IMD confirms weak El Nino conditions
- In India, there is a relationship between El Nino events and hotter than usual summers along with a decrease in rainfall during the monsoon
- The India Meteorological Department has finally declared that weak El Nino conditions are prevalent in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
- El Nino, which is the unusual warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, disrupts global wind patterns affecting climatic conditions in tropical areas like Africa, sub-tropical areas like India as well as the extra-tropical areas like North America.
El Nino and India:
- In India, there is a relationship between El Nino events and hotter than usual summers along with a decrease in rainfall during the monsoon.
- Most of the time, these events have also led to drought conditions.
- The weak El Nino might have an effect on the onset and intensity of monsoon this year.
- According to Skymet weather, in the 135 years between 1880 and 2014, around 90 per cent of all evolving El Nino years have seen below normal rainfall, and 65 per cent of them experienced droughts.
- In fact, six of the worst droughts in the country since 1871 have been triggered by El Nino — the most recent being in 2009.
- The last El Nino event that ended in 2016 had lasted for two years and caused heat waves all around the world, including India.
- The heat waves in 2015 and 2016 killed more than 2,500 people in India, and have been attributed to climate change — suggesting that El Nino was intensified by global warming.
- El Nino directly impacts India’s agrarian economy as it tends to lower the production of summer crops such as rice, sugarcane, cotton and oilseeds.
- The ultimate impact is seen in the form of high inflation and low gross domestic product growth as agriculture contributes around 14 per cent to the Indian economy.
- The severe El Nino had also caused massive coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef and droughts in parts of Africa, South East Asia and South America.
- Last year, too, Australia underwent its worst drought in living memory — in regions like the New South Wales the drought was the worst in 400 years.
About El Nino:
- El Niño is the name given to the occasional development of warm ocean surface waters along the coast of Ecuador and Peru.
- When this warming occurs the usual upwelling of cold, nutrient rich deep ocean water is significantly reduced.
- El Niño normally occurs around Christmas and usually lasts for a few weeks to a few months.
- Sometimes an extremely warm event can develop that lasts for much longer time periods. In the 1990s, strong El Niños developed in 1991 and lasted until 1995, and from fall 1997 to spring 1998.
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