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.
The number of Roman Catholics in Latin America, a historical stronghold, dropped to 67 percent in 2013, from 80 percent in 1995, a survey by Chile-based pollster Latinobarometro showed
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling on Air Force One that Kiev had responded with "admirable restraint" to destabilizing actions in the country by armed pro-Moscow separatists.
Garcia Marquez, who was hospitalized for nine days in Mexico City for dehydration and a lung and urinary infection, has been receiving treatment at his home
Small groups of demonstrators from Barakat - the name means "Enough" - tried to hold a sit-in in downtown Algiers before uniformed police surrounded them and dragged them off.
NATO said the military alliance had decided on immediate steps to reinforce its forces in eastern Europe because of the Ukraine crisis.
Transnistria's Parliament will apply to Russia for recognition of their independence from Moldova.
So far this year, 2,370 unaccompanied minors have arrived in Italy, the charity claims. Most journey to Italy to be united with relatives already there. When the Italian authorities fail to reunite them with family, the children often risk the journey alone.
Government ministers said that warnings last week by the U.N. mission in Burundi (BNUB) about possible violence were baseless and possibly spread to justify an extension of its mandate
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization is a non-governmental think-tank based in London whose mission is to analyze and promote the understanding of political violence and radicalization.
Pakistan Taliban spokesperson blamed the government for a lack of progress in peace talks.
The island, which just has a population of 30 Spanish soldiers, is one of three Chafarinas Islands that have been under Spanish control since 1847.
Jarba said his Syrian National Coalition sought a political solution, according to a statement from the ministry.
Saudi Arabia’s aviation authorities have warned Pakistan’s national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), that all their flights will be cancelled if outstanding airport usage fees are not paid by April 17.
Ukraine's defence ministry said the troop carriers were now in Slaviansk, guarded by "people in uniforms who have no relation to Ukraine's armed forces."
Talks were put on hold after an Israeli soldier was shot dead in the West Bank.
Mariam Koofi was shot in one of Kabul's upscale districts late on Tuesday after an argument with a member of the security forces, the interior ministry said in a statement. Her injury was not life threatening.