Warmer temperatures are the new normal In this May 31, 2015 file photo, an Indian women stands in front of an air cooler to cool herself on a hot summer day in Hyderabad, in the southern Indian state of Telangana. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File/Thinkstock)
Warmer temperatures are the new normal
Lexile

Hotter weather appears to be here to stay, El Nino or not. That's according to the U.N. weather agency. It warned that the Paris climate accord last year shouldn't give way to complacency about global warming.

The World Meteorological Organization issued its annual climate report following a record-hot 2015. It highlighted records already announced by different countries' weather agencies. The agency pointed out that 2015 was breaking records on the surface. It also broke records hundreds of meters deep in the ocean.

And the first two months of 2016 were even hotter. These months are so startling that they "have sent shockwaves around the climate science community." That's according to David Carlson of the World Climate Research Program.

Climate scientists blame record high temperatures last year and this year so far on a combination of a super-sized El Nino. It is a natural warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide. Another factor is a long-term global warming trend from the burning of fossil fuels.

NASA said last month was 1.35 degrees Celsius (2.43 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average. Of that, 0.8 degrees (1.44 degrees Fahrenheit) comes from the long-term warming and 0.25 degrees (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) from El Nino, with the rest unexplained residual, calculated climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute in Germany and the University of New South Wales.

Even after the El Nino phenomenon abates in coming months, way above normal temperatures won't exactly go away, Carlson and others said.

"We're on a slope; sometimes the slope goes very steep, sometimes it's a little bit more shallow, but we're going upward," Carlson said in a news conference. "So the normal is going to be increases: It's going to be increased temperature, increased ocean heat content, loss of ice, we know all of these things."

Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist who wasn't part of the WMO team, agreed: "These records vividly illustrate the destructive power of an El Nino on climate change steroids."

The WMO predicts warmer weather accompanied by pockets of both drier and wetter conditions, depending on the region, around the world.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told reporters in Geneva that many people believe the climate issue is "solved ... since we reached a nice agreement in Paris." But, he said, "we haven't changed our behavior yet."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (18)
  • michaely-6-bar
    4/01/2016 - 10:16 a.m.

    Warmer temperature produce both drier and wetter conditions because certain areas are really hot, so that makes it drier. Wetter is in a little cooler areas in the state/region. I think why don't they just not have the conditions in warmer temperatures. I think wetter conditions should be in a place that rains a lot like a rainforest and for drier like a desert. I just think they would also cover more ground by using my idea instead of there's right now. But if it works then keep it to something better comes around to do.

  • caitlynk-2-bar
    4/02/2016 - 01:58 a.m.

    The warmer temperatures produce both wetter and drier conditions because if you live in a place with a lot of water, then the water will evaporate quicker causing it to rain more often. If you live in a relatively dry place then it will just keep getting drier. So it all depends where you live. This article was interesting because it answered the question, why is California getting drier, but also wetter? This article surprised me because I didn't know that how much rain you got relied on the region you lived in, but only the temperature.

  • joey0111-byo
    4/04/2016 - 08:11 p.m.

    I think that it be drier and wetter, because water would evaporate because it is hot. The water would go up into the sky. Then, it would rain because the water evaporated.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    4/04/2016 - 08:23 p.m.

    Many researchers have found that hot weather will be here for some time. They said that the weather in two thousand fifteen was hot but the first two months of two thousand sixteen were hotter. Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist said that "These records vividly illustrate the destructive power of an El Nino. I wonder why the weather during the past several months have been so unusually hot.
    I think that warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions because the heat makes the atmosphere feel dry. The heat can also evaporate the water much quicker and cause rainfall.

  • nicks-ver
    4/07/2016 - 11:04 a.m.

    they produce both because some areas are really really hot and some places are really cold and i feel like than can effect. Im not too understanding of this.

  • charliet-orv
    4/07/2016 - 04:40 p.m.

    Because heat can make water precipitate faster.

  • connorc-ver
    4/08/2016 - 01:15 p.m.

    Water in the area dries out, but the weather is able to mix with cooler clouds to make rain.

  • vincents-1-bar
    4/11/2016 - 06:28 p.m.

    Warmer temperature produce both drier and wetter conditions because certain areas are really hot, so that makes it drier. Wetter is in a little cooler areas in the state/region. I think why don't they just not have the conditions in warmer temperatures. I think wetter conditions should be in a place that rains a lot like a rainforest and for drier like a desert. I just think they would also cover more ground by using my idea instead of there's right now. But if it works then keep it to something better comes around to do.

  • lilyg-2-bar
    4/11/2016 - 10:58 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions warm areas get drier easier. "The WMO predicts warmer weather accompanied by pockets of both drier and wetter conditions, depending on the region, around the world." I think this is interesting because I had no idea about the different weather patterns.

  • grantm-2-bar
    4/14/2016 - 12:35 a.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions because the heat evaporates the water then lets it all down, then it is dry while the water is getting evaporated. in the article it states "The WMO predicts warmer weather accompanied by pockets of both drier and wetter conditions, depending on the region, around the world." This is caused by the El Nino which makes the pacific ocean hotter in some areas. Last month was 2.43 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than usual. This is why warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions.

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