Climate scientists warn that temperatures in 2023 or 2024 could break records due to an El Nino phenomenon, similar to 2016's, in addition to the effects of climate change.
Climate models suggest that El Nino will return by the end of 2023, more than three years after La Nina appeared over the Pacific Ocean.
In contrast to La Nina, which causes floods and helps lower Earth's temperature, El Nino occurs when winds blowing westward along the equator slow down and warm water is pushed eastward, causing surface temperatures to rise. warmer ocean. This phenomenon usually appears about every 3-4 years and lasts 8-12 months.
"El Nino is usually accompanied by record-breaking global temperatures. Although it is not known yet whether this will happen in 2023 or 2024, I think it is more likely to happen," said Carlo Buontempo, director. The European Union's climate change monitoring agency Copernicus said.
According to Mr. Buontempo, climate models show that El Nino returns in late summer in the north and will strengthen later in the year.
The hottest year the world has recorded so far is 2016, which coincides with a strong El Nino, alongside the effects of climate change. The world then experienced eight years of unprecedented heat, reflecting long-term trends in global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.
Friederike Otto, a lecturer at Imperial College London's Grantham Institute, said El Nino contributes to higher temperatures that can exacerbate the effects of climate change in countries, including severe heat waves, droughts, and wildfires.
"If El Nino strengthens, it is very likely that 2023 will be even hotter than 2016 considering that the world continues to warm as humans continue to burn fossil fuels," warned Otto.
On April 20, Copernicus scientists published a report assessing the extreme climate conditions around the world last year.
In 2022, Europe experienced its hottest summer on record while heavy rains caused by climate change caused catastrophic flooding in Pakistan. In February 2023, the sea level in Antarctica dropped to a record low.
Copernicus said the world's average global temperature is now 1.2°C higher than in pre-industrial times. Although most of the world's major emitters have pledged to cut their net emissions to zero, CO2 emissions continued to rise globally last year.