World Bulletin / News Desk
Japan's official weather bureau said on Friday its climate monitoring data and models indicate the El Nino phenomenon has emerged and is likely to last until the northernwinter, potentially adding strain to global food supplies.
Global food production can suffer widespread disruption from the weather caused by El Nino, particularly across Asia and Africa where harvests can be robbed of rain.
"(Monitoring data for July) suggests that the El Nino phenomenon has emerged," the Japan Meteorological Agency agency said, referring to the latest conditions in the equatorial Pacific.
"The chances are high that the El Nino phenomenon will be maintained until the winter," the agencysaid in a statement on its website.
The U.S. Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), warned on Thursday that an El Nino was almost certain to occur over the next two months.
The last severe El Nino was in 1998, when the phenomenon caused more than 2,000 deaths and inflicted billions of dollars in damage to crops, infrastructure and mines in Australia and other parts ofAsia.
The Japanese agency had said last month the chances were high that El Nino conditions would emerge in the northern summer. Japan's summer usually ends in August and winter starts
El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific that occurs every four to 12 years, affecting crops from Asia to the Americas as well as industries, including hurricane-vulnerable oil refineries in the U.S. Gulf.
INDIAN WORRY ABOUT DROUGHT
While the arrival of an El Nino raises the chances of favourable planting conditions in South America, it can roil farmers in Asia and Africa where it can bring extended dry periods.
Its effects will be closely watched in India, where the slow development of monsoon rains has already hampered the planting of summer crops, such as rice, oilseeds and cotton, and weather forecasters have already warned of the first drought in three years.
Three years ago, an El Nino slowed development of the monsoon rains, sparking a rally in sugar pricesto 30-year highs as India, the world's second biggest producer, harvested a poor cane crop.
Keenly watched by the U.S. oil industry, the phenomenon may reduce the chances of storms forming in the Atlantic basin towards the end of the hurricane season that runs to Nov. 30.
El Nino, which means "little boy" in Spanish, was first noticed by anchovy fishermen in Latin America in the 19th century.
According to local media, the abductors are believed to be members of an al-Qaeda-linked group based in Sulu province – a known threshold of the Abu Sayyaf.
Police said all teachers and children at the high school for boys were safe after the gunmen killed the guard in the central town of Dera Ghazi Khan,
South Korea’s government called on North Korea on Monday to release four of its nationals including a college student who was allegedly detained last month.
Eleven people were killed and 34 injured after high-voltage wires fell on passenger bus in southern Pakistan.
Abdul Basit Usman reported to have died in 20-minute firefight with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members.
Sunday's attack, by gunmen from different gangs, targeted a police checkpoint in Obaro, inside Punjab
Newspaper reports Sunday said that up to 1,000 people - mostly Muslim Arakan - were at one time held in the camp discovered at a hilltop site near Thailand’s border with Malaysia on Friday.
More than 7,000 people have been killed in Nepal, India and Tibet as emergency services continue rescue operations.
21-year-old South Korean student arrested April 22 while crossing river into North Korea.
Xi, as head of China's ruling Communist Party, will host Taiwan's Chu in the first meeting of its kind since defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Pakistani army has launched airstrikes in restive Khyber Agency tribal region.
The ten were investigated by military and public security departments for spreading rumours on China's Internet forums and mobile messaging apps, the Ministry of National Defence said in a notice on its website.
The UN has said that Nepalese customs need to loosen the tax restrictions so that relief material for survivors can reach them quicker.
Sheikh Imran Abdulla detained and accused of attempting to overthrow regime amid clashes with police, as thousands march on capital
The South Korean was arrested as he was trying enter North Korea from the Chinese said of the Yalu river
HRW says instead of just putting Muslim Rohingya in border camps, country's ruling junta should provide them with safety, protection.