National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

Global Warming May Exacerbate El Niño and La Niña Events

August 17, 2015

Current sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical pacific, indicative of a strong El Niño.

August 17, 2015

Research and commentary articles just published online in Nature Climate Change by NOAA/PMEL Senior Scientist Michael McPhaden and collaborators highlights the need for continued study into El Niño causes and effects. 

McPhaden’s commentary explores possible reasons why the much anticipated El Niño of 2014 failed to materialize, while an unforeseen strong El Niño is developing now. In the same issue, a review paper by McPhaden and colleagues explores the connection between global warming and El Niño/La Niña events.  Model results indicate that extreme El Niño and La Niña events will increase in number and intensity as the climate continues to warm.   

Read the commentary and research review on Nature Climate Change and the NOAA Press Release about current El Niño research.