El Niño Threat Grows: PAGASA’s Latest Alert Raises Concerns Across Philippines
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the state weather bureau of the Philippines, has issued an alert on the intensifying El Niño phenomenon. Current predictions suggest that by March 2024, approximately 45 provinces could experience drought, an increase from the August estimate of 40 provinces.
El Niño, a climate pattern associated with warming of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, is expected to strengthen over the coming months. This weather phenomenon increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, potentially causing dry spells and droughts that could adversely impact water resources, agriculture, energy, health, and public safety.
Simultaneously, PAGASA anticipates the arrival of four to seven tropical cyclones by the end of the year. However, due to the intensifying El Niño, some regions in the Philippines are predicted to be more susceptible to dry spells. Central and Western Visayas and Mindanao are expected to be the most severely affected by the weather phenomenon, with Luzon already starting to experience its effects.
Moreover, the weather bureau warns that 2024 could be one of the hottest years on record for the Philippines. The country is predicted to undergo a warm and dry season from February to May next year, with less rainfall than usual. This forecast further emphasizes the urgency for preparation and advanced planning.
Proposed Shift in Agricultural Strategy
In response to the impending weather challenges, farmer groups have suggested a change in agricultural strategy. They propose that the government distribute more upland variety palay seeds that are drought-resistant, such as red, brown, and black rice, as opposed to the inbred seeds currently given to farmers. This measure could potentially help mitigate the impact of the drought on the country’s agriculture sector.
This drastic shift in agricultural strategy is seen as a necessary adaptation to the changing climate conditions. The proposed approach may not only help secure the livelihoods of farmers in the face of these weather challenges but also ensure the country’s food security.
Preparing for the Challenges Ahead
As the Philippines braces for the intensifying effects of El Niño and potential drought conditions, it becomes paramount to take early action. The public is urged to conserve water, particularly before El Niño strengthens in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Furthermore, the government and relevant agencies have a responsibility to support the population through these anticipated challenges. This support can come in the form of advanced planning, distributing resources, implementing adaptive agricultural strategies, and raising awareness about the impending weather conditions.
The intensifying El Niño underscores the urgent need to address climate change. As the world continues to grapple with the effects of this global crisis, countries like the Philippines face the brunt of the impacts, making it critical to reinforce climate resilience strategies and continue the fight against global warming.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.