2009-2010 central Pacific El NiñoA study by Australian and US researchers has found robust signs that global warming is having an increasing impact on the El Niño/La Nina (ENSO) cycle which drives a significant amount of changes to global weather. The El Nino cycle has been unusually active and intense in the 30 year period from 1979 to 2009, more than any time in the last 600 years, researchers found.
"Our research suggests in a warming world we are likely to see more extreme El Niño and La Nina events, which over the past decade in Australia have been related to extreme flooding, persistent droughts and dangerous fire seasons,” said lead author Dr Shayne McGregor from the University of NSW ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.
“Importantly, this study not only tells us how ENSO activity has behaved in the past in relation to global average temperature, it also opens the window for climate models to be able to estimate more accurately how this activity will change in the future." said Dr McGregor.