The next two years will be the muggiest on record, say climatologists at the British analogue of the Russian Hydrometeorological Center. The cause of the impending heat is well known to scientists: the El Niño phenomenon. This and its La Niña counterpart are the main drivers of Earth’s climate system.
El Niño and La Niña are abnormal temperature fluctuations at the ocean surface. When El Niño “turns on”, the water in the equatorial parts of the ocean cools, when El Niño arrives, the water warms up. With all the consequent consequences for the planet’s climate. The last time “El” ruled in 2016, and it remains the hottest in the history of weather observations. The ‘La’ who replaced him worked several years in a row, and now it is the turn of the opposite stage of him. El Niño is likely to manifest itself in the second half of the year, between August and October. The natural phenomenon will gradually “turn on”, which will lead to the next unprecedentedly warm winter and an unprecedentedly hot summer in 2024. This is the forecast of British scientists.
Vladimir Semenov, Deputy Director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician:
– Now I would not be in a hurry with such unambiguous forecasts that the British published. Indeed, La Niña is ending, but it is not at all necessary for El Niño to start immediately. There are long neutral phases between them. The situation should clear up in spring.
In general, one must be extremely careful with forecasts. Today, science can predict the weather with a high probability for a week, with an average probability – for a month ahead. Given the already obvious trends, it is possible to predict the climate quite accurately for the next 15 to 20 years. But the next 1-5 years are the hardest to predict. Here the probability of errors is very high. Experience shows that predictions often do not come true.
As for the direct influence of El Niño on the climate, the countries located closer to the equatorial zones feel it to a greater extent, but in Europe the effect is not so pronounced. Therefore, I would not make catastrophic forecasts for these territories, including Russia. The possibility of error is quite high.
Finally, it is worth noting one of the effects of El Niño. It is capable of changing the dynamics of the atmosphere to cause many long-term blocking anticyclones. Here we can recall 2010, when abnormal heat was observed in Moscow and abnormal cold beyond the Urals.