The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on September 9 issued a warning that the increasing frequency and intensity of El Ninos across the globe is badly affecting Vietnam’s climate.

El Nino is understood as a warming of the surface water of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, causing unusual global weather patterns.

El Ninos, as a rule, used to happen every 2-7 years, yet within the last 10 years it has occurred more frequently.

Since first being studied by scientific researchers in the 1950s, the phenomenon has been reported to occur 17 times while La Ninas—the opposite occurrence, where water surface temperatures become unusually cold, following in the wake of an El Nino--have taken place 13 times.

At present, there are signs that another El Nino has taken shape and developed, said Dao Thi Thuy, Head of the Climate Forecast Division, the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (IMHEN).

As a result, Vietnam’s climate is getting hotter at a time when the weather usually becomes cooler and rainier as autumn sets in (after July on the Chinese lunar calendar). With the weather remaining hot and dry, this fall’s temperatures are likely to be higher than the average of previous years, Thuy added.

When El Ninos occurred in previous years, the rainfall in Vietnam fell and temperatures increased, causing widespread draught in many places across the country. In particular, it prolonged the flood season, and floods were more unpredictable and complex than usual towards the end of the spell.

El Ninos have recently occurred between August 2002 and February 2002, and again in May 2004 through January 2005. The latest appearance was from July-December 2006./.