The U.N. weather agency warned yesterday that El Niño will hit stronger than ever at the end of the year. The phenomenon already has a greater strength than in the last 15 years as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported.
El Niño is a weather pattern associated with floods and storms, but also with extreme droughts. The phenomenon starts in the eastern warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Usually, it reaches its greatest strength at the end of the year and beginning of the next one. This time however, El Niño will record values similar to the ones in 1972–1973, 1982–1983 or 1997–1998, with about 2 degrees Celsius more than the normal rate.
Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO, declared that the phenomenon will definitely become one of the top three most strongest ever recorded, but it is also expected to become part of the top two. However, it is early to have a definitive position. He also stated that El Niño will reach its peak in the next few months, reaching normal values only next year during summer.
Furthermore, this time countries seem to be more prepared for the weather conditions and are already making plans. These include campaigns for saving lives, for minimising the impact on health, water, agriculture and fisheries, as well as the economic sector.
One of the causes of this phenomenon is of course global warming. The waters of oceans are recording higher temperatures, and it has been reported that icebergs are starting to melt, thus destroying the natural habitat of polar species. Reports also include information about the loss of summer snow in regions located in the northern part of the globe.
The way El Niño is evolving at the moment is thus a natural event modified by the changes brought by humans to the climate. It is a new type of interaction between such factors, which will be interesting to follow by scientists. Will it be however as interesting for everyone?
The fact that El Niño will hit stronger than ever will bring with it more natural disasters, such as floods and storms as strong as hurricanes listed in the fourth and fifth category. We can also expect that with the rising level of oceans and seas, tsunamis and seas storms will also hit harder.
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