Ready for El Niño’s arrival / Columns / The Foreigner

Ready for El Niño’s arrival. Or perhaps El Niño has already come and gone? But then La Niña is coming! Be ready. We often hear panicked, confused, and contradictory messages about the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern. It affects ocean temperatures and weather. It is blamed for floods, droughts, and storms.  What does El Niño mean for Norway? The main weather impact appears to be the atmospheric pressure changing in the north Atlantic Ocean. That possibly leads to more northern and eastern cold winds in the winter.

climate, weather, storms, paywall



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Ready for El Niño’s arrival

Published on Tuesday, 29th March, 2016 at 21:14 under the columns category, by Reidar Staupe-Delgado and Ilan Kelman.

Or perhaps El Niño has already come and gone? But then La Niña is coming! Be ready.

Dr. Mickey Glantz
Dr. Glantz is leader of the El Niño Ready Nation programme.Dr. Mickey Glantz
Photo: Ilan Kelman


We often hear panicked, confused, and contradictory messages about the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern. It affects ocean temperatures and weather. It is blamed for floods, droughts, and storms. 

What does El Niño mean for Norway? The main weather impact appears to be the atmospheric pressure changing in the north Atlantic Ocean. That possibly leads to more northern and eastern cold winds in the winter.

El Niño readiness in Norway would mean preparing for colder and drier winters during El Niño years. There could also be increased snowfall, suggesting the need for improved blizzard preparedness. In areas facing dry winters, temperatures would generally be lower than usual.

Yet under climate change Norway has usually assumed that wet regions will become wetter and sunnier areas will become sunnier. The country's climate change adaptation plans often aim at addressing amplified 'normal' scenarios.

Lessons from the El Niño Ready Nation programme challenge this view with implications for climate change adaptation in Norway. During El Niño, weather may shift substantially and unexpectedly.

Given this unpredictability, rainy regions expecting 'more of the same' could be caught off guard. Wetter regions expecting more rain might not be sufficiently prepared for drought--and vice versa.

None of that is difficult to address. Irrespective of El Niño and La Niña, Norwegians can deal with rapidly changing weather extremes. They do so on many days in all seasons.

For Norway, being an El Niño Ready Nation perhaps means business as usual. Be ready by being 'normal'.

Reidar Staupe-Delgado is a PhD student at the University of Stavanger's Centre for Risk Management and Societal Safety examining Colombia's El Niño Readiness. Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London.



Published on Tuesday, 29th March, 2016 at 21:14 under the columns category, by Reidar Staupe-Delgado and Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: climate, weather, storms, paywall.





  
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