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El Niño means 2014 could be hottest year ever

Weather phenomenon plus global warming is recipe for the hottest year on record, says climate scientist

Pic: James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

Pic: James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

By Sophie Yeo

This year could be the hottest ever, due to the high possibility of an El Niño weather phenomenon.

Piers Forster, a professor of climate change at Leeds University, told RTCC that an El Niño combined with the effects of global warming, could make 2014 the hottest year on record.

“The prediction that 2014 will be the hottest year on record is a rough estimate but based on sound physics and the latest predictions for the growing El Niño during the remainder of the year,” said Forster.

“Overall my best estimate of the 2014 annual global surface temperature anomaly is 0.626 +/- 0.05 C above the 1961-1990 average, making it likely to be the hottest year on record after the 0.547 C anomaly in 2010.”

Pic: Met Office

Pic: Met Office

Pic: Met Office

Pic: Met Office


The European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts predicts that there is a 90% chance of an El Niño hitting this year. During an El Niño, the ocean releases its energy into the air, warming surface temperatures, having a knock-on effect on weather patterns around the globe, including weaker monsoons in India and more hurricanes over the Pacific.

El Niño events can have a damaging effects on developing countries in particular, with a potentially devastating impact on agriculture. The 1997 El Niño, the strongest ever, cost around US$ 35-45 billion in damage and caused around 23,000 deaths worldwide.

Forecasts by NOAA show that the temperature of the El Niño region of the central Pacific is projected to increase by around 0.4 to 1.5C by late summer. Historic data suggests that, globally, temperatures increase by 0.08 C per degree of warming in this region, said Forster.

This, combined with background warming of around 0.01C a month from greenhouse gases, means there is a high chance that 2014 could be the hottest on record, he said.

Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at Reading University, supported his findings. Both scientists contributed to the UN’s climate science report, the IPCC.

“I think there’s a reasonable chance it could be the warmest year on record given the El Niño forecasts,” he told RTCC, adding that there would be localised impacts as well as global warming.

“We might expect more hurricanes in the Pacific but less hurricanes in the Atlantic. We might expect rainfall changes over Africa and South America in particular.”

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  • Burro

    It could have a beneficial effect too. Rain for the southwest for example.. Stop making this a political issue, it is really annoying. Stick to the science.

  • mojo jojo

    What they should say is this…the truth: “because of the government geo-engineering the climate, the west coast can expect record high temps and drought, while the midwest and east coast experience flooding and then blame it all on the brainwashed public”

  • David Wright

    “This year could be the hottest ever, due to the high possibility of an El Niño weather phenomenon.” Wait a minute! I’m confused. I thought this was all the fault of man-made carbon emissions!?! What is the UN and Obama going to start doing about this?

  • Scott1154

    Could be the hottest. The key word is could. A giant meteor ‘could’ destroy the earth also.

  • Israelmbn

    I wonder what they will say at the end of the year when it runs out that the “news” about this having been the hottest year will be found to have been an exaggeration


    As someone who lives in Los Angeles I’m kind of hoping for the wettest year ever. We’ve been feeling the effects of serious drought for a few years now. I don’t wish ill on any other regions but we REALLY need this weather event.

  • G. Wayne Moore

    So we’re back to global warming again? I thought we morphed from global warming, to global climate change to global climate disruption? To the chicken-little pseudo-scientists out there; get you lie straight.

    • rodleman

      Both terms are used.

      Global Warming is what is generally happening.

      Climate Change is the end result of Global Warming.

      The terms are used depending on the context of discussion.

  • agsb

    They were wrong last year, yet yahoo gives then top billing

  • reddye26

    The problem with contemporary climate scientists is their universe is far too small. They pretend they alive during the Medieval, Roman and every other warm period the planet has experienced and were measuring temperature and other quantities with modern instrumentation. It is highly unlikely 2014 will be the warmest year ever. It may be the warmest year since 1998. This is exactly the hyperpole that tripped up Michael Mann, Penn State Climate Scientist and data massager. The National Academy of Sciences told him the current period is warmer than any time in the last 400 yrs because that’s what his data shows. It is not warmer than any in the last 1000 or whatever he claimed. Plus, about 600 yrs ago, the planet began the Little Ice Age. Doesn’t take much to be warmer than a weak ice age, does it. I long for Climate Scientists to behave like scientists instead of like activists advancing an agenda.

  • harrymeadows

    “I think there’s a reasonable chance it could be the warmest year on record given the El Niño forecasts.”

    More chance of 2015 being the hottest on record, since El Niño doesn’t care about our standard-northern summer/ winter split, and takes many many months to reach its maximum.

    Certainly that’s what we saw in the dullards-favourite starting point for global temp measurements – 1998. The El Niño for that year began in mid 1997.

  • Red

    Maybe, could, might, chance… blah… blah…

  • Engineer66

    And it could also be the coolest….

