One of the strongest El Niño events ever measured is now underway. It is already causing droughts and flooding in different parts of the world, and affecting food production, water availability, public health and energy supplies in a number of countries.
The last major El Niño occurred in 1997-98, wreaking widespread havoc and erasing years of development gains. The world is much better prepared for this year’s El Niño, but the socio-economic shocks will still be profound.
To increase scientific understanding of this event and help boost resilience, a high-level El Niño conference will take place on Nov. 17 and 18. It is jointly organized by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the World Meteorological Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The conference will:
- Provide an overview of the 2015 El Niño and its potential impacts
- Explore the connection between the current El Niño and global change
- Foster dialogue between climate scientists and development practitioners to strengthen action for climate resilience and sustainable development
- Examine the progress, and lessons learned, over the last 20 years in international, national and regional climate services, with a focus on El Niño
Confirmed speakers include Jerry Lengoasa, World Meteorological Organization deputy secretary-general; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute; and Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. Senior experts from meteorological services and research institutes around the world will present national case studies about the current El Niño, and representatives of development agencies, academia and the private sector will lead discussions on the impacts on health, water, disaster management, energy, and agriculture and food security.
They will discuss issues such as lessons learned since the 1997-98 event, connecting research to operational communities, and defining adequate and appropriate El Niño response strategies and public messaging. They will also help define future priorities for enhancing climate resilience and sustainable development.
The conference takes place at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus in Palisades, N.Y.
For more information or an invitation for the event, send a paragraph mentioning your affiliation and interest to Dannie Dinh at email@example.com.
Details and a full agenda are available at http://iri.columbia.edu/elnino2015conference/
Journalists interested in attending should contact Francesco Fiondella via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is extremely limited.