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall (and associated flooding) by about 38%. California’s record wildfire season was similarly fueled by the state’s hot summer. The southwestern states were cooked by record hot summer temperatures this year, and global warming is making droughts in America and Europe worse. America was hit by 15 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2017, and it will likely be the costliest such year on record once all of the hurricane damages are...
2017 ‘very likely’ in top three warmest years on record

2017 ‘very likely’ in top three warmest years on record

SOURCE: BBC DATE: November 6, 2017 SNIP: The year 2017 is “very likely” to be in the top three warmest years on record, according to provisional figures from the World Meteorological Organization. The WMO says it will likely be the hottest year in the absence of the El Niño phenomenon. The scientists argue that the long-term trend of warming driven by human activities continues unabated. They say many of the “extraordinary” weather events seen this year bear the hallmarks of climate change. While the new study only covers January to September, the WMO says the average global temperature was 1.1C above the pre-industrial figure. This is getting dangerously close to the 1.5 degrees threshold that many island states feel temperatures must be kept under to ensure their...
The World Is Heating Up Fast, The Question Is How Hot Will It Get?

The World Is Heating Up Fast, The Question Is How Hot Will It Get?

SOURCE: Forbes and Nature Climate Change DATE: July 31, 2017 SNIP: An analysis of earth’s climate system, including factors like oceans’ ability to absorb carbon and the behavior of fine particles in the atmosphere, concludes that even if we could reduce our emissions to zero overnight the planet would still heat up by two more degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. The study is published in Monday’s issue of Nature Climate Change. Lead author Thorsten Mauritsen from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology says that while the data shows two degrees increase is now baked in, it could easily be three degrees if current emissions levels continue for the next 15 years. The second new paper, also published in Nature Climate Change, gives an even more dire forecast for the coming century, reaching the conclusion that there is only about a five percent chance Earth’s climate will warm by 3.5 degrees (F) or less before the end of the century. This study, led by researchers at the University of Washington, looked at statistics tied to humans’ footprint such as population growth and links between carbon emissions and economic activity. “Our analysis shows that the goal of (3.5 degrees F) is very much a best-case scenario,” said lead author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and sociology. “It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80...