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What is Super El Niño?

PAGASA has already issued El Niño alert warnings in the country, as ocean surface exhibits higher than normal temperature.

According to the  National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the average ocean surface temperature is at 21.1C, higher than the normal 20C.

Because ocean surface temperature of oceans affect the weather and climate of the entire planet, the current higher the normal temperatures could mean harsher repercussions.

In a Need to Know video, Dr. Ana Liza Solis, the climate monitoring and prediction chief of PAGASA said, the coming El Niño can be classified as "Super El Niño, kasi galing tayo sa La Niña tapos biglang super init agad."

The El Niño oscillation cycle (ENSO) is divided into two: La Niña, when we experience extreme rainfall and El Niño, when we experience extreme dry spells.

"It's a weather phenomenon where the interaction of the ocean and the atmosphere are affected," Solis explained.

When the ocean surface temperature of the middle of the Pacific Ocean warns, it can extend to the Eastern Portions of the Pacific.

But recently, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Pacific Marine Environmental laboratory senior scientist Michael McPhaden said the rising greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere is actually influencing changes in ENSO cycle, its dynamics and impacts.

Meaning, the greenhouse gases causing global warming and climate change are the very same things that's bringing out about changes in the ENSO cycle.

The changes in temperature of the Pacific Ocean brings with it an immediate reaction. "Mabilis uminit," Solis explains.

"This is what's happening in the eastern pacific," she continues. "Hindi pa siya nangyayari sa buong kabuoan ng Pacific Ocean pero nagsisimula nang uminit yung gitnang bahagi."

El Niño occurs every 2-7 years, usually after La Niña, and can last up to 8 months. As such, it affects agriculture and food security the most, as it did in 2018 when the Philippines last experienced El Niño. Back then, nearly 300,000 farmers were affected, and agriculture damages amounted to nearly P8B.

But Solis clarifies "El Niño doesn't mean drought."

"El Niño increases the probability of dry spells that could lead to drought," she said.

PAGASA first issued an El Niño alert in April, and then again in May. According to Solis, these alerts should already push us into action and have us preparing for the coming dry spell.

"Ibig sabihin, posible natin paghandaan ito," she said. — LA, GMA Integrated News