Recent News

Other Climate Patterns that Impact U.S. Winter Climate

By IRI Chief Forecaster Tony BarnstonThis post originally appeared on’s ENSO blog. Reproduced with permission.  While the focus of this blog is ENSO, there are other important climate patterns that impact the United States during the Northern Hemisphere winter season.  We often focus on the winter season because that is the time of year many climate […]


El Niño and Global Health: Latest Bulletin

The IRI Health group has updated its bulletin, Emerging El Niño Conditions: Notes for the Global Health Community, to take into account the latest forecasts announced by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society yesterday. As with the previous bulletin, IRI lists several recommendations for improving risk management and disease surveillance in the face […]


July Climate Briefing: El Niño Still Not Fully Developed

From the July climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing The latest model runs have reduced the chance of an El Niño developing by late summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The probability of an El Niño forming during the current July-September […]


Special Issue: Shaping the Landscape of Climate Services

“A climate-informed and climate-ready world is possible. Large investments are being made toward adaptation and resilience to climate change, but many of those investments are separated from the more immediate climate-related vulnerabilities and opportunities that society faces. Information is increasingly available that could be used to guide action; however, information alone is not sufficient.” -Lisa […]

Farmer, Andhra Pradesh. Francesco Fiondella

Putting Climate Services Into Farmers’ Hands

As an ‘El Niño’ climate event heats up in the Pacific, the spotlight is on how we can prepare for the weather and climate shifts that may be in store. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a kind of pendulum in the global climate system, swinging back and forth on a 2-7 year cycle, bringing drought to some areas […]

El Niño Predicted to Create Winners and Losers in Global Agriculture

By Alexa Jay and Jim Hansen  El Niño’s impacts are far-reaching, influencing rainfall and temperature patterns across the globe. In agriculture, these impacts are felt primarily through the cycle’s effect on precipitation, particularly in the developing world where 80% of farmland is rainfed. But not all impacts are bad — while some areas may suffer […]


Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña)

For years, people have been pointing to El Niño as the culprit behind floods, droughts, famines, economic failures, and record-breaking global heat. Can a single climate phenomenon really cause all these events? Is the world just a step away from disaster when El Niño conditions develop? What exactly is this important climate phenomenon and why […]

Francesco Fiondella/Elqui

Study: El Niño’s Impacts on Water, Agriculture and Health

By Ben Orlove and Ángel Muñoz A new study examines the degree to which decision makers working in key sectors–agriculture, water and health–have been able to make successful use of forecasts of El Niño and La Niña. We find that these forecasts have indeed often been put into use, but only when two conditions have been […]


June 2014 Climate Briefing: El Niño Likely to Develop this Summer

From the June climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing As the northern hemisphere summer gets underway, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) shows signs of borderline neutral/weak El Niño conditions in the equatorial Pacific. However, conditions in the atmosphere remain ENSO-neutral. The Niño3.4 sea-surface temperature anomaly […]


El Niño Primer for the Global Health Community

With a moderate El Niño expected to develop later this year, the global health community is closely monitoring seasonal climate forecasts. A new bulletin released by the IRI addresses ways in which health decision-makers can use climate information to reduce the potential for negative health impacts. IRI is a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre for Early Warning Systems for Malaria […]

Browse Archive