  • Reality

    I live in Dallas, TX. No where close to the “hottest” year here. Not one 100 degree day yet. In 1998 we had over 20 days over a hundred in May.

    • Queenslandchris

      The hottest in the northern hemisphere will follow the hottest in the southern. So your next summer will be a beaut.

  • grandpaez

    Well it’s going to have to warm up fast because we have just experienced the coldest spring in years.

    • Bongstar420

      Our spring in the NW was nearly a month ahead of normal, and our summer has been about 5 degrees above normal for the 30 year running average that the climate service employs. Our hottest year correlates with the most sun spots since the little ice age.

  • Palefac 43

    Interesting. I moved to the Los Angeles area in January so I’m not familiar with the usual weather for this time of year. Since being here I have been amazed at how cool and comfortable the weather has been. 2014 is almost 1/2 over and it has been great. I do hope we will be getting some rain though.

  • Thomas

    More Malarkey from the GloBull Warming crowd

  • Pygmalion

    “El Niño means 2014 could be hottest year ever”
    Or not – They don’t know.

  • Marc Aurele

    El Niño means 2014 could be hottest year ever
    El Niño means 2014 could be hottest year ever
    El Niño means 2014 could be hottest year everIf my sister had balls, she could be my brother.

  • David Nevada

    So it will have NOTHING to do with man, but a NATURAL phenomenon that occurs every few years.

    • rodleman


    • Fred

      Yes David, natural things happen with the climate system. Why don’t you go share what you just learned with your right-wing friends?

      • David Nevada

        Us right wingers already know that. That’s why we don’t push the fantasy of climate change.

  • Sherlocktoo

    AGW scientists predictions are laughable. Just study all the WRONG predictions of the past, as they continue to try to scare a new generation into believing. With all these dire prediction, you know that a some point they are bound to get something right. But now they have a way of claiming to be right always. Just have different scientists predict the opposite, and the msm will confirm who is right, without ever saying who is WRONG.

    • Bongstar420

      They should be pushing Star Trek, not this anti-technology, misanthropist garbage coming from most “environmentalists.”

  • bloozedaddy

    I’m sure these dolts “might expect” every possible scenario…just to cover their a$$es. Basically “if you like your global warming you can keep your global warming”.

  • BIll Teston

    Well, it’s got to happen sooner or later. temperatures are not going to stay the same forever.

  • Yubaman

    Who paid for this study?

  • bubsir

    NASA said nothing of the sort! The “trend” is still very much one of warming. Many people are focused on much to small a part of the signal. Be patient, we are still in the warmest period in recorded history.

  • bubsir

    Scientist have indeed explained the greenhouse effect with great clarity. It is quite clear that without CO2 it would be a frozen planet – that is not disputed by reputable scientists.

  • Ray Del Colle

    “El Niño and La Niña make temperatures change from year to year. In the long run, the Earth is steadily warming.” http://clmtr.lt/c/IFb0Bbg0cMJ

  • Ron Burgess

    Here’s the problem-”On record”. I guess it never got hotter before records were kept, right, warmists?

  • Glenn dorsey

    The global warming trumpeters will be thrilled to take this news as gospel and adopt it to their gloom and doom reports. The only problem is no one can forecast when El Nino will retreat and La Nino take over.

    • Bongstar420

      I wish “global warming” is true. My fingers are crossed. Ever wonder what life is like during an ice age? Colder and dryer over all with very little accessible farm land

  • rodleman

    For anyone who cares, El Nino is not forced by climate change but can be affected. They are hard to predict more than 6 months in advance and even then its chancy.

    ON AVERAGE, across the globe, temps tend to get hotter and wetter. The extremes will cause starvation and death. Its a serious event.

    • Bongstar420

      Ignorance will cause starvation and death

  • fireman

    OH come on, Hansen who heads up N.A.S.A’s Climatology department has to be a neutral party…..just because he has been arrested for stopping coal truck from leaving the mines….doesn’t make him a nut case does it….And when the figures didn’t show enough global warming for the last 10 years…he found an innovative new way to calculate the temperatures….he didn’t recalculate the bench mark though……do you think that’s a problem?

  • fireman

    in layman terms, if we double the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere we will add about 1 degree C to the climate….not 5 to 10 like the models predict. They are arguing that the natural mechanisms that balance our climate will shut down. They base this on ……nothing….that’s why every model has failed for the last 10 years to predict….anything…

  • Weatherman Richie

    Folks I do not believe that this El Niño will be the hottest (2014). This study is so bias warm that it’s funny how they can say this. We are now in a COLD PDO phase and this is not going to be a big El Niño believe me. We here in NYC had a colder winter in 2013/14 with above snow, and I can tell you this expect another colder winter in the NorthEast and NYC with above snowfall for winter 2014/15.

  • Bongstar420

    The ocean current went through the north pole during those times. That will not be happening this time around- the coming ice age is inevitable