El Nino

Warning of more cyclones for parts of Pacific as El Niño threatens

The region is forecast to experience an El Niño event, while some scientists have already said it has started.

La Niña is the cooling phase whereas El Niño is the warming phase of the waters in the eastern Pacific, off the coast of South America.

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said it means high levels of rainfall is likely for some places like Kiribati - that has been in a long drought - while parts of the western Pacific like Papua New Guinea should be dryer than normal.

Forecasters: Pacific hurricane season depends on El Nino

Chris Brenchley, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said at a news conference Wednesday that the region can expect anywhere from five to eight tropical cyclones from June through November.

Brenchley said there is an equal chance of El Nino and neutral conditions in the Pacific this season. 

El Nino is a natural warming of the Pacific that alters weather worldwide.

The average number of storms per year since 1970 is 4.6, but the past four seasons have had above-average activity.

Pacific nations may face droughts, floods if El Niño develops later this year

Conversely, the Eastern Pacific including countries such as Kiribati, Nauru, Northern Cook Islands and Tuvalu would have the opposite effects, with higher rainfall likely to lead to flooding, damage to roads and bridges, and pollution of water sources.

The alert was released this month by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), a regional body for the protection and sustainable development of the region's natural resources. Twenty-two Pacific nations are members.

El Niño-linked cyclones to increase in Pacific with global warming —research

El Niño is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific occurring every two to seven years which can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world.

Its opposite phase, a cooling of the same waters known as La Niña, is associated with the increased probability of wetter conditions over much of Australia and increased numbers of tropical cyclones.

2016 El Niño a humanitarian crisis, says new climate justice report: ActionAid

This has occurred in a year that has also seen record levels of CO2 and the planet’s hottest ever year.

Rise in acute malnourishment expected in Vanuatu

Louisa Tokon, who works with the WHO and the Ministry of Health in Vanuatu, said systems were being beefed up and health workers being prepared to deal with the rise in cases.

RNZI reports the latest figures available from a 2012 survey show nearly three in ten children in the country suffer from stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition and more than one on four children suffer from anaemia or a lack of iron.

El Nino Drought Preparations Underway on Nguna, Pele and Emau

Through the Swiss-German GIZ-DEZA program, community disaster gardens are being rehabilitated with drought-tolerant crops and improved planting techniques. After Cyclone Pam in 2015, the GIZ-DEZA program quickly established community food gardens in each community on Nguna, Pele and Emau, which yielded a surplus of green vegetables that greatly improved diets and health among the islands.

El Niño blamed for out-of-season central Pacific cyclone

Cyclone Pali is currently above the equator in the ocean between the Marshall Islands and Kiribati, about 1300km southwest of Hawaii.

A forecaster at the US National Weather Service in Hawaii, Alistair Foster, says Pali is one of the earliest recorded in the central Pacific, where the cyclone season is not due to begin for another five months.

Food shortage on Tanna Island after El Niño

The dry spell has led to a food shortage, but on Tanna Island, aid agencies are doing what they can to help.

In the isolated eastern part of the island, men clear the land and then prepare it for something that's in seriously short supply – leafy green vegetables.

Rain in Vanuatu but El Nino concerns until mid-next year

Much of the Pacific, including Vanuatu, has been in the grip of an El Nino induced drought for the past five months.

In Vanuatu there are food and water shortages in areas already struggling with the aftermath of Cyclone Pam which brought devastation to much of the country last March.

The director of the Disaster Management Office, Shadrach Welegtabit, says rain this week has eased some concerns but they still expect the El Nino to continue into next year.