‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted

By Helen Briggs

el Niño

The El Nino effect, which can drive droughts and flooding, is under way in the tropical Pacific, say scientists.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a “substantial” event later in the year.

The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures.

The El Nino is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world, according to forecasters.

US scientists announced in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as “weak”.

Australian scientists said models suggested it could strengthen from September onwards, but it was too early to determine with confidence how strong it could be.

“This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,” David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters.

“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”

Aftermath of flooding in California put down to El Nino

Aftermath of flooding in California put down to El Nino

An El Nino comes along about every two to seven years as part of a natural cycle.

Every El Nino is different, and once one has started, models can predict how it might develop over the next six to nine months, with a reasonable level of accuracy.

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How can we predict El Nino?

In the tropical Pacific Ocean, scientists operate a network of buoys that measure temperature, currents and winds. The data – and other information from satellites and meteorological observations – is fed into complex computer models designed to predict an El Nino. However, the models cannot predict the precise intensity or duration of an El Nino, or the areas likely to be affected, more than a few months ahead. Researchers are trying to improve their models and observational work to give more advance notice.

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A strong El Nino five years ago was linked with poor monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the US, heatwaves in Brazil and extreme flooding in Mexico.

Another strong El Nino event was expected during last year’s record-breaking temperatures, but failed to materialise.

Prof Eric Guilyardi of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading said it would become clear in the summer whether this year might be different.

“The likelihood of El Nino is high but its eventual strength in the winter when it has its major impacts worldwide is still unknown,” he said.

“We will know in the summer how strong it is going to be.”

Weather patterns

The El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean as part of a complex cycle linking atmosphere and ocean.

The phenomenon is known to disrupt weather patterns around the world, and can bring wetter winters to the southwest US and droughts to northern Australia.

The consequences of El Nino are much less clear for Europe and the UK.

Research suggests that extreme El Nino events will become more likely as global temperatures rise.

About steve@bayintegratedmarketing.com

Steve Ulrich is a principal at Bay Integrated Marketing: www.bayintegratedmarketing.com. I have been working with people to maximize their use of social media and internet publishing, optimize their websites to turn prospects into customers, and establish their personal brand on the internet. We are also working with Eco Distribution, Inc. to find and implement practical solutions to help clean up our air and the environment. Eco Distribution, Inc. is a California based Distributor and Representative Firm dealing in environmentally friendly and Green solutions. We have leveraged 30 years experience in responsible construction management to provide solutions for some of the most impactful challenges facing our air, water, and land. We have an oil/hydrocarbon remediation system that is effective on everything from simple oil stains on a driveway, to complex oil disasters in the ocean. My approach to social media and internet marketing is simple. Instead of spending a fortune “buying” keywords and ads that don’t return anything we concentrate on three areas: I CAN GET YOU FOUND ON LINKEDIN - NUMBER ONE, PAGE ONE.
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