It’s official: El Niño has started. Here’s what that means for B.C.
El Niño conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific for the first time in seven years, according to the World Meteorological Organization, leading to a possible surge in global temperatures.
The WMO made the declaration Tuesday, several months after saying there was a high chance of the phenomenon developing this year.
The organization expects the event to be at least of moderate strength, but even a moderate El Niño could increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and triggering more extreme heat in many parts of the world and in the ocean, according to WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas.
“The declaration of an El Niño by WMO is the signal to governments around the world to mobilize preparations to limit the impacts on our health, our ecosystems and our economies,” he said in a statement. “Early warnings and anticipatory action of extreme weather events associated with this major climate phenomenon are vital to save lives and livelihoods.”