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Buckle up because El Niño is almost here, and it’s going to get hot

Art depicting a red thermometer above flames
Image: Hugo Herrera / The Verge

The next five years are almost guaranteed to be sweltering, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned today. Climate change has already raised baseline temperatures for the planet. Now, a weather pattern known as El Niño is going to make things even hotter when it develops later this year.

That one-two punch from El Niño and climate change is expected to “push global temperatures into uncharted territory,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a press release today. “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment. We need to be prepared.”

There’s a 98 percent chance that one of the following five years will be the warmest on record,…

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