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Surface temperatures and anomalies at equatorial Pacific Ocean and climatic issues related to 'El Niño.' (Photo: elnino.noaa.gov)

'Clear signs’ El Niño was developing

WORLDWIDE
Thursday, August 16, 2012, 15:30 (GMT + 9)

Australia's Weather Bureau revealed there were clear signs El Niño was developing in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

This event, which involves a periodic warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, periodically takes place at four to twelve year intervals.

The weather pattern is normally associated with meteorology processes such as drier conditions on the east coast of Australia.

Even though El Niño development stalled in the second half of July, “indicators such as the Southern Oscillation Index and trade wind strength have shown renewed trends that are consistent with the early stages of El Niño,” explained Andrew Watkins, an official at the agency.

"At the moment, the ocean is looking El Niño-like but the atmosphere is still not playing ball," he added.

Meanwhile, Japan's weather bureau announced on Friday the weather pattern was underway, Reuters agency reported.

‘El Niño’ and its closely related sibling ‘La Niña’ can cause havoc with global weather by disrupting ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns.

The intense 1997-98 El Niño killed 24,000 people, caused USD 34 billion in direct losses and triggered drought and fires in Southeast Asia, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Agency stated.

In addition, this event caused intense winter storms along the US west coast and floods in East Africa.

Furthermore, the director of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia (Ideam), Ricardo Lozano, announced that ‘El Niño’ is forming and anticipated it will become stronger in early 2013 in the major regions of the country, La República reported.

And Marcel Hofstetter, Economy programme director at the University of La Sabana, explained the food safety risks that will always be latent in these climatic phenomena.

"Undoubtedly, those who are benefited by a phenomenon like El Niño will be food producers. However, the poorest countries must be alert, as they will have to allocate more resources to meet their food needs in a short term," he concluded.

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com


 

Photo Courtesy of FIS Member  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA/NMFS
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