Topic: ENSO

September Climate Briefing: Surprise La Niña or Ephemeral Cooling?

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño and La Niña. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing What’s New Since last month’s briefing, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have continued to cool in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, as well as to its […]

August Climate Briefing: No Niño or Niña on Horizon

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing   What’s New Since last month’s briefing, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have cooled in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region (see first image below). The weekly SST anomalies in […]

July Climate Briefing: El Niño Odds Continue Downward Trend

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. What’s New Since last month’s briefing, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have been similar to the previous month’s temperatures, ranging from +0.5ºC to +0.7ºC in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region (see first image below). While […]

June Climate Briefing: El Niño Odds Continue Downward Trend

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing What’s New Since last month’s briefing, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have been similar to the previous month’s temperatures, ranging from +0.4ºC to +0.6ºC in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the […]

Early-season warning of soybean rust regional epidemics using El Niño/Southern Oscillation information

  • Journal: Journal of Biometeorology
  • Vol. 55
  • Issue: 4
  • Published: March 2011

Author(s):

E. Del Ponte
A. de Holanda Nunes Maia
T. Veloso Santos
E. J. Martins
W. E. Baethgen

May Climate Briefing: El Niño Odds Down Slightly

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Since last month’s briefing, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have increased slightly to +0.4ºC to +0.5ºC in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region (see first image below). These sea-surface temperatures […]

Rising Temperatures Lead to Increased Fire Risk in Indonesia

A new paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that rising temperatures have increased the risk of fires even during non-drought years in Indonesia, possibly making mild fire seasons in the country a thing of the past. The study was conducted by scientists at IRI, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Temple University and the Center for International […]

April Climate Briefing: Models Bullish on El Niño Odds

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Since last month’s briefing, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have held steady at +0.2ºC to +0.3ºC in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region. While these sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) point to […]

March Climate Briefing: Probability of El Niño Rises

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Since last month’s briefing, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have ranged from -0.2ºC to +0.3ºC in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region. This is firmly in the range of neutral ENSO conditions, although other indicators of ENSO […]

February Climate Briefing: Weak La Niña Replaced With Neutral ENSO, and Uncertainty

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Since last month’s briefing, sea-surface temperatures have warmed in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region. Last week, the weekly anomaly for Nino3.4 was +0.1ºC — the first time […]

January Climate Briefing: La Niña on Last Legs

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Since last month’s briefing, sea-surface temperature anomalies in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, have warmed about a tenth of a degree. The past few weeks, these anomalies have been […]

Mark Cane, George Philander, Win 2017 Vetlesen Prize

Mark Cane was instrumental in the 1996 establishment of Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society. By Kevin Krajick, Earth Institute Two scientists who untangled the complex forces that drive El Niño, the world’s most powerful weather cycle, have won the 2017 Vetlesen Prize for achievement in earth sciences. The $250,000 award will […]

IRI @ AMS: Schedule of Events

“Observations Lead the Way” is the theme for the upcoming 97th annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society. Much, if not all, of the initiatives at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society rely on a critical mass of quality weather and climate observations. The presentations of IRI’s staff and scientists at this year’s […]

December Climate Briefing: La Niña Lingers, Likely to Lapse

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Since last month’s briefing, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, have remained within a tenth of a degree of the -0.5ºC threshold indicative of La […]

November Climate Briefing: La Niña Arrives, Some Impacts Likely

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Since last month’s briefing, sea-surface temperatures in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, have remained cooler-than-average. Since July, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have been around or just below the -0.5ºC […]

October Climate Briefing: Teetering on La Niña

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Sea-surface temperatures in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, are slightly cooler than those in the weeks leading up to last month’s briefing. Since July, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies have […]

September Climate Briefing: No Niña, But Some Impacts Expected

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Sea-surface temperatures in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, remain similar to those from last month’s briefing. Since July, weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies (see first image below) have been […]

August Climate Briefing: Fate of La Niña Up in the Air

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Conditions in the area of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, remain similar to those from last month’s briefing. While ocean temperatures are indicating a weak La Niña event could be imminent, atmospheric […]

caricof-dry-2015-banner

Voices from CariCOF: Dry Season 2015-16

The Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum, also known as CariCOF, brings together climate scientists and meteorologists with decision-makers who may be able to use climate information. During the meeting, now held twice a year — once at the beginning of the dry season and once at the beginning of the wet season — the scientists present […]

