Today’s Graph of the Day has a really sobering message. Within four months of the crucial UNFCCC climate conference in Paris (‘COP21′) countries have submitted grossly insufficient emission reduction targets for the year 2030 – the target year for the new UN climate treaty that will be established at the end of that two-week conference.*
Normally we think of droughts over South East Asia (i.e. Borneo) and north-eastern Australia (Queensland) associated with strong El Niño events. This for instance led to dramatic fires through the tropical rainforests of Borneo, during the last ‘Super El Niño’ – of 1997-1998.
A ‘typical El Niño winter’ according to NOAA. But not all Super El Niños are the same – see below.
This year – during the currently developing Super El Niño of 2015-2016 – we should also keep an eye on the tropical Atlantic, where the Southern Amazon and agricultural parts of northern Brazil should brace themselves for record-drought, accompanied by soaring temperatures – judging by climate model runs.
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.
Okay, disclaimer first: there may be a bit of a climate ego involved in this post. So therefore it is probably best to start with where we were wrong(ish).
Based on some rather extensive monitoring of climate models over several months [which is a far easier job than it may sound btw] by the start of April this year we were fairly confident the Pacific would enter ‘at least into moderate’ El Niño state halfway through the boreal summer of 2014. By October (as for instance NOAA’s NCEP model showed) we could even have an officially ‘strong’ El Niño (that is, sea surface temperature anomaly over +1.5 degrees Celsius) – we thought.
Well, it is October now, and we know we were wrong: