Global temperature map, January to December 2017. Photograph: NOAA Data shows the year was also one of the hottest three ever recorded, with scientists warning that the ‘climate tide is rising fast’
January 18, 2018 — 2017 was the hottest year since global records began that was not given an additional boost by the natural climate cycle El Niño, according to new data. Even without an El Niño, the year was still exceptionally hot, being one of the top three ever recorded.
Continue reading 2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost View on the sun over inversion from Jested, Jested-Kozakov ridge, Czech Republic. Credit: Nataliya Hora / Alamy Stock Photo Scientists have presented a new, narrower estimate of the “climate sensitivity” – a measure of how much the climate could warm in response to the release of greenhouse gases
January 17, 2018 — The latest assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that climate sensitivity is close to 3°C, with a “likely” range of 1.5 to 4.5°C.
Continue reading New study ‘reduces uncertainty’ for climate sensitivity The 2015-2016 extreme El Niño brought drought and fire to Indonesia. Smoke from extensive and uncontrollable forest fires blankets southern Borneo in October 2015. It spread westward causing severe haze over Singapore and Malaysia. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MISR instrument team A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics describes new scientific insights on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation from analysis of the 2015-2016 extreme El Niño
January 10, 2018 — The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle is a periodic change in the ocean-atmosphere system of the tropical Pacific Ocean but which has knock-on effects on weather around
the world. In an article recently published in Reviews in Geophysics, Santoso et al.  examined the 2015-2016 El Niño event which was particularly extreme. The editor asked one of the authors to explain the characteristics of that El Niño and what scientists learned from it. Continue reading Learning From an Extreme El Niño The giant African land snail can grow larger than the size of an adult human hand, as seen here. The species, which has invaded habitats in many parts of the world, may help scientists retrace the rainfall history of monsoons across the Indian subcontinent. Credit: Paul Brown/Rex Features via Associated Press Researchers explored past precipitation in India using shells from very large land snails collected there in 1918 and preserved in a British museum
September 25, 2017 — The shells of a large, invasive snail in India can provide exceptionally fine grained records of past precipitation in the region, a new study finds. By measuring isotope ratios in shells from some of these snails from as long ago as 1918, the researchers have demonstrated that they could reconstruct the subseasonal rainfall rate of past monsoon seasons.
Continue reading Giant Snails’ Century-Old Shells Recorded Monsoon Rainfall The risk of extreme El Niño events would rise from five events per century to 10 by 2050 under a scenario that presumes warming peaks at 1.5C by that year. Photograph: Alamy Modelling suggests Australia would face more frequent drought-inducing weather events beyond any climate stabilisation
July 25, 2017 — Extreme El Niño events that can cause crippling drought in Australia are likely to be far more frequent even if the world pulls off mission improbable and limits global warming to 1.5°C.
Continue reading Extreme El Niño events more frequent even if warming limited to 1.5C – report Civil Society Protests at COP21, Paris Credit: Takver/Flickr Global average temperatures could pass 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels within the next decade, new projections suggest
May 8, 2017 — The timing of when we actually hit the 1.5°C threshold will depend heavily on a natural cycle in the Pacific Ocean, the study finds, which can either dampen or accelerate global temperature rise.
Continue reading Pacific Ocean shift could see 1.5C limit breached within a decade Thunderstorms on the Brazilian Horizon. Credit: NASA Prof Richard Betts is head of climate impacts research at the Met Office Hadley Centre and chair in climate impacts at the University of Exeter
November 8, 2016 — In the late 1950s, when David Keeling began measuring atmospheric CO2 concentration at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, the concentration was around 315 parts per million (ppm). In 2016, it topped 400ppm for the first time.
Continue reading How scientists predicted CO2 would breach 400ppm in 2016 Indian villagers salvage logs of wood brought by floodwaters. The Brahmaputra river has burst its banks in many places and has been at danger levels for weeks. Photograph: Anupam Nath/AP The record-breaking heat of the first six months has turned to severe seasonal flooding across Asia in one of the strongest monsoon seasons in many years
August 1, 2016 — The record-breaking worldwide heat of the first six months of 2016 has turned to abnormally severe seasonal flooding across Asia with hundreds of people dying in China, India, Nepal and Pakistan and millions forced from their homes.
Continue reading World weather – 2016’s early record heat gives way to heavy rains Melting ice on the Chilkat river, Alaska, January 2016. The northern hemisphere has posted unusually high temperatures. Photograph: Michele Cornelius/Alamy June marked 14th month of record heat for land and oceans with average global temperature reaching 1.3°C
July 21, 2016 — The world is on track for its hottest year on record and levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have reached new highs, further fuelling global warming, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said.
Continue reading 2016 set to be world’s hottest year on record, says UN Aerial footage of ‘unprecedented’ mangrove die-off in the Gulf of Carpentaria in mid 2016. The die-off is thought to be a result of low rainfall and warm temperatures. Photograph: Professor Norm Duke/James Cook University Climate change and El Niño the culprits, says Norm Duke, an expert in mangrove ecology, after seeing 7,000ha of dead mangroves over 700km
July 11,2016 — Climate change and El Niño have caused the worst mangrove die-off in recorded history, stretching along 700km of Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria, an expert says.
Continue reading Massive mangrove die-off on Gulf of Carpentaria worst in the world