Washington: Global warming could impact the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and change the cycles of El Nino and La Nina events, which could bring extreme drought and flooding to Australia and many other Pacific-rim countries, a new study has suggested.
The new research, which used coral samples from Kiribati, revealed how the ENSO cycle has changed over the past 4300 years. This research suggests that external changes have an impact on the strength and timing of El Nino events.
Author Dr Steven Phipps said that their research has showed that while the development of La Nina and El Nino events is chaotic and hard to predict, the strength of these events can change over long time spans due to changes in the global climate.
The researchers determined that natural influences on the Earth`s climate, such as those caused by variations in its orbit around the sun, could affect the strength of El Nino events.
Although small, these natural influences altered seasonal trade winds across the Eastern Pacific and affected the development of El Nino events.
Interestingly, the research also showed that El Nino events in the past started later in the year and were often less intense.
The research has been published in Nature Geoscience.