There is a more than 95% chance that the El Niño weather pattern will continue through the Southern Hemisphere summer (Northern Hemisphere winter) from January to March 2024, bringing more extreme conditions, the U.S. government’s meteorological center said this week. Thursday (14).
“In August, sea surface temperatures were above average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, with strengthening in the central and east-central Pacific,” said the CPC (Climate Prediction Center).
El Niño is a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific that can trigger extreme weather events, from wildfires to tropical cyclones and prolonged droughts.
The natural phenomenon is already causing calamities around the world, and the risks are greater for emerging markets, which are more exposed to fluctuations in food and energy prices.
“As El Niño strengthens, there is a good chance it will have an impact on the upcoming growing season in agricultural production areas of the Southern Hemisphere,” said Chris Hyde, meteorologist at space technology company Maxar.
“This includes harvests in South Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and Brazil, where the climate is typically drier and hotter than normal.”
On Tuesday (12), Australia’s meteorology department said that El Niño indicators had strengthened and that the weather event was likely to develop between September and November, bringing hotter and drier conditions to Australia.
“Although the ensemble mean amplitude is roughly the same as last month, the shorter forecast horizon means that the chances of at least one ‘strong’ El Niño have increased to 71%,” the CPC said.
In July, the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) warned that temperatures were likely to rise further across much of the world after El Niño emerged in the tropical Pacific for the first time in seven years.
The phenomenon also threatens global rice supplies, amid a ban on shipments of a crucial variety of the staple food from top exporter India, as well as other commodities such as coffee, palm oil, sugar, wheat and cocoa from southeastern India. Asia, Australia and Africa.