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El Nino. The weather anomaly has returned. American scientists confirm. What does it mean?

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American scientists reported that El Nino, a phenomenon occurring in the Pacific Ocean, has arrived. According to experts, thanks to it, the next year may turn out to be the warmest in the history of measurements, beating the record from 2016. In some parts of the world, this anomaly threatens with floods, in others – with severe droughts.

After three years of the La Nina climate phenomenon, its opposite, El Niño, appeared in the Pacific, scientists from the US government’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) confirmed on Thursday.

El Nino. What is this phenomenon

El Niño – a phenomenon occurring in the Pacific Ocean – occurs when the surface temperature of the water in the equatorial zone is above average high. This phenomenon is also associated with the weakening of the trade winds (constant wind blowing in the tropics). When the Pacific is warmer, North and South America are at greater risk of heavy rainfall, among other things, and areas of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia are at greater risk of severe drought.

According to the CPC, a social media post said El Niño conditions will “progressively strengthen in the northern hemisphere through the winter of 2023-24.” Then the peak of this phenomenon is expected.

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“A new record next year is definitely likely”

Experts warn that El Niño will have serious consequences for the climate. It is likely to contribute to the increase in global temperature. According to scientists, 2024 may therefore turn out to be a record year in terms of average temperature in the world.

“A new global temperature record next year is definitely likely,” said Adam Scaife, head of long-term forecasting at Britain’s Met Office. Quoted by the BBC, he explained that it depends on the intensity of the anomaly at the end of this year.

The last time there was an El Nino, 2016 turned out to be the warmest year on record globally.

Specialists fear that the phenomenon will cause the average global temperature to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in its report in May said there was a 66 percent chance it would happen in the next five years, with “far-reaching consequences” for life on Earth. That document also indicated that El Niño may have been partly involved.

Warmer than average

Meteorological agencies around the world use different criteria to determine the onset of these two anomalies. According to NOAA, an El Niño occurs when the surface water temperature in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean was 0.5 degrees Celsius above the previous month’s average and has continued to be so.

According to the guidelines used by the Australian meteorological agency Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), the temperature of the waters should be higher and warmer by 0.8 degrees C than the average in key areas of the eastern Pacific. On Tuesday, the BOM issued a communiqué, according to which there is a 70 percent probability of El Niño developing by the end of this year.

Early symptoms of the emerging phenomenon were recorded in May by the Sentinel-6 satellite Michael Freilich (S6MF).

According to recent research, the La Nina phenomenon may have contributed to the giant bushfires in Australia in late 2019 and early 2020.

El NinoMaciej Zieliński/PAP/Reuters

Reuters, BBC, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

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