El Niño is the name used to describe a rise in sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific.
El Niño impacts the equatorial eastern Pacific most strongly, but it also raises temperatures around the globe.
El Niño returns at a time when the world is already facing very high temperatures, Euronews reports.
. The United Nations (UN) declared July 2023 the hottest month in 120,000 years as a result of both El Niño and the impact of climate change.
Those living close to the Pacific will feel the effects first, Euronews points out. This includes the west coast of the Americas, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
A strong El Niño phase in 2014-16 led to droughts and floods around the world, contributed to outbreaks of Zika virus across South America and bleached close to a third of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Factors ranked for severity include extreme weather events, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and large-scale environmental damage.