Researchers have found that natural disasters similar to El Nino are likely to double in the next century.
In the journal Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers from around the world including Australia have claimed that extreme El Nino events will occur every 10 years. As opposed to every 20 years like it has been in the previous century. This is due to human activity that continues to warm the planet.
El Nino is a natural climate event that occurs when water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean periodically rise, shifting rainfall patterns.
Researchers have used 20 climate models to help them predict impact on extreme El Nino frequency of global greenhouse emissions continuing at current high rates.
They found that El Nino events are likely to occur twice as often between 1991 and 2090 as they have in the previous century.
El Nino has been defined as an event as such a large pattern shift occurs that rainfall exceeded five millimeters a day in the ”eastern equatorial Pacific” region around parts of Central and South America. It would take weaker changes in ocean temperatures to prompt an extreme El Nino.
These events usually results in higher rainfall in some parts of South America and has the potential to create floods. Meanwhile promoting less rain fall in south-east Asia and Australia creating drought and brush fires.
These extreme El Ninos over the 20th century have costed between $35 to $45 billion and 23,000 deaths world wide.
If global warming is true it has the potential to double these events, as it changes the temperature in the ocean creating these climate changes.
Until recently, it was thought that the weather phenomenon, characterized by warming in the eastern and tropical Pacific Ocean, would be relatively unaffected by climate change. This new study has been brought to our attention, now we fear we may see a lot more natural disasters in the future.