Major El Niño Weather Events to Double in Next Century

u.s., weather, el nino, unstable

The world had better be getting ready for the worsening of major El Nino weather happenings to double in the next century. These climate events, which are already linked to shocking natural disasters are believed to double in frequency. The increase of activity was within a research study recently printed in the journal Nature Climate Change. This prediction was found by a team of worldwide scientists, who are stating that extreme El Nino events could occur once each decade instead of every 20 years as has been in prior centuries. This is due to the planet continuing to warm up because of human commotion.

El Nino has always been a natural event of nature which occurred when water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean intermittently rose, therefore causing the shift of rainfall patterns. One of the research study authors Dr Wenju Cai, explained that the more the warming in the Pacific overextended, and the higher the temperatures went, the more extreme the El Nino would become.

Damage from extreme El Nino is always severe, so scientists are extremely anxious to determine how their intensity and frequency change will alter the planet as the Earth warms up. Any previous studies have been annoyingly inconclusive. However new research is allowing a new tactic to be brought to solve the problem.

The findings have been based on 20 different climate replicas that accurately show the historic movements of El Nino. To complete the study, the models replicated the climate for two centuries ranging from 1890 to 2090. In the first part of the run, extreme El Ninos were shown to happen around every 20 years or so. From 1990 to 2090, the dangerous events happen about every 10 years. The extreme El Nino that flooded California was about 15 years ago.

It is believed that the Earth is due for a major El Nino year, but no one is able to predict when it will arrive. Historically, the colder Pacific Ocean was able to serve as a barrier to the increase of warm waters coming from the west. But as greenhouse gases amplify in the Earth’s atmosphere, the eastern part of the Pacific is warming faster than the surrounding area. The warming has deteriorated the barrier and is shifting the climate background.

Due to the increased warming in the eastern Pacific, even moderate El Nino events are triggering responses in the atmosphere which at one time were only associated with the most dangerous of El Nino events. The increased rate of which extreme El Nino conditions are starting to form suggests that the world should be ready for more cataclysmic weather happenings, such as severe flooding in areas that are used to having drought, and intense bushfires where there are usually moist tropics.

The predicted upswing is coming at a time when weather disasters are already on the rise because of a quickly growing worldwide population. When climate change itself is added to the equation, there is even more need to have strong disaster preparation in place.

Even so, there is a lot of irony with the situation. Scientists have better knowledge of how terrible such weather events are going to be, yet individuals are still continuing to send out more and more carbon dioxide, and that is what is going to cause the more frequent occurrences of the major El Nino events. Everyone on planet Earth should be expecting to see more incidences of shattering weather events, which will have prominent deadly implications for the 21st century.


By Kimberly Ruble


NBC News

ABC News

Sidney Morning Herald

3 Responses to "Major El Niño Weather Events to Double in Next Century"

  1. stefanthedenier   January 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    those ”researcher scientist” have crystal balls that are telling lies. Eastern Pacific has same increase of CO2 as the rest of the planet – the rest of the planet is larger than east Pacific – therefore: we are going to have more La Nina years – with beautiful climate

  2. Down to Earth   January 21, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Ray & Giese (2012) “Historical Changes in El Nino and La Nina Characteristics in a Ocean Reanalysis” found that El Niño events had not become stronger, or lasted longer, or occurred more often (among other things) since 1871. And manmade greenhouse gases are said to have caused global warming during that time period. The Ray & Giese (2012) abstract ends:
    “Overall, there is no evidence that there are changes in the strength, frequency, duration, location or direction of propagation of El Niño and La Niña anomalies caused by global warming during the period from 1871 to 2008.”

    Guilyardi et al.(2009) “Because ENSO is the dominant mode of climate variability at interannual time scales, the lack of consistency in the model predictions of the response of ENSO to global warming currently limits our confidence in using these predictions to address adaptive societal concerns, such as regional impacts or extremes.”

    So one wonders how climate models could simulate a future change in ENSO when there have been no changes in almost 140 years.
    ANSWER: They can’t !

  3. John Beckwith   January 20, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Nice Job at pointing out the obvious once again. Had a strong El Nino in 2006. I’d say that “every 10 years” is not much of a prediction. This is not unlike predicting “extreme weather” years after numerous extreme weather events including snow simultaneously in all continental states.

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