Amid an unseasonal heat wave, Australia has officially declared an El Nino weather event. With 60 per cent of the world’s population affected by weather events, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) announced today that Australia would be particularly vulnerable.
“In all likelihood, expect this summer to be warmer than average and certainly warmer than the last three years,” BoM expert Carl Braganza said. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) had already announced in July that “El Nino” conditions were prevailing in the tropical Pacific for the first time in many years.
This could further increase global temperatures and alter regional weather and climate patterns. Governments have been called upon to take precautionary measures to save lives during extreme weather events. The last strong “El Nino” occurred in 2015/2016.
The fire danger has been upgraded to “catastrophic”.
Several states, particularly in the east and south of Australia, have been hit by high temperatures for several days. At some places these were ten to 16 degrees higher than the average values for September.
Australian media reported, citing officials, that the fire risk on the New South Wales south coast has been upgraded to “catastrophic” due to strong winds. 20 schools were closed as a precaution.
Seawater warms quickly
Animal protection organization IFAW spoke of a “potentially disastrous summer” and recalled the dramatic effects of the 2019/2020 bushfires. During that time, twelve million hectares of land were destroyed and countless animals were killed. Officials are warning of a new violent wildfire season.
“El Niño” is a weather phenomenon that occurs naturally every few years and is associated with warming ocean waters in the tropical Pacific and weak trade winds. This phenomenon may increase the effects of climate change. Its effects are primarily in Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and Central America.
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