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China weather experts expect El Nino impact as early as July

Published on Jun 18, 2014 3:08 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese meteorological experts are forecasting that an El Nino weather pattern could start to affect the country as early as next month, and may hurt domestic rice and corn production.

El Nino, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, can disrupt weather across the entire ocean region. It has previously triggered flooding in China's southern rice-growing regions and caused droughts in corn-producing areas of the north.

"According to our forecasts, we are basically sure that El Nino will happen, and the key issue right now is how strong it will be," said Ding Yihui, a climate change adviser to the China Meteorological Administration, according to a transcript of a meeting posted on the administration's website (

Zheng Fei, a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, estimated at the same meeting that the probability of an El Nino striking was more than 70 per cent for July and 80 per cent for August.

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