The summer of 2015 has felt like a scorcher and according to NASA scientists it’s actually the hottest on record thanks to an unexpectedly powerful El Nino effect. The implication is that man-made climate change is the culprit and NASA reinforced the point Monday when it confirmed that 2015 has passed the previous record year of 1998.
The months of June and July both saw record-breaking temperatures, whereas August came in second hottest behind 2014. Confirming NASA’s findings, Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) found that all three of the summer months had record-breaking temperatures, in data going back to 1891.
El Nino is characterized by the presence of warmer than normal temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, and this year’s strong instance is putting more heat than usual into the atmosphere. The phenomenon occurs once every five to seven years, with this one being the strongest since 1998, the previous year of record temps.
Data from the UK’s Met Office also supported the trend, and stated that global temperatures for 2015 are at or near record levels. The combination of higher temps and the El Nino event will lead to higher than average hurricane activity as well, with the Met estimating cyclone activity at three times normal levels. Conversely, cyclone activity in the Indian and Atlantic regions is expected to remain depressed.
Although warming after 1998 had been demonstrating a slower rate of increase than that of the 20th century, the recent record temperatures are on their way to re-establishing the faster warming rate of the years prior to 1998.
At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) in Paris, the supposed objective is a legally binding and universal climate agreement from all nations.
With the European Union unable to agree on the conduct of their immigration policy regarding the current refugee crisis, a problem with real and imminent consequences, it seems unlikely that the UNCCC will be able to see agreement from all nations on the basis of some graphics portraying the rising temperature trend lines.