People, Environment

Chitchian: Contingencies in Place for El Nino

Chitchian: Contingencies in Place for El NinoChitchian: Contingencies in Place for El Nino

The Energy Ministry and its subsidiaries are prepared for the possible repercussions of El Nino this winter, Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Chitchian said his ministry and associated departments are ready to provide power and fuel to all affected areas in the country in case of disruptions or severe drop in temperatures.

“Following statements by several meteorological organizations that the phenomenon will impact Iran, we’ve issued instructions to the relevant bodies to be prepared,” the minister said.

However, the Iran Meteorological Organization has dismissed assertions that the country is set to experience an unusually cold winter.

“In fact, we’re going to experience a warmer winter,” Ahad Vazifeh, head of the Weather Forecast and Early Warning Office at IMO, said last week in response to claims made by the National Iranian Gas Company.

“The coming winter will be between 1 and 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the long-term average,” he added.

According to Vazifeh, the IMO has been closely studying the effects of El Nino on Iran, but he noted that it is still too early to say whether the phenomenon will impact the country’s weather.

Every two to seven years, an unusually large warm pool of water — sometimes two to three degrees Celsius higher than normal — develops across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to create a natural short-term climate change event.

This warm condition, known as El Nino, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts in Australia.

This year’s El Nino is already strong and appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98, the strongest El Nino on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization.