Climate: El Niño returns, hurricanes and post-glacial ecosystems
The World Meteorological Organization has confirmed the return of El Niño – a weather and ocean phenomenon that marks above-average high temperatures on the water surface in the equatorial Pacific. There is a 95% probability that the current El Niño weather pattern will continue until February 2024. Combined with the effects of global warming, this sea current can cause local droughts and famines, affect rice harvests and spread vector-borne infectious diseases such as malaria. During an El Niño, areas along the Andes experience intense droughts, floods, and dangerous heat strikes across South Asia.
According to experts at Colorado State University, 88% of significant hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean – category three or higher – rapidly intensify by at least more than 56 km/h at some point. Higher sea surface temperatures and the ocean’s heat play a huge role in driving hurricane force. According to researchers, hurricanes will become stronger and stronger, which means their faster intensification and increased rainfall.
Due to the warming of the planet and the melting of the glaciers, humanity should prepare to protect the ecosystems that emerge from under the disappearing ice. According to the analysis of Swiss and French scientists, “there is a chance for ecosystems to regenerate if they are left with space and time. Nature finds solutions: it captures carbon, purifies water, and creates habitats for biodiversity. […] The nature that will follow the glaciers must be protected: the great forests, the lakes of tomorrow and the fjords of the future.’