The US space agency last saw such a spike in temperatures in July and August of 2016 due to a super El Nino event in the winter of 2015-2016. While there is another such event currently in the works: “We haven’t gotten there with the current El Nino event,” Schmidt said. He added that it has “only just emerged.”
The heatwaves seen at present are due to an overall warmth across the world, particularly in the oceans.
“We’ve been seeing record-breaking sea surface temperatures, even outside of the tropics, for many months now. And we will anticipate that is going to continue, and the reason why we think that’s going to continue, is because we continue to put greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere,” Schmidt said.
The top scientist assigned a “50-50 chance” that 2023 will be the hottest year on record, only to be beaten by 2024 which will be even warmer because of the ascendant El Nino. Other scientists assigned an 80% chance of 2023 being the warmest in the books.