Newsletter Issue 44 (June 2024)

The Weather of May 2024 – A cloudy May with localized heavy rain

May 2024 was characterized by cloudier than usual weather with localized heavy rain over parts of the New Territories. The mean amount of cloud in the month was 83 percent, 7 percent above the normal of 76 percent. As for monthly rainfall, while over 700 millimetres of rainfall were recorded over parts of the Sai Kung, the monthly rainfall recorded at the Observatory was only 292.6 millimetres, near the normal figure of 290.6 millimetres.

May 2024 marks 12 months of record-breaking global temperatures

May 2024 was warmer globally than any previous May in the ERA5 reanalysis dataset, going back to 1940, and was the twelfth month in a row that was the warmest in the ERA5 record for the respective month of the year. While unusual, we nevertheless saw a similar streak of monthly global temperature records in 2015/2016. Last month was 1.52°C above the estimated May average for the 1850-1900 pre-industrial reference period.

Global temperature is likely to exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial level temporarily in next 5 years

There is an 80 percent likelihood that the annual average global temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years, according to a new report from the WMO. This is a stark warning that we are getting ever closer to the goals set in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which refers to long-term temperature increases over decades, not over one to five years.

El Niño is forecast to swing to La Niña later this year

The 2023/24 El Niño event, which helped fuel a spike in global temperatures and extreme weather around the world, is now showing signs of ending. Latest forecasts from WMO Global Producing Centres of Long-Range Forecasts give equal chances (50%) of either neutral conditions or a transition to La Niña during June-August 2024. The chance of La Niña conditions increases to 60% during July-September and 70% during August-November.

Nitrous oxide emissions grew 40 percent from 1980 to 2020, accelerating climate change

Emissions of nitrous oxide, the third most important human-made greenhouse gas, rose 40 percent from 1980 to 2020, according to a new report by the Global Carbon Project. The new study, published in the journal Earth System Science Data, finds nitrous oxide is accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere faster than at any other time in human history and its current growth rate is likely unprecedented in the last 800,000 years.

NOAA, DOE sign agreement to advance marine carbon dioxide removal

“In order to limit global warming to 1.5C or even 2C, we not only have to bring our emissions of greenhouse gases to net-zero rapidly, but we also must remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This agreement, utilizing the great strengths of NOAA and DOE, means we can develop the marine carbon dioxide removal research and technology necessary to tackle the climate crisis.”, NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad said.



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