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May Climate Briefing: Signs Point to La Niña

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing The El Niño event declared over a year ago is in its last weeks, with odds for at least a weak La Niña to develop by late summer are pegged at more than 50%. Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are […]

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Heightened Fire Activity Predicted for Amazon in 2016

The IRI has developed a forecast maproom that characterizes the expected fire activity in the Amazon based on climate conditions for the upcoming dry season. Kátia Fernandes, along with Walter Baethgen and Lisa Goddard, have been researching how the Amazon fires are influenced by large-scale ocean phenomena and how sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts can […]

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April Climate Briefing: El Niño Lingers, La Niña Looms

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Over a year ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and IRI jointly issued an El Niño advisory, indicating El Niño conditions had arrived and were expected to continue. That advisory is still in effect, but this month […]

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El Niño 2015 Conference Report

In November 2015, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, convened the El Niño 2015 Conference. The report from this conference is now available. In addition to recordings and summaries of the […]

Mr Cheikh Sidy Cissokho (CNAAS) discusses historical drought years with farmers in the village of Woundoudou Amirou, Senegal. Photo: Dan Osgood/IRI, March 2016.

Farmers receive insurance payouts in Senegal

In Tambacounda, Senegal, small-scale farmers rely on sufficient and steady rainfall at key times of the growing season. As climate change leads to increased irregularity and intensity of rainfall events, the adaptation strategies employed by farmers to cope with shocks do not always suffice. The fear of poor productivity in a year often prevents them from […]

Fresh beans on sale in a Rwandan market. Land consolidation is helping farmers increase efficiency and production. The production of beans has increased by 30% in the past 4 years.
www.ciatnews.cgiar.org/?p=7981 Credit: Stephanie Malyon / CIAT

New Climate Services Program in Rwanda Aims to Reach One Million Farmers

The Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project, officially launched on #WorldMetDay 2016, will benefit nearly one million farmers over the next three years and reshape national food-security planning for the long term. (Kigali, Rwanda) 23 March 2016. To build a more climate-resilient agriculture sector, the Rwandan government and partners are taking action to provide nearly […]

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March Climate Briefing: El Niño Impacts Still Likely

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Due to sustained above-average sea surface temperatures in the Nino3.4 region of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean (see first image in gallery), the ongoing El Niño event continues to remain in the strong category.  While the event is expected to quickly […]

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Extreme Tornado Outbreaks Have Become More Common

A new paper shows that the average number of tornadoes per outbreak has grown by more than 40% over the last half century. The likelihood of extreme outbreaks – those with many tornadoes – is also greater. Most death and destruction inflicted by tornadoes in North America occurs during outbreaks—large-scale weather events that can last one to […]

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Climate Remains a Question in Zika Virus Spread

The Wellcome Trust just published a Q&A with Columbia University/IRI’s Madeleine Thomson in which she explains the relationship between Zika and climate, as well her outlook for future epidemics and the role of climate science, excerpted in part below. How are Zika virus and the climate related? We know that virtually all vector-borne diseases have a climate dimension. […]

Generalized Walker Circulation (December-February) anomaly during El Niño events, overlaid on map of average sea surface temperature anomalies. Anomalous ocean warming in the central and eastern Pacific (orange) help to shift a rising branch of the Walker Circulation to east of 180°, while sinking branches shift to over Indonesia and the rest of  the maritime continent and northern South America. NOAA Climate.gov drawing by Fiona Martin.

New Research: El Niño Teleconnections in the Sahel & East Africa

Pradipta Parhi, a graduate research assistant in Columbia’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering published a paper in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Climate. The study examines why two areas of Africa – the Sahel and eastern equatorial Africa – tend to experience drier- and wetter-than-normal rainy seasons, respectively, during El Niño. He is […]

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