What's New Archive
In an article recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, Tong Lee of the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasedena and Mike McPhaden of PMEL analyzed 30 years of NOAA satellite sea surface temperature data and found that the intensity of El Niño events in the central equatorial Pacific has almost doubled in the past three decades, with the strongest warming in 2009-10.
These “central Pacific” (CP) El Niño’s exhibit maximum warming in the central equatorial Pacific in contrast to the classical El Niños, which have maximum warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific.
PMEL’s Dr. Ed Harrison and JISAO’s Dr. Andy Chiodi co-authored a paper published online on February 7 in the Journal of Climate that finds a new way to identify which El Niño events will have the biggest impact on U.S. winter weather. They examined an indicator known as outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) and found that El Niño events with drops in OLR were most likely to be associated with winter weather.
For more information please read the NOAA press release.
For the first time, in a research article published January 19 in Nature Climate Change, PMEL’s Dr. Michael McPhaden and a team of international scientists provide robust and convincing evidence that greenhouse warming will double the chance of extreme El Niño events in the coming decades. The scientists examined 20 climate models and found a doubling of extreme El Niño events, like the one in 1997-98, from present-day through the next 100 years in response to greenhouse warming.
For more information on El Niño, please visit the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean project website.