"El Nino" Conditions in 2010
El Niño events happening around the world are easily influenced by external changes, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience. And changes in global warming could apparently temper the wrath and strength of these El Niño activities.
Such natural influences which affect the strength of El Niño events were triggered by the variations in the Earth's orbit around the Sun, according the to the researchers.
"We found there was a small strengthening of the regular seasonal trade winds in the Eastern Pacific in response to natural warming cycles in the Earth's orbit around the sun," Helen McGregor, lead author from the University of Wollongong, said in a statement. "Remarkably this acted in a big way to stop El Niño events from forming and growing."
Steven Phipps, one of the paper's authors, using coral samples from Kiribati as specimens, said that the strength of La Niña and El Niño events can change over long time spans "due to changes in the global climate."
"For instance, we found that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle was much weaker 4,300 years ago than it is today. This weaker cycle persisted for almost two centuries."
"This shows us that external factors can influence the ENSO process and that it may have a sustained response to future greenhouse gas changes," Ms McGregor said.
Meanwhile, remote sensing data from NASA's orbiting satellites indicate weather conditions around the world have entered into a La Nada state, a condition that shows near-normal sea-surface height conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Jason 2 Satellite Image
Apparently, the near-normal weather conditions have been going on for the past 16 months since spring 2012.
"Without an El Niño or La Niña signal present, other, less predictable, climatic factors will govern fall, winter and spring weather conditions," Bill Patzert, a climatologist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement.
La Nada, the "in between" ocean state, currently dominates the global weather conditions.
Current "La Nada" Conditions
Still, the world ought to brace for these La Nada conditions.
"Neutral infers something benign, but in fact if you look at these La Nada years when neither El Niño nor La Niña are present, they can be the most volatile and punishing. As an example, the continuing, deepening drought in the American West is far from 'neutral,'" he said.
Climate models state this La Nada trend will run through the spring of 2014.
The 1997 El Niño observed by TOPEX/Poseidon. The white areas off the tropical coasts of South and North America indicate the pool of warm wate
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