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Climate Change Pushing Extreme Weather Events: El Nino Years More Risky Than La Nina

January 13, 2023 11:20 AM |

The last 8 years (2015-2022) were the hottest on record.  Scientists from the European Union's Climate Change Service have concluded that 8 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2014. Overall, the world is now 1.2Degree Celsius hotter than it was in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Large scale warming has been attributed to the emission of planet-warming Carbon Dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. 

Last 10years (2013-2022)has unarguably become the warmest decade. Arctic ice cover has dropped to its lowest levels, since 2012.  Stronger storms have been raging  in the oceans across the globe. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded in the history struck Philippines in Nov 2013.  Same year, but a little early in October 2013, cyclone Phailin prompted India's biggest evacuation in 23years moving more than 5,50,000 people from the coastline of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria, all struck within less than a month over US in 2017. 

Bigger and more frequent 'Grey Swan' storms seems on the way over different parts of the globe, as a part of uncontrolled planet warming. Despite 'triple dip' La Nina in the Pacific Ocean, 2022 remains 5th hottest year on record.  Apparently, all the naturally occurring climate events like El Nino /La Nina/ IOD now take place under the shadow of more powerful human induced climate change. Cooling influence of La Nina may temporarily slow the rise of global temperature but can not reverse the warming trend. La Nina cooling of 2020-2022 did not suffice and the years still got listed among the hottest  on record. 

As per scientists and researchers, climate change will see powerful " grey swan" cyclones hitting cities along the Persian, parts of Florida and Australia more frequently over the next century. Researchers simulated the risk of such cyclones, and their storm surges, for three coastal regions, and found that they could strike regions such as Dubai, where no tropical storm has ever been witnessed.  In Tampa, Florida and Cairns, Australia, the already frequent storms  were likely to rise  to unprecedented magnitudes in the next century. 

Unlike " black swan " events, which are entirely unexpected, grey swan may be anticipated by combining physical knowledge with historical data. " Grey Swan" tropical cyclones can rev up hazardous surges bigger than what can be predicted through the weather data. It is possible to gauge the scale of disaster when the data is supplemented by global simulations. 

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