Europe set for heatwave summer as weather chiefs confirm El Niño arrival

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 12 May 2015 12:45, Last updated: 2015-05-12
Emerging El Niño increases the risk of drought around the world
Emerging El Niño increases the risk of drought around the world

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology today confirmed El Niño thresholds have been reached in the tropical Pacific for the first time since March 2010.

Meteorologists say the strength of the emerging El Niño is “significant” and is likely to influence extreme weather events around the world.

The weather phenomenon is triggered by a warming of the Pacific Ocean which researchers say is part of a complex cycle linking atmosphere and ocean.

The last El Nino five years ago was linked with destructive monsoons across Southeast Asia, droughts across the Pacific rim as well as heatwaves in Europe. Global warming is thought to increase the frequency and intensity of El Nino events.

Assistant Director for Climate Information Services at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, Neil Plummer, said: “The onset of El Niño in Australia in 2015 is a little earlier than usual. Typically El Niño events commence between June and November.

“Prolonged El Niño-like conditions have meant that some areas are more vulnerable to the impact of warmer temperatures and drier conditions.”

While El Niño increases the risk of drought, it does not guarantee it - of the 26 El Niño events since 1900, 17 have resulted in widespread drought.




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