July Climate Briefing: Waiting for the Winds to Change

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Neutral conditions remain in the central equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region. Recent weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies dipped just below the -0.5º threshold used to define La Niña, but those […]

June Climate Briefing: Neutral, For Now

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing The El Niño event that began in spring 2015 has come to an end. Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, have been in the neutral category […]

Forecasting Climate, with Help from the Baobab Tree

In El Niño retrospective, lessons from Senegal In a three-part series for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, graduate student Catherine Pomposi relates her experience in Senegal during the 2015 El Niño. She explains the 2015 El Niño forecast and its climate impacts in Senegal, as well as current efforts to better understand climate in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

February Climate Briefing: Unique El Niño Slowly Weakening

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. The peak of the ongoing El Niño occurred in November 2015, but the event remains in “strong” category, and is likely to stay at moderate strength through April. The El Niño signal is still tipping the odds for certain climate impacts in some regions for the next several months (see seasonal […]

January Climate Briefing: Strong El Niño Will Persist

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing El Niño’s peak in tropical Pacific sea surface temperature came in late 2015, but the event is expected to stay strong, with climate impacts likely for the first few months of 2016. Recent wind patterns could lead to more Kelvin […]

IRI@AMS 2016: Schedule of Events

From crowd-sourcing tornado data to teaching Harlem high-school students about climate change and climate justice, IRI scientists will be sharing a number of fascinating projects at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) next week in New Orleans.  Below is a schedule of their presentations and posters. Presenting authors appear in bold. Crowd-Sourcing the Storm: A New […]

December Climate Briefing: El Niño Impacts Still to Come

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing As of mid-December, sea-surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific were stable or down slightly compared to late November (see first image in first gallery). Tony Barnston, IRI’s chief climate forecaster, said the peak strength with respect to this metric of […]

Climate Resilience (Animation)

Climate resilience: it’s the ability for communities to recover from the impacts of climate events. It’s the difference between weather being manageable…or a catastrophe. But for many parts of the world, where livelihoods depend so much on the climate, critical weather and climate information is unavailable or unusable. The International Research Institute for Climate and […]

November Climate Briefing: El Niño Takes the Wheel

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Is it 1997? Rapid strengthening of the ongoing El Niño event over the last several weeks has made headlines, some saying that its strength has eclipsed that of the 1997-98 “super” El Niño event. But Tony Barnston, IRI’s chief climate forecaster, cautions that […]

El Niño Drives Drought in the Philippines

A strong El Niño event is in place in the tropical Pacific. IRI’s seasonal forecast for the October-December 2015 period, based on the most recent sea surface temperature projections, predicts a strong likelihood of below-average precipitation for regions in the western equatorial Pacific, including much of the Philippines. The strong likelihood of reduced rainfall during […]

International Conference on El Niño, November 17 and 18

One of the strongest El Niño events ever measured is now underway. It is already causing droughts and flooding in different parts of the world, and affecting food production, water availability, public health and energy supplies in a number of countries. The last major El Niño occurred in 1997/98, wreaking widespread havoc and erasing years of development gains. The world is […]

Climate Variability: What You Need To Know

Climate change is a fairly constant source of news, but this year’s El Niño is bringing more attention than usual to climate variability–changes in climate that unfold on shorter timescales. These are typically natural swings in our climate, be them year-to-year or decade-to-decade. They tend to be more dramatic than the projected average changes anticipated from climate […]

October Climate Briefing: El Niño Flexes Its Strength

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño.   Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing The El Niño that officially began last March and became a “strong” event in July continues to strengthen, with the event expected to peak in the next few months. Even with the weakening projected […]

Indonesia’s Parched Peatlands Burn Under El Niño

Indonesia on track for worst fire season since 1997 This post contains excerpts from a story published by IRI on Medium.com. View the full story, including data and additional graphics, here.  Written by staff from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Media can contact Francesco Fiondella. Much of western Indonesia is […]

California Drought: Happy New Year?

