Assessment of El Niño-Associated Risks: The Step-Wise Process
El Niño impacts on weather systems over Asia-Pacific have been predominantly interpreted as wet (flood) or dry (drought) conditions. However El Niño impacts on weather patterns and its associated biophysical and socioeconomic consequences are complex and highly variable over space and time due to various factors. The existing methodologies to assess the impacts of varying weather and climate characteristics on bio-physical and societal systems are inadequate to capture these complexities. Therefore it is critical to address the existing gaps by evolving a methodology to interpret, translate and communicate El Niño associated risks. In addition, El Niño is the main driver for seasonal prediction and its effects on ocean and the atmosphere lend better confidence to these predictions. Hence the lag time between El Niño onset and its impact on weather patterns offers opportunities to assess socioeconomic impacts, as well as management strategies.
A draft methodology has been prepared and discussed with stakeholders from Asia-Pacific countries during the regional consultative workshop 7-9 June 2016 held at Bangkok Thailand, organized by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The feedback on the methodology from the participants are incorporated in this updated methodology document.