How El Niño will change the world’s weather in 2014
The global El Niño weather phenomenon, whose impacts cause global famines, floods - and even wars - now has a 90% chance of striking this year, according to the latest forecast released to the Guardian.
El Niño begins as a giant pool of warm water swelling in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, that sets off a chain reaction of weather events around the world - some devastating and some beneficial.
India is expected to be the first to suffer, with weaker monsoon rains undermining the nation’s fragile food supply, followed by further scorching droughts in Australia and collapsing fisheries off South America. But some regions could benefit, in particular the US, where El Niño is seen as the “great wet hope” whose rains could break the searing drought in the west.
The knock-on effects can have impacts even more widely, from cutting global gold prices to making England’s World Cup footballers sweat a little more.