March 14

El Niño and global warming are set to turn regions of the world upside down this summer


The El Niño phase is slowly ending at the beginning of March 2024 and should be entirely over by April. However, its warming effect on global weather is still far from reaching its peak. A weather model has drawn up a list of the countries and regions of the world that will see the most significant rise in temperatures this summer.


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What is global warming?

Global warming, linked to greenhouse gas emissions, refers to the phenomenon of an average increase in temperatures at the Earth’s surface. Often referred to as climate change, it is characterised by variations in a given location and over time. Climate change affects every region of the world.

In its fifth assessment report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognised the existence of climate change. It also recognised that climate change is the result of human activities.


Climate overview

The atmosphere takes time to warm up, and the effect of El Niño is still at its peak a year after it began, even though the phenomenon itself is already over. Remember that El Niño is characterised by warmer-than-average water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and this heat then gradually has an impact on global weather. The phase began in June 2023, so El Niño should generate global overheating during the summer of 2024, on top of man-made global warming. A weather model developed by Chinese scientists predicts record global temperatures next summer, with a 90% probability.

However, not all regions of the world are in the same boat. Some will suffer no consequences at all, while others will undoubtedly be affected by extreme weather phenomena.


Abnormal heat and consequences for nature and the economy

El Niño will not just cause a hotter summer in these countries. The rise in temperatures increases the risk of fires, droughts, and consequent damage to crops. These phenomena will then have consequences for production, exports and the economy as a whole. In the most affected oceans and seas, underwater heat waves will occur, with an impact on biodiversity and fishing. A sweltering summer in Alaska would have disastrous consequences for melting glaciers and permafrost, which is already significant due to global warming linked to greenhouse gas emissions. In Amazonia, which is already facing a historic drought in 2023, abnormally hot weather over the next few months would make the forests even more fragile, with the risk of further fires.


Other regions of the world, such as Africa and Greenland, could also suffer the consequences of El Niño’s warming effect this summer. However, the lack of weather observations available for these places means that no definite conclusions can be drawn.


Why is the summer of 2024 likely to be a historic one for the world?

The El Niño climate phenomenon has just crossed a major threshold, with visible consequences for the weather in parts of the world. But its most significant impact will not be felt until next year. All the parameters are in place for a truly historic summer in 2024!


The consequences of El Niño 2023 are already visible in some parts of the world. This warm anomaly in part of the Pacific Ocean is already responsible for the extreme heat in North South America and the heat gradually spreading to Australia. And, of course, global warming makes the natural impact worse. El Niño began in late spring but will not reach its peak intensity until early winter. In recent days, the warming of the Pacific zone of El Niño has reached +2°C compared with the norm, making it a “strong El Niño”.


No “super El Niño”, but still a strong phenomenon

For all that, the fear of a “super El Niño” seems to be receding. To fall into this extreme category, warming the equatorial Pacific waters must deviate from the norm by +2°C for 3 months in a row. This is unlikely to be the case, according to forecasts by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, which is predicting a +2.1°C deviation in December, followed by a weakening below the 2°C mark.


Absolute records on the surface of the oceans

The observatory also warns of record temperatures at the surface of the oceans in January 2024. During this incredibly warm winter month, Copernicus even recorded absolute records exceeding those recorded at the height of summer in August 2023.

Copernicus reports a drier-than-average climate, particularly in Spain, which on Wednesday announced the warmest January in its history: the average temperature recorded last month in mainland Spain (8.4°C) was 2.4°C above the usual average, and 0.4°C higher than in 2016, the previous record January for Spain. The climate was also very dry in the Maghreb, the south of the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.


5 solutions to combat global warming : 


  1. Favour less polluting transport
  2. Eat less meat and more vegetables and buy locally.
  3. Reduce waste
  4. Combat digital pollution
  5. Reduce electricity consumption



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