Fears of hottest year on record as global temperatures spike

Temperature at Walgreen’s in Texas town.
Author – EricMiller214, CC SA 3.0.

Early data shows June temperatures hitting record highs ahead of El Niño which experts say will have a significant heating effect.

Meteorologists are warning things could heat up even more than usual this summer. The warnings all center around the strength of the current El Nino which arrived earlier than normal this year.

An El Niño is a natural, temporary, and occasional warming of part of the Pacific Ocean that shifts weather patterns across the globe. That being said, there’s a lot more heating up on the way as El Niño grows toward its usual peak in winter.

The global oceans are very warm right now and I’m afraid that this is putting us into territory that we don’t have much experience with,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Michelle L’Heureux in an interview with Axios.

Preliminary global average temperatures taken so far in June are nearly 1C (1.8F) above levels previously recorded for the same month, going back to 1979, according to The Guardian.

There has been “remarkable global warmth” so far in June, confirmed Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation arm, which said that the first few days of the month even breached a 1.5C increase compared with pre-industrial times.

Guardian graphic. Source: National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System data via Climate Change Institute, University of Maine.

Usually, an El Niño mutes hurricane activity in the Atlantic, giving relief to coastal areas in states from Texas to New England, Central America, and the Caribbean, weary from recent record busy years.

But this time, The Hill reports, forecasters don’t see that happening, because of record-hot Atlantic temperatures that would counteract the El Nino winds that normally decapitate many storms.

Friederike Otto, the senior lecturer at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute, said El Nino-fuelled temperatures could worsen the climate change impacts countries are already experiencing – including severe heatwaves, drought, and wildfires, reports Reuters.

With El Nino developing, “there is a good chance 2023 will be even hotter than 2016 – considering the world has continued to warm as humans continue to burn fossil fuels,” Otto said.

Fears of hottest year on record as global temperatures spike

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