Warning: El Nino in 2015?
The main meteorological agencies have declared 2014 to have been the hottest year globally on record.
The rising ocean temperature are reason to believe that the El Nino-like conditions may result in 2015 setting new highs.
This year was beginning to resemble 1988, a warm year that followed a big El Nino event.
And so 2015 could be another warmest year!
El Ninos can trigger droughts in Australia and south-east Asia while bringing floods to Peru and Chile in the east.
Earlier this week, the Bureau of Meteorology upgraded its ENSO Tracker to “watch” level, reflecting the recent warming.
“Weakened trade winds are forecast to continue, and this may induce further warming,” the bureau said.
Andrew Watkins, the bureau’s supervisor of its Climate Prediction Services unit, said the definitions are very weak. Most likely it just scrapes over the line.
For the bureau to declare an El Nino event, greater warmth needs to persist in the monitored areas – 0.8 degrees above average compared with 0.5 degrees – and the atmosphere must begin to “couple” with the changed ocean conditions, reinforcing them.
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