Understanding Temperature Anomalies
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) end-of-year yearly report contextualises particular months’ ranking by temperature anomalies.
- While this March was the second warmest on record, the warmest March came just a few years earlier in 2016, when the largest El Nino of the twenty-first century prompted mini-global warming. Each March might be warmer or cooler than the previous year’s March. Temperatures can momentarily rise due to natural climate variability, such as El Nino occurrences.
- When comparing and ranking individual months, climate scientists must provide the right context.
Points to Ponder:
- March 2023 was the second warmest on record worldwide.
- Natural climate variability, such as El Nino and La Nina occurrences, can cause temperature spikes and disrupt weather patterns.
- When comparing and evaluating individual months, climate scientists must provide adequate context.
- In March 2023, the distribution of temperature departures from the long-term average temperature varied internationally.
- All global warming is local; its impact varies by area and affects local weather patterns.
- Global warming does not imply that each month or year will be warmer than the previous one, but there is a warming trend from decade to decade.
- The influence of a warm March over Eurasia in the form of below-normal precipitation is visible in the March 2023 precipitation anomalies.
- Understanding the impact of global warming in one’s backyard can motivate people to take action on climate change.
- In 2016, the warmest March on record happened as a result of a strong El Nino phenomenon, which led to “mini” global warming.
- The January-March average temperature anomaly in 2023 is the fourth hottest on record.
- The global distribution of temperature anomalies is caused by land-ocean-atmosphere systems that control weather and climate dynamically.
- Warmer-than-average temperatures in India’s west and north contributed to lower temperatures in Mumbai, heavy pre-monsoon rains in the northwest, and blistering heat waves in Kerala and Odisha in March 2023.
- In March 2023, the Arabian Sea warmed more than projected, which may favour a stronger monsoon but may potentially promote cyclonic circulation across the Arabian Sea.
- Reduced snowfall across the Eurasian mainland has historically favoured a greater monsoon, but it may possibly dampen the El Nino effect in 2023.
- Putting temperature and precipitation anomalies in context helps people grasp the influence of global warming on local weather patterns.
- Participating in climate action can help to lessen the consequences of global warming and reduce the burden on local communities.
El Nio is the warm phase of the El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and it is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (roughly between the International Date Line and 120°W), including the area of South America’s Pacific coast. The ENSO is the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean’s cycle of warm and cool sea surface temperature (SST).
- La Nina is the colder counterpart of El Nino and is part of the larger El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate cycle.
- During a La Nia period, the sea surface temperature throughout the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean will be 3-5 °C (5.4-9 °F) lower than typical.
- La Nia’s appearance can last for more than five months. El Nino and La Nina can be markers of global weather changes.
- Because of differences in wind shear and sea surface temperatures, Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes can have quite different features.