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El Nino weather ‘could be as bad as 1998′, says Nasa

The US space agency Nasa has warned that the effects of the current El Nino weather phenomenon could be as bad as those of 1998, the strongest on record.

The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

The current El Nino has been linked to several floods and unusually warm conditions in the northern hemisphere.

The phenomenon sees warm waters of the central Pacific expand eastwards towards North and South America.

the agency says, It bears “a striking resemblance” to one from December 1997, “the signature of a big and powerful El Nino”.

The weather phenomenon is set to exacerbate droughts in some areas, while increasing flooding in others.

Some of the worst impacts are likely in Africa with food shortages expected to peak in February.

Regions including the Caribbean, Central and South America will also be hit in the next six months.

El Ninos are often followed by La Nina events, which can have opposite but similarly harmful effects.
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