Author: Andrew Freedman

El Niño officially develops amid record weather extremes: NOAA

Source(s): Axios

El Niño, the ocean and atmosphere cycle in the tropical Pacific that can supercharge global extreme weather events, is officially back after about a four-year hiatus, NOAA announced Thursday morning.

Why it matters: El Niño holds large sway over global weather patterns. It is likely to increase global average surface temperatures, leading to an all-time record warm year in 2023 or 2024, surpassing the El Niño year of 2016.


Zoom in: El Niño events are characterized by unusually warm sea surface temperatures in the equatorial tropical Pacific, particularly across the central and eastern Pacific.

  • NOAA's advisory on Thursday morning indicates that both ocean temperatures and atmospheric conditions are sufficient for an El Niño to be declared.


The intrigue: Some climate scientists and meteorologists told Axios they are looking toward the coming months to a year or more with trepidation and curiosity, given that the oceans already are record-warm going into the event, and are now likely to get even warmer.

“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,” Michelle L'Heureux, chief of Climate Prediction Center's El Niño-Southern Oscillation team, said in an interview.


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