According to NOAA’s NCEP climate prediction model the Pacific Niño 3.4 region may experience more than a +1.5 degrees Celsius sea surface temperature anomaly, then officially qualifying as ‘strong El Niño’ – shown in graph below.
Compared to last month’s forecast the IRI climate model ensemble shows a somewhat faster development of a positive ENSO state and clear indications of El Niño conditions, during the boreal summer of 2014, possibly already passing the +0.5C threshold for tropical East-Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly by June – as most leading models (NCEP, JMA, NASA, ECMWF) indicate.
The second part of the new IPCC report, about the impacts of climate change, has been released on Monday. Across the globe dutiful journalists filled the headlines of their newspapers – and as they presume most of their readers are human – focus heavily on the social implications, especially concerns for the human food supply, through a decrease in net agricultural productivity, firstly (from 1-2 degrees warming) in the tropics, and under current global emission trends (possibly even exceeding 4 degrees) also at high latitudes.
The authors conclude therefore that – as doubling of the current warming is already inevitable – the world climate policy should not just focus on reducing emissions, but also on adapting to warming – a message easily misinterpreted as ‘hey, I heard we can adapt, so that’s cool – with our lifestyle and economy and all’.
But written in between the lines of the summary for policy makers the report contains a much more dire warning – not a worry for its human inhabitants directly, but for the entire Earth, as a life-bearing planet: the Holocene Mass Extinction.
As red tones cannot get much darker when you approach black, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology had to resort to introducing new colours on their weather forecast maps for next week, when inland temperatures in South Australia can locally reach a staggering 54 degrees Celsius.
Falling snow flakes are humbling. Not just because of their beauty, but also because of their gentle ability to completely paralyse a developed and overpopulated country with traffic jams, clogged railroad switches and closed runways.
But although that (together with a repeatedly forecasted but ever-postponed ‘horror winter’) may make for a great annual media hype, it does not imply winters are getting colder. To the contrary – winter warming in the Netherlands* is increasing – but it’s not as simple as a ‘local seasonal case’ of global climate warming.
[*) Here we use the Netherlands as case study, but the general climate analysis and the shown seasonal trends go for Northwest Europe (in which the Netherlands lie central) as a whole, including winter development for Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark and (southern) Norway & Sweden.]