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2015 Temperature Rise Mainly Due To El Nino, May Drop Again, Say Critics

Alix Culbertson, Daily Express

Climate change scientists who have predicted temperatures will severely rise due to man made global warming have been questioned by critics who say this year’s rise is mainly down to El Niño and may drop again to lower levels.

The Met Office announced today temperatures around the world averaged 1.02C above the 1850-1900 period between January and September this year – with human activity and carbon emissions to blame.It released the figures in conjunction with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia ahead of key United Nations talks in Paris aimed at tackling climate change.

But a leading scientist has dispelled claims it has anything to do with human activity, saying it is simply a natural phenomenon which occurs roughly every 7-20 years in the form of El Nino.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Warming Policy Foundation, said the El Niño weather pattern pushes up temperatures globally and is followed by La Nina which brings temperatures back down again.

He said: “This El Niño is similar to the strong 1998 El Niño where temperatures rose globally.

“It’s always the same, it’s nothing to do with global warming, it’s a natural event.”An El Niño is often followed by a La Niña cycle which has a cooling effect – and it doesn’t mean next year or the year after will be warmer.”

The Met Office have acknowledged the affect of El Nino on warming, and have warned if temperatures remain as predicted, 2015 will be the first year to breach [1C of warming since] pre-industrial levels.

Some researchers have questioned the reliability of the temperature levels used in the 1750s, when the industrial revolution began and fossil fuels became widely used, meaning it is almost impossible to determine an accurate assessment of how much the world has warmed.

But the Met Office argue by using an average of the temperatures recorded between 1850 and 1900, their analysis is more accurate.

Stephen Belcher, director of the Met Office Hadley Centre said: “We have seen a strong El Nino develop in the Tropical Pacific this year and that will have had some impact on this year’s global temperature.

“We’ve had similar natural events in the past, yet this is the first time we’re set to reach the 1C marker and it’s clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory.”But Dr Peiser claims the strength of this year’s El Nino is [stronger] in comparison to previous years and [mostly] accounts for the jump in temperatures.

An El Niño weather pattern causes a warming in sea surface temperatures across the Pacific Ocean which pushes up temperatures across the the world and causes different parts of the globe to be drier than average or wetter than average.


El Nino works to heat sea temperaturesNOAA

El Nino works to heat sea temperatures

It can influence weather patterns, ocean conditions and marine fishers across large portions of the globe for an extended period of time.A La Niña pattern does the opposite.

Dr Peiser said it is “too early” to say how high temperatures will be with this year’s El Niño.

El Niño weather patterns occur every seven to eight-years, with a very strong El Niño every 20-years.

He added: “The big debate is how much we’re contributing to climate change but in this case the natural factors are much more dominant.”

The United Nations talks are aiming to agree an international deal to limit the rise of global temperatures to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels. Anything beyond that it is believed the worse impacts of climate change are expected to be felt.Dr Peter Stott, head of the climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office said the latest figures revealing global average temperature rises reaching 1C were another piece of evidence which showed once again the “unequivocal warming” of the Earth.

He said: “There’s been an extra push from El Niño, nevertheless the fact is we have human influence driving our climate into uncharted territory, because we are now above 1C.”He admitted not every year from now on is necessarily going to be 1C above pre-industrial levels, because of natural variability in the climate. But he claimed more and more years will be past the 1C marker and it will eventually become the norm as the Earth warms.

The claims come after NASA announced that Antartica’s ice was not melting and actually growing in size.

The US space agency research claims an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is “currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from melting glaciers.

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