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PAGASA warns 2024 could be ‘one of warmest years on record’ amid El Niño effects

State weather bureau PAGASA on Thursday warned that next year could be one of the hottest years on record, with the possibility of prolonged effects from the El Niño phenomenon.

“Next year, kung mag-prolong po itong El Niño, so may possibility po na it could be one of the warmest years on record,” PAGASA Assistant Weather Services Chief Analisa Solis said at a televised public briefing.

(Next year, if the El Niño prolongs, there is a possibility that it could be one of warmest years on record.)

The El Niño phenomenon is characterized by the abnormal warming of sea surface temperature in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and below normal rainfall.

It combines with the effects of climate change brought about by the burning of fossil fuels, as Tuesday, July 4, was officially the hottest day ever recorded, with average daily air temperature on the Earth's surface reached 17.18 degrees Celsius (62.92 Fahrenheit). It beat the record set a day earlier, July 3, of 17.01 degrees Celsius.

Solis advised the public, especially those who have health issues, to intensify their preventive measures.

Solis said that there is an 86% chance that the El Niño effects will be moderate to strong in November, December, and January, and 56% that it will be strong in December, January, and February.

By the end of December, 36 provinces are expected to experience a dry spell, which is three consecutive months of rainfall condition with 21% to 60% reduction from the average rainfall conditions or two consecutive months with over 60% reduction

Two provinces are also forecast to experience drought, which means three consecutive months of rainfall conditions with over 60% reduction from the average rainfall or five consecutive months of rainfall conditions with 21% to 60% reduction.

On Tuesday, PAGASA declared the start of the El Niño phenomenon in the Tropical Pacific and its effects are now expected in the Philippines.

Department of Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said the agency will monitor heat-related illnesses during El Niño.

"[It can] actually affect a lot of people in terms of heat-related illnesses from heat exhaustion to heat stroke. So, we need to remind the public about all these diseases," he said.

"That will be the role of the DOH to actually keep this information going out and tell the public what to do and not what not to do," Herbosa added. — BM, GMA Integrated News