Sunday November 17, 2019
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New Method to be Used to Forecast 80% Chance of El Nino by 2020

This week they said their model — which uses an algorithm that draws on analysis of links between changing air temperatures at a network of grid points

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Forecast, El Nino, Weather
FILE - A man walks past the carcasses of sheep that died from the El Nino-related drought in southern Hargeysa, in northern Somalia's semi-autonomous Somaliland region, April 7, 2016. VOA

The complex El Nino weather pattern that can bring disastrous heavy rainfall and long droughts to countries around the Pacific — from Peru to Indonesia and Australia — will probably emerge again in 2020, researchers have predicted. Forecast.

An international team of scientists forecast an 80% chance next year of an El Nino, which occurs when sea-surface temperatures rise substantially above normal in the east-central Equatorial Pacific.

This week they said their model — which uses an algorithm that draws on analysis of links between changing air temperatures at a network of grid points across the Pacific region — could predict an El Nino at least a year ahead.

“Conventional methods are unable to make a reliable ‘El Nino’ forecast more than six months in advance. With our method, we have roughly doubled the previous warning time,” said co-developer Armin Bunde, a physicist at Germany’s Justus Liebig University Giessen.

Forecast, El Nino, Weather
FILE – Ecuadorans look for survivors after a huge mudslide, blamed on heavy El Nino-generated rains, occurred in Bahia de Caraquez (355 km from Quito), April 30, 1998. VOA

The term El Nino, meaning “boy child” in Spanish, was first used in the 19th century by fishermen in Peru and Ecuador to refer to the unusually warm waters that reduced their catch just before Christmas, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The phenomenon occurs every two to seven years and typically lasts for 9 to 12 months, often beginning mid-year and peaking between November and January.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), said insights from the new method — which has been tested over the past few years — would be made available to people affected by El Nino.

PIK researcher Josef Ludescher said he would soon discuss the findings with the weather service in Peru.

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Time to prepare

El Nino often brings torrential rains in the north of the mountainous Latin American nation, with a high risk of mudslides, he said.

El Nino also can cause extended droughts in other parts of South America, Indonesia, Australia and Africa, PIK said.

In the Indian subcontinent, it may change monsoon patterns, while California can experience more precipitation.

Forecast, El Nino, Weather
An international team of scientists forecast an 80% chance next year of an El Nino, which occurs when sea-surface temperatures rise substantially above normal. Pixabay

The new prediction method could give more time for authorities to prepare for such impacts, Ludescher added.

The team is now adapting the algorithm to be able to predict the timing and strength of El Nino. In the future, a similar method could be used to improve forecasts of Asia’s monsoon, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

2014, 2018 predictions

The discovery of the new method was first published in 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal — and the scientists have since been checking its accuracy.

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They said this week it correctly predicted the onset of the large El Nino that started in 2014 and ended in 2016 and the most recent event in 2018, as well as absences in other years.

The next expected El Nino, due to peak in late 2020, could push global average annual temperature rise to a new record in 2021, the researchers said.

Air temperature rise lags Pacific warming by about three months, they noted.

According to the WMO, 2016 became the warmest year on record because of the powerful El Nino in 2015-2016, combined with long-term climate change. (VOA)

Next Story

Natural Gas Price Forecast

The end of coal is clearly upon us for the most part, largely due to the availability of natural gas reserves that have grown significantly

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Natural Gas, Price, Forecast
Not only is it being used to supply homes with heat, it is being used as a replacement for coal in many locations across the globe. Pixabay

The massive inventory of natural gas that has been a result of fracking technology over the past two decades is truly making its mark on the global economy. Not only is it being used to supply homes with heat, it is being used as a replacement for coal in many locations across the globe. The end of coal is clearly upon us for the most part, largely due to the availability of natural gas reserves that have grown significantly over the the past 20 years. Natural gas inventories are also being converted to liquid as well at pace never seen before in history, and it is clearly positioned to be the prime resource for both heat and electricity supplies within the west if not across most of the industrialized world. This is indeed a positive sign for the future for those wanting to invest in an obvious pro-growth product, as there appears to be no way to go but up with the increased pace of both natural gas and LNG usage. The question now is, what does the future hold for prices?

Current Price Range



High inventories typically mean lower prices for all products as a basic economic rule. This is the current status for natural gas. However, new inventories also translate into more types of usage in higher quantities, which means demand will assuredly increase in the very near future. And demand is what ultimately controls prices of any product with to respect to what the market will bring. This is currently the status for natural gas prices, and Edmonton power providers understand this position, as they are developing plans for consumers with locked-in price guarantees for multiple years when customers enter into the pricing agreement. This guarantees they will have the clients on their input cash flow roster as current and ongoing customers for a set period of time.



Future Increase Potential

Natural Gas, Price, Forecast
The massive inventory of natural gas that has been a result of fracking technology over the past two decades is truly making its mark on the global economy. Pixabay



Of course, the real question everyone will have centers on upcoming prices going forward as demand increases. This may not be so dependent on inventories, as estimates show there is a massive amount of potential natural gas reserves in many locations in countries like Canada. The United States is in a similar position, as energy companies throughout the western hemisphere are assessing the possibilities for natural gas extraction and conversion into usable energy products. Very similar to oil production, natural gas demand may grow at a faster pace than the inventories. This will definitely result in prices being increased depending on the location, demand, and availability of natural gas deposits.



World Bank Predictions



Global players like the World Bank have also weighed in on the uptick in natural gas usage and the pricing index. The 2016 prognosis was exactly what we have seen in the past three years, and they stated even then that the current trend will continue into 2025. The World Bank is now saying the incline will continue to increase generally in line with what energy providers across the globe are anticipating, including demand in Europe as well as the west until 2030 at least with the current market balance. This will no doubt result in steadily increasing prices that should not be too drastic barring some sort of upset in supply and demand.

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The overall outcome of what is apparent in the current market trend is for natural gas to become even more positive for consumers as well as investors in the near future. All customers are looking for stable and reasonable prices, and those who can invest are always looking for a sound investment in a necessary product with little market volatility exposure. While prices will clearly increase slowly over time, natural gas still poses for positive results in the near future for everyone.