Climate Change

Will El Nino make 2024 the hottest year on record?

Under climate change, the impacts of El Nino events are going to get stronger, according to the head of the UK Met Office

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 23 January 2023

Will the average global temperatures cross 1.5 degrees Celsius in 2024? The United Kingdom’s Met Office has predicted that it may be the case. The Met Office has predicted that El Nino may strike back at the end of 2023 which could lead to an extremely warm 2024.

The name ‘El Nino’ refers to the warming of sea surface temperatures that often peaks during December. El Nino occurs irregularly, from two years to a decade, and can disrupt normal weather patterns globally.

In the past, the El Nino weather phenomenon has been known to bring long droughts all over the world. 2016 was the hottest year since the recordings have begun and El Niño was the major reason behind the sudden rise in temperature.

El Niño has a cooler counterpart in form of La Niña. In the last three years, La Niña was the dominant climate phenomenon. La Niña events are characterised by cooler-than-average waters in the equatorial tropical Pacific and tend to put a lid on global temperatures.

In 2022, a rare ‘triple dip’ La Niña kept temperatures in check, but the year still ranked fifth-warmest (according to NASA and the Copernicus Climate Change Service).

While 2023 is predicted to be hotter than 2022, it may not succeed 2016 as the hottest year on record (UK Met Office). But, there could be a new temperature record in 2024.

This is because, the El Niño climate phenomenon occurs during the winter season of the northern hemisphere and it takes a few months for heating effects to be felt, as per the report.

Countries and continents witnessed a battery of extreme weather-related events in 2022. While US and Europe witnessed blistering heatwaves, there were devastating floods in Nigeria and Pakistan.

Professor Adam Scaife, the head of the long-range prediction at the UK Met Office said in an official statement, “We know that under climate change, the impacts of El Nino events are going to get stronger, and you have to add that to the effects of climate change itself, which is growing all the time…You put those two things together, and we are likely to see unprecedented heatwaves during the next El Nino.”

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