GENEVA: Heatwaves, droughts and flooding are likely to be on the rise with the return of the feared weather phenomenon known as El Niño, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on Tuesday.
The organisation said that El Niño conditions are prevailing in the tropical Pacific for the first time in several years, amid concerns climate change could be exacerbated due to its additional warming effects, reported German news agency (dpa).
The WMO predicts with a 90 per cent probability that the phenomenon will dominate the second half of the year, but the extent of its impact cannot yet be determined.
The weather phenomenon – which occurs naturally every few years – is characterised by the warming of the upper layers of water in the tropical eastern Pacific.
According to the WMO, the monthly average temperature in that region increased from 0.44 degrees below the long-term average in February to 0.9 degrees above the average by mid-June.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) already warned about an El Niño in June. The WMO incorporates the expertise of multiple climate agencies into their forecasts.-Bernama