New Delhi, Nov 8 (PTI) The ongoing El Niño event is expected to last at least until April 2024, influencing weather patterns and contributing to a further spike in temperatures on land and over the ocean, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organisation.
The India Meteorological Department earlier this month said EL Niño conditions -- abnormal warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean -- are not likely to influence the southwest monsoon season next year.
Amid intensifying El Niño conditions, India received "below-average" cumulative rainfall -- 820 mm compared to the long-period average of 868.6 mm -- during the southwest monsoon season this year.
As of mid-October, sea surface temperatures and other atmospheric and oceanic indicators in the central-eastern tropical Pacific are consistent with El Niño, the warm phase of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
The El Niño event developed rapidly during July-August and reached moderate strength by September, and is likely to peak as a strong event in November 2023 to January 2024. There is a 90 per cent likelihood it will persist throughout the upcoming northern hemisphere winter/southern hemisphere summer, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said in a statement.
Based on historical patterns and current long-range predictions, it is anticipated the El Niño event will gradually diminish during the forthcoming boreal spring, said the WMO update, which combines forecasts and expert guidance from around the world.
El Niño occurs every two to seven years on average and typically lasts nine to 12 months. It is a naturally occurring climate pattern associated with warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. But it takes place in the context of a climate being changed by human activities.
"El Niño impacts on global temperature typically play out in the year after its development, in this case in 2024. But as a result of record high land and sea-surface temperatures since June, the year 2023 is now on track to be the warmest year on record. Next year may be even warmer. This is clearly and unequivocally due to the contribution of the increasing concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from human activities,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.
"Extreme events such as heat waves, drought, wildfires, heavy rain and floods will be enhanced in some regions, with major impacts. That is why WMO is committed to the Early Warnings for All initiative to save lives and minimise economic losses," he said.
The previous warmest year on record was 2016 due to a "double whammy" of an exceptionally strong El Niño and climate change.
A strong El Niño does not necessarily mean strong El Niño impacts locally.
El Niño, however, is not the only factor that drives global and regional climate patterns and the magnitudes of El Niño indicators do not directly correspond to the magnitudes of their effects. No two El Niño events are alike. PTI GVS SZM