The Stream, May 5: Strong El Niño Predicted with Implications for Water

There is a more than 70 percent chance that an El Niño weather pattern will develop later this summer, and forecasters are now suggesting it may be one of the strongest in decades, Reuters reported. A climate scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said that water temperatures in the Pacific are rising beyond those seen before other El Niño events and moving quickly to the east, suggesting a strong event this year that could cause severe droughts and floods around the world.

The melting of a specific area of ice in Antarctica would lead to an “unstoppable” flow of ice into the ocean that could raise global sea levels as much as 3 to 4 meters, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, AlertNet reported. Scientists are concerned that this critical area of ice is at risk from warming water temperatures.

Natural Disasters
Flooding may have played a role in the large landslide that killed at least 350 people and left thousands missing in Afghanistan last weekend, National Geographic reported. The collapse of a slope in Badakhshan Province left a town buried under as much as 10 meters of debris.

A group of doctors and medical students was the latest to stage protests against the Maul Creek mine in New South Wales, the largest coal mine under construction in Australia, the Guardian reported. The group is worried about air and water pollution from the mine, while local cattle ranchers have raised concerns about groundwater depletion.

A series of photographs published by the Guardian documents illegal gold mining in Peru, which was recently banned by the government. Pollution from the mining is a threat to water and health in the region.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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