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GTAP Resource #4250

"Effects of El Niño Southern Oscillation on World Cereal Supply "
by Villoria, Nelson B. and David Ubilava

Unfavorable weather conditions associated with the two ENSO phases, El Niño (warm phase) and La Niña (cold phase) have considerable socio-economic implications in different parts of the world. During normal conditions the so-called trade winds blow from east to west across the tropical Pacific. However, during El Niño events (warm phase) the trade winds weaken, resulting in warmer–than–normal sea surface temperatures (SST) in the eastern and central Pacific. Typical consequences of El Niño events are increased rainfall across the southern U.S. and in Peru, and drought in the western Pacific region, especially in Indonesia and Australia. The counterpart to El Niño is La Niña (cold phase), which is associated with intensified trade winds and colder–than–normal SST in the eastern equatorial Pacific. In general La Niña episodes result in weather anomalies opposite to those for El Niño’s. El Niño and La Niña events usually alternate and tend to reoccur in a cyclical manner roughly every three–to–seven years.

In the US, Adams et al. (1999) estimate that some of the extreme episodes of ENSO have caused damages that amount to 2 to 9 billion of dollars (see also Handler, 1990; Hansen, Hodges, and Jones, 1998). In Argentina, Podestá et al. (1999) find significant and discernible effects of ENSO in maize and soybeans. Far from the Americas, in Zimbabwe, Cane, Eshel, and Buckland (1994) found that the temperatures in the equatorial pacific off the coast of South America have a high and significant correlation coefficient (0.78) with maize. Strikingly, these authors find that the average temperature of the ocean one continent away predicts maize yields better than local rainfall during the growing season. An intriguing feature of the ENSO phenomenon is that it induces correlation in climates around the globe through the so-called teleconnections (Ropelewski and Halpert, 1987; Rasmusson, 1991; Stone, Hammer, and Marcussen, 1996; Barlow, Nigam, and Berbery, 2001). Evidenc...

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2013 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 16th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Shanghai, China
Date: 2013
Created: Villoria, N. (4/16/2013)
Updated: Villoria, N. (4/16/2013)
Visits: 1,142
- Agricultural policies
- Food prices and food security

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