Earth recorded the hottest day ever on July 6. According to data from US experts, the Earth’s daily average temperature surged to 17.23°C on July 6, breaking two previous heat records of 17.01°C and 17.18°C set on July 3 and 4 respectively. The temperatures were recorded by the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, an unauthorised system that studies global air temperatures at 2m above the surface.
Climate scientists are deeply concerned about the rising average temperature, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and record low Antarctic sea ice. They have observed that the combination of ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the return of El Niño is likely cause for this. The World Meteorological Organization (“WMO”) has declared that the weather conditions known as El Niño have started in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in seven years. WMO Secretary-General Professor Petter Taalas has said that “The onset of El Niño will greatly increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and triggering more extreme heat in many parts of the world and in the ocean”. Before this, August 2016 was recorded as the warmest year ever, when the global average temperature reached 16.92°C.
What is El Niño?
El Niño is part of the natural climate phenomenon called the El Niño Southern Oscillation.
It has two opposite states – El Niño and La Niña – both of which significantly alter global weather.
An El Niño event is typically declared when sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific rise to at least 0.5°C above the long-term average.
El Niño events typically bring increased rainfall in parts of southern South America, the southern United States, the Horn of Africa, and central Asia. El Niño can also cause severe droughts over Australia, Indonesia, parts of southern Asia, Central America and northern South America.
Did you know that El Niño means “the boy” in Spanish?
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