Climate scientists report that the Earth is set to experience the hottest year on record due to climate change and a strong El Nino.
According to U.S. data released Wednesday, last month broke the temperature record for October in 136 years of records. However it was also the eighth record-breaking month so far in 2015, due in part to a particularly strong El Nino weather pattern, writes Tom Randall for Bloomberg.
Powerful El Nino contributes to hottest year on record
This year’s El Nino has caused some of the warmest weekly temperatures on record in parts of the equatorial Pacific, and the weather pattern is still increasing in strength. So far it has caused typhoons, spoiled African cocoa harvests and encouraged huge fires in Indonesia.
Worryingly its effects on the global climate are only just beginning. According to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center El Nino could affect weather patterns until late spring or early summer next year. In addition the heat diffused into the Earth’s atmosphere could mean that we experience another record-breaking year for temperatures in 2016.
The record for the worst El Nino is held by 1997-98, which caused the highest sustained temperatures over a three month period. However the 2015 El Nino is on course to break that record if it continues to build in strength.
Worrying climate records keep rolling in
According to data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), last month also represented the biggest difference from the normal average temperature of any month on record. Climate data sometimes varies between agencies, but this time around the NOAA, the Japan Meteorological Agency and NASA all agree.
Due to a particularly intense rise in average temperatures in the past few months 2015 will be the hottest year on record, even allowing for a dip in average temperatures in the last two months of the year. The succession of records is worrying climate scientists, given the fact that we have recently experienced the hottest summer on record, the hottest 12 months on record, the hottest calendar year on record (2014) and the hottest 10 years on record.
Thirteen of the hottest 14 years on record have occurred in the 21st century, and the troubling trend looks set to continue.