El Niños to strengthen because of global warming, will cause 'more extreme weather', study says

El Niños will be stronger and more frequent in the decades ahead because of global warming, causing “more extreme events” in the United States and around the world, a news study says.

A natural phenomenon marked by warmer-than-average seawater in the tropical Pacific Ocean, El Niño is Earth’s most influential climate pattern. A weak one is forecast to form at some point this winter, federal scientists have said.

Rather than once every 15 years, powerful El Niños will occur roughly once every 10 years, said study lead author Wenju Cai, a scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia.

Researchers used 17 climate models to determine how ocean temperatures will increase by 2100 as levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases increase in Earth's atmosphere.

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