Using the IRI Data Library to Predict and Track the 2016 Water Year This post is an excerpt from a story published by IRI on Medium.com, where we are updating the post each month with the latest forecasts. View the full story and forecast maps here.  October 1st marks the first day of the new “Water Year” for […]

September Climate Briefing: More Confidence than Ever

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño.   Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing   Changes from last month’s briefing An El Niño event is now in full swing, with probabilities of its continuance similar to those forecasted last month and remaining at close to 100% through the first few months of 2016 (bottom […]

Send Us El Niño Headlines!

Here at the IRI, we’re constantly thinking about El Niño: its prediction, its evolution, its impacts, etc. We also keep tabs on the communication — and miscommunication — of El Niño, but we can’t be everywhere (and neither can Tony Barnston). We need your help! We’re inviting you to send snapshots of headlines related to El Niño that […]

August Climate Briefing: “100%” El Niño

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño.   Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Although 100% is technically not an achievable number in the world of ENSO and climate prediction, this El Niño forecast all but reaches it for the next several months.  The odds are similar to […]

July Climate Briefing: Nothin’ but Niño

Read our ENSO Essentials and ENSO Impacts pages to learn more about El Niño + check out the Storified summary of the #IRIforecast discussion on Twitter.   Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Scientists usually cringe at the word certain, but the forecast for El Niño to continue through the July-September season […]

2015 El Niño: Notes for the East African Malaria Community

UPDATE: This publication was originally produced by IRI in June 2015. It has been updated monthly, and the October 2015 version is now available here [PDF].  Climate is one of many variables that influence where and when malaria outbreaks occur. Precipitation, humidity and temperature affect the development and survival of mosquitoes, with temperature also affecting the malaria parasites carried […]

June Climate Briefing: El Niño Certainty Increases

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 Over the last month, the ongoing El Niño in the east-central Pacific has intensified to moderate strength. There is now a 99% chance of El Niño for the June-August season, and chances stay […]

Behind the Expected Quiet 2015 Hurricane Season

By Chia-Ying Lee, IRI Postdoctoral Research Scientist This post originally appeared in the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet Blog. It does not feel like summer in New York City as I write, but today (a cool, rainy June 1) is the official start day for the Atlantic hurricane season, which will last until November 30. What […]

May Climate Briefing: El Niño Heating Up

From the May climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing El Niño, a state of warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, has recently intensified, though scientists aren’t sure how strong the event will become. The El Niño phenomenon is part of a natural cycle of […]

April Climate Briefing: El Niño, For Now

From the April climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing A weak El Niño continues in the central Pacific, and the chance that such conditions will persist has risen since last month’s forecast. It hovers around 80% through late summer, although it should be noted […]

March Climate Briefing: El Niño’s Beginning..or End?

From the March climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and IRI issued an El Niño advisory, which indicates that El Niño conditions are present and expected to persist for the next […]

Video: Managing Water in a Dry Land

The Elqui River valley lies in Chile’s northern, mountainous Coquimbo region, which is extremely dry. The region receives only about 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain each year, and most of it during one short rainy season. The rainfall is also highly variable and driven in large part on El Niño and La Niña fluctuations. In some years, […]

Frequency of Tornadoes, Hail Linked to El Niño, La Niña

Study May Aid Seasonal Forecasting Climate scientists can spot El Niño and La Niña conditions developing months ahead of time, and they use this knowledge to make more accurate forecasts of droughts, flooding and even hurricane activity around the world. Now, a new study shows that El Niño and La Niña conditions can also help […]

NOAA: El Niño is (technically) here

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) increased the status of El Niño from watch to advisory, indicating that El Niño has officially arrived. The latest update, issued today by CPC and IRI, indicates a 50-60% chance of El Niño conditions persisting into the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. The update notes, however, that due to its weak expected […]

February Climate Briefing: El Tease-O

From the February climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the current (February – April) season is around 48%, down from 63% last month. These odds for the current season are down slightly from those issued by […]

El Niño Odds Reduced

From the January climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the current (January – March) season is around 63%, down from 76% last month. These odds for the current season are similar to those issued by the NOAA […]

December Climate Briefing: El Limbo Continues

From the December climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the current (December-February) season is over 80%, up slightly from last month. These odds for the current season are also higher than those issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center/IRI […]

