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Climate augurs well for major Asian rubber-producing countries

Author: Vinod Nedumudy (vinod@helixtap.com)

14 Jun 2024, 10:55 AM SGT

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  • Indonesia to have above normal rainfall, Vietnam to pick up from early July
  • MJO to favor rains in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam for next one month
  • Chances of El Niño redeveloping is negligible, says WMO


Weathermen expect a climate conducive to rubber production in the coming days in the major producing countries of Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, with Indonesia experiencing rains with a little more intensity than others.


"Rainfall will be normal to above normal in Indonesia, including the maritime continent region, until the third week of July, while Thailand will have normal rainfall during this period. Vietnam will have normal rainfall until the last week of June and will pick up from there to record above-normal levels until the beginning of the third week of July," said Dr. S Abhilash, Director of Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, India.


The emergence of tropical systems is crucial 


The weather scientist said that a few tropical systems, including typhoons, can be expected towards the last week of June to the first week of July, bringing in rains to Vietnam and Thailand. 


"The MJO (Madden–Julian Oscillation) will favor good rains in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam for the next month. ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) will remain neutral during the next few months, which will favor normal rainfall over the Western Pacific and the maritime continent," Dr Abhilash said.


The weather scientist said it was still unclear whether La Nina or positive IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) will evolve to bring in more rain in the next three months. "The emergence of systems and consequent typhoons would determine the weather course in the next three months," Dr Abhilash said.



Under the impact of the Southwest Monsoon, rainfall is expected to be normal in the West Coast region of India, including Kerala and the northeastern region, the rubber hubs, in the coming days. Temperatures will also be normal in the two areas.


The temperature will be slightly above average in Thailand until the final week of June, whereas Indonesia and Vietnam will have normal temperatures for the next month.


WMO report says high chances of temperature shooting up


Meanwhile, the latest forecasts from the World Meteorological Organization gave equal chances (50%) of either neutral conditions or a transition to La Niña during June-August 2024. The chance of La Niña conditions increases to 60% during July-September and 70% during August-November. The chance of El Niño redeveloping is negligible during this time, the WMO said early this month.


La Niña refers to the large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, coupled with changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation in winds, pressure,and rainfall. 


However, according to a new report from the WMO, there is an 80 percent likelihood of annual average global temperature temporarily exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years. The higher temperatures are due to continued warming from greenhouse gasses and will have an adverse impact on crops.



The WMO report said the global mean near-surface temperature for each year between 2024 and 2028 is predicted to be between 1.1°C and 1.9°C higher than the 1850-1900 baseline. It says that it is likely (86%) that at least one of these years will set a new temperature record, beating 2023, which is the warmest year.


There is a 47% likelihood that the global temperature averaged over the entire five-year 2024-2028 period will exceed 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial era, says the WMO Global Annual to Decadal Update – up from 32% chance in last year's report for the 2023-2027 period.


The chance (80%) of at least one of the next five years exceeding 1.5°C has risen steadily since 2015, when such a chance was close to zero. For the years between 2017 and 2021, there was a 20% chance of exceedance, and this increased to a 66% chance between 2023 and 2027.


The update is produced by the UK's Met Office, which is the WMO Lead Centre for Annual to Decadal Climate Prediction. It synthesizes predictions from WMO-designated Global Producing Centres and other contributing centers.


The update was released to coincide with a major speech by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres calling for much more ambitious climate action ahead of the G-7 summit in Italy on 13-15 June. 


The battle to limit heat will be won or lost in this decade: UN S-G


"We are playing Russian roulette with our planet," said Mr Guterres.  "We need an exit ramp off the highway to climate hell.  And the good news is that we have control of the wheel.  The battle to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees will be won or lost in the 2020s – under leaders' watch today."


Mr Guterres also drew on supporting evidence from the European Union-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. This showed that each of the past 12 months has set a new global temperature record for the time of year.


Given these 12 monthly records, the global average temperature for the last 12 months (June 2023 – May 2024) is also the highest on record, at 1.63°C above the 1850–1900 pre-industrial average, according to the Copernicus Climate Change ERA5 dataset.


"Behind these statistics lies the bleak reality that we are way off track to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement. We must urgently do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or we will pay an increasingly heavy price in terms of trillions of dollars in economic costs, millions of lives affected by more extreme weather, and extensive environmental and biodiversity damage," said WMO Deputy Secretary-General Ko Barrett.


Under the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to keep the long-term global average surface temperature well below two °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C by the end of this century.