NASA climate model forecast shows 2015 El Niño to go off the charts during Paris climate summit

According to the world’s best-established dynamical climate models (e.g. NOAA NCEP, NASA GMAO) the 2015 El Niño is set to peak to dramatic proportions just before and possibly also during the all-important Paris climate summit – the UNFCCC’s ‘COP21′ – which starts November 30 and is supposed to lead to a new global climate treaty somewhere during the weekend of December 11/13 of this year. The end-2015 monster El Niño is likely to produce extreme weather events across the Pacific and will add even more heat to this globally already record-breaking hot year.

2015 El Niño developing to monster proportions
The 2014-2015 El Niño was in no hurry to develop – but kept increasing over the months. It is now set to increase to monster proportions, possibly up to +3C Pacific temperature anomalies. The arrival of the long-awaited El Niño led to the record-breaking hot year of 2014 [btw right on top of the global average warming trend - no anomaly there!] and the even hotter year of 2015. We hope you recall where you heard this first – indeed, early April 2014. We can now add with fair confidence that 2016 will also break the 2014 world temperature record.

NASA: 2015 El Niño off charts
NASA’s model: El Niño might fly off the charts before and during the all-important global climate negations in Paris, at the end of this all-heat-records-breaking year. For ensemble forecast updates, please see International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) of Columbia University.

The current 2015 El Niño is already producing monthly heat records across the globe. It is also currently increasing in strength. And according to almost all well-established dynamical ENSO forecasting models this increase will continue over the months ahead.

Therefore oceanic heat aborption will be significantly lower than average, meaning our atmosphere cannot release its excess heat to the water and warms faster. The 2014 global heat record was the result of near-neutral ENSO conditions (after several relatively cool La Niña-dominated years) – and was therefore close to the global temperature trend, which is rising decade after decade due to increasing levels of heat-absorbing greenhouse gases. The 2015 global heat record could even peak (well) above that trend line – and so could average 2016 temperatures, if the current El Niño would survive the 2015-2016 northern hemisphere winter. (Most temperature effects of El Niño are delayed – producing positive temperature anomalies even after ENSO has returned to neutral conditions.)

Droughts in South East Asia, Australia, Amazon during progressing 2015 El Niño – increased forest fire risk

Of course a super El Niño during the second half of 2015 can produce far more climatic effects, for instance (severe) droughts in the Western tropical Pacific, and possibly extreme rainfall in the Eastern tropical Pacific.

…and keep an eye on local SST anomalies influencing 2015 Atlantic hurricane season

Shown below is NOAA NCEP’s Pacific precipitation anomaly forecast:

2015 El Niño: forecast climate weather effects

The red areas are likely to experience below-average rainfall during the end-2015 super El Niño. Green areas are likely to experience above-average precipitation. Note that most of the extra rain will fall over open oceans and not along coastlines, according to this model run. Please also note this El Niño’s mirrored effects in the tropical Atlantic. Due to formation of a Western Hemisphere Warm Pool (WHWP) the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to experience above-average rainfall, whereas the Eastern Amazon basin may experience less rain. The WHWP may also influence 2015 Atlantic hurricane intensity.

Indonesia, the Philipines, Australia, but possibly also parts of Brazil can experience several months of below-average precipitation. Droughts over Borneo and the Amazon could spur forest fires, risking to produce a further spike in CO2 emissions over the end of 2015.

© Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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