Aussie scientists declare El Nino onset, forecast ‘substantial’ weather extremes

AFP-JIJI, May 13

Sydney – Australian scientists Tuesday forecast a “substantial” El Nino weather phenomenon for 2015, potentially spelling deadly and costly climate extremes, after officially declaring its onset in the tropical Pacific.

El Nino had been expected last year when record-breaking temperatures made 2014 the hottest in more than a century. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said while the thresholds were not met until now it was expected to be a significant event.

The Japan Meteorological Agency also confirmed the phenomenon had begun and forecast it would continue into late 2015.

“There’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event,” David Jones, from the bureau’s climate information services branch, said.

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