The UN foresees an episode of La Niña of unprecedented duration for this century

The UN foresees an episode of La Niña of unprecedented duration for this century

The UN foresees an episode of La Niña of unprecedented duration for this century

The current episode of the La Niña climate phenomenon, responsible in particular for the worsening drought in the Horn of Africa, should have an unprecedented duration for this century and persist at least until the end of the year, the UN said on Wednesday August. 31.

This would be the first episode of La Niña in this century to cover three consecutive winters in the Northern Hemisphere (or three consecutive summers in the Southern Hemisphere), according to the new Info-Niño / Niña bulletin published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). , a United Nations agency.

An episode of La Niña that spans three consecutive years is truly exceptional“, Underlines in the bulletin the general secretary of the WMO, the Finnish Petteri Taalas. If this were to be confirmed, it would be only the third time since 1950 that this phenomenon has been observed for three consecutive winters, according to the WMO.

According to the bulletin, the current episode of La Niña, which began in September 2020, is expected to continue for the next six months: the probability of this forecast rises to 70% for the months from September to November, and then gradually decreases to 55% for the period from December to February 2023. The La Niña phenomenon – the cold equivalent of El Niño – causes a cooling of part of the surface waters of the Pacific, influencing the precipitation cycle and the climate of some regions of the globe.

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According to the WMO, the current episode has intensified by strengthening trade winds between mid-July and mid-August 2022, altering both temperature and rainfall patterns and exacerbating droughts and floods in different parts of the world. “The intensification of drought in the Horn of Africa and southern South America bears the hallmark of La Niña, as does above-average rainfall in Southeast Asia and Australasia“Says Petteri Taalas.

The latest information from the Bulletin unfortunately confirms regional climate projections according to which the devastating drought currently affecting the Horn of Africa will worsen and affect millions of people.“, He adds.

The Horn of Africa, where the risk of famine due to drought is growing, is preparing for a fifth consecutive failed rainy season. The El Niño and La Niña phenomena are determinants of the planet’s climate system, but they are not the only ones. The cooling caused by the La Niña phenomenonslows the rise in global temperatures temporarily, but will not stop or reverse the long-term warming trend“Warns Petteri Taalas.

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