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Business News/ News / World/  El Nino ends, La Nina expected to bring relief: Australia's Met department
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El Nino ends, La Nina expected to bring relief: Australia's Met department

Conditions in the central equatorial Pacific have now returned to neutral conditions, about seven months after El Nino got under way, according to BOM.

The cycle between El Nino and La Nina is significant for farmers not only in India but also worldwide. (Image: Pixabay)Premium
The cycle between El Nino and La Nina is significant for farmers not only in India but also worldwide. (Image: Pixabay)

El Niño, which began in June 2023, resulting in insufficient rainfall in India, and leading to water scarcity in some regions, besides droughts and prolonged dry periods across Asia, has concluded. 

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday that the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has returned to neutral, and the cooler phase, known as La Niña, is expected to return by spring.

The oscillation between El Nino and La Nina is not only important for farmers in India, but globally.

El Niño, Spanish for "little boy," is a climatic pattern marked by elevated sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. This phenomenon typically occurs every 2-7 years, and can last for 9-12 months, influencing global weather patterns.

La Niña, meaning “little girl", is characterised by the cooling of sea surface temperatures in the same regions. It occurs every 3-5 years, and can occasionally happen in consecutive years, leading to increased rainfall and distinct weather patterns.

Conditions in the central equatorial Pacific have now returned to neutral conditions, about seven months after El Nino got under way, BOM said. “International climate models suggest ENSO is likely to continue to remain neutral until at least July 2024." 

Bom's climate models predict La Niña to set in by spring, if not before.

As part of the first phase of the southwest monsoon forecast, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that it anticipates above-average rainfall during the latter half of the June-September monsoon season, with El Niño expected to transition to neutral, and La Niña conditions likely to set in by August-September.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) had earlier said that El Nino had peaked in December, but is expected to cause above-normal temperatures across most land regions until May, resulting in reduced rainfall often leading to drought conditions.

Global sea surface temperatures have been the warmest on record for each month between April 2023 and March 2024," the bureau said. “Month-to-date data for April 2024 indicates this month is tracking warmer than April 2023."

The bureau said the predictions made in mid-autumn “tend to have lower accuracy than predictions made at other times of the year". "This means that current forecasts of the ENSO state beyond July should be used with caution." it added.

Record-breaking heat might also add to uncertainties about how conditions evolve in the Pacific, BOM said. “The global pattern of warmth is affecting the typical historical global pattern of sea surface temperatures associated with ENSO variability."

“As the current global ocean conditions have not been observed before, inferences of how ENSO may develop in 2024, based on past events, may not be reliable," it added.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Puja Das
Puja Das is a New Delhi based reporter, covering food, farm, fertiliser, water, and climate change policies for Mint. Puja reports on food security, farmers' distress and how the agriculture sector is impacting India's rural economy along with policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at COP21 in Paris. Puja holds a post-graduation degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore.
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Published: 16 Apr 2024, 08:19 PM IST
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