It’s a mean little storm, and it’s only getting meaner.
The first seasonal record for El Niño over the last 400 years was published in scientific journal Nature Geoscience last Wednesday and it revealed some disturbing facts about the current state of our world today.
According to the paper, El Niño has become not only more prevalent in the last few decades, but also more intense as time goes by.
“Evidence is emerging that Central Pacific El Niño events have become more common, a trend that is projected by some studies to continue with ongoing climate change,” the paper reports.
However, this is not entirely true across the world. While El Niño events in the western and central parts of the Earth have become more common, it actually lowered in number in the eastern parts. However, the few incidents that happened are also more intense than the average El Niño phenomenon.
“We find a simultaneous increase in Central Pacific events and a decrease in Eastern Pacific events since the late twentieth century that leads to a ratio of Central to Eastern Pacific events that is unusual in a multicentury context,” the paper explains. “Compared to the past four centuries, the most recent 30 year period includes fewer, but more intense, Eastern Pacific El Niño events.”