Monday, 3 March 2014

Climate change: El niño years are going to become more frequent

Flood in Iquitos, Peru (source)
This is a bad news, very bad news, and not only for South Americans. El niño affects the entire world (unsure about what el niño is? check below.).

Extreme el niño used to occur once every 20 years. This will not be the case anymore. According to a study published in the Nature Climate Change journal we should now expect this to happen every 10 years.

Here are some figures of the 1997/98 extreme El Niño: it was the hottest year on average and killed 23 000 people through floods, cyclones, wildfire and food production reduction. It cost over 21 billion pounds.

[via Gizmodo, the guardian]
El Niño conditions: Warm water pool approaches
the South American coast. The absence of cold
upwelling increases warming.

El niño ? El what ?

In two words, there is an oscillation in the world climate caused by the temperature and atmospheric pressure in the pacific. Every twenty years or so, this ocillation reaches an extreme (i.e. el niño) and causes extreme climate conditions such as storms, floods, wetter climate and reduces fish population in south America... depending on where you're standing.

La Niña conditions: Warm water is
farther west than usual.
El niño has many impacts all over the world, reducing snowfalls in north america, yielding cooler and drier winters in Europe, it also causes wetter or drier spells across Africa, affects cyclones as well as many other places in the world.

source and more info on wikipedia