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World braces for extreme weather events like heat waves, deadly cyclones, and drought risks as El Nino is here, scientists say

'So hot you can't breathe': Extreme heat hits the Philippines
Source: Unsplash

As the world  braces for extreme weather and climate events such as agonizing heat waves, deadly cyclones, and drought risks due to monsoon deficit, scientists have warned that the ocean-warming phenomenon El Nino has arrived and could last until 2024.

El Nino, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), could set new temperature records, particularly in areas that already have above-average temperatures during El Nino.

El Nino events occur every two to seven years and are characterized by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean around the equator, according to

The most recent El Nino event occurred between February and August of this year, but its effects were minimal.

“Depending on its strength, El Nino can cause a range of impacts, such as increasing the risk of heavy rainfall and droughts in certain locations around the world,” said Michelle L’Heureux, a physical scientist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, in a recent statement.

“El Nino could lead to new records for temperatures, particularly in areas that already experience above-average temperatures during El Nino,” he added.

Kelvin waves, a potential precursor of El Nino conditions in the ocean, rolled across the equatorial Pacific toward the South American coast last month.

The data showed Kelvin waves, which are about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) high at the ocean surface and hundreds of miles wide, moving from west to east along the equator toward the west coast of South America, according to NASA.

According to reports, the emergence of El Nino this year could push global temperatures into uncharted territory and contribute to global warming crossing the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold within the next five years, resulting in catastrophic and irreversible climate breakdown.

“We’ll be watching this El Nino like a hawk,” said Josh Willis, a project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

“If it’s a big one, the globe will see record warming, but here in the southwest US we could be looking at another wet winter, right on the heels of the soaking we got last winter,” Willis said.

This month, global temperatures accelerated to record-breaking levels, an ominous sign in the climate crisis ahead of a brewing El Nino that could propel 2023 to become the hottest year ever recorded.

Extreme hot weather caused by the El Nino phenomenon is expected to cause drought and crop failures on up to 8,70,000 hectares of agricultural land in Indonesia.

According to experts, El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) caused a delay in monsoon rains in India, while cyclone Biparjoy also played a role.

“In April 2023, an El Nino ‘watch’ was issued, signaling the beginning of the warm phase of the ENSO phenomenon. Since then, all the Nino indices have remained positive-neutral or above the designated threshold. The Nino indices in the western half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean are still on the borderline, while the eastern portion consistently displays sufficient warming,” said a Skymet official.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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