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Climate scientists think the first major El Niño since 1997-1998 is beginning to brew in the Pacific.
The first sign of a brewing El Niño weather pattern came in January, as trade winds that normally blow from the east reversed course near Papua New Guinea. Barrelling back across the tropical Pacific Ocean, they began to push warm water towards South America. Now climate scientists and forecasters are on high alert.
A major El Niño event — a periodic warming of waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific — could boost temperatures and scramble weather worldwide. The most recent major event, in 1997–98, was linked to thousands of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in damage from droughts, fires and floods across several continents. Yet more than 15 years later, forecasting the timing and intensity of El Niño remains tricky, with incremental improvements in climate models threatened by the partial collapse of an ocean-monitoring system that delivers the data to feed those models.
Note the date of the last event, 1997-1998. This was also the last time the world’s global temperature saw an increase. At the time global warming scientists were saying that global warming would increase the number and severity of El Niño events, which in turn would raise havoc with the climate. Instead, we have gone more than a decade and a half without any significant El Niño event, and the global temperature rise has ceased.
Note also that the article focuses on the difficulty scientists have had in predicting El Niño. These are the same global warming scientists who are also certain they can predict the exact temperature rise for the next two hundred years.