El Niño closer to being strongest, hottest on record
High temperatures fueled by the prevailing El Niño have matched those felt in the 1997-1998 occurrence, pushing the current weather phenomenon a step closer to being the strongest and hottest on record.
According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), sea surface temperatures continue to get warmer in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, characteristic of the El Niño. The phenomena is associated with extreme weather conditions.
“All (El Niño) indices have now been above +1 degrees Celsius for 11 consecutive weeks, equalling the previous record,” the BOM said.
In its latest twice-monthly update on its climate forecast, the Australian agency said recent bursts of westerly winds in the tropics meant some further warming remained possible.
“All (climate forecasting) models indicate that the strong El Niño is likely to persist until the end of the year, before a marked decline during the first quarter of 2016,” it added.
Also yesterday, the World Meteorological Organization said average temperatures in January-September were the “hottest on record” or since 1880.
The UN agency said the average air and sea temperature in September logged the greatest rise above the monthly average in its 136-year historical record.
In a statement jointly issued with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency said the globally averaged temperature—comparing readings in the air and on land and sea surfaces—for September was 0.90 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average temperature.
The heat reached record highs in most parts of the globe, including much of South America and parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
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