Monday, May 9, 2016

El Niño-induced weather extremes this year have cost billions of dollars in damage

According to Climate Central's analysis, exceptionally strong El Niño this year caused weather transformation leading to disastrous events like tornadoes, droughts, wildfire, floods, food and water shortages all over the world. El Niño shifts a large pool of warm ocean waters from the western to the central and eastern tropical Pacific, disrupting its typical atmosphere circulation patterns, what can impact weather thousands of miles away.

This year major drought happened in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, what led to significant delays in the planting of the rice crop, leading to concerns over food shortages. Rainfall in India was 14 percent below normal and reservoirs were down by 30 percent. Some recent research has suggested that the exceptional heat and drought may actually have helped fuel the rise of the Zika virus epidemic in South America. Central America and the Caribbean are experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades. Major crop losses have caused huge financial hits to farmers and left some 3.5 million people facing food shortages. El Niño brings the opposite conditions to Florida (U.S.), where weather this year was much wetter than normal winter, and its southern tip had its wettest year on record. It also saw 18 tornadoes in January and February, compared to the seven it usually sees during those months. In Kenya, southern Somalia and southern Ethiopia because of Increased rains and flooding more than 100,000 people had been displaced and 112 killed. Read more at