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El Niño wreaks worldwide havoc

Let it not be said that we aren't being warned - in all manner of ways and from various responsible bodies and institutions  - that our universe is in grave peril from global warming.   Now WHO adds its voice to alerting us how El Niño is wreaking havoc worldwide.

"In rural villages in Africa and Asia, and in urban neighborhoods in South America, millions of lives have been disrupted by weather linked to the strongest El Niño in a generation.

In some parts of the world, the problem has been not enough rain; in others, too much. Downpours were so bad in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción, that shantytowns sprouted along city streets, filled with families displaced by floods. But farmers in India had the opposite problem: Reduced monsoon rains forced them off the land and into day-labor jobs.

In South Africa, a drought hit farmers so hard that the country, which a few years ago was exporting corn to Asian markets, now will have to buy millions of tons of it from Brazil and other South American countries.

“They will actually have to import it, which is rare,” said Rogerio Bonifacio, a climate analyst with the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. “This is a major drought.”

The World Health Organization has estimated that worldwide, El Niño-related weather is putting 60 million people at increased risk of malnutrition, water- and mosquito-borne diseases, and other illnesses.

Scientists began reporting early signs of El Niño conditions early last year, based on changes in surface-water temperatures and atmospheric pressure in the equatorial Pacific. By midyear, the World Meteorological Organization declared that El Niño was in full swing and that it was on track to be the strongest such event since 1997-98."

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