Extreme weather could become norm around Indian Ocean

One more example of how countries in the poor part of the world will be hit by extreme weather and natural disasters as the globe heats up.

This study shows that there is a great likelihood that the weather in countries around the Indian Ocean is becoming more extreme due to cyclical changes in the ocean temperatures and the impact these have:

What do the torrential rains that swept across a swathe of East Africa in 1997 have in common with the record-breaking drought that Australia has just emerged from? Both can be blamed on El Niño’s Indian Ocean sibling.

A study looking at how climate change will affect this ocean oscillation pattern has predicted that if the world is allowed to warm uncontrollably, these kinds of extreme events will become the norm by 2050.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is an oscillation of warm water across the equator. In the oscillation\’s positive phase, sea surface temperatures in the Arabian Sea rise whereas temperatures around Sumatra, Indonesia, fall. In the negative phase, it’s the other way around.

As well as being blamed for Australia’s recent dry spell and the 1997 East African storms, the IOD\’s positive phase has been linked to droughts in Australia and dry weather in Indonesia over the last 6500 years, according to a 2007 study of fossilised coral. The study also concluded that positive events are becoming more frequent, with an unprecedented 11 occurrences over the past 30 years.

via Extreme weather could become norm around Indian Ocean – environment – 29 November 2013 – New Scientist.

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