Nov 23, 2015

How bad will this El Nino be? Worse than you may think

Kiritimati
Kiribati
by
Marc A. Levy
,
Phys.org
Within areas affected by 1997-1998 El Niño, there are now 230 million additional people. Credit: Calculations and surplus/deficit masks
Within areas affected by 1997-1998 El Niño, there are now 230 million additional people. Credit: Calculations and surplus/deficit masks

Much of the discussion about the fear that the current El Niño will turn out to be even worse than the devastating 1997-1998 El Niño neglects a crucial fact. Today's El Niño is unfolding over a world that is in many ways more vulnerable than the world of 1997-1998. Just as today's climate continues to generate extremes without historical precedent, we are starting to see elements of social vulnerability also without historical precedent.