Is El Niño here?… It threatens to become more powerful and cause heavy rains, fires and floods in México

Friday 26 May, 2023
3 mins read
NASA shared the first images that show that El Niño, a phenomenon that on this occasion would arrive with great power; it is already formed

In a recent image, NASA shows the first signs of the El Niño phenomenon , which is haunting the planet again after having wreaked havoc in 2016 , causing serious fires and floods. Scientists predict that this time, its arrival will be more powerful than in previous years.

NASA recently alerted that data from the European American satellite, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich , showed signs of a greater presence of Kelvin waves.

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This last factor is considered a signal that affects the appearance of this phenomenon, so its detection has become one of the essential factors for prognosis and prevention.

Climate scientists have been warning for months about the formation of an El Niño phenomenon during the boreal summer, given the current conditions in the Pacific Ocean .

To predict the El Niño phenomenon , scientists measure various factors, such as the speed of the trade winds and the temperatures of the ocean waters, both on the surface and in the depths.

Between ‘El Niño’ and climate change, global temperatures will rise “to unknown limits” over the next five years, the World Meteorological Organization has warned.

What happens to Mexico with ‘El Niño’?

‘El Niño’ is, simply put, the surface warming of the Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Peru and Ecuador. Since it is a phenomenon first observed close to the Christmas period, it was given its name in reference to El Niño Jesús. It sounds like a joke, but it is not so that the phenomenon ended up being referred to in this way by the scientific community at a global level.

As more research has been done on ‘El Niño’, it has been observed that warming extends to the Central Pacific and, given its magnitude, influences global temperature. ‘El Niño’ officially begins when a temperature rise of 0.5 °C above the average for the period between 1971 and 2000 is detected.

When there is an ‘El Niño’, the winds cause the warm water of the western Pacific to travel along the equator. With more warm water east of the Pacific, the atmosphere becomes unstable, leading to moisture rise, cloud formation, and ultimately rain. That is the explanation for the fact that during ‘El Niño’ there is more rain in the central and eastern Pacific, which also encourages the appearance of more hurricanes for the west coast of Mexico, including Chiapas and Guerrero.

In ‘La Niña’ conditions, warm water moves to the western Pacific and promotes rains in regions close to Indonesia, as seen in the following Conagua diagram:

Given the effects at a general level, the impacts at a local level vary greatly depending on what time of year ‘El Niño’ occurs . Let’s talk about Mexico. If ‘El Niño’ appears in spring, there is usually more rain in the western and northern part of the territory and most of the country would have normal conditions. However, if it appears in summer, there would be humid conditions in the northeast, center and south, with the Yucatan peninsula being abnormally dry.

If ‘El Niño’ occurs in autumn there would be humid conditions for the northwest, very humid conditions for Yucatán and dry conditions for Veracruz. Finally, if ‘El Niño’ occurs in December, there is a probability of drought for the Baja California Peninsula, Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit as well as for the Bajío and certain regions of Chihuahua, Coahuila and central Veracruz.

Those descriptions apply to ‘El Niño’ in its moderate version, but a strong ‘El Niño’ phenomenon , that is, a severe cooling of the equatorial Pacific, would result in much more severe conditions. In the worst case, if the conditions were present in summer or autumn, there would most likely be intense drought in the northwest, west, center, east and south of the country.

The real problem of ‘El Niño’

With such disparate effects, it’s easy to lose track of ‘El Niño’ and its effects only in Mexico. Of course, the range of impacts is just a sample of the importance of keeping track of the warming or cooling of the Pacific. The main concern of the World Meteorological Organization is that after three consecutive years of ‘La Niña’, a severe stage of ‘El Niño’ will continue and this will contribute to a rise in temperatures globally.

The threat is serious: if ‘El Niño’ arrives strongly, it will not only increase the probability of drought in Mexico by 2023 or 2024, but also that one of the next five years will be the warmest ever recorded in the history of the planet.

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Source: from NOTICIAS DE HOY on 2023-05-25 08:36:04

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