Extreme El Niños could happen more frequently, study suggests

01/19/2014 | LiveScience.com

Warming water in the eastern Pacific Ocean could lead to more intense El Niño weather events every 10 years instead of 20, according to a study led by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research climate scientist Wenju Cai. El Niño weather events occur when changing wind patterns move warm water in the eastern Pacific, triggering atmospheric circulation changes that affect global rainfall and storm patterns. The study tested 20 climate models simulating extreme El Niño conditions, but looked at rainfall increases instead of sea surface temperatures, finding increased frequency in the chance of an extreme event over the next 100 years.

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