El Niño Finally Arrives, Could Make 2015 the Hottest Year Yet

Chart of abnormal ocean surface temperatures [ºC] observed in December 1997 during the last strong El Niño. (Image: NOAA)

Chart of abnormal ocean surface temperatures [ºC] observed in December 1997 during the last strong El Niño. (Image: NOAA)

Last week, NOAA announced that El Niño has officially arrived. It’s been a long time coming, and for a while almost all the indicators were right, but weather is a tricky beast.

As Dr. Emily Becker, a research contractor with NOAA, writes, “For the last few months, we’ve been seeing some suggestions of borderline atmospheric El Niño conditions, but until this month we were below that borderline. This month, we’ve finally crept above it, and thus NOAA is declaring the onset of El Niño conditions.”

Let’s define what “the boy” is. It is an irregularly occurring change in climate around the Pacific equatorial region that can shift global weather patterns or, to put it more simply, it puts the “wickety” in the “wack” weather, man. Typically beginning in December, it occurs perhaps two or three times per decade. It is a natural feature of the Earth’s climate.

However, unnatural changes to the Earth’s climate may make for a similarly unnatural El Niño.

Read the rest on Planet Experts.

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