After a harsh polar vortex winter on the East Coast, the world is in for more record-breaking temperatures. The worst El Nino yet is predicted to hit this year and it threatens to bring drastic climate change and record-breaking temperatures that will affect billions of people. El Nino is created when the waters of the Pacific Ocean close to the equator warm significantly for three or more months. They only warm by half a degree Celsius but considering the sheer size of the Pacific, this will be significant.
Time magazine writer Bryan Walsh is quoted in a CBS article saying that this could cause billions of dollars in damage due to significant climate adjustments including drought, rain and warming. According to Walsh, El Nino is a separate phenomenon from climate change but there could be many more in the future.
According to Slate, an online magazine, the planet could witness one of the worst El Nino’s yet recorded if the warming temperatures of the ocean reach the surface. The writer in the magazine makes some educated guesses on the type of weather that will occur in various cities around the US. Among the most interesting are a warm and wet winter along the coast of Alaska, possible drought in Oregon again and the fact that tropical game fish such as marlin could be spotted well north of their usual habitats in San Fransisco.
Many cities such as Chicago that experienced the polar vortex would see a much more milder winter next year. El Nino doubles the chances for winter tornadoes across Florida. For the East Coast, weak El Niños usually bring more snow during the winter. However, the strength of this El Niño may in fact prevent the snow from coming. Heavy rain could bring a muddy World Cup in Brazil, which is set to host the world in June of this year.
The Arctic will see a cooling trend but it won’t be enough to offset the warming trend in the area. El Niño will warm the southern antarctic region due to warmer winds from December through February (the summer months). This has been linked to a loss of ice from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula.
According to The StarPheonix, Tracey Allen, a commodities analyst at Rabobank International in London, said by telephone that El Nino influences the production of palm oil, raw sugar and cocoa. This would boost risks to soft-commodity prices, forecasts Goldman Sachs.
David Dawe, a Bangkok-based senior economist at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, commenting on the probable impact on the rice market says that market is in a good position to withstand any effect from El Nino.
It appears, on the whole, that the worst El Nino yet could wreak havoc with farmers and some parts of the world affected by tornadoes and drought. It’s best to be prepared for record-breaking temperatures and the possibility of rising food prices but that on the whole, the world will withstand this turmoil. It follows that the world is in for more shockingly different temperature models and should be prepared for another year of weird weather.
Opinion by: Nicole Drawc