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Australian meteorologists have increased the likelihood of an El Niño weather phenomenon forming later this year, raising concerns for extreme weather in Africa and south east Asia.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that there was a 50 per cent chance of El Niño occurring this year, with six of the eight prediction models suggesting thresholds may be reached by July 2017.
The El Niño weather event in 2015-16 was one of the strongest on record. It was behind devastating drought conditions in south east Asia and Africa, where crops shrivelled and exacerbated the heating of sea temperatures off Australia, where the Great Barrier Reef is suffering the worst bleaching in history,