WMO’s ENSO Update
The latest El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) update from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) predicts that there is a 93% chance that one of the years until 2026 will become the hottest year on record due to an impending El Niño.
Impact of the predictions
This global phenomenon results in warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, weakening the trade winds above the sea surface and affecting different regions worldwide. This is expected after 3 consecutive years of La Nina- an unusual occurrence.
Earth to reach 1.5°C temperature rise
In its latest estimations, WMO has also reinforced the UK Met Agency’s forecast of a 50% chance of Earth reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial average in the next few years, leading to unprecedented heatwaves and climate impacts around the world.
What is the WMO saying on ENSO?
El Nino may develop in the next three years. The chances of El Nino developing between April-June 2023 are only 15%. The chances increase to 35% by May-July. It increases to 55% in June-august.
So far, 2016 was recorded as the hottest year on earth. WMO is expecting that 2024 or 2025 or 2026 may break this record. This means earth temperatures are to increase further.
How will this affect India?
The monsoon performance is bad in the country during El Nino. Rainfall decreases during the El Nino period. As 90% of Indian agriculture is dependent on monsoon rains, the country would face agricultural losses. Farmers are hit badly during El Nino. 60% of the draughts that happened in India in the last 130 years coincided with El Nino.
Is ENSO predictable?
No. The ENSO development depends on the strength of the ocean warming. Sometimes they are long and long-lasting. Sometimes they are weak and brief. They are highly unpredictable. The 20th-century variability of ENSO is higher than the previous century ENSOs. Even in the recent predictions, WMO is only speaking about chances and is not confirming about the ENSO occurences.
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