Almost all over the world we experienced heat records in 2015. In many places on our planet we had especially mild months of November and December. Particularly in North- and South America the weather was chaotic, as the phenomenon El Niño influences the climate at the moment.
What is El Niño?
An above-average heating in the equatorial Pacific area creates the so-called El Niño, a climatic phenomenon which lasts between six and 18 months. El Niño’s effects are not only responsible for extreme weather events in America, but influence climate all over the world. The high temperatures at the end of the last year are also a consequence of the current El Niño. At the moment scientists are talking about a “double El Niño” which means that there will be extreme weather conditions during two consecutive years. They warn that in the upcoming months, until early summer 2016, we can expect droughts and heat, but also strong rain and flooding.
El Niño does not mean “catastrophe”
El Niño does not necessarily mean that we have to deal with climatic catastrophes. In some regions, its effects are even positive: For example, rainfalls in the dry west of the USA can be a relief after a long period of drought. In the east of the United States there are often less hurricanes than normally during a year of El Niño. But what happens if this weather phenomenon interacts with the human-made climate change is still uncertain.
El Niño in Costa Rica
In what way are El Niño’s effects perceptible in Costa Rica? Particularly in the province of Guanacaste, which anyhow is the country’s driest region, there was almost no rain during the last wet season. Of course this has negative effects on the area’s agriculture, the land being dried up. Another fact is that the temperatures are higher than normally, which we can regard as an effect of El Niño, as well.
We have to be prepared for everything
The fact is, that 2015 was the hottest year since the beginning of climate recording. What we also know for sure is that this year’s El Niño is particularly strong and could become the strongest since 50 years. 2016 will continue with above-average temperatures, according to weather forecasts. So we should be prepared for more extreme climatic events.
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