Record El Nino, climate change drive extreme weather
Deadly extreme weather on at least five continents is driven in large part by a record-breaking El Nino, but climate change is a likely booster too, experts said Monday. The 2015-16 El Nino, they added, is the strongest ever measured. "It is probably the most powerful in the last 100 years," said Jerome Lecou, a climate expert at the French weather service Meteo France, noting that accurate measurements have only existed since the mid-20th century...This year's El Nino is the most powerful ever measured, surpassing the one in 1997-98, both in terms of ocean surface temperature—up by more than 3C (5.4F)—and the surface area affected, said Lecou. As was true in 1998, this year's super El Nino will have contributed to making 2015 the warmest on record, worldwide. But the reverse may also be true, with climate change boosting the power of cyclical El Nino events. "If you add the background global warming to natural weather phenomena, there's a tendency to break records left and right," [Herve Le Treut, a climate scientist and director of the Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute] told AFP.