(CTN News) – China, contending with its coldest December on record, is poised to confront the dual challenges of scorching heat and an escalation in extreme weather events next year, courtesy of the El Niño weather phenomenon, according to a prominent climate expert.
The current year has witnessed China oscillating between some of the highest temperatures recorded since 1850 to an abrupt and severe cold spell that gripped numerous regions for nearly two weeks earlier this month.
Zhou Bing, Chief Expert at China’s National Climate Center, has forewarned that 2024 might usher in elevated temperatures and a heightened frequency of potent extreme weather occurrences.
In a report by state broadcaster CCTV, Zhou Bing emphasized the likelihood of both increased heat and a surge in the intensity and regularity of extreme weather events in the upcoming year.
During the recent summer, the city of Beijing experienced an unprecedented heatwave, with temperatures reaching record highs.
Simultaneously, in a remote township situated in the arid northwest of China, an astonishing temperature of 52 degrees Celsius (126 Fahrenheit) was recorded, marking the highest ever recorded temperature in the country.
Adding to the meteorological extremities, typhoons swept through China’s northern regions, unleashing torrential rainfall that shattered previous records.
The resultant heavy downpours triggered widespread flooding, posing significant challenges to local communities and infrastructure.
This array of climatic anomalies can be attributed to the recurring weather phenomenon known as El Niño, which manifests every two to seven years.
This phenomenon is characterized by the abnormal warming of Pacific Ocean waters near the equator, leading to cascading effects on global weather patterns.
The consequences range from intensified rainfall and storms to extended periods of drought in various parts of the world.
In the context of China, El Niño has been a contributing factor to the diverse and extreme weather conditions witnessed, including scorching heatwaves, temperature records, and unprecedented rainfall leading to flooding in the northern regions.
The onset of this year’s El Niño phenomenon was observed in June, and its influence has been notable in the establishment of new temperature records across the globe.
Projections from weather experts indicate that El Niño is expected to diminish in intensity between April and June of the coming year.
However, given the time lag inherent in the manifestation of its effects, there remains the possibility of witnessing further instances of temperature records being shattered well into 2024.
The lingering impact of El Niño suggests that the climatic repercussions, such as elevated temperatures, may persist beyond the waning phase of the phenomenon, contributing to a continuation of extreme weather patterns and potential record-breaking temperatures in the upcoming year.