Media statement in response to El Niño declaration

Wellcome responds to the announcement from the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that El Niño conditions are present and expected to gradually strengthen into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24.

Madeleine Thomson, Head of Climate Impacts and Adaptation at Wellcome, said:

"A major El Nino may give us an early taste of a 1.5°C world. If the predictions come true, the emerging El Nino will drive extreme weather events in different regions of the world. Some countries could face droughts, others floods. Heatwaves are likely to be particularly intense as temperatures rise around the world.

"Without a doubt, the human health consequences for some of the most vulnerable populations in the world will be catastrophic.

"There is still time to act to limit the health effects. The UN should appoint a special envoy for El Nino as they did last time to coalesce action urgently."