Friday, November 18, 2011

La Nina Returns, maybe

There was El Nino and now returns La Nina. Quite frankly, I am never really know if it an El Nino or La Nina year because of the schizophrenic climate patterns. Fortunately, at least, I can speak Spanish.

So what does this mean to you beside the issue of your winter being 50+ inches vs. 2 inches of snow. Well, this weather pattern can have an impact on crop growth through out the world. And with crop surplus or shortage, food prices go up and down, respectively.

So here in the US we can expect excess rains in the Northwest, which will benefit winter wheat, but, in contrast, the southeast can face dry and warm weather, which will impact corn, soybeans and wheat crops.

In South America, Columbia is expected to receive heavy rains, which can impact coffee bean crops. I guess my Starbucks cup of coffee will be more expensive this year. Argentina will be dry. This will impact corn and soybean crops.

Southeast Asia faces heavy rains and will continue to be inundated with rain. This has already destroyed rice fields and is impacting rubber, palm oil, coal and tin production.

Down under in Australia on the west coast, there will be heavy rain. This will impact the corn, wheat and sugar cane crops.

In addition, there is a threat of an Artic oscillation. This is the wild card. According to Mike Halpert of the US Climate Prediction Center, the erratic Artic Oscillation can change a shift in climate pattern or amplify La Nina's impact. With a negative oscillation, like the last two years, cold air is pushed down and that creates a colder winter and larger snow accumulation totals year in North America. This could push up the demand for natural gas heating and kill some of the warm weather winter crops in areas like Florida and other parts of the South.

Generally speaking, the weather is becoming more unpredictable, which can create fluctuations in commodity prices. For us, that can mean gyrating food, heating and electricity prices.

Buenos suertes.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see that you're able to spend some of your vacation time blogging from HH. I've always thought that "global weirding" was the best description of what's happening to our planet.