Fore­cast­ers Fear El Nino This Year

El Nino not good for mon­soon; fore­cast­ers, how­ever, said a clear picture would emerge only af­ter a few months

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Our Bureau

New Delhi: The rain-boost­ing La Nina phe­nom­e­non is com­pletely ruled out this year and con­di­tions are likely to re­main neu­tral or turn to­ward the feared El Nino, which is not good for the mon­soon, but fore­cast­ers said a clear picture would ap­pear only af­ter a few months.

Changes in tem­per­a­ture in the equa­to­rial Pa­cific Ocean, which sci­en­tists call El Nino South­ern Os­cil­la­tion, are a key in­flu­ence on the mon­soon. Warmer tem­per­a­ture cre­ate the El Nino phe­nom­e­non that can dis­rupt the mon­soon, while cooler wa­ter in the re­gion in­creases rain­fall in South Asia. “The El Niño — South­ern Os­cil­la­tion (ENSO) re­mains neu­tral, with vir­tu­ally all in­di­ca­tors close to their av­er­age val­ues. In re­cent weeks, the cen­tral and east­ern trop­i­cal Pa­cific Ocean has shown sur­face warm­ing, and cli­mate mod­els sug­gest this warm­ing is likely to con­tinue…,” the Aus­tralian weather of­fice said in its weekly as­sess­ment of the phe­nom­e­non. How­ever, it said at this time of the year, var­i­ous cli­mate mod­els vary sig­nif­i­cantly, be­cause of which the re­cent trend in warm­ing of the cen­tral Pa­cific had to be con­sid­ered with cau­tion. “Hence, ei­ther neu­tral or El Niño are con­sid­ered the most likely…,” it said. In­dian me­te­o­rol­o­gists agreed that it was pre­ma­ture to fore­cast El Nino strik­ing this sum­mer. The weather of­fice con­sid­ers var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters in mak­ing its mon­soon fore­cast, which in re-

Warmer tem­per­a­ture cre­ate the El Nino that can dis­rupt the mon­soon, while cooler wa­ter in the re­gion in­creases rain­fall in South Asia

cent years has been much more ac­cu­rate than pre­dic­tions by pri­vate me­te­o­rol­o­gists.

In­dia re­ceived close to nor­mal mon­soon rain­fall in 2016 af­ter two con­sec­u­tive years of drought, which rav­aged the ru­ral econo- my and ag­gra­vated farmer dis­tress. The dreaded El Nino phe­nom­e­non was a fac­tor in er­ratic rain­fall. Me­te­o­rol­o­gists say El Nino has of­ten dis­rupted mon­soon rain­fall but there have been years when In­dia has re­ceived good rain­fall even in an El Nino year.

The mon­soon is cru­cial for In­dian agri­cul­ture, which di­rectly or in­di­rectly pro­vides liveli­hood to the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the coun­try and boosts ru­ral de­mand for var­i­ous goods and ser­vices.

In­dia re­ceived close to nor­mal mon­soon rain­fall in 2016 af­ter two con­sec­u­tive years of drought ET AR­CHIVE

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