El Nio planet-warming weather phase has begun
By Matt McGrath
A natural weather event known as El Nio has begun in the Pacific Ocean, likely adding heat to a planet already warming under climate change.
US scientists confirmed that El Nio had started. Experts say it will likely make 2024 the world's hottest year.
They fear it will help push the world past a key 1.5C warming milestone.
It will also impact world weather, potentially bringing drought to Australia, weakening India's monsoon and more rain to the southern US.
The event will likely last until next spring, after which its impacts will recede.
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For months, researchers have been increasingly confident that an El Nio event was set to emerge in the Pacific Ocean.
"It's ramping up now, there have been signs in our predictions for several months, but it's really looking like it will peak at the end of this year in terms of its intensity," said Adam Scaife, head of long-range predictions at the UK Met Office.