El-Nino Chronicles: ESG Implications of Oceanic Warming


Today, major parts of the world are facing the catastrophic impacts of climate change. The Indian subcontinent, specifically, is facing an extreme heat wave in 2024 and there is an increased buzz regarding “The El-Nino Effect”. Through this blog post, we will try to explain what happens when the world experiences the ESG framework unravel its mysteries, and explore its far reaching consequences.

The Earth’s climate is a complicated web of interconnected weather conditions, which are highly influenced by various factors such as ocean currents, atmospheric pressure, direction of winds and solar radiations. Among these natural phenomena, El-Nino stands out to be one of the most fascinating, captivating and impactful events. It has the potential to disrupt the weather patterns across the globe. 


El-Nino, a Spanish word meaning “The Boy” or “Christ Child”, refers to periodic warming of the surface water at the central & eastern Pacific Ocean. This warming alters the circulation patterns of the ocean water, leading to significant changes in the weather pattern across the globe. El-Nino effect typically occurs after every two to seven years and its effect can last for several months to over a year.


ESG Sustainability

In normal conditions, Thermocline (line dividing warm and cold water) is lower toward Asia and Indonesia (Western side of Pacific Ocean), the trade winds blowing from South America (eastern side of Pacific Ocean) moves warm water towards Western bank. Moisture laden winds rise at the Western side of the Pacific Ocean which brings rainfall in Asia, Indonesia and Australia.

During El-Nino ESG Phenomenon, Westerly winds blowing from Europe towards Asia overpowers the trade winds which alters the ocean currents. This alteration leads to warm water movement towards the Eastern Bank and the moisture laden winds arise at the Central Pacific Ocean. This alters the precipitation cycle leading to extreme heat wave conditions in South-east Asia.


The effects of El-Nino can be experienced all across the globe. The Phenomenon has a diverse impact on the weather patterns, ecosystems, economies, and human societies worldwide. Some of the most notable effects include:

  1. Weather Extremes: El-Nino Phenomenon results in extreme weather conditions such as droughts, floods and hurricanes in different parts of the world. Regions such as South America and Coastal Islands in the East Pacific Ocean experience Floods and Hurricanes. On the contrary, regions like South East Asia, Indonesia, California and Southern parts of the United States experience Droughts.
  1. Economic Consequences: The disruption of weather patterns have a huge impact on the economic activities such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism. Crop failures, reduced agricultural productivity, disruption in transportation and supply chain, migration of marine animals due to surface water warming, etc. leads to food shortages and economic hardships for affected communities.
  1. Ecological impacts: El-Nino triggers widespread ecological events such as coral bleaching, famines, cyclones, tsunamis, fishery collapse, and changes in species distribution. These events have long lasting effects on the marine and terrestrial ecosystems. 
  1. Global Climate Patterns: During El-Nino conditions, global climate patterns such as monsoons, hurricanes, atmospheric wind and ocean currents circulation, are highly disrupted. 


  1. The 1982-1983 El-Nino Effects:
  • This El-Nino event had a widespread and severe impact across multiple continents.
    • The 1982-83 El-Nino resulted in prolonged drought conditions in Australia, especially eastern and southeastern regions of the country.
    • The changes in precipitation pattern led to reduced rainfall resulting in water shortages, crop failures, and decreased agricultural productivity
    • Lack of rainfall led to warmer temperatures leading to bushfires. This exacerbated the esg impacts of the El-Nino event.
  1. The 1997-1998 El-Nino Event:
  • This El-Nino event is often referred to as “Super El-Nino”. It was one of the strongest events that affected major parts of the Southern America, specifically Peru.
    • Peru experienced heavy rainfall and flooding during 1997-1998 El-Nino conditions that caused widespread devastation resulting in loss of life. Infrastructure damage, and displacement of communities.
    • These floods created havoc in the region leading to economic consequences and ecological impacts. Flooding led to significant damage to the agricultural sector resulting in crop failure. Crops such as rice, sugarcane, and cotton were severely affected.
    • The disruption of fisheries due to changes in ocean temperatures had a looming impact on the livelihood of the coastal communities.
    • The warmer sea surface temperature led to ecological implications that resulted in mass bleaching of the “Great Barrier Reef, Australia” for the first time in 1998. 
  1. The 2009-2010 El-Nino Effects:
  • This El-Nino had verified impacts on different regions of the globe. The event brought extreme dry conditions in Indonesia but the effect showed a rapid transition to La-Nina (the cooling phase of El-Nino).
    • The 2009-10 El-Nino led to prolonged dry conditions resulting in frequent and severe forest fires.
    • The wildfire conditions were further exacerbated because of the illegal land clearing and peatland drainage. These activities further decayed the ecosystem causing widespread air pollution, and health problems.
  1. The 2015-2016 El-Nino Effects:
  • This El-Nino Event, while not as severe as the 1997-98 Event, still had significant impact on the weather conditions across the globe.
  • The most severely hit region was Ethiopia, which experienced severe drought conditions.
    • The drought conditions resulted in severe food shortages and water scarcity in many parts of the country.
    • There were crop failures, livestock losses, resulting in reduced agricultural productivity. This resulted in acute food shortages affecting millions of people that leading to humanitarian crisis.


El-Nino is one of the most captivating events that has the potential to alter the entire atmospheric pattern resulting in extreme weather conditions. It is having profound effects on the climate system and human societies. Scientists around the world have been trying to unravel the implications and complexities of El-Nino Events for decades. They are able to make significant strides in understanding the complexities of the El-Nino but a lot is still uncovered.

This year also there is a build up of El-Nino that started affecting the globe in December 2023. Major parts of South-east Asia, including the Indian Subcontinent, are experiencing extreme heat wave conditions and the reason for the same is current atmospheric changes across the Pacific Ocean. 

As the Scientists continue to unravel the mysteries of El-Nino, it is essential to recognize its importance in shaping global weather patterns. At Safety Circle, we are committed to keeping you informed about such critical climatic events and their impacts on our ESG.

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