EARTH HAD 11TH STRAIGHT RECORD WARM MONTH IN MARCH:
March was the 11th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record was broken, the longest such streak since record-keeping began in 1880, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said. ‘At the risk of sounding like a broken record, March set another heat
record for the globe,’ Xinhua quoted the NOAA as saying in a statement on Tuesday.
‘As Earth continues to warm and is influenced by phenomena such as El Nino, global temperature
records are piling up.’
For March, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.22 degrees Celsius
above the 20th century average of 12.7 degrees Celsius, according to the NOAA monthly report. This
was not only the highest for the month of March in the 1880-2016 record, but also the highest monthly
temperature departure among all months on record, surpassing the previous all-time record set last
month by 0.01 degrees Celsius. Most of the Earth’s land surfaces were warmer or much warmer than
average in March, said the report, with record warmth notable across eastern Brazil, most of eastern
and central Africa, much of southeastern Asia, and large portions of northern and eastern Australia.
Most of northwestern Canada and Alaska, along with vast regions of northern and western Asia,
observed temperatures at least three degrees Celsius above their 1981-2010 average. The weather
phenomenon called El Nino continued to weaken in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean during March,
but the month globally averaged sea surface temperature remained 0.81 degrees Celsius above the
20th century monthly average, also a record high. In total, ‘the six highest monthly global ocean
temperature departures have all occurred in the past six months,’ the report said. For the first three
months in 2016, the average temperature for the globe was 1.50 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century
average. This was also the highest temperature for this period in the 1880-2016 record, surpassing the
previous record set in 2015 by 0.28 degrees Celsius.
WHY HALF A DEGREE CHANGE IN GLOBAL WARMING MATTERS:
As the world celebrated Earth Day on Friday, a team of European researchers has found substantially different climate change impacts on Earth for a global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and two degrees Celsius by 2100.
The two temperature limits are included in the Paris climate agreement, researchers said, adding that
the additional 0.5 degrees Celsius would mean a 10 cm higher global sea-level rise by 2100, longer heat
waves and would result in virtually all tropical coral reefs being at risk. ‘We found significant differences
for all the impacts we considered,’ said Carl Schleussner, lead author of the study published in the
journal Earth System Dynamics. ‘We analysed the climate models used in the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report focusing on the projected impacts at 1.5 degrees
Celsius and two degrees Celsius warming at the regional level,’ Schleussner added. The teamUPSC MATERIALS:- TELEGRAM.ME/UPSCMATERIALS
considered 11 different indicators including extreme weather events, water availability, crop yields, coral
reef degradation and sea-level rise. With researchers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the
Netherlands, they identified a number of hotspots around the globe where projected climate impacts at
two degrees Celsius are significantly more severe than at 1.5 degrees Celsius. In tropical regions, the
half-a-degree difference in global temperature could have detrimental consequences for crop yields,
particularly in Central America and West Africa. On average, local tropical maize and wheat yields would
reduce twice as much at 2 degree Celsius compared to a 1.5 Celsius temperature increase.On a global
scale, the researchers anticipate sea level to rise about 50cm by 2100 in a two degrees Celsius warmer
world, 10 cm more than for 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. ‘Sea level rise will slow down during the 21st
century only under a 1.5 degrees Celsius scenario,’ noted Schleussner. ‘Our study shows that tropical
regions — mostly developing countries that are already highly vulnerable to climate change — face the
biggest rise in impacts between 1.5 degrees Celsius and two degrees Celsius,’ added William Hare,
senior scientist at Climate Analytics, a non-profit climate science and policy institute.
EL-NINO EFFECT: 2016 AND 2010 WITNESS
SIMILAR HOT WEATHER CONDITIONS:
Most parts of the country have been experiencing abnormally hot weather conditions ever since the beginning of
2016. Summers have also ushered in quite early this season, leading to heatwave to severe heatwave conditions
over several parts of India. Mercury has been settling between 42°C and 46°C over many parts for several days
now. Odisha is worst affected with temperatures reaching 46°C quite often. On April 23, Titlagarh recorded highest
maximum of 48°C. Prior to this, similar weather conditions were witnessed way back in 2010 wherein day
temperatures had also soared to record breaking levels. Well, the reason behind the identical weather in 2010 and
2016 can be attributed to the presence of strong El-Nino.
Both 2009 and 2015 had reported strong El-Nino. According to Skymet Weather, a strong El-Nino year is always
followed by hot summer conditions. In fact, the stronger and longer duration the El-Nino has, summers tend to be
even hotter. Though the El-Nino in 2009 was very strong but 2015 has reported the strongest El-Nino on record.
Hence, 2016 is now turning out to be hotter than 2010. Moreover, pre-Monsoon rains have also been absent,
paving way for clear sky and bright sunshine. With this, sun insolation has been increasing day by day, leading to
extraordinary increase in day maximums.