Extreme Weather Concern: El Nino Under Way
Scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say that El Nino has come and that it is likely to cause extreme weather later this year, such as temperatures that are above average.
El Nino causes temperatures to go up all over the world, while La Nina, which has been the main weather trend for the past three years, usually causes temperatures to go down.
“Depending on how strong El Nino is, it can have a number of effects,” NOAA climate scientist Michelle L’Heureux said in a post on the agency’s website on Thursday. “For example, it can increase the risk of heavy rain and drought in some parts of the world.”
“Climate change can make some effects of El Nino worse or make them less bad. “For example, El Nino could cause new temperature records to be set, especially in places where temperatures are already above average during El Nino,” L’Heureuz said.
El Nino starts when the seas in the Eastern Pacific near the coast of South America are unusually warm. The easterly trade winds often slow down or change direction during El Nino.
This week, Australia warned that El Nino would bring warmer and drier days to a country that is prone to bushfires. Japan said that a growing El Nino was partly to blame for its warmest spring on record.
In its statement, NOAA said that the effect of the event on the United States is weak during the summer but stronger from late fall to spring.
By winter, there is an expected 84 percent chance that El Nino will be “greater than moderate” and a 56 percent chance that El Nino will be “strong.”
This would usually make some parts of the country, like Southern California and the Gulf Coast, wetter than usual, while the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley would be dry than usual.
It also makes it more likely that the north of the country will be warmer than usual.
According to a study that came out last month in the journal Science, this year’s El Nino could cause world economic losses of $3 trillion as extreme weather wipes out farm production, manufacturing, and helps spread disease.
Because of this, countries like Peru have set aside $1.06 billion to deal with the effects of El Nino and climate change. The Philippines is at risk from storms, so the government has put together a special team to deal with what is likely to happen.