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The Harm of El Nino

2018-09-03  |   Editor : houguangbing  

Scientists are convinced that El Nino, especially when it is strong, can wreak havoc on the world economy. Peru was one of the countries that were the hardest hit from the incident during 1982 to 1983, according to assessments provided by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Before the incident, Peru supplied 38 percent of the world's fish meal. From 1982 to 1983, Peru's fish catch dropped from the previous 10.3 million tons to 1.8 million tons. The price of soybeans, a substitute for fish meal in the United States, has tripled, which in turn the retail price of chicken leapt. The severe drought in the Philippines has led to a sharp rise in the price of coconuts and thus increased the factory cost of soap and detergents.

In August 1997, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that the El Nino during 1982-1983 resulted in direct global economic losses of $13 billion, with indirect and potential effects that are inestimable.

At the time of El Nino, the fish catch in Peru was severely reduced and affected global feed market; dead fish piled up on the coast, contaminating the surrounding water. Seabirds in coastal areas and on islands fled away out of the lack of food, affecting the production of the guano industry and putting workers out of work.

El Nino not only brings huge disaster to people living along the coast of South America, it also often leads to global catastrophic climatic anomalies, such as the continuous emergence of worldwide floods, snowstorms, droughts, earthquakes, etc. All of these situations are generally called “the El Nino” in the newspaper, while the scientists call the year “year of El Nino” when the seasonal temperature rises fiercely and the average temperature of seawater is 1℃ higher than that as usual in a large area.

In 1982-1983, there was increasing precipitation in the eastern equatorial Pacific where it was usually dry. There were also abnormal heavy rains in western South America in summer; Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay and northeast Argentina got hit by floods. The rainfall in Ecuador is 15 times more than that in normal years. The dam broke, the farmland was flooded and hundreds of thousands of people became homeless.

On the west coast of the United States, the coastal roadway were flooded, and floods and mudslides in Nevada and other four states surged as high as nine meters. In the western Pacific, drought in Australia has led to bush-fires and deaths of many people. A forest fire in east Kalimantan, Indonesia, also hit Malaysia and Singapore. Smoke from the fire disrupted the air travel in Malaysia, forced rationing of water in three states leading to Singapore's the worst heat in 35 years.

According to statistics, the economic loss caused by this event of El Nino in the world is about 20 billion dollars, which extensively affected the entire eastern to central tropical Pacific. Now, the two words, El Nino, has been used by meteorologists and oceanographers to refer to the large-scale anomalous warming in the equatorial and eastern Pacific oceans.

Some experts and scholars’ research shows that El Nino is closely related to the droughts in India, southeast Asia, Indonesia, Australia and other places, the abnormally increasing rainfall on the Pacific islands near the equator, South America's Pacific coast, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and other countries, the diminusion of the tropical storms in the northwestern Pacific and Atlantic, the low temperature in summer in northeast China and Japan, China's precipitation and so on.

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