Hotter weather to persist, researchers blame El Nino, global warming

PHOTO: baynature.org

PHOTO: baynature.org

Nigerians who have been battling with warm weather which even gets hotter at nights may have to endure the scourge for much longer.

The situation is even worse in cities because of lack of public electric power supply and scarcity of fuel to power private generating sets as a result of which there is no relief from electric fans and air conditioners.

Unfortunately, there is no reprieve in sight as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the United Nations (UN) weather agency, yesterday, in its yearly climate report said the hotter weather was here to stay, following a record hot 2015 highlighting records announced by different countries’ weather agencies.

The organisation warns that the Paris climate accord last year should not give way to complacency about global warming.

According to WMO Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas many people believe the climate issue is “solved since we reached a nice agreement in Paris, but we haven’t changed our behaviour yet.”

Climate scientists blame record high temperatures last year and this year so far on a combination of a super-sized El Nino, which is a natural warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide, on top of a long-term global warming trend from the burning of fossil fuels.

Even after the El Nino phenomenon abates in coming months, way above normal temperatures would not go away.

So the normal is going to increases: It is going to be increased temperature, increased ocean heat content and loss of ice.

The WMO predicts warmer weather accompanied by pockets of both drier and wetter conditions, depending on the region, around the world.

El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, commonly called ENSO and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the Central and East-Central Equatorial Pacific including off the Pacific coast of South America.

El Niño is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific. The cool phase of ENSO is called “La Niña” with SST in the eastern Pacific below average and air pressures high in the eastern and low in western Pacific. The ENSO cycle, both El Niño and La Niña, causes global changes of both temperatures and rainfall. Mechanisms that cause the oscillation remain under study.

The Guardian had last week provided more explanations on why the weather is getting even hotter especially at night even as experts proffered solutions on how to cope with intense heat.

Experts said 2016 might break all the records. In Nigeria and many parts of the northern hemisphere, particularly in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States (U.S.), the start to 2016 has been uncharacteristically warm. Meteorologists are warning that 2016 could smash the records and become the warmest on record.

The yearly global temperature forecast from the Met Office suggests 2016 will be between 0.72°C and 0.95°C above the long-term average of 14°C.

Also, climate scientists have uncovered evidence that nights are warming faster than days. Using data from the last 50 years, they showed that while the overall trend is warming, night-time temperatures have been increasing much more rapidly than daytime temperatures.

David Carlson of the World Climate Research Programme, in a statement, said: “The first two months of 2016 were even hotter, so startling that they ‘have sent shockwaves around the climate science community.”

Climate scientists blame record high temperatures last year and this year so far on a combination of a super-sized El Nino, which is a natural warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide, on top of a long-term global warming trend from the burning of fossil fuels.

The United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) said last month was 1.35 degrees Celsius (2.43 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average.

Of that, 0.8 degrees (1.44 degrees Fahrenheit) comes from the long-term warming and 0.25 degrees (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) from El Nino, with the rest unexplained.



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