Categories: World

Extreme El Niño still expected, even if global warming halts

An international research group has found that the number of extreme El Niño events will increase, even if global warming…

Dr Guojian Wang, from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and lead author on the research, said: “Currently, the risk of extreme El Niño events is around five events per 100 years.”

But the researchers have found that even if signees to the Paris Agreement, manage to hold: “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and … limit the temperature increase to 1,5°C above pre-industrial levels”, the frequency of extreme El Niño events will still increase because of a continuation of faster warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific.

According to the researchers’ simulations, the increase could double “to approximately 10 events per 100 years by 2050”, Wang said, adding, “After this, as faster warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific persists, the risk of extreme
El Niño continues upwards to about 14 events per 100 years by 2150.”

Wang said the research result was unexpected and “shows that future generations will experience greater climate risks associated with extreme El Niño events than seen at 1,5°C warming”.

Extreme El Niño events occur when the usual El Niño Pacific rainfall centre is pushed east toward South America, sometimes up to 16 000 km, causing massive changes in the climate. The further east the centre moves, the more extreme the event.

“This pulls rainfall away from Australia, bringing conditions that have commonly resulted in intense droughts across the nation,” Dr Wenju Cai, co-author, and director of the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research, explained.

“Other countries like India, Ecuador, and China experience extreme events with serious socio-economic consequences.

“The most severe previous extreme El Niño events occurred in 1982/83, 1997/98 and 2015/16, years associated with worldwide climate extremes.”

The study was conducted at the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research, in collaboration with CSIRO, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology in China, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Tasmania, and published in Nature Climate Change.

Recent Posts

First marijuana farming contracts awarded in Germany

Contracts for the cultivation of marijuana in Germany has been awarded to two Canadian companies.

12 hours ago

Small-scale cotton farming can create prosperity

The remote community of Khombaso in Mpumalanga has placed all its hope in developing a cotton industry to lift the…

15 hours ago

Zimbabwe to compensate white commercial farmers

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to compensate white commercial farmers who lost their land as part of former president Robert Mugabe’s…

17 hours ago

Financial planning: crucial to sustainable production

To weather the impact of market fluctuations and extreme climatic conditions, producers have to think strategically about farming. Pieter de…

1 day ago

‘Poultry imports are critical to keep prices in check’

The South African National Consumer Union (SANCU) and the Emerging Black Importers and Exporters South Africa (EBieSA) are contesting the…

2 days ago

EU milk volumes edging up following a slump in 2018

Unpredictable weather conditions and uncertainty surrounding Brexit have resulted in most of the main milk producing countries in the EU…

2 days ago

This website uses cookies.