Malaysia forecasts peak of El Niño to hit in early 2024

Kuala Lumpur, July 7 (BNA): Malaysia expected on Friday that the country will hit the peak of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which brings hot and dry weather for a long time, at the beginning of 2024.

Reuters reports that El Niño, a rise in surface water temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, is associated with extreme weather conditions from tropical cyclones and heavy rains to severe droughts.

“At the beginning of 2024, the El Niño phenomenon is expected to have a noticeable impact when its intensity reaches its peak,” the ministry said in a statement.

She added that the Southeast Asian country will face higher temperatures and lower rainfall, which will increase the risk of cross-border haze if the burning of forests and peatlands is not controlled.

The World Meteorological Organization said on Tuesday that temperatures are expected to rise in large parts of the world after the appearance of an El Niño weather pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean for the first time in seven years.

Early signs of hot, dry weather caused by El Niño threaten food producers across Asia, with palm oil and rice production likely to be affected in Indonesia and Malaysia — which provide 80% of the world’s palm oil — and Thailand, according to analysts.

Estates in Sabah, Malaysia’s largest palm oil producing state, are already experiencing water stress from the early signs of El Niño, reducing yields and exacerbating the impact of fertilizer shortages and labor shortages seen over the past three years.

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