Brussels, April 22 (BNA) Climate scientists said that the world may break a new average temperature record in 2023 or 2024, driven by climate change and the expected return of the El Niño weather phenomenon.
Climate models suggest that after three years of a La Niña weather pattern in the Pacific, which generally lowers global temperatures slightly, the world will see a return to El Niño, its warmer counterpart, later this year.
During El Niño, winds blowing west along the equator slow and warm waters are pushed east, causing ocean surface temperatures to rise.
“El Niño is usually associated with record temperatures on a global scale. Whether this will happen in 2023 or 2024 is not yet known, but I think it’s more likely than not,” said Carlo Bontempo, director of Copernicus at the European Union. Climate change service.
Bontempo said climate models point to a return to El Niño conditions in the late boreal summer, and the possibility of a strong El Niño by the end of the year.
2016 was the world’s hottest year yet, coinciding with a powerful El Niño event – though climate change has warmed even in years without it.
The past eight years were the eight hottest years in the world – reversing the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
El Niño-fueled temperatures may add to the effects of climate change that countries are already experiencing – including extreme heat waves, droughts and wildfires, said Frederick Otto, senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.
“If an El Niño event develops, there is a good chance that 2023 will be hotter than 2016 — given the global warming continues as humans continue to burn fossil fuels,” Otto said.
Scientists from the European Union Copernicus published a report Thursday assessing the extreme weather events the world experienced last year, its fifth warmest year on record.
Europe experienced its hottest summer on record in 2022, while heavy rains triggered by climate change caused catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, and in February, Antarctic sea ice levels hit a record low.
Copernicus said that the average global temperature is now 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than it was in pre-industrial times.
Although most of the world’s major emitters have pledged to eventually reduce their net emissions to zero, last year global carbon dioxide emissions continued to rise.