Forecasters are predicting a “three-peat La Niña” this year.
Forecasters are predicting a “three-peat La Niña” this year. This will be the third winter in a row that the Pacific Ocean has been in a La Niña cycle, something that’s happened only twice before in records going back to 1950.
New research led by the University of Washington offers a possible explanation. The study, recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that climate change is, in the short term, favoring La Niñas.
“The Pacific Ocean naturally cycles between El Niño and La Niña conditions, but our work suggests that climate change could currently be weighing the dice toward La Niña,” said lead author Robert Jnglin Wills, a UW research scientist in atmospheric sciences. “At some point, we expect anthropogenic, or human-caused, influences to reverse these trends and give El Niño the upper hand.”
Scientists hope to predict the direction of these longer-term El Niño-like or La Niña-like climate trends in order to protect human life and property.
Read more at University of Washington
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