22 November 2015

How 2015's record-breaking El Niño emerged on a warming planet

by Climate Nexus

Between the official arrival of El Niño in March and NOAA’s November update, the scope of the long-awaited global phenomenon is becoming clear: the 2015 El Niño is already setting records and is on track to becoming the strongest event ever recorded.The official classification will wait for three months of data, but model estimates suggest the 2015 event will grow even stronger and could top the high mark set by the 1997-98 event.

During the week of November 8 through 14, El Niño set a new record high for sea surface temperature in the central eastern Pacific, the most closely tracked indicator for measuring the strength of El Niño/La Niña events. At 5.4°F (3.0˚C), the weekly anomaly was 7 percent higher than the 5.0°F (2.8˚C) anomaly for the week prior, a reading that in turn had tied the high mark set by the 1997 El Niño.

08 November 2015

Misleading UN report confuses Paris climate talks outcome of 3.5C by 2100

by Joe Romm, Climate Progress

Memo to media: If countries go no further than their current global climate pledges, the earth will warm a total of 3.5°C by 2100.

A very misleading news release from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — coupled with an opaque UNFCCC report on those pledges, which are called intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) — has, understandably, left the global media thinking the climate talks in Paris get us much closer to 2°C than they actually do.

Indeed, the news release contains this too-cleverly worded paragraph quoting UNFCCC Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary:
The INDCs have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior to the INDCs,” said Ms. Figueres.