Humanity has yet to see a significant manifestation of El Niño, so 2024 is likely to be an even warmer year for the planet. This opinion was expressed by NASA scientists, reports CNN.
El Niño is a natural climate phenomenon in the tropical Pacific Ocean that causes higher-than-average sea surface temperatures and affects the weather.
According to the climatologist and director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), this phenomenon has only started in recent months, so it does not yet have a significant impact on weather conditions.
“It’s really only just emerged, and so what we’re seeing is not really due to that El Niño,” Schmidt told reporters. “What we’re seeing is the overall warmth pretty much everywhere – particularly in the oceans. … The reason why we think that’s going to continue is because we continue to put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Until we stop doing that, temperatures will keep on rising.”
Gavin Schmidt also believes that this year has a 50-50 chance of being the warmest on record. But precisely because of El Niño, the next year may surpass 2023.
“We anticipate that 2024 is going to be an even warmer year because we’re going to be starting off with that El Niño event,” Schmidt said. “That will peak towards the end of this year, and how big that is is going to have a big impact on the following year’s statistics.”
He also noted that the rise in temperature is in line with scientists’ predictions as humans burn more fossil fuels and release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Previously, NASA recognized June 2023 as the hottest in the entire history of observations.