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El Nino peak has passed but impact continues

El Nino peak has passed but impact continues


The mighty El Nino weather phenomenon associated with drought and flooding has passed its peak, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

In the coming months, the extreme weather patterns caused by El Nino are expected to subside but humanitarian impacts will continue.

“We have just witnessed one of the most powerful ever El Nino events which caused extreme weather in countries on all continents and helped fuel record global heat in 2015…In meteorological terms, this El Niño is now in decline. But we cannot lower our guard as it is still quite strong and in humanitarian and economic terms, its impacts will continue for many months to come,” said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas.

Taalas noted that parts of East Africa are still recovering from torrential rains and flooding while southern and the Horn of Africa are still reeling from the effects of drought. The phenomenon is set to have a devastating impact on harvests and food security.

Nevertheless, the WMO maintains that the world was better braced for the 2015-2016 El Nino than ever before.

Taalas said, ‘‘Scientific research conducted during this event will enhance our understanding of El Nino and the inter-linkages between this naturally occurring climate phenomenon and human-induced climate change…Lessons learnt from this El Nino will be used to further build our resilience to weather related hazards, which will increase as a result of climate change.”

El Nino, a climate phenomenon, occurs every 4 or 5 years caused by abnormally warm currents in the western tropical Pacific Ocean.