New research has revealed that extreme El Nino events are likely to double as the Earth continues to warm.
Co-author, Dr. Angus Santoso of ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CoECSS), said that Earth experiences an abnormally strong El Nino event every 20 years, however, their research shows that this is set to double to one event every 10 years.
Extreme El Nino events develop differently from standard El Ninos, which first appear in the western Pacific per dna India. Extreme El Nino’s happen when sea surface temperatures exceeding 28 degrees Celsius develop in the typically cold and dry eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.
The research team examined 20 climate models that consistently simulate major rainfall reorganization during extreme El Nino events to achieve their results.
They uncovered a substantial increase in events from the present-day through the next 100 years as the eastern Pacific Ocean warmed in response to global warming.
Co-author, Professor Matthew England from CoECSS, states that this latest research based on rainfall patterns, suggests that extreme El Nino events are likely to double in frequency as global warming leads to direct impact on extreme weather events worldwide.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
“This is a highly unexpected consequence of global warming,” said Professor Mat Collins of the University of Exeter, part of the research team. “Previously we had thought that El Niño would be unaffected by climate change. Tropical rainfall conditions such as those experienced in extreme El Niños have a dramatic influence on the world […] the impact therefore on mankind is substantial.”
Another team member, Professor Eric Guilyardi of the University of Reading, said: “This research is the first comprehensive examination of the issue to produce robust