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Jun 2020

Some regions in Asia and Australia will be more at risk in the next wildfire season

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2020

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expects above average temperatures in many parts of the globe in the next few months, even without the presence of a warming El Niño event. This warrants that regions like Southeast Asia, Western Australia and Central America should be closely watched.
 
According to a Bloomberg press report on WMO press release, “WMO expects above average temperatures, but no El Niño” the giant fires in south eastern Australia are almost extinguished, but dry conditions expected in other regions means putting people in southeast Asia and the Caribbean at risk of future outbreaks.
 
Temperatures this year are likely to rise above the historical average, even without the presence of a warming El Niño event.
 
WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas said, “We just had the warmest January on record. The signal from human-induced climate change is now as powerful as that from a major natural force of nature.”
 
Higher-than-average temperatures in northern Europe and the northern hemisphere have resulted in weaker demand for energy and prices of natural gas, coal and power have plummeted. Gas prices across the Atlantic are approaching their lowest level in more than two decades as a glut for the fuel builds, and demand growth is under threat from a slowing global economy and the coronavirus outbreak.
 
January wasn’t a one-off. Last year was the second-warmest recorded. That was notable since there was no strong El Niño, a cyclic event that includes fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere in the Equatorial Pacific. The hottest year on record was 2016, when a combination of a strong El Niño and human-induced global warming boosted temperatures.
 
The trend will continue this year, the WMO said in a statement on Monday. Temperatures are likely to remain above normal between March and May, particularly at tropical latitudes, all of which will filter into the oceans too. “With more than 90% of the energy trapped by greenhouse gases going into the ocean, ocean heat content is at record levels,” Mr Taalas said.
 
Some areas just north of the equator will experience above normal precipitation, according to the WMO. These include the central tropical Pacific, southwestern Indian Ocean and eastern equatorial Africa. A 
 
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