EL BURNING NINO

3171955So what are some of the hottest issues of the month you ask? Well, I can give you some. For a start, people are getting sick more often than ever due to the unusually hot weather. Schools get closed down for several days so that students are refrained from outdoor activities. Even if classes still go on, outdoor activities has to be called off, which means no physical education classes or sports activities until further notice. Dessert chain stores are filled of people wanting to have something cold to cool themselves. Fire fighters working day and night to put off forest fires due to the heat situation. And yes, you witness this every single day. What are we discussing you might ask? Today we’re going to discuss on El Nino and for the first time in Malaysian history, the presence of the heat wave.

The word El Nino is derived from Spanish which means “little boy”. El Nino events are thought to have been occurring for thousands of years. For instance, it is thought that El Nino has affected the Inca Empire in modern-day Peru, who sacrificed humans in order to try and prevent the rains. Besides, it is also associated with the warmest phase of the El Nino–Southern Oscillation system (ENSO), which is an irregularly periodical variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, affecting much of the tropics and subtropics and this includes countries like ours. Typically this event happens irregularly at intervals of two to seven years but once it happens, it lasts between nine months to two years.

On the other hand, a heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries, according to Wikipedia. Heat waves are formed as a result of trapped air from the atmosphere to the ground which is caused by high pressure. This not only inhibits air circulation and brings rain, but also making the trapped air hotter. Coupled with a weak weather and air pattern, it will do less to circulate the trapped air and thus forms the heat wave phenomenon. In Malaysia’s case, the main cause of heatwave was due to the equinox phenomenon that is when the sun crosses directly over the equator. Despite this occurrence happened at the end of March, we are still feeling the excessive heat, looks like the weather doesn’t cool down much huh?

According to a news report by Bernama on 10th January 2016, Malaysia’s rainfall intensity was expected to reduce by 20 to 60 percent starting following with the occurance of El Nino. Apart from that, the country’s temperature was expecting to rise between 0.5 to 2 degrees Celcius. If you follow up the weather forecast and record of Malaysia lately, areas in Northern Malaysia are the hottest among the rest of the country, with place in states like Perlis and Kedah to have reached a scorching high temperature of 39-40 degrees Celcius, man I can literally boil an egg without boiling water with that sort of surroundings (ok maybe not at that extent).

With all the excessive heat taking this nation to a meltdown, of course health is also a major concern as well. Maybe some off you persist symptoms such as heat stroke, dizziness, dehydration etc. throughout this hot spell.  Such excessive heat does more harm than good not only to human being and animals, but also to crops too. It not only overheats bodies of human beings and animals, but also causes catastrophic crop failures due to drought. Less food for thought I suppose.

Anyway with all the talk on this fiery and burning topic, it is vitally important for all of us to keep our cool throughout this dry spell. Keep yourselves hydrated with tons of water at all times to fuel up those electrolytes in your body and to have a clear state of mind. Reduce your outdoor activities as much as possible but if you still want to have a game of futsal or any outdoor activity, the best time I suggest will be after 5pm, trust me, it will be slightly cooler by then.

Yes it is a very heaty challenge to endure, but trust me, when you know how to keep your cool, you will pull through this (and when I mean keeping your cool, I mean literally). Ultimately, don’t forget to stay awesome and stay healthy!

By: Gan Zhi Han 

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