Different types of El Nino have different effects on global temperature

May 19, 2014

Southern Oscillation is known to influence global surface temperatures, with El Niño conditions leading to warmer temperatures and La Niña conditions leading to colder temperatures. However, a new study in Geophysical Research Letters shows that some types of El Niño do not have this effect, a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.

The authors examine three historical temperature data sets and classify past El Niño events as traditional or central Pacific. They find that were anomalously warm during traditional El Niño events but not during the central Pacific El Niño events.

They note that in the past few decades, the frequencies of the two types of El Niño events have changed, with the central Pacific type occurring more often than it had in the past, and suggest that this could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in .

Explore further: UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

More information: Sandra Banholzer, Simon Donner, The influence of different El Niño types on global average temperature, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059520, 2014

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

Apr 15, 2014

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Global warming could change strength of El Nino

Sep 11, 2013

Global warming could impact the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), altering the cycles of El Niño and La Niña events that bring extreme drought and flooding to Australia and many other Pacific-rim countries.

Are we heading for a worrying Super El Nino?

May 02, 2014

We have only just moved into May and despite being seven months away from next summer in the southern hemisphere, climate researchers are seeing the beginnings of what could be the most powerful El Niño ...

Recommended for you

Glaciers in the grand canyon of Mars?

14 minutes ago

For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, ...

NASA support key to glacier mapping efforts

19 minutes ago

Thanks in part to support from NASA and the National Science Foundation, scientists have produced the first-ever detailed maps of bedrock beneath glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. This new data will help ...

Advancing the state-of-the-art in seismic science

1 hour ago

Data received from seismic monitoring stations coupled with information rapidly shared via smartphones and the Internet by those who experienced the south Napa temblor is serving to advance scientists' understanding ...

The threat of global sea level rise

1 hour ago

Changes taking place in the oceans around Antarctica could result in an abrupt rise in global sea level, according to a Victoria University of Wellington led study.

User comments : 0