Newsletter Issue 31 (May 2023)

The Weather of April 2023 – A relatively warm and dry April

April 2023 was warmer than usual with a mean temperature of 23.6 degrees, 0.6 degrees above the normal of 23.0 degrees. The month was also drier than usual with a total rainfall of 77.5 millimetres, about half of the normal of 153.0 millimetres. The accumulated rainfall recorded in the first four months of the year was 167.6 millimetres, about 44 percent below the normal figure of 300.4 millimetres for the same period.

WMO Update: Prepare for El Niño

The likelihood of El Niño developing later this year is increasing, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This would have the opposite impacts on weather and climate patterns in many regions of the to world to the long-running La Niña and would likely fuel higher global temperatures. The unusually stubborn La Niña has now ended after a three-year run and the tropical Pacific is currently in an ENSO-neutral state (neither El Niño nor La Niña).

A major Greenland glacier is melting away with the tide, which could signal faster sea level rise, study finds

A major glacier in northwest Greenland is interacting with the ocean tides, scientists reported, resulting in previously unaccounted-for melting and potentially faster sea level rise. Observations from the Petermann Glacier revealed that the glacier’s grounding line — the area where the ice sheet begins to extend out on top of the ocean — can shift significantly as tides come in and out each day. This finding introduces another major source of melting that could be accelerating sea level rise.

Ocean temperatures are off the charts right now, and scientists are alarmed

Ocean surface heat is at record-breaking levels. Temperatures began climbing in mid-March and skyrocketed over the course of several weeks, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out exactly why. Temperatures have fallen since their peak in April – as they naturally do in the spring – but they are still higher than they have ever been on record for this time of year. Although it’s still preliminary data, if it holds up, an oceanographer at the NOAA said, “this is another milestone.”

Climate change: Vietnam records highest-ever temperature of 44.1C

Vietnam has recorded its highest ever temperature, just over 44C – with experts predicting it would soon be surpassed because of climate change. The record was set in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, where officials warned people to stay indoors during the hottest times of the day. Thailand reported a record-equalling 44.6C in its western Mak province. Meanwhile Myanmar’s media reported that a town in the east had recorded 43.8C, the highest temperature for a decade.

New study shows Earth energy imbalance

The Earth climate system is out of energy balance as a result of human-induced climate change. Heat has accumulated continuously over the past decades, warming the ocean, the land, the cryosphere, and the atmosphere. A new study ‘Heat stored in the Earth system 1960-2020: where does the energy go?’ shows that the Earth Energy Imbalance continues to grow, and has risen by nearly 50% over the past 14 years in comparison to the amount accumulated over the last half of a decade.

WMO annual report highlights continuous advance of climate change

The State of the Global Climate 2022 shows the planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere caused by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. For global temperature, the years 2015-2022 were the eight warmest on record despite the cooling impact of a La Niña event for the past three years. Melting of glaciers and sea level rise – which again reached record levels in 2022 – will continue to up to thousands of years.



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