El Niño 2015: Patterns Suggest Repeat Of 1997-98 Event; IMF Warns Food Shortage, Rising Prices

El Niño 2015: Patterns Suggest Repeat Of 1997-98 Event; IMF Warns Food Shortage, Rising Prices
FMSC Staff Trip 2011 – Somali Drought Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)/Flickr CC BY 2.0
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The weather phenomenon El Niño has arrived, and all indicators suggest it is a strong one that could repeat, if not surpass, the patterns of sea-surfaces temperatures that happened during 1997 to 1998.


Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology on its fortnightly update on Tuesday said all five NINO indexes have exceeded plus 1 degree Celsius, and could “remain well above El Niño thresholds at least into the southern hemisphere spring.”

David Jones, head of climate prediction services at the bureau, said the 2015 event looks to exceed the intensity of the ones during 2002, 2006 and 2009. “This one looks like being quite significant.” This is the first El Niño since 2010.

The impacts of El Niño differ in varied parts of the world. The greatest impacts, however, seem to occur in countries near the tropical region.

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This early, Chikahisa Sumi, head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to the Philippines, advised the federal government to instill measures that will address potential food-supply disruptions in the coming months. One such measure is by increasing imports, Sumi said.

The looming El Niño is expected to place a toll on the growth and production of agro-industries in the coming months. Data from the U.S. Agriculture Department showed that during the 1997-1998 El Niño event, palm oil production in Indonesia dropped 7.1 percent; in Malaysia, it was a 5.5 percent plummet. These two countries supply 86 percent of the world’s requirements for palm oil. Production of cocoa, coffee and rice could also get affected.

Australia could expect a drier than usual weather condition. The Colorado State University expects fewer hurricanes in the part covered by the Atlantic Ocean. UK’s weather system expects El Niño 2015 to give it colder winters.

The Guardian Liberty Voice reports that the year 2015 will break global temperature records. Citing Professor Adam Scaife, who heads up a monthly column dedicated to decadal climate prediction research at the Meteorological Office, the paper says average global temperatures have skyrocketed past original predictions, no thanks to global warming.

Also read: India Heat Wave: Scorching 50°C Temp Kills Over 1000, Melts Roads