And now for something completely different.
The El Niño weather phenomenon will be the strongest in fifteen years*, says the World Meteorological Organization (an agency of the UN). Increases in ocean temperatures are larger and more rapid than previously recorded– the Pacific Ocean is 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Effects of El Niño include severe droughts and flooding, seen not only in California but in Southeast Asia as well, where, in Indonesia, wildfires outbreaks have been devastating the country. Droughts have also been worrying Central America and eastern and southern Africa, where millions are at risk for starvation. Additionally, El Niño will bring heavy rainfall for California, southeastern America, and northwestern Africa.
The good news, however, (and we all know we need some) is that previous strong El Niños have prepared the world for weather-induced catastrophes. Jarraud adds that "We are better prepared for this event than we have ever been in the past... The level of international, national and local mobilization is truly unprecedented, exemplifying the value of actionable climate information to the society."
-Do you think the strength of El Niño will change the course of climate change debates? Why or why not?
-Since this is a global phenomenon that affects the United States, do you believe we have a responsibility to give aid to those more severely affected in other countries?