Will this be the worst El Nino in 65 years?

Droughts … floods... heatwaves... you don't have to be an expert to see that 2015 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year when it comes to extreme weather. And, according to the experts, it's only going to get worse.

Earlier this week, the National Weather Service issued an El Nino update, and said that this season may be the worst El Nino event in their 65 years of record keeping. And, international climate scientists are saying the same.

The British Meteorological Office recently published a study, called “Big Changes Underway in the Climate System?”, which says that increased carbon pollution is going to exacerbate El Nino and push global temperatures even higher.

In other words, that means temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere are expected to hit new record highs in the 2015-2016 summer season, and that could bring about more extreme weather events for the whole planet.

Rowan Sutton, a scientist who works for the National Center for Atmospheric Science, said, “This is not a fluke. We are seeing the effects of energy steadily accumulating in the Earth's oceans and atmosphere, caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”

Adam Scaife, the study's lead researcher, explained further by saying, “We believe we are at an important point in the time series of the Earth's climate and we'll look back on this period as an important turning point.” He added, “That's why we're emphasizing it, because we're seeing so many big changes at once.”

The consensus among these experts is that global warming is no longer a problem for the future that we're trying to prevent, it is a very real dilemma that we're seeing occur right before our eyes.

A century of pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is coming back to haunt us, and it's only going to get worse if we don't get serious about fighting climate change right now.


Edward J. Dodson's picture
Edward J. Dodson 8 years 39 weeks ago

A few years ago I wrote an article for an environmental magazine suggesting that we needed to develop a comprehensive plan for dealing with the rising sea levels. My premise was (and is) that the political systems of most countries will not permit action sufficient to reverse the behaviors that are causing the oceans to warm and the polar caps to melt. As the overwhelming majority of humans life at or near sea level, this presents an almost impossible logistical problem. Entire cities (e.g., Miami, New Orleans, Amsterdam or Hong Kong) cannot be moved to higher ground. The only recourse we have is to try to channel the water to where it will do the least harm. The world's geographers need to identify the lowest lying areas, and our engineers need to begin digging canals from the low coastal areas inland. There is no other "solution" to the problem. It matters not at this point whether the causes of rising sea levels are human or part of some natural cycle the earth experiences.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 39 weeks ago

Old Mother Earth is experimenting, studying, and learning ways to get rid of the infection called 'Humanity'. Will She figure it out, will She succeed, before we destroy Her? Time will tell, and time is running out.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 39 weeks ago

I think what the world needs is less a lot less studies and a lot more action. Trillions spent on this and we have not reduced anything. The only thing getting better is the size of scientist bank accounts. After the cold winters we have had since global warming I have to admit it will be nice to warm up a little.

agelbert's picture
agelbert 8 years 39 weeks ago

A very interesting comment in a climate science web site (run by climate scientists) thread where actual climate scientists post.

Chuck Hughes says: 2 Sep 2015 at 1:24 PM Is this anything like, “Nobody saw it [crash] coming,” in which any number of people did? Much like you say “anyone” above when quite a few have seen high SLR this century for a while now. I’m sure you mean hardly anyone; just checking. Comment by Killian — 1 Sep 2015

Killian, I know you’re a bright fellow and I was using “everybody” in the colloquial sense or, the vernacular of the common citizenry, excluding those of us here at RC of course. Having said that I would like your opinion on “abrupt SLR.”

How “abrupt” do you think it might be? IPCC puts it at 1 meter by the end of the century. I personally think that’s a tad bit conservative. What say you?

If salt water is able to penetrate the underbelly of Greenland, say within the next 5 to 10 years I’m thinking all bets are off.

Then there’s the WAIS… along with several amplifying feedbacks that climate models may not have figured in. Am I in the ballpark? - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/09/unforced-variations-sept-2015/#sthash.IxU0e93v.dpuf[/color][/size][/quote]

cccccttttt 8 years 39 weeks ago

"the political systems of most countries will not permit action sufficient to reverse the behaviors that are causing the oceans to warm and the polar caps to melt. "

Well stated, and clearly the highest probability scenario.

The Dutch seem to be out in front of the issue, but US policy makers require

higher levels of mass suffering before they emerge with a plan.


