Feb 11, 2016

El Niño and Climate Change: Wild Weather May Get Wilder

Kiritimati
Kiribati
by
Fred Pearce
,
Yale Environment 360
This town in Entre Rios Province, Argentina, was flooded after El Niño-related rains in December. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
This town in Entre Rios Province, Argentina, was flooded after El Niño-related rains in December. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Big El Niños happen when the warm waters from the western Pacific push most strongly eastward. And climate change is making that easier, because temperatures in the normally cool waters along the western coasts of North and South America are rising faster than those in other parts of the oceans. So the extra heat from the west can spread further, which loads the dice in favor of major El Niño events