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.
India has blamed Pakistan for a military unit attack with Pakistan denying charges and warning that it will use nuclear arsenal if necessary
Rescue teams search for 2 miners who remain missing after gas explosion authorities blame on ‘illegal mining’
Blast at mine in northwest Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region believed to have been caused by gas
Around 600 petitioners gather to file complaints against steel manufacturer blamed for this year’s massive fish kill
More than 1.3 homes experience power outages after Typhoon Megi makes landfall
The petition calls for the kingdom's women to be treated "as a full citizen, and decide an age where she will be an adult and will be responsible for her own acts," said campaigner Aziza Al-Yousef.
Tensions between the longtime rivals have spiked over a recent attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir that New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
South Korea welcomes US blacklisting Chinese business for backing North's ‘development of weapons of mass destruction’
Says will open Philippines to trade, commerce with China, Russia while heading toward ‘point of no return’ in ties with US
A Chinese court handed down a three-year suspended jail sentence for a prominent labour activist while two other defendants were given 18-month suspended sentences, a lawyer and rights group said.
Officers raid hospital where Baek Nam-gi was pronounced dead months after being hit by police water cannon during protest
Remark comes after Japan scrambled fighter jets after Chinese aircraft flew over Miyako Strait on way to drills in Pacific
China investigating bank for continuing to operate in defiance of sanctions aimed at blocking Pyongyang's nuclear funds
More than 40 Chinese bombers and other fighter planes flew through a strait between Japanese islands on their way to military drills in the western Pacific
Lifting of sanctions expected to greatly benefit country across the board, including many former junta cronies