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Scientists learn how to predict El Niños 18 months in advance -- study

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scientists can predict El Niño climate events up to nine months earlier by recording ocean water temperatures north of Australia, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change. Now an El Niño can be anticipated as far as 18 months in advance.

Climate scientist Nandini Ramesh found that all El Niños begin with a massive discharge of warm water from below the surface in the equatorial western Pacific. No one had made the discovery sooner because the warm subsurface water is difficult to detect using satellite measurements.

"When we looked below the surface, there was this big blob of warm water that was there far before anything was visible on the surface," said Ramesh, a pre-Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

"We hope that this will enhance our ability to predict El Niño so that communities can begin preparing for their effects much earlier," Ramesh added (Stephen Pincock,  ABC, June 25). -- LJ

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500


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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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