World Climate Report has brought you many essays regarding articles in the scientific literature with results that challenge popular perceptions about global warming and El Niño. Don’t look now, but, predictably, this year’s El Niño has brought with it its share of climate change/impact associations. (We wonder what happened to that warm winter that El Niño was thought responsible for?).
You’ve probably read this a dozen times already, but El Niño is related to a warm pool of water forming off the Pacific coast of equatorial South America, and during El Niño periods, Australia suffers from drought and fire, the southern and southwestern United States receive significantly above average winter precipitation, and the United States as a whole has warmer than average winters. The empirical linkage underlying these connections is significant in a statistical sense, but often surprisingly weak as covered many times in World Climate Report.