Climate and Environment, News
75-80% chance of El Niño event in next three months, warns UN agency
The natural phenomenon has major influence on global weather, bringing droughts and floods
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 27: The United Nation’s World Meteorological Organisation has warned there is a 75-80% chance of an El Niño event— a phenomenon that can have an extreme effect on weather— forming within the next three months.
El Niño is a natural event that causes changes in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean and has a major influence on weather patterns around the world. It is linked to floods in South America and droughts in Africa and Asia.
The Guardian on Tuesday reported that the last El Niño event ended in 2016 and helped make that year the hottest ever recorded by adding to the heating caused by humanity’s carbon emissions. The 2019 event is not currently forecast to be as strong as in 2016.
“The forecast El Niño is not expected to be as powerful as the event in 2015-2016,” it quoted Maxx Dilley, the director of WMO’s climate prediction and adaptation branch as saying. “Even so, it can still significantly affect rainfall and temperature patterns in many regions, with important consequences to agriculture and food security, and for management of water resources and public health. It may also combine with long-term climate change to boost 2019 global temperatures.”
In 2016, the heat boost from El Niño made it the hottest year ever recorded. The following year, 2017, was ranked equal second, but was the hottest for a year without an El Niño. Scientists expect 2018, which saw climate-related disasters around the globe, to be the fourth hottest on record.
“Billions of tonnes of carbon emissions are continuing and greenhouse gases are at record concentrations, meaning their heating effect is stronger than ever. But whether a new El Niño will help make 2019 a new record remains to be seen,” according to the report.
In any case, human-caused global warming has resulted in 17 of the 18 hottest years recorded since 1850 occurring between 2000 and 2017.