El Niño could take a $3 trillion bite out of the global economy

El Niño is on its way, and when warmer weather arrives, it could take $3 trillion off the global economy, a new report says. Research. That estimate is based on damage caused by El Niño in previous years, and forecasts that point to a supercharged event this year.

El Nino affects the weather around the world when it forms – triggering more severe floods in places, while worsening droughts elsewhere. For example, within the United States, this can trigger a wet winter in the southern part of the country, but warmer and drier weather in the north. Earlier this week came a warning from the World Meteorological Organization that this year’s El Nino, combined with climate change, „could push global temperatures into uncharted territory.”

This year’s El Nino, combined with climate change, could „push global temperatures into uncharted territory”

Cycling, typically every two to seven years, is El Nino expected This year it will be formed between May and July. If that forecast holds true, this year’s El Niño could cost the global economy up to $3 trillion in damage by 2029, compared with a scenario where the weather system didn’t develop, according to a study published this week in the journal Climate Change. Science.

The Dartmouth-based study authors found that El Nino events tend to hold back economic growth in countries for several years. They analyzed the economic collapse of the 1982-83 El Niño and found that it led to a loss of $4.1 trillion in global income over five years. Another El Niño between 1997 and 1998 cost the world $5.7 trillion in lost income.

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The pressure of these events was felt equally throughout the world. Five years after each El Niño, the U.S. saw a 3 percent decline in its gross domestic product, compared to a scenario in which the weather pattern had not developed. Tropical countries including Peru and Indonesia bear the brunt of El Niño, with their GDP falling by more than 10 percent.

„We can say with certainty that societies and economies are completely impervious and do not recover,” said Christopher Callahan, a Dartmouth PhD student and lead author of the research. Press release.

There are already signals that the next El Niño could be particularly intense. This event is part of a recurring climate pattern that includes a cooling La Niña. The world has just emerged from a rare three-year La Nina that affects El Niño and could make it stronger this year. On top of that, El Niño changes the flow of warm water in the Pacific Ocean, and sea surface temperatures rise to maximum.

„The deck is stacked for a big El Niño,” says Callahan. „Our results suggest that there will be a large economic toll that will reduce economic growth in tropical countries for up to a decade.”

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