November Climate Briefing: El Limbo

From the November climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the current (November-January) season is about 75%, up slightly from last month. These odds for the November-January season are also higher than those issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction […]

El Niño and Global Health: Latest Bulletin

The Public Health group at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has posted a new update of its bulletin on El Niño, focused on providing information to assist health planners and practitioners concerned with malaria in Eastern Africa. Emerging El Niño Conditions: Notes for the East African Malaria Community, takes into account IRI’s latest forecasts. As with previous bulletins, IRI […]

October Climate Briefing: El Niño Wait Continues

From the October climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the current (October-December) season is between 65 and 70%, down slightly from last month. These odds for the October-December season are similar to those issued by […]

How Good Have ENSO Forecasts Been Lately?

By IRI Chief Forecaster Tony BarnstonThis post originally appeared on Climate.gov’s ENSO blog. Reproduced with permission.  One of my responsibilities as the lead ENSO forecaster at IRI is to judge how well the forecasts have matched reality. One way I do this is I go back through the archived forecasts and make graphics that compare the forecasts […]

September Climate Briefing: Weak El Niño Still Favored Forecast

From the September climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the September-November season is 55%, which is the same as the forecast for the same period that was issued in August. The probability for El Niño development by the late […]

IRI presenta nuevos webinars sobre El Niño

Un nuevo conjunto de webinars de entrenamiento desarrollados por el Instituto International de Investigaciones para el Clima y la Sociedad (IRI) discuten las principales características de El niño y La Niña y sus impactos alrededor del mundo. Los nuevos videos, disponibles en ingles y español, son lo más reciente de la serie Conceptos climáticos para […]

IRI’s New El Niño Webinars

A new set of training webinars developed by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society tackles the ins and outs of El Niño and La Niña and their impacts around the world. The new videos, available in both English and Spanish, are the latest in the Climate Concepts for Development series produced by the […]

August Climate Briefing: To Be or Not To Be?

From the August climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the August-October season is 40%, down from 60% last month. The probability for El Niño development by the late months of 2014, […]

Investigating El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Society Relationships

By Jim Hansen A new publication details the history of research on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and how the climate phenomenon impacts society The paper gives a historical overview of the key discoveries/breakthroughs that led to our current understanding of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and its use for seasonal climate forecasting. The study of ENSO is important to […]

Other Climate Patterns that Impact U.S. Winter Climate

By IRI Chief Forecaster Tony BarnstonThis post originally appeared on Climate.gov’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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why do ENSO Forecasts Use Probabilities?

By IRI Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston This post originally appeared on Climate.gov’s ENSO blog. Reproduced with permission.  Many people are interested in knowing which ENSO category (La Niña, neutral or El Niño) is expected by the climate experts, just as they might want to know the weather forecast for tomorrow. They usually prefer a simple […]

How ENSO Leads to a Cascade of Global Impacts

By IRI Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston This post originally appeared on Climate.gov’s ENSO blog. Reproduced with permission.  ENSO arises from changes across the tropical Pacific Ocean. So why does ENSO affect the climate over sizable portions of the globe, including some regions far removed from the tropical Pacific Ocean?  Does the strength of ENSO matter […]

May 2014 Climate Briefing: Weak El Niño Developing

From the May climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are borderline neutral/El Niño. The Nino3.4 sea surface temperature anomaly was +0.5° C last week, which is the threshold for El Niño. Forecaster Tony Barnston […]

April 2014 Climate Briefing: El Niño Likely, Strength Uncertain

From the April climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are currently neutral, although the warming process has begun. The IRI’s April ENSO forecast puts the chances of El Niño conditions at more than 70% for early next […]

March 2014 Climate Briefing: Increasing Odds for El Niño

From the March 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 IRI’s March ENSO forecast puts the chances of El Niño conditions at 60% for early next fall, an increase from the 45% probability in IRI’s February forecast and  the 52% probability from NOAA/IRI’s official […]

Explainer: The Global Warming ‘Hiatus’

In the March issue of Nature Climate Change, IRI Director Lisa Goddard explains what may be behind the recent slowdown in global temperature growth in a piece titled “Heat Hide and Seek”. The Earth Institute’s Kim Martineau interviewed Goddard for some additional thoughts. We include the original Q&A here along with additional resources. Q: Is there a global warming […]

