Climate Change and El Niño Join Forces to Produce World’s Hottest Day

While climate change has largely driven these recent heat records, natural variation from El Niño put them over the top.

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Source: rawpixel

After a historically warm June and July 3, 4, 5, and 6 consecutively breaking records for the world’s hottest day, some headlines began to suggest these heat events were climate change run amuck. While climate change has driven the vast majority of this heat, a significant portion is also due to El Niño: a natural phenomenon in the tropical Pacific Ocean that impacts global weather patterns and slightly boosts temperatures. Ethan breaks down recent extreme heat events from around the world, explains the role of El Niño, and contemplates why neglecting to adequately cover El Niño’s influence is both disingenuous and could reduce enthusiasm for climate action in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg,” which also marks The Sweaty Penguin’s 200th episode!

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writer: Ethan Brown, Velina Georgi, Emma Quarequio, Madeleine Salman

Fact Checker: Mikaela Gonzalez

Editor: Megan Antone

Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Owen Reith

Ad Voiceover: Madeleine Salman

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.

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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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