The Australian Meteorological Office announced on Tuesday the emergence of the El Niño weather phenomenon, generally associated with rising temperatures and severe droughts that could lead to devastating wildfires.
Karl Braganza, a government meteorologist, said an El Niño phenomenon had spread in the Pacific Ocean, coinciding with the unusual spring heatwave currently hitting eastern Australia.
⋙ In Ukraine, Russia continues to send its paratroopers and elite troops to the massacre
Heat waves on land and in the oceans
Mr. Braganza reiterated that this meteorological phenomenon will contribute to the warming of the oceans, which have been experiencing record temperatures since April.
“This (Australian) summer will be warmer than average and certainly hotter than the last three years,” he said.
In July, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimated a 90% chance of the phenomenon forming in the second half of 2023.
“The arrival of El Niño will significantly increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and triggering further extreme heat in many regions of the world and in the oceans,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in the bulletin.
⋙ Charles III in France: These dishes of French gastronomy in the spotlight at dinner in Versailles
IN PICTURES The Eye of the Climate Season 2: the finalists of the climate change photography competition in France
More extreme rainfall and drought
El Niño occurs on average every two to seven years and episodes typically last nine to twelve months.
It is a natural climate phenomenon associated with warming sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. However, the current episode “falls within the context of a climate altered by human activities,” the WMO said.
El Niño is generally associated with increased rainfall in parts of southern Latin America, the southern United States, the Horn of Africa and central Asia. It can cause severe droughts in Australia, Indonesia, parts of South Asia and Central America.
⋙ War in Ukraine: China could deny access to Ukrainian drones
On the other hand, the warm water can fuel hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific, while it can slow the formation of hurricanes in the Atlantic basin.
On the same topic:
⋙ A wall built by a pre-Columbian civilization may have protected it from the effects of “El Niño” 1,000 years ago
⋙ What if the El Niño phenomenon and drought blocked the Panama Canal?
⋙ El Niño will hit Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago and its endangered species: what can we expect?
“All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. ©2023 Agence France-Presse. All information reproduced on this site (text, photos, videos, fixed or animated infographics, sound or multimedia content) is protected by current legislation on intellectual property rights. Consequently, any reproduction, display, modification, translation, commercial use or reuse in any form whatsoever is prohibited without the prior written consent of AFP, except for personal, non-commercial use. The AFP cannot be held responsible for any delays, errors or omissions that cannot be excluded in the area of press releases, nor for the consequences of any actions or transactions carried out on the basis of this information. AFP and its logo are registered trademarks »