It’s just La Nina #2

Data Credit : NASA GISS

As I said, the current year of unceasing rain is nothing to worry about – it’s just La Nina (according to the Independent’s Steve Connor, anyway) :-

“Scientists have emphasised that none of the three extreme weather events occurring now can be linked directly to global warming. Two of them, the floods in Australia and Sri Lanka, may be connected with a naturally occurring climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, called La Niña, whereas the landslides in Brazil are the result of heavy, localised downpours falling on badly constructed homes built precariously on steep hillsides.”

“It is almost certain that La Niña is behind the Queensland floods. La Niña, which means “little girl”, is a change in the Pacific Ocean where a body of relatively cold water wells up over the equatorial region, causing a corresponding build-up of warm water in the western regions near Indonesia and Australia.”

“This warm water usually dissipates to the east in non-La Niña years. This year, however, is the strongest La Niña since 1974, and the warm water around Australia and Indonesia, with nowhere to escape, has generated heavy rain clouds that have burst over Queensland.”

“In 1974, when Queensland also suffered heavy flooding, La Niña was stronger then than at any time on record. Sri Lanka remained dry that time, but this time there is evidence that some of the warm moist air has blown further west, just nudging Sri Lanka into torrential downpours, according to Adam Scaife, head of long-range forecasting at the Met Office.”

“”Rainfall is expected to increase in a warmer world but in this case it’s linked with the La Niña cycle. It’s a natural cycle and we don’t expect it to change in the future. This is not a climate-change issue, it’s La Niña, and it’s happened before and will happen again,” Dr Scaife said.”

So, no discussion of how the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is changing ?

It’s the overall ENSO pattern that counts. It shows both El Niño phases and La Niña phases, and it appears to be changing :-

Just a few references :-

Matei et al. (2008). “Subtropical Forcing of Tropical Pacific Climate and Decadal ENSO Modulation”. Journal of Climate, DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2075.1

Ashok et al. (2007). “El Niño Modoki and its possible teleconnection”. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2007, vol. 112, no. C11″

And some notes :-

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