Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tragedy set to unfold in tropics

The temperature is rising rapidly in the tropics. The image below shows the situation in the tropics (23.5°S-23.5°N, 0-360°E) through February 14, 2024, when the average daily surface air temperature was 26.3°C, i.e. 1.3°C above 1979-2000.

On April 24, 2016, it was 26.8°C, the highest temperature on record in the tropics, 1°C above 1979-2000, as the above image also shows. The image below shows temperature anomalies over the years. 

Note that the above anomalies are calculated from 1979-2000, which isn't pre-industrial. When calculated from a genuinely pre-industrial base, anomalies will be higher. Also have a look at the recent analysis of sponges collected in the Caribbean, illustrated by the image below. 

According to NOAA, there is a 100% chance that the current El Niño will persist through February-March-April 2024, as illustrated by the image below. 

The danger is that a tragedy will unfold over the next few months as temperatures look set to exceed the 2016 peak in the tropics and cause widespread loss of life of people, livestock and wildlife, crop failure and ecosystem collapse in the tropics.

Climate Emergency Declaration

The situation is dire and the precautionary principle calls for rapid, comprehensive and effective action to reduce the damage and to improve the situation, as described in this 2022 post, where needed in combination with a Climate Emergency Declaration, as discussed at this group.


• Climate Reanalyzer

• NOAA - ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions

• Pre-industrial

• 300 years of sclerosponge thermometry shows global warming has exceeded 1.5 °C - by Malcolm McCulloch et al. (2024)  

• Extinction

• Climate Plan

• Climate Emergency Declaration

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