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.
Canada sees China as an important trading partner and in early 2012 Harper went to Beijing to pitch the idea of Canada as a potential oil supplier.
Timmermans gained international prominence with the emotional speech he gave at the United Nations following the July 17 shooting down over eastern Ukraine of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
An appeals court in Washington is scheduled to take up that case on Nov. 4, raising the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually be asked to resolve the issue.
The soldiers were part of a contingent from Chad, said a U.N. official who asked not to be named.
Venezuela's Socialist Party member has rolled out a variation of the classic Christian "Lord's Prayer" to implore Chavez for protection from the evils of capitalism
An internet video posted online Tuesday purported to show the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff, which called it retribution for continued US airstrikes in Iraq.
The volatile situation in Tripoli has been exacerbated by separate clashes in the eastern port city of Benghazi
"We are deeply concerned about the declaration of a large area as 'state land' to be used for expanded settlement building," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said
Judges decide images of Saudi national Mohammed al-Qahtani, who is held in Guantánamo Bay and was subjected to ‘special interrogation’, threaten national security
The annual exercise, to take place in the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine's border with Poland, was initially scheduled for July, but was put back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis
National Elections Authority chief Dieudonné Kombo Yaya said that it was likely that elections would take place at the end of next year, after the July to September rainy season.
The MPS plans to move its head office to a smaller former police station which has been empty for the last three years.
More than 120 healthworkers have died during the Ebola outbreak amid shortages of equipment and trained staff in the region
Abdiqadir Mohamed Sidii, governor of Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia, said he believed Godane and other senior al Shabaab members had been killed.
Although fighters have been prevented from taking central Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad's forces are worried they will reach it by digging tunnels from the sprawling suburbs and outlying towns under their control.
The UNHCR said the total includes 814,000 Ukrainians now in Russia with various forms of status, as well as compatriots who have fled to Belarus, Moldova, the three Baltic states and European Union.