Climate Scientists: El Niño Could Bring Record Temperatures in 2023

Photo: Reuters

The Facts

  • On Thursday, scientists from the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service warned that, with the expected arrival of El Niño later this year, it's possible that Earth could reach a new average temperature record in 2023 or 2024, surpassing the previous hottest year recorded in 2016.

  • The El Niño weather pattern — which sees winds traveling west near the equator slow and push warm water east, creating higher surface ocean temperatures — is set to follow three years of its counterpart La Niña in the Pacific Ocean, which typically cools global temperatures.

The Spin

Narrative A

The record 2016 temperatures from El Niño caused horrific draughts in Ethiopia, cyclones in Fiji, record rain and snowfall in the US, and history's worst coral reef die-off. Some scientists say it's already too late to stop global warming, however, there must be a concerted effort to try to prevent this brief spike from becoming a permanent reality.

Narrative B

While climate change is an urgent issue, journalists and activists have an obligation to separate the facts from fiction and describe environmental problems honestly and accurately. The catastrophic framing of climate change does far more harm than good, not only by impacting the mental health of our youth, but by alienating and polarizing large portions of the population and distracting from other important issues. Climate alarmism must be taken with a grain of salt.

Nerd narrative

There's an 85% chance there will be at least 2˚C of global warming by 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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