2014-2015 world temperature records: where will all the extra heat go? A 6-month outlook

We expect a new global average temperature record for 2014 to be broken in 2015. Where will all the extra heat go?

Firstly confined to warm sea water anomaly areas associated with developing El Nino from June 2014 to beyond October 2014, therefore mainly in the East Pacific – and later also the central tropical Pacific, as the NCEP forecast illustrates:

El Niño global temperature chart
NOAA NCEP El Niño global temperature chart 6-month outlook. Heat mostly confined to warm SST anomaly areas. After El Niño this heat will not just disappear, but disperse, affecting global climate also beyond 2014.

Please at this point note that the Earth is a sphere. Charted temperature anomalies at high latitudes (for instance over the poles) represent a much smaller area than those close to the equator. Therefore from the second half of the northern hemisphere summer (July-August-September) already a net positive temperature anomaly is visible from the chart – so that’s the point where the month will start counting for the expected 2014 temperature record.

Something of bigger concern locally is the precipitation anomaly chart for the next 6 months. Until El Niño has settled in Niño1+2 regions along the Peruvian coast no extreme rainfall is to be expected there. What is currently more noteworthy is the projected prolonged period of below-average rainfall over much of eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – as shown in the chart below:

El Niño precipitation chart: drought over Indonesia, rain East Pacific
NOAA NCEP El Niño precipitation chart 6-month outlook: drought over Indonesia (Borneo!), above average rainfall across East Pacific.

This may promt drought and wildfire concern, especially over Borneo – which caused grave South East Asian air pollution and very high CO2 emissions during the 1997-1998 El Niño.

© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org

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