What is El Nino and La Nino, due to which there is severe heat in India

What is El Nino and La Nino, due to which there is severe heat in India

According to the Meteorological Department, the month of February this year 2024 has been the hottest month in 122 years. At the same time, there is going to be severe heat in the month of April-May. This record-breaking heat will not only affect the health of the people, but drought conditions can also arise in many parts of the country. Recently, DS Pai, director of the Institute of Climate Change Studies, in a warning about the coming summer, said, “Due to the El Nino weather phenomenon, this year’s monsoon rains are likely to be deficient.” 

< p style ="text-align: justify;"> We often hear the mention of El Nino and La Nina in weather related news. In such a situation, the question arises that after all, is it El Nino and La Nino? And how do these two affect the climate of our country?

According to the American Geosciences Institute, both these terms refer to changes in the temperature of the sea surface of the Pacific Ocean, which affects the weather of the whole world. On one side there is El Nino due to which the temperature is warm and on the other hand due to La Nina the temperature is cold. 

What is El Nino 

The phenomenon of warming of the sea coast near Peru in the Pacific Ocean is called El-Nino. If understood in simple language, the change in sea temperature and atmospheric conditions, that sea phenomenon has been named as El Nino.  Due to this change, the sea surface temperature becomes 4-5 degree higher than normal. 

How does El Nino affect the weather 

Due to El Nino, the sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean becomes higher than normal i.e. it becomes warmer. Due to this heat, there are changes in the path and speed of the winds blowing in the sea. Due to this change the weather cycle is badly affected.

The effect of El Nino is felt all over the world. Due to which the difference is visible in rain, cold, heat. Now due to change in weather, there is drought in many places and there is flood in many places. 

The year in which the activity of El Nino increases, it affects the south-west monsoon. Due to which there is heavy rainfall in some parts of the earth and severe drought condition in some parts. 

Although it can sometimes have positive effects, for example El Niño causes a decrease in the occurrence of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

What is La Nina?

La Nina means ‘the little girl’ in Spanish.  It is sometimes called El Viejo, Anti-El Niño or "a cold event" Also called. This situation arises due to low air pressure on the surface of the equatorial Pacific Ocean region. Many different reasons are considered for the formation of La Nino, but the most famous reason is that when the trade wind, the air flowing from the east, flows at a very high speed, then the temperature of the sea surface starts falling. This decreasing temperature is called La Nino. The occurrence of this condition affects the temperature of the whole world and due to this the temperature becomes colder than the average in that year. 

Impact of La Nina on weather

Its effect has an impact on the cyclones coming around the world. It can change the direction of tropical cyclones with its speed. Due to which very humid conditions arise in South-East Asia and Northern Australia. Due to La Nino, there may be heavy rainfall in Indonesia and its surrounding area. While there may be drought in Ecuador and Peru. La Nino is the reason for floods in Australia. And due to this the weather is cooler in the north-west and warmer in the south-east. 

La Niña causes less winter in northern Europe, especially Britain, and more winter in southern/western Europe, leading to snowfall in the Mediterranean region.

How will El Nino and La Nino affect India?

Meteorologists are warning about the effect of El Nino this year i.e. 2024, this is not very good news for India. Because on the one hand where most of the population of India is dependent on agriculture to live their lives. On the other hand, if there is an effect of El Nino, then this year people may have to face record breaking heat wave.

Due to El-Nino, drought conditions arise in India. In many states, people have to face the scorching heat. Due to drought, there is a crisis of water supply in the region, because the reservoirs dry up due to the heat and there is a shortage of water in the rivers. Agriculture, which is dependent on irrigation water, also faces a crisis. On the other hand, due to La Nino in India,  It is very cold and it rains properly.

Prior El Niño events: 

  • The El Niño events of 1982–83 and 1997–98 were the strongest El Niño events of the 20th century. 
  • The El Niño event of 1982–83 led to a strong tropical storm in the eastern tropical Pacific. The sea surface temperature was 9-18 degree Celsius above normal.
  • El Nino event of the year 1997-98 was the first such El Nino event which was monitored by scientists from beginning to end.  
  • The phenomenon of El Nino that originated in the year 1997-98 brought drought conditions in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, while heavy rains and severe floods were observed in Peru and California. In addition, record-breaking heat was recorded in the Midwest. 

How to monitor El Nino and La Nina

Scientists, governments and non-governmental organizations around the world collect information about the world using different techniques or floats. 

A float is actually a kind of device, so it floats inside the water. It is usually brightly colored and is used as a locator at sea. These floats measure ocean and air temperature, currents, winds, and humidity.

With the help of this plow, the meteorologist forecasts the weather every day. PLOV measures sea and air temperature, currents, winds and humidity every day. 

How is the weather in India 

The year 2024 is not going to be a good year for India in terms of weather. Even before spring has passed here, the sun has started showing its fierce form across the country. In the month of February itself, the maximum temperature of the capital has crossed 33 degree Celsius. At the same time, in many parts like Rajasthan and Gujarat, the mercury has touched 40 degrees in February itself.

The heat is not going to stop 

Aditya Pillai, Associate Fellow of the Center for Policy Research, who monitors the weather, says in a report of the Washington Post that- Last year, the heat was seen in the month of March as well, but this time that heat came only in February. February temperature is above average. The sweltering heat in many parts of the country virtually put an end to the spring season this year. 

He said that last year i.e. in the month of March 2022, the maximum temperature was recorded at 33.1 degree Celsius, which was 1.86 degree Celsius more than normal. The average temperature in March 2022 broke the record of the last 122 years. 

If the temperature rises this year too, these states will be affected 

According to meteorologists, there may be record breaking heat in India this year. It is believed that the effect of rising temperature on 9 states including UP, Bihar is certain. According to the Meteorological Department, the maximum temperature in three major cities of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, Noida and Ghaziabad, is expected to be close to 30 degree Celsius. 

The heat will increase in Bihar as well and the maximum temperature can cross 30 degrees. In the end of February itself, Motihari in Bihar recorded a maximum temperature of 31°C and Patna recorded 30.5°C. While  Gaya, Bhagalpur and Purnia have also recorded maximum temperatures close to 30 degree Celsius. 

Apart from these two states, an increase in temperature has also been recorded in Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Punjab. On February 16, the temperature in Gujarat’s Bhuj even crossed 40 degree Celsius.

How will the heat wave affect India?

The maximum effect of heat will be on wheat and rabi crops. India ranks second in the world in wheat production. In such a situation, due to the severe heat in March in the year 2022, there was a decrease of 23 million tonnes in wheat production. 

In the year 2021, India produced 129 million tonnes of wheat, which decreased to 106 million tonnes in 2022. According to Anoop Srivastava, advisor to the National Disaster Management Authority, problems were already being seen in many rabi crops including wheat this year i.e. in 2024, there is a possibility of further damage due to temperature.

To solve this problem, the Government of India has constituted a panel for monitoring wheat and rabi crops. If reports are to be believed, the Agriculture Commissioner of India will head the panel and officials and government scientists from major wheat producing states of the country will also be involved in it. Earlier this month, the Government of India issued a statement saying that wheat production could increase by 4.1%.

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