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Indonesia's 'Gorilla El Nino' threat looms amid escalating heatwave

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia is grappling with unusually high temperatures believed to be the result of El Nino. Experts are expressing concerns that this weather phenomenon may escalate into what they have dubbed the "Gorilla El Nino".

Recent studies and discussions by the Variability, Climate Change and Early Season Team of the National Research and Innovation Agency (TIVIPIAM-BRIN) suggest that El Nino is gaining strength, bearing a resemblance to the extreme El Nino witnessed in 2015, if not surpassing it in intensity.

Erma Yulihastin, team leader of the TIVIPIAM-BRIN, said on Wednesday that the typical life cycle of El Nino and La Nina spans nine months. If El Nino hit Indonesia in June, as calculated, the peak of El Nino's impact on Indonesia will likely occur between next month and February 2024.

"The results of our updated studies and discussions, if you look at the El Nino life cycle, from the modeling of the El Nino strength index calculation itself, are currently heading toward area 3, the Pacific Ocean toward the west of Peru," said Erma.

Erma went on to explain that after reaching the peak level at 3.5, El Nino's strength index saw a decline, touching 2.32 in El Nino area 2.

"If it is 3.5, it is no longer super El Nino, but gorilla El Nino," she said.

During this decline, there was a simultaneous transfer of heat energy to the western Pacific Ocean, hinting at an increase in the index within that region toward level 2. A continued rise in the index indicates a transfer of energy from the eastern Pacific Ocean near Peru to the west. When it reaches level 2, drought conditions are expected to intensify.

"This is what I want to remind you of, the life cycle of El Nino. All models agree because now [El Nino] is still on its way from east to west," Erma added.

Researchers are closely monitoring the situation to determine whether Indonesia might face a potential "Gorilla El Nino".

As the Earth's temperature rise surpasses 1.5 degrees Celsius for the first time in history, there is concern that this increased heat supply could contribute to the persistence of El Nino.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/10/26/indonesias-gorilla-el-nino-threat-looms-amid-escalating-heatwave.htm