February 2014 Climate Briefing: Kelvin Waves Signal Potential El Niño

From February’s climate briefing, given by our Tony Barnston: The central and eastern Pacific Ocean is currently experiencing borderline La Niña conditions, but many models are forecasting an El Niño to develop this (northern hemisphere) summer. Although scientists still don’t know the exact mechanism behind the Pacific’s transition from one state of the El Niño […]

IRI@AGU: Bridging the Climate-Weather Gap

This post is the last in a series of five Q&As with scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society who will be presenting their work at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco December 9 to 13. Not all climate forecasts are created (and researched) equally, something that climate scientists […]

paula gonzalez

IRI@AGU: Capturing ENSO Predictability

This post is the first in a series of Q&As with scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society who will be presenting their work at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco December 9  to 13.  Many researchers focus on the ability to predict El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) […]

Welcome Back, La Niña

Well it’s nearly official: La Niña is making her second appearance this year. After a few months’ hiatus this summer, ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific have dipped back below normal. Does that mean we’ll also see a return of the extreme global weather of this past winter blamed on La Niña? It’s possible but not […]

Fears of a Double Dip…La Niña

What do the economy and tropical ocean temperatures have in common? They’re both exhibiting patterns very similar to 2008. At the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s monthly climate briefing, chief forecaster Tony Barnston focused more on the latter. He laid out the past and the present and what clues they provide about the future. The […]

Climate Forecasting: Oceans, Droughts, Climate Change and Other Tools of the Trade

At IRI’s monthly climate briefing, talk often focuses on the role that El Niño or La Niña play in driving global climate. With the collapse of La Niñalast month, though, IRI’s forecasters now have to rely on different tools to offer forecasts for the coming year. That’s both good and bad news for forecasting skill.   Climate […]

R.I.P. La Niña

Attendees observed a brief moment of silence during this month’s climate briefing. Why? Because after nine months, the climate phenomenon La Niña has died. Is there any chance a zombie La Niña could rise from the dead, though? Tony Barnston, IRI’s lead forecaster, answered that question and more. This year’s La Niña was near record setting […]

La Niña Still Hanging On

Don’t write a eulogy for La Niña quite yet. “I thought it would die by this briefing,” said Tony Barnston, the chief forecaster at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, last week. At the climate briefing, which IRI holds every month, Barnston showed signs of La Niña are still observable in the equatorial Pacific. […]

La Niña Related Impacts Likely to Continue

As of mid-January, moderate-to-strong La Niña conditions continue to exist in the tropical Pacific. Scientists at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society expect these to linger, potentially causing additional shifts in rainfall patterns across many parts of the world in months to come. These shifts, combined with socioeconomic conditions and other factors, can […]

An Active Hurricane Season Predicted

by Eric Holthaus The Atlantic hurricane season has officially started, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has issued its updated seasonal hurricane forecast for the region. The results continue to indicate that an above-normal season is very likely. This could spell trouble for highly vulnerable Caribbean nations such as Haiti, still reeling […]

Climate Risks in Haiti

In this Q+A, IRI staffers discuss some of the climate-related risks that could affect Haitians over the next year as they struggle to rebuild their country after a devastating earthquake in January. Currently, about 1.2 million Haitians are without proper shelter, and an additional 470,000 have been displaced from their homes, according to the U.N. […]

Top misconceptions about El Niño

Forecasts by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and other institutions show that a weak El Niño has developed in the equatorial Pacific, and is likely to continue evolving with warmer-than-normal conditions persisting there until early 2010. What exactly is this important climate phenomenon and why should society care about it? Who will […]

An Interview with Graeme Hammer

This is the first of an ongoing series of interviews with prominent thinkers in the area of climate risk management. Over the next year, we will be sharing their insights on how climate science and information can help meet the goals of development and adaptation. These individuals are pioneers in fields as diverse as climate […]

A Hierarchy of Data-Based ENSO Models

  • Journal: Journal of Climate
  • Vol. 18
  • Publisher: American Meteorological Society
  • Published: November 2005

Author(s):

Kondrashov, D.
Kravtsov, S.
Robertson, A.W.
Ghil, M.

