El Nino in India: What Do The Forecasts Suggest?

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Climate Crisis, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » El Nino in India: What Do The Forecasts Suggest?

India has to get ready for the anticipated return of El Nino this year, which is predicted to disrupt the pattern of rainfall, make the summer warmer, and weaker the monsoon. According to the Indian Metrological Department (IMD), there is a 45 to 50% possibility that an El Nino in India would develop between July and September, when the Indian Monsoon is typically weaker.

El Nino was predicted to develop in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, raising fears of drought and a weak monsoon season in India.

What is El Nino?

El Nino is the Spanish word for “little boy”. South American fishermen initially noted the warm ocean currents that appeared every few years in the 1800s. This warm water would come around Christmas time in December, so the name El-Nino refers to Jesus Christ. It is a meteorological phenomenon that causes the Pacific Ocean to warm unusually, and it has been shown to have a detrimental impact on India’s monsoon season.

El Nino is the warm phase of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation phenomenon (ENSO) where, El-Nino denotes the oceanic phenomenon component, whereas Southern Oscillation denotes its atmospheric component.

Why is El Nino Problematic?

The Paris agreement of the 1.5°C barrier is expected to be breached this year, with the earth’s temperature rising predominantly during the peak of El Nino in 2024. However, meteorologists have stated that it is too early to comment on the implication of El- Nino.   Yet, El Nino in India has been responsible for about more than half of the country’s droughts. The lesser monsoon rains will be terrible for India’s economy.

Monsoon rain is essential to Indian agriculture. This is critical for agricultural production, which accounts for 18% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Moreover, poor rainfall and a corresponding drop in agricultural revenue will also have a negative impact on rural areas. Hence, the per capita income and quality of life will also be affected.

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The shift from La Nina to ENSO-neutral is quite likely during the February-April 2023 season, with ENSO-neutral extending through early summer 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a prospect of a move to El Nino this summer. Source 

What Can Be Done?

The recurrence of El-Nino is unavoidable, but we may take certain precautions to mitigate its impact in the event of a severe condition. For instance, keeping an eye on the sea surface temperature, maintaining enough buffer stocks of food grains and providing farmer support, and encouraging alternative agricultural methods can be valuable solutions.

 

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