Since March 2023, ocean temperatures have risen to their highest average levels in 40 years, and the effects are being felt worldwide.
The temperature of the Sea of Japan is more than 4 degrees Celsius higher than the average. The Indian monsoon is much weaker than expected. It is closely linked to conditions in the warm Indian Ocean.
Spain, France, England and the entire Scandinavian peninsula are also experiencing rainfall well below normal. This is probably related to an exceptional heat wave in the eastern North Atlantic.
The sea surface temperature there was 1 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than the average from the coast of Africa to Iceland.
Source: The Risk of Ocean Warning, Medium
Source: Climatere Analyzer, (https://climatereanalyzer.org/clim/sst_daily/)
What is the cause of this?
El Niño a Pacific climate phenomenon that weakens trade winds, affecting oceans and land. Other forces also influence ocean temperatures.
Rising sea and land temperatures are mainly due to global warming caused by human activities and increases in greenhouse gases.
Source: NOAA Climate
After three years in a row of La Niña, with cooler waters in the Pacific Ocean, the cooling effect has disappeared, and global warming is becoming more and more visible.
The low level of Arctic sea ice in May and June may also be a contributory factor, as ice loss leads to higher water temperatures through the absorption of solar radiation. These various influences have a global impact.
Exceptional heat in the North Atlantic led to unusually sunny and hot weather in Norway, with drought affecting the agricultural sector and disruptions to rail transport due to overheated tracks and switches.
Weaker winds and reduced aerosol emissions are suggested, while El Niño may have weakened the Indian monsoon in South Asia.