La Nina forecast to persist through May before fading away
La Nina could linger for at least four more months before the phenomenon starts to fade.
La Nina could linger for at least four more months before the phenomenon blamed for South American droughts, milder weather in the U.S. South and heavy rainfalls across the Pacific Northwest starts to fade. There's a 57% chance La Nina will vanish by July, as ocean temperatures across the equatorial Pacific lift back closer to normal, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center. Until then, the event that's marked by cooler waters across parts of the Pacific will likely continue through at least May.
This is the second year in a row that La Nina has taken hold across the globe. Of the 12 La Ninas that have developed since 1950, eight turned into “double-dip” events, according to a blog post by Emily Becker, a scientist with the Climate Prediction Center. Two even lasted into a third year.
There is a 30% chance La Nina could return between August and October, though the reliability of such predictions is lower during the Northern Hemisphere's spring -- a period forecasters refer to as the “spring barrier.”
Last year was the world's sixth-warmest on record -U.S. scientists
(Reuters) - Last year ranked as the sixth-warmest year on record, causing extreme weather events around the world and adding to evidence supporting the globe's long-term warming, according to an analysis on Thursday by two U.S. government agencies.
The data compiled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA also revealed that the last eight years were the eight hottest and the last decade was the warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, officials said.
Global warming is "very real. It's now, and it's impacting real people," Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview. Last year's extreme heat wave in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, intense rains from Hurricane Ida and flooding in Germany and China were linked to global warming, he said. .
A key indicator of climate change, the heat content of the world's oceans, reached a record level in 2021, the agencies said. Oceans absorb more than 90% of the excess heat trapped in the earth's atmosphere by greenhouse gases, and those warmer waters influence weather patterns and changes in currents.
"What's scientifically interesting about that is it tells us why the planet is warming," Schmidt said. "It's warming because of our impacts on greenhouse gas concentrations."
According to NOAA, 2021 average temperatures were 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 Celsius) above the 20th century average, putting it just ahead of 2018. NASA's analysis, which uses a 30-year baseline period, showed 2021 temperatures tied with 2018 as the sixth-warmest year.
The greatest warming occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, both on land and in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming more than three times faster than the global mean, the agencies said.