El Niño weakens but its impact continues on global climate


New Delhi: El Niño will continue to impact the global climate in the coming months, fuelling the heat trapped by greenhouse gases from human activities, said the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Wednesday.

WMO said, “It is now gradually weakening, but predicting above-normal temperatures over almost all land areas between March and May.”

There is about a 60% chance of El Niño persisting during March-May and an 80% chance of neutral conditions (neither El Niño or La Niña) in April to June it said.

“Every month since June 2023 has set a new monthly temperature record and 2023 was by far the warmest year on record. El Niño has contributed to these record temperatures, but heat-trapping greenhouse gases are unequivocally the main culprit,” said WMO Secretary-General Celeste Saulo.

“Ocean surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific reflect El Niño. But sea surface temperatures in other parts of the globe have been persistently and unusually high for the past 10 months. The January 2024 sea-surface temperature was by far the highest on record for January. This is worrying and can not be explained by El Niño alone,” she added.

El Niño occurs on average every two to seven years and typically last nine to 12 months. It is a naturally occurring climate pattern associated with the warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

It influences weather and storm patterns in different parts of the world. But it takes place in the context of a climate being changed by human activities.


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