Record hot oceans continue as weather extremes escalate
The big picture: Global sea surface temperatures have been at record to near-record levels since mid-March.
- Record-shattering heat waves have lasted for months in parts of Asia, from Vietnam to China, in particular.
- Parts of north central Siberia hit 100°F last week, setting all-time records for those locations.
Between the lines: Notably, the record heat has been occurring ahead of the declaration of an El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
- These naturally occurring events will most likely boost global ocean temperatures even further.
The bottom line: It's become cliche for climate stories to say that we're in uncharted territory; but in this situation, it bears repeating.
- We've never gone into an expected El Niño event with the oceans already so warm, making them prone to marine heat waves with their associated coral bleaching.
- The unusual warmth is already contributing to heat waves on land before the hottest months of July and August, and will help fuel more intense tropical cyclones and precipitation extremes in the weeks and months ahead.