How El Niño Has Disrupted Lives
"What El Niño?" That's a common sentence you may hear or even express yourself. "El No Rain-o," is how one friend put it to me. Sentiments like these are understandable. For one, El Niño storms are highly unpredictable & difficult to forecast. The weather report will say one thing, but then the storm takes a completely opposite turn. Then there's our location, Southern California. Certain aspects of the storm will effect us either more or less then other locations.
Frankly, we didn't see as much of El Niño as we all heard over recent years. But just because we may not have felt much of the effects, does it mean it was any less powerful? Does it mean that El Niño won't effect your life? Let's consider the facts.
Paraguay - A number of 130,000 had to flee their homes due to flooding. The country hadn't seen such flooding due to El Niño in 50 years. The country suffered the worst in Asuncion, where the country's main river is located.
Brazil - 40 towns were displaced and forced to leave their homes due to flooding. The local rivers overflowed as the heavy rains came down. In Uruguay thousands spent days homeless until the water levels subsided.
Consider the other side of the coin. In India, the drought is causing local farmers into day-labor jobs. Millions continue to struggle as they deal with the lack of rain. The main topic for concern though is the Sugar. Since the crops aren't getting the proper amount of rain, a sugar shortage is expected, meaning higher sugar prices.
South Africa is suffering a similar story. South Africa grows and exports Corn for themselves and neighboring country's. However, due to the lack of rain, crops are not growing like before. The cost of corn in South Africa has risen, much like the sugar in India. They've been forced to import it to deal with the demand.
El Niño effects humans in another way, the air we breath. The NOAA recently noted quite an increase in Carbon Dioxide the past year. Think about it... Plants grow and absorb the carbon dioxide in the air. But if it's not raining, plants can't grow, and if plants can't grow the carbon dioxide can't be absorbed.
It's evident El Niño has done some damage. It caused major flooding, a drought, loss of homes, increased vegetation prices, & polluted air. We may not experience the full effects of all these things, but we can't deny the existence of El Niño & the lives it has disrupted. This weather phenomenon is very real.