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As El Nino amplifies the threat of heatwave in 2024, call for immediate and substantial climate action intensifies

Pedestrians walk in the midday sun past the Palace of Westminster in central London, Sept. 6, 2023. — AFP 

Get ready for a scorching year ahead as El Nino gears up to turn 2024 into a potential heatwave nightmare, surpassing the record-breaking temperatures of 2023. 

The United Nations' World Meteorological Organisation issues a stern warning, urging the world to brace for the impact of this climate phenomenon that could set new benchmarks for high temperatures.

El Nino, a natural climate pattern linked to soaring global temperatures, made its presence felt in the middle of 2023. 

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR6kGFpv2-g[/embed]

Now, the UN's WMO weather and climate agency alerts that this typically results in a significant temperature surge in the year following its emergence. As we transitioned from the cooling La Nina to the warming El Nino in 2023, temperatures have been on the rise, setting the stage for a potentially even hotter 2024.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) paints a concerning picture, suggesting a one-in-three chance that 2024 could outshine 2023 in terms of temperature. Moreover, there's a staggering 99 percent certainty that 2024 will secure a spot among the top five hottest years ever recorded. NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt adds to the apprehension, placing the odds at 50-50 for a warmer or slightly cooler year.

2023, already etched in the books as the hottest on record, witnessed a global surface temperature that soared 1.18 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average. This surpassed the previous record-holder, 2016, by a notable margin of 0.15 degrees Celsius. Areas like the Arctic, northern North America, central Asia, the North Atlantic, and the eastern tropical Pacific experienced heightened temperatures, signaling the severity of the climate crisis.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres doesn't mince words, emphasising that human actions are "scorching the Earth." He sees 2023 as a mere glimpse into a potentially catastrophic future if swift measures aren't taken. With each passing decade since the 1980s surpassing the previous in terms of warmth, and the warmest nine years occurring post-2015, the urgency to address climate change is more apparent than ever.

As El Nino amplifies the threat of a heatwave in 2024, the call for immediate and substantial climate action intensifies. 

The world is on high alert as it grapples with the unfolding consequences of a warming planet, underscoring the need for global cooperation to confront the challenges posed by the escalating climate crisis.


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