Hellish heat is coming: three regions with record temperatures this year are named

Hellish heat is coming: three regions with record temperatures this year are named

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Last year may have been the hottest on record, but a new study warns the worst is yet to come. In terrifying maps, scientists show the areas most likely to suffer record heat this year thanks to El Niño – an unusual rise in sea surface temperatures that occurs every few years.

The Bay of Bengal, the Philippines and the Caribbean Sea are likely to suffer record heat until June this year, according to experts at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences. According to the Daily Mail, but this does not mean that people in other areas will not be affected.

The study also warns that there is a 90 percent chance that the world will experience record average surface temperatures over the same period.

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as it is technically called, is one of the key drivers of climate differences around the world, the Daily Mail highlights.

Concentrated primarily in the tropical Pacific Ocean, warmer waters are raising average annual global surface temperatures, changing weather around the world.

And as the world experiences even small increases in average temperatures, some regions experience significant increases during localized extreme heat events.

This effect is so pronounced that the researchers write in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports that it is “the strongest year-to-year driver of climate change on the planet.”

To figure out exactly how El Niño affects local temperature spikes, the researchers created a model that could estimate how hot areas would become during an El Niño year.

This model identified the difference between average regional temperatures between July 2023 and June 2024 and the 1951-1980 baseline.

Under the moderate scenario, the Bay of Bengal, the Philippines and the Caribbean would see record highs more than 1.8°F (1°C) above average, the researchers found.

However, researchers predict that under a strong El Niño scenario, the effects will be even more pronounced. If this trend continues, areas of Alaska, the Amazon and the South China Sea will also reach record temperatures. Thus, in Alaska, these spikes will be as much as 4.32°F (2.4°C) above the 1951-1980 average.

At the global level, the researchers found that even under a moderate scenario, there is a 90 percent chance that the global mean surface temperature (GSST) will break the historical record this year.

In a moderate El Niño, the GSTP will be 1.03-1.10°C above average, while in a strong event the temperature will rise 1.06-1.20°C above this average.

The researchers write: “Strong El Niño events could lead to a rapid increase in GSTP, potentially exceeding the Paris Agreement’s preferred ambitious target of 1.5°C for a short period.”

Worryingly, these models also suggest the world may be at greater risk of extreme weather events.

The researchers note that Alaska is at risk of melting glaciers or permafrost, which could lead to sea level rise or runaway warming.

Meanwhile, in the Amazon, extreme heat is creating an increased risk of drought-induced wildfires like the ones that destroyed vast areas of rainforest in 2019.

The researchers write: “This looming warming increases the risk of year-round marine heat waves and increases the threat of wildfires and other negative impacts in Alaska and the Amazon.”

Hotter seas will also mean a greater risk of tropical cyclones, which can be extremely destructive in low-lying coastal areas.

Previous research has shown that rising temperatures due to climate change could produce a wave of “mega-hurricanes” with wind speeds of up to 192 mph. Unfortunately, the model also suggests that these coastal areas will be the most susceptible to extreme heat events in the coming year.

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