Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Climate change is disturbing El Nino and La Nina

The research found that climate change will clearly affect the El Niño-Southern Oscillation by 2030, that too on a time scale of just eight years.


La Niña cold weather patterns are mainly responsible for heavy rains and floods. This has recently caused severe flooding in some areas of the southeast of Australia. Whereas El Nino alternates with La Nina every few years. El Nino usually causes drought in most parts of the world.

The simultaneous occurrence of both phases is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. It is one of the most powerful factors driving Earth’s weather. How the worldwide weather maker will affect climate change has been of interest to most scientists in recent years. This new research sheds light on this question.

The research found that climate change will clearly affect the El Niño-Southern Oscillation by 2030, that too on a time scale of just eight years.

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A complex weather puzzle

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation occurs in the tropical Pacific and involves complex interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean. It can be in one of three phases: El Niño, La Niña, or neutral.

During an El Niño phase, the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean warms significantly. It is responsible for cloud formation in the Pacific and a major change in weather patterns, creating generally dry conditions in eastern Australia.

During a La Niña phase, which is occurring now, the waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are cooler than average. Changes related to weather patterns result in above-average rainfall in some parts of the world, especially much of Australia.

When the oscillation is in the neutral phase, weather conditions are around the long-term average. Previous research has suggested that El Niño and La Niña events may differ depending on where in the tropical Pacific there are warmer or colder ocean temperatures.

El Niño-Southern Oscillation data

The researchers explained that they examined 70 years of El Niño-Southern Oscillation data from 1950 and combined it with 58 of the most advanced climate models available.

Where we have seen the effect of climate change in El Niño and La Niña events, this will be visible in the next changes in sea surface temperature in the eastern Pacific, which can be detected by 2030. That is four decades sooner than it used to be

Scientists already know that climate change is affecting the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. But because the oscillation itself is so complex and variable, it has been difficult to pinpoint where the most change is occurring.

However, the study looks at the impact of climate change, which is visible as changes in sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific will become more apparent in about eight years.

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