Remember heat waves of the 1997-98 El Niño? And then, if you ignored the temperatures in central Africa and the Arctic, it seemed as if Global Warming had paused. The alleged pause is over, because the Super El Niño on our doorstep will be worse.
The mass of hot water reaching as deep as 150 meters below the ocean surface, traveling from the Indonesian Heat Pool toward the Americas, is just as large as the last one but instead of the maximum heat being 4.5°C hotter, this time the middle is 6°C hotter.
... world food security may well be about to receive yet one more staggering blow.
By March 19, the hot zone ... contained a hotter 5-6 C anomaly zone... The deep, hot water pool in the Western Pacific was now beginning to set up a kind of bridge in which it could transfer east, dump its heat into the atmosphere and disrupt global weather. Perhaps, somewhat more disturbing, it was linking to a deep pool of warmer water off the coast of South America.
Notice the warm water off of South America and that link on the lower right side of the chart.
El Niño conditions might begin as early as April. It'll be an "interesting" year.
Thanks (as I've said before) for both the reporting, and finding illustrations that help our emotional brains understand the impact!
Super El Niño might drive us to 1°C rise as early as 2015.... the coming El Niño could be enough to make 2014 the hottest year in recorded history, and 2015 could be even warmer than that. The 1997-98 super El Niño was enough to boost global temperatures by nearly a quarter of a degree Celsius. If that scale of warming happens again, the world could approach a 1ºC departure from pre-industrial times as early as next year.
Hurricane seasons in the Atlantic tend to be less severe under this kind of forecast. And people in drought-stricken California could be forgiven if they’re crossing their fingers for a strong El Niño, which is linked to some of the wettest years in state history. Still, it’s certainly no slam dunk that an El Niño would be enough to end the crippling drought there or even bring above normal rainfall. And if the El Niño ends up being as strong as current predictions indicate, there’s a chance it may even tip the scales from drought to deluge across the state, spurring damaging mudslides amid bursts of heavy rain. The two strongest El Niños in the last 30 years—1982-83 and 1997-98—both caused widespread damage from flooding in California. [emphasis mine]
Here's a comparison of the Pacific during the last Super El Nino year and 2014. Doesn't this year look hotter?
The maps above show the ten-day average of sea surface height centered on May 2, 1997 (left), and May 3, 2014. Shades of red and orange indicate where the water is warmer and above normal sea level. Shades of blue-green show where sea level and temperatures are lower than average.
The developing Super El Nino may be contributing to three streams of warmth penetrating the Arctic, to early heat in Russia (note the red zone over Russia in the map below) and extreme wildfires near Lake Baikal. This author gives the Arctic a 30% chance of being ice free by the end of this Summer.
... the two Jet Stream weaknesses have continued to provide heat transport and push Arctic temperatures above normal and into ice-threatening ranges. Now, a third hot ridge, this one over Western Russia and Eastern Europe, has emerged and strengthened to provide yet one more Arctic heat delivery engine...
... at least two of the three observed Arctic heat delivery zones are likely getting a kick from what appears to be a strong El Nino gathering in the Pacific.
... extreme and anomalous wildfires in the region of Lake Baikal, Russia. Ever since April, immense fires have been springing up in this regi....
Width of frame is about 2,000 miles.
Fires of this immense scope pose their own threat to ice in the form of delivery of very high volumes of black soot that darken sea ice and glacial ice sheets alike. This darkening is, yet one more, amplifying feedback to climate change in the Arctic and remains a suspected factor in the acceleration of Greenland ice sheet melt (See Dark Snow).
With current heat pulses and Arctic wildfires setting in place conditions that may well result in the ignition of widespread very early season melt pond formation...\Given observed and ongoing trends along these lines, we are increasing our risk for a near-zero sea ice event by end of this summer to 30%. Eyes turn to Greenland as well, since both loss of sea ice cooling and a proliferation of early season fires can result in compounding risks to the increasingly unstable glaciers of that thawing land. [emphasis mine]
Update! The forecast El Niño is not expected to develop until Autumn, and has been downgraded to moderate. Good news!