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In 2024, El Niño is predicted to break heat records.

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Alarming forecasts regarding El Niño’s escalating impact on global temperatures have been revealed by a pioneering study that was published today in the journal Scientific Reports. Researchers alert the public to the startling 90% chance that in the year preceding June 2024, average surface temperatures worldwide will soar to previously unheard-of heights.

Important research findings suggest that extreme heatwaves will occur in some locations, especially in Asia, increasing the danger of drought and wildfires. The El Niño weather pattern, a natural phenomena that has been intensified by climate change, is the cause of this looming global catastrophe.

One of the study’s authors, Professor Deliang Chen of the University of Göteborg, highlights the pressing need to inform the public about the possible consequences of this rising trend. El Niño, named for its very warm phase, upsets regular atmospheric circulation patterns, raising ocean temperatures and releasing heat that has been trapped in the atmosphere as a result.

A moderate El Niño and a strong El Niño are the two possible scenarios for 2024 that are outlined in the report. Even in the more moderate scenario, areas such as the Philippines and the Bay of Bengal are predicted to experience the worst of the heatwave, with long-lasting droughts and marine heatwaves devastating local ecosystems and livelihoods.

With a strong El Niño, however, the outlook is considerably worse, with records breaking for temperature in the Amazon, Alaska, South China Sea, Caribbean, and South China Sea. Severe risks to the environment and economy could result from year-round marine heatwaves, more intense wildfires, and an acceleration of the melting of glaciers and permafrost.

With a weak El Niño now ruling the forecast, there is hope that the globe may avoid the worst-case scenario, but even in this situation, the study cautions that a new record for the global average surface temperature by June could still be set. The cyclical nature of El Niño implies that similar events can recur every two to seven years, despite the fact that it is projected to abate by then. This highlights the continuous challenge presented by climate change and extreme weather phenomena.

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