El Nino weather pattern developing slowly, but surely

Canberra: An El Nino weather pattern is developing across the Pacific Basin, according to a regular review of indicators by the Australian government's Bureau of Meteorology. The review of indicators, issued Wednesday, suggest that conditions have reached a point that, should they persist at such levels through the remainder of the southern winter and into spring, then 2009 will be considered an El Niņo year.

The El Nino effect is associated with floods, droughts, and other disturbances in a range of locations around the world and so predicting the phenomenon is a matter of great concern for nations.

As for India, Sir Charles Todd, an astronomer at the Greenwich observatory and subsequently  a superintendent of telegraphs and government astronomer for the government of South Australia, suggested in  1893 that droughts in India and Australia tended to occur at the same time. India is already experiencing a faltering monsoon and so observations of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology would be of more than passing interest to the Indian people and its government.

According to the bureau, leading climate models indicate that warming of the Pacific will continue for the next few seasons, with very little chance of the current development stalling or reversing.

As for El Nino indicators, the bureau said that these include central Pacific Ocean surface temperatures up around 1°C above average, and supporting sub-surface temperatures up to 4°C warmer than normal.