Jun 6, 2017

Extreme temperatures in Southeast Asia caused by El Niño and worsened by global warming

Kaustubh Thirumalai, Pedro N. DiNezio, Yuko Okumura, Clara Deser
Nature Communications
  • States that, in April 2016, southeast Asia experienced surface air temperatures (SATs) that surpassed national records, exacerbated energy consumption, disrupted agriculture and caused severe human discomfort
  • Uses observations and an ensemble of global warming simulations to show the combined impact of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and long-term warming on regional SAT extremes
  • Finds that virtually all southeast Asian April SAT extremes occur during El Niño years
  • Quantifies the relative contributions of long-term warming and the 2015–16 El Niño to the extreme April 2016 SATs
  • Estimates that 29% of the 2016 anomaly was caused by warming and 49% by El Niño
  • Concludes that post-Niño Aprils can potentially be anticipated a few months in advance, thus helping societies prepare