RFord's picture
RFord 8 years 39 weeks ago

Seems like every time I turn around there's a new climate change report coming out showing that climate change and global warming is happening faster than had previously been predicted. Many people are not concerned about this happening (global warming) because they believe it's not going to affect them because they will die of old age long before it starts killing all human beings and they are not concerned with what will happen to yet unborn generations. Some tout the ideas that global warming is a farce and it's not feasible or that it's too expensive to move away from carbon energy. These Ideas come from the fossil fuel industry who pay their bought and paid for congressmen, senators and news outlets to say these things. The fact is people are already dying from the effects of climate change in Serria and ,yes, right here in the USA. People are dying because of drought caused forrest fires either by fighting the fires or by being caught in the fires but many don't die, they just lose everything they own including their home. Global warming and climate change are happening now at ever increasing rates. It may not be the future generations of earthlings that go extinct. It may be the present generations that go extinct sooner than anyone has imagined. If humans are smart, they will do all they can to keep themselves from going extinct but I'm afraid humans are not as smart and superior as humans think they are. The time to act against global warming is now because the tipping point is when human produced greenhouse gasses are no longer the main cause of global warming. The tipping point is when global warming is causing global warming and then there is no stopping it. The air, water, and the surface of the Earth become extremely hot and poisoned with methane and 90 percent of all living things on earth dies.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 39 weeks ago

Edward J. Dodson, what are we supposed to do, flood Death Valley and the Dead Sea? The only "low-lying areas" that would be useful are those below sea level. There just isn't enough volume in those basins.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 39 weeks ago

Kend, you seem to misunderstand that it's not called global heating. The warming (by only a couple degrees Celsius) tips environments into climate change, redirecting flows of heat and moisture. But some areas will get warmer, some will get cooler (such as northern Europe because of the Gulf Stream shutting down). Some areas will get wetter (Colorado seems to be doing that), and some will get drier (such as California and Syria).

outbacktommy 8 years 39 weeks ago

Has the earth's capacity to provide food for the human population been exceeded? If so, by how much, or how much room is left? I'm concerned that due to the inertia of the status quo, and the pressures of the developmental state of the bulk of the earths population, that our climate tipping point was reached several years ago and that all we can do now is slow it's progress. One of the few factors that keeps me optimistic is raising my children to be aware of their consumption and how it relates to the consumption of others and the impact on our earth.

agelbert's picture
agelbert 8 years 39 weeks ago


Here's the situation:

I present to you following short video as scientific evidence that the precautionary principle demands we engage in drastic and massive efforts immediately to reduce the probability of Near Term Human Extinction (N.T.H.E.):


A brief explanation of why positive feedback loops are uncontrollable, once they start. Incremental measures will not stop positive feedback loops from starting. Therefore, incremental measures will not work to reduce the high probability of N.T.H.E. from a multiplicity of positive feedback loops. This is why immediate and drastic action is warranted now.

For more detail on the subject of positive feedback mechanisms:

Why positive feedback mechanisms will not be prevented by incremental measures.

David Wasdell is a credentialed scientist. He was a reviewer in IPCC studies. He explains how the SCIENCE was downplayed by lawyers from various governments. This was done so the science predicting catastrophe (i.e. NON-linearity of degradation acceleration) WOULD NOT be made public. The only hard position reached by the IPCC is that climate change is anthropogenic, PERIOD. Since then things have improved somewhat on the truth about the gravity of our situation, but the public is still mostly in the dark about the existential threat calmly explained here.

David Wasdell makes it clear that strategy geared to today's symptoms is insufficient because causal elements have a 40 to 50 year lag. Incremental measures based on present observations are, not just doomed to fail, they guarantee that they will fail in the future. Only massive, government sponsored action NOW has a chance (and even that is not a sure thing, as is stated in this video) of somewhat ameliorating the probability of catastrophe. He clearly states that a massive extinction event destroying over 80% of life on earth will be triggered by about 30 positive feedback loops that credentialed climate scientists agree will overwhelm the ability of our technology to stop them.


Also, these questions I answered may help you to understand the gravity of our plight. And, as you surmised, it's not that we can't handle high temperatures, it's that we can't feed ourselves in a 4 degree plus C world (from the preindustrial world baseline).

Despite what the IPCC reports say publicly about staying within a plus 2 degree C target, scientists in the IPCC already admit that is a lost cause BECAUSE of the government lawyers that forced the massaging of the IPCC science. Governments are doing absolutely nothing to stop CO2 emissions. The incremental measures to reduce them are woefully insufficient.

These are the questions:

-What is the reliability of projections which suggest trends such as CO2 emissions, species extinction, deforestation, etc. will continue at a rate destructive enough to conclude HP (high probability) of NTHE?

-What are the chances that natural positive feedback mechanisms in these areas will burn themselves out or be counter-acted by negative feedback mechanisms?

-What are the chances that scientific technology will progress quickly enough to offer viable solutions (I believe you say this is a very good chance)?

-What are the chances that the above technology, or other mitigating policies, will be implemented by corporations and governments which can make a difference when push comes to shove (I believe you say this is a low chance, but quite possible)?

-What are the chances that consumers may intentionally or unintentionally act in ways to mitigate destructive environmental trends (for ex, becoming too poor to consume as much)?

-What are any other known or as of yet unknown factors which may serve to mitigate the destructive trends?

Answers at the following two links:



Finally, don't believe any of the fossil fuel industry funded propaganda out there about increased CO2 concentration in a warming planet being "good" for plants.

The fact is that the reverse is true.


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