El Niño Linked to Crop Failures

Maize crop failure © Uschi Dugulin from Pixabay

The El Niño climate cycle has been responsible for widespread simultaneous crop failure in different regions of the world, a study has found, putting pressure on countries to prepare for future weather events.

A paper published in ScienceAdvances showed that the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a warm water wave that travels across the Pacific every three to five years, causes a variety of irregular weather patterns, which affect crops worldwide.

The findings contradict the long-held assumption that crop failures in geographically distant breadbasket nations such as the United States, China and Argentina are unrelated, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute, a partner in the research.

Researchers also looked at the effect of the Indian Ocean Dipole, or Indian Niño, and other climate patterns on crops.

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© Inga Vesper / scidev.net