Climate Change

Extreme El Niño events may double in 21st century: IPCC

Frequency of El Niño and La Niña events may rise significantly in the future, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

 
Last Updated: Friday 27 September 2019

India’s rainfall pattern is changing and turning more erratic. It can become change drastically if El Nino events become more frequent. Frequency of El Niño and La Niña events may rise significantly in the future, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

El Niño refers to unusual warming of the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean.  It affects the weather around the world. In India, it affects rainfall during the monsoon. 

The warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean reverses wind patterns in various regions of the world which also includes trade winds that carry the monsoon winds towards India. Such events reduce the rainfall India gets.

Between 1880 and 2014, India got less rainfall in 90 per cent of El Niño affected years while 65 per cent of those were drought years. Six of the worst droughts since 1871 were triggered by such events; the latest being in 2009.

Indian Ocean Dipole or Indian Niño could also increase in frequency, found the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

Indian Niño involves alternate heating and cooling of the Indian Ocean’s eastern and western sides.

A positive Indian Niño involves a warmer western Indian Ocean with more rainfall and less showers on the eastern part. If the IPCC is right, tough times await Indian farmers.

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