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The 3 reasons why NASA believes that El Niño will be as “powerful” as the worst in history

The 3 reasons why NASA believes that El Niño will be as “powerful” as the worst in history


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Indicators related to the high temperatures of the oceanic surface, the very high temperatures registered in the northern hemisphere and also that this year "El Niño shows no signs of retreating", according to satellite images available to NASA.

For all this, the US space agency considers this 2015-2016 comparable to what many called the "monstrous phenomenon" of 18 years ago.

"There is no doubt, they are very similar. The phenomena of 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 were the ones with the greatest impact in the previous century and in many ways it seems that now we are seeing a repetition," NASA expert William explained to BBC Mundo. Patzert.

The researcher, a specialist in the analysis of climatic phenomena related to ocean and air circulation, added that this time "it is almost a fact that the impacts will be enormous."

1. Grown oceans

Heights much higher than the usual ones at the level of the Pacific Ocean are an indicator that there is a thick layer of warm water.

In both maps, generated by satellite, the "classical pattern" of the phenomenon is seen when it is almost or fully developed.

NASA called the similarity in the height anomalies recorded in December 1997 and 2015 "surprising".


On the left are the anomalies in the height of the oceanic surface recorded by the TOPEX / Poseidon satellite in 1997, while on the right you can see the record made by its successor, Jason-2, a few days ago. NASA called the resemblance "striking."

What you can see on the charts are the unusually high levels in the Pacific Ocean at the equator.

The warm and warm water that has accumulated in the area is what attracts the dark clouds and storms that have already begun to occur in part of Latin America, mainly in countries below the Ecuador line.

Another consequence of this is the low level of rainfall in Southeast Asia, which contributed to the multiplication of large fires that have covered the region with smoke for a few weeks.

The heat in the Pacific region in 1997 was one of the climatic phenomena that generated floods seen few times before in countries such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina and Brazil in that year and the next.

The similarities in ocean temperature in both periods also have remarkable similarities.


The accumulation of heat in the seas attracts clouds and multiplies storms, as happened in Latin America in 1997 and is happening today.

2. Does not decrease

El Niño is a natural phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years when the warm waters of the central region of the Pacific Ocean expand eastward, approaching the coasts of America.

It normally reaches its peak at the end of the year, but its effects are felt throughout the spring of the Northern Hemisphere and can last up to the next 12 months.

However, as NASA notes, this year's phenomenon is showing no signs of dissipating.

That is "the signature of a great and powerful El Niño," explains NASA.

3. High temperatures

Patzert explained to BBC Mundo that the global warming that the planet is currently experiencing is a new factor that influences the effects and nature of the El Niño phenomenon.

"The planet is hotter now, that is an important fact. A hotter planet generates more dangerous consequences, more extreme events," said the NASA analyst.

Numerous studies have indicated that climate change can exacerbate extreme temperatures in periods such as the El Niño or La Niña phenomenon.


Patzert said that the effects of the El Niño phenomenon will be felt in the United States between January and March.

This year the temperatures are much higher than usual in the northern hemisphere.

On Christmas Day, in France, a historical record was recorded only below that of 1997.

And even at the North Pole, where this December 30 it is estimated that the temperature has been above 0 degrees Celsius, when the normal is -25 ºC.

In contrast, in Mexico, El Niño seems to be responsible for some unusual storms that have covered the north of the country with snow. There is snow in parts of Sonora for the first time in 33 years.

In South and Central America, the researcher points out, the effects have already been seen with the great floods of recent weeks and will last at least three more months.

It's not all bad news, emphasizes Patzert.

The scientist pointed out that despite the forecasts, there is greater infrastructure and scientific advances to make better and better forecasts before the arrival of the climatic phenomenon.

However, the consequences of El Niño will most likely continue for most of next year in the form of floods, epidemics or prolonged drought. Mainly in South America.

In one of its publications on the matter, NASA came to a compelling conclusion: "No matter where you live, you will feel the effects of the El Niño phenomenon."

BBC


Video: Are we headed for a Grand Solar Minimum? (June 2022).


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