Asunción, Agencia IP.- El Niño, the global meteorological phenomenon, will be present until April 2024. It could have drastic effects, from heat waves, high humidity content, and even stronger storms than usual.
The Director of Meteorology and Hydrology, Eduardo José Mingo Vega, explained during an interview with Agencia IP that the phenomenon is related to a condition on the other side of the mountain range, the surface temperature of the Tropical Pacific. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is its scientific and technical name. The El Niño phenomenon also has La Niña phase and a Neutral Phase.
In this context, meteorological services are tracking the phenomenon since they have the availability of ships, aircraft, drifting buoys, and anchored buoys monitoring this indicator. These meteorological services indicate the current process.
“In the current process, we are talking about the presence of El Niño, which will be present until April 2024. Its effects, when they coincide, as now, with spring and summer, cause the heat and also the availability of humidity to intensify. Intense storms occur, and rainfall may exceed normal levels. This generates short-term flash floods and seasonal floods with the river rising systematically,” he explained.
The impact is global
In general terms, he mentioned that these would be the effects of this side of the mountain range. Still, it is essential to remember that the impact is global. However, there are areas where they manifest themselves differently.
He specified that the short, medium, and long-term effects imply a substantial variability between hot and stormy days. “In the medium term, seasons start or end differently, and the floods can be amplified in the long term. And with this, everything that comes after the floods: effects on the productive sphere, food and health security,” he said.
Given this situation, he highlighted the importance of meteorological alerts to take preventive measures.
“For example, seeing what types of crops will be most resilient, avoiding risk exposure to the most vulnerable areas, and taking measures regarding the probability that they may be affected by extreme events. There are also structural measures that are not short-term. For example, you cannot avoid a tornado but have a structure to shelter or protect yourself. The material is recovered, but life is not. There are short, medium, and long-term issues within the forecasts,” he explained.
Warnings are the key
Mingo Vega pointed out that the effects of these climatic phenomena can extend to the health field since, with more humidity and heat, there will likely be more sources of larval infestation and, consequently, an increase in diseases caused by vectors, such as dengue.
In the prevention field, many areas need to correspond to the meteorological service to raise. He expressed that their mission is to warn and predict what is coming and the probable impact of the phenomenon that will modify the structure in which the human being is immersed.
He also explained that the effects on the Paraguayan territory occur in high temperatures and rains, as has already happened. It usually starts in the Eastern Region, and then, in summer, it can spread to the Alto Chaco and beyond the borders to the north.
On this point, he did not rule out the possibility of a flood of the Paraguay River at the end of the summer of 2024. In the coming months of April and May 2024, in the seasonal period, it could rain a lot in the Pantanal and the basin area of the Paraguay River, he claimed.
On the other hand, in areas with extreme temperatures, they will occur with increasing frequency. The Western Region is where El Niño breaks the most records regarding maximum heat temperatures.
This El Niño is no exception. We already had examples and continue to have them from daily records. Temperatures are very high compared to previous years. The difference used to be two or three degrees at other times, relative to what happened on a specific day in all of history, recently, he said.
There is a danger of setting historical records throughout the database. We have very high temperatures and intense rain moving from the South-East of the eastern region to the Northern Chaco. On the area of Alto Paraguay has not yet manifested in November because the significant rainfall deficit continues in the Chaco with the persistent drought. But the rains will occur later, he said.
Something important to emphasize is that there are always currents that do not believe in climate change, and others admit that human beings are generating changes. It is crucial to understand that the atmosphere reacts to internal and external processes, and there are cyclical processes, the atmosphere evolving and giving a response to said changes, he said.
He alleged that what is happening now is that the quality of life for human beings is modifying ecosystems and their initial conditions, and this has effects on the human being himself. There is global warming, a climate crisis, and a greenhouse effect that we accelerate or add more volume to what nature can create. So, we are part of this to a greater or lesser extent.
It is essential to understand that the human being himself is causing his quality of life to feel affected by what we should call a substantial climate variability that generates a climate crisis. In the last 20 or 30 years, the frequency of extreme events is more significant, and very extreme events occur in a shorter period. The specialist finally indicated that this was impacting our quality of life.
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