Friday, July 19, 2024

From China to Mexico, El Nino threat begins to loom

China on Tuesday ramped up its flood control and disaster relief efforts to safeguard people’s lives and properties amid the growing El Nino threat.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief headquarters scaled up its level-IV emergency response to flooding to include eight provincial-level regions.

“While some regions are getting ready for flood control, provinces in northern China that have been gripped by the sweltering weather are finding ways to beat the heat,” reported CGTN, a state-run foreign-language news channel.

The emergence of the El Nino event marks the return of the traditional way of “wet in the south and dry in the north” in China, according to Zhou Bing, chief expert on climate services at the China Meteorological Administration.

“It is expected that this summer, except for central and northern Heilongjiang where the temperature is 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius lower than that of the same period of the past years, the temperature in most parts of the country is 0.5 degree Celsius higher,” Zhou added.

Zhou explained that an excess of 0.5 degree Celsius is quite a phenomenon.

The American Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that El Nino arrived as the atmospheric response to the warmer-than-average tropical Pacific sea surface kicked in over the past month.

Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Mexico had announced that the spate of bird deaths along the country’s Pacific coast is linked to the warming ocean waters caused by El Nino, and not avian flu.

Many seabirds have died recently in this region, with more than 90 per cent of the affected birds being grey-backed shearwaters, according to Mexican authorities.

This phenomenon has also been reported from Peru, Chile and other latitudes of the world when an El Nino occurs.

El Nino events usually occur every two to seven years and are characterised by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures around the equator in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, Space.com reported.

The last El Nino event occurred between February and August 2019, but its impacts were relatively weak.

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