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Ho Chi Minh City
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Drought in the wetland

By Nguyen Huu Thien

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The Mekong Delta region has previously endured two severe seasonal droughts caused by El Niño in 2015-2016 and 2019-2020. However, experts are now predicting the likelihood of a “super” El Niño occurring this year, which could lead to even more severe drought, saltwater intrusion, and shortages of sand and alluvial sediments. These factors would have negative impacts on electricity generation in hydropower plants and crop production in the following year. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, there have been only two instances of “super” El Niño phenomenon occurring, in 1982-1983 and 1997-1998. Climate experts are expressing concerns that a third “super” El Niño could emerge in 2023. On June 8, 2023, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officially declared the onset of El Niño, as evidenced by numerous storms in the Pacific Ocean, forest fires in Indonesia, and heatwaves in various countries, including Vietnam. Understanding El Niño El Niño and La Niña represent opposite extremes in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, which refers to cyclical environmental conditions in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Niño, meaning “little boy” in Spanish, is the warm phase of the ENSO cycle and brings warmer-than-average temperatures. On the other hand, La Niña, […]
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