Retrospective ENSO forecasts: Sensitivity to atmospheric model and ocean resolution.

  • Journal: Monthly Weather Review
  • Vol. 131
  • Published: July 2003

Author(s):

Schneider, E.K.
DeWitt, D.
Rosati, A.
Kirtman, B.
Ji, L.
Tribbia, J.J.

Use of ENSO-related climate information in agricultural decision-making in Argentina: a pilot experience.

  • Journal: Agricultural Systems
  • Vol. 74
  • Published: 2002

Author(s):

Podesta, Guillermo ;Letson, D.;Messina, C.D. ;Royce, F.S. ;Jones, J. W.;Hansen, J.W. ;Ferreyra, A.;Llovet, I.;Grondona, M.;O'Brien, James J.

The ENSO signal in tropical tropospheric temperature

  • Journal: Journal of Climate
  • Vol. 15
  • Published: 2002

Author(s):

Sobel, A.H.
Held, I.M.
Bretherton, C.S.

Last interglacial and early glacial ENSO

  • Journal: Journal of Quaternary Research
  • Vol. 58
  • Published: 2002

Author(s):

Kukla, G.
Clement, A.C.
Cane, M.A.
Gavin, J.E.
Zebiak, S.E.

ENSO forecasting using coupled general circulation models: Plenty of room for improvement still exists

  • Published: 2002

Author(s):

Understanding ENSO effects on tomato yields in Florida: a modeling approach

  • Published: July 2001

Author(s):

Messina, C.D.
Jones, J.W.
Hansen, J.W.

ENSO, Pacific decadal variability, and U.S. summertime precipitation, drought, and stream flow

  • Journal: Journal of Climate
  • Vol. 14
  • Published: 2001

Author(s):

Barlow, M.A.
Nigam, S.
Berbery, E.R.

ENSO impacts on crop production in the Southeast US.

  • Publisher: American Society of Agronomy
  • Published: 2001

Author(s):

Hansen, J.W.
Jones, J.W.
Irmak, A.
Royce, F.S.

A Climate Information System Plan: Feasibility for ENSO Early Warning in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Publisher: IRI
  • Published: 2001

Author(s):

Ropelewski, C.F.

Rectification of the Madden Julian Oscillation into the ENSO cycle.

  • Journal: Journal of Climate
  • Vol. 13
  • Published: 2000

Author(s):

Kessler, W.S.
Kleeman, R.

On the weakening relationship between the Indian Monsoon and ENSO

  • Publisher: Frontier Research System for Global Change (FRSGC)
  • Published: 2000

Author(s):

Rajagopalan, B.
Kumar, K.K.
Cane, M.A.

Interactions between the Pacific ENSO and tropical Atlantic climate variability.

  • Journal: Journal of Climate
  • Vol. 13
  • Published: 2000

Author(s):

Saravanan, R.
Chang, P.

ENSO Signals in East African Rainfall Seasons

  • Journal: International Journal of Climatology
  • Vol. 20
  • Published: 2000

Author(s):

Indeje, M.
Semazzi, F.H.
Ogallo, L.

Does a Climate Model Reproduce Consistent ENSO Precipitation Signals in Southern South America?

  • Publisher: American Meteorological Society
  • Published: 2000

Author(s):

Grimm, A.M.
Ropelewski, C.F.
Mason, S.J.

WMO ENSO Monitor Update

  • Journal: WMO
  • Vol. 1998
  • Publisher: World Meteorological Organization
  • Published: October 1998

Author(s):

Ropelewski, C. F.
Graham, Nicholas E.

Mechanisms of Seasonal ENSO Interaction

  • Journal: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
  • Vol. 54
  • Issue: 1
  • Publisher: American Meteorological Society
  • Published: January 1997

Author(s):

Tziperman, E.
Zebiak, S.E.
Cane, M.A.

ENSO Theory

  • Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research
  • Vol. 103
  • Issue: C7
  • Publisher: American Geophysical Union
  • Published: 1997

Author(s):

Neelin, J.D.
Battistl, D.S.
Hirts, A.C.
Jin, F.F.
Wakata, Y.
Yamagata, T.
Zebiak, S.E.

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