The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced at the beginning of the summer that El Niño had officially begun. It is an irregular but natural climate phenomenon that repeats every 2-7 years and amplifies the consequences of human-caused global warming.
The phenomenon can have many unexpected effects, which even the experts cannot pinpoint, but the question arises as to what kind of winter awaits us in Europe as a result of the process, reports Euronews. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), based on trends, there is a 95 percent chance that a moderate to strong El Niño season will continue through February 2024. According to Adam Scaife, head of long-term weather forecasting at the British Met Office, the phenomenon usually lasts 9-12 months, but in extreme cases it can last for years. The peak is usually measured between November and January. They do not know why this is so, but the effect is expected to increase in the coming months.
“In the case of El Niño years, the beginning of winter is usually mild and rainy, but between January and March the end of the season is colder and drier in most of Northern Europe” — said the specialist, adding that a wetter season can be expected in Southern Europe as a whole. There is also a higher chance of warmer than usual temperatures next year. The last time there was a strong El Niño was in 2016, when the world had the warmest year on record. A major El Niño event at the end of this year would provide a strong chance for temperature records to be broken again. Combined with rising temperatures due to global warming, meteorologists believe 2024 could be one of our hottest years on record.
Experts have warned: it is feared that the temperature may exceed the 1.5 degree Celsius warming threshold next year. The current El Niño follows a rare “triple” La Niña period that lasted nearly three years and ended roughly in March. Both are capable of causing extreme weather events, with severe droughts experienced worldwide during unusually long La Niñas in recent years. According to the research, climate change may intensify these fluctuations between warm and cold.