• International agencies predicted a 50% chance of El Niño in the second half of 2023.

What is El Niño:

  • El Niño is a weather pattern which occurs when surface water in the equatorial Pacific becomes warmer than average. It affects climate patterns in various parts of the world including India.
  • El Nino occurs every three to seven years on average. It typically lasts nine to 12 months, but can sometimes last for years. With the help of several means such as satellites, sea level analysis etc., scientists predict El Nino before it occurs.

Possible consequences of El Niño:

  • It is expected that if El Niño occurs, several states may experience increased temperatures and scanty rainfall.
  • When there is not enough rainfall, some regions may experience droughts. This can also result in reduced food production, which can further increase food prices. Then it will be difficult to control inflation.
  • India has been sending food grains to several countries in times of need. With reduced food production, it may not be possible for India to continue the same and thereby many countries will struggle with food scarcity.
  • El Niño increases average global temperatures for a few months to years.
  • In general, winds move the surface water in the pacific ocean resulting in the nutrient-rich deep waters reaching the surface. But during El Niño, the speed of the winds over the ocean reduces and hence the lack of nutrients in surface water affects the diverse fish and other living beings. This significantly impacts the aquaculture output.
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What can we do:

  • As we can predict El Niño, during the event, we should encourage farmers to sow crops that do not need much water. And we need to store the remaining kinds of food grains to prevent food scarcity during El Nino.


El Niño is a weather pattern that affects the climate in various parts of the world including India. As there is a possibility of scanty rainfall during El Niño, we need to store food to prevent food scarcity. Moreover, during this phase, we need to sow crops that are less water-intensive.

Photo by Matt Hardy

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