For millions of people, El Niño or La Niña indicates whether they’re likely to face unusually warm, cold, wet, or dry conditions over the coming winter. A new modeling study pins down the process that apparently determines why La Niña events often last twice as long as typical El Niño events—a result with major implications for seasonal predictions.
The globally averaged surface air temperature hasn’t risen much in the last 15 years, but new research confirms ample heating of Earth, which becomes evident when looking at certain times of year and in particular locations, including deep in the ocean.
More than two days ahead of landfall, it was clear that Hurricane Sandy could bring higher water than New York and New Jersey had seen in decades. But for thousands of people in the area, the threat simply didn’t register. (Part 1 of 2)
Sandy's storm surge was more than twice that of other recent tropical cyclones in the New York City area—but several other factors teamed up to bring waters to their catastrophically high level. (Part 2 of 2)
Climate change is not expected to affect the extent or frequency of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation over the 21st century, but it could worsen its impacts. That’s the conclusion of a modeling study published in Journal of Climate in September.
New research that involves NCAR's Bette Otto-Bliesner questions conventional wisdom with regard to massive iceberg discharges in the North Atlantic Ocean during the last glacial period, pointing toward climate rather than ice sheet instability as a cause.
A new study involving NCAR's Bette Otto-Bliesner looks at rising sea levels during the warmth of the last interglacial period (130,000 to 120,000 years ago) and finds that melting ice sheets contributed far more to rising sea levels than thermal expansion.
A new study led by NCAR’s Wei Yu and CU-Boulder’s Weiqing Han looks at the effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the largest source of intraseasonal (within one season) variability in the tropics, causing wet and dry periods to alternate.
When climate change leaped into global consciousness more than 20 years ago, there was no doubt that sea levels would rise, but the main worry was how those rising seas would affect civilization, not on how the oceans themselves might be transformed.
The less-than-predicted amount of oil reaching coastlines after the Deepwater Horizon spill illuminates the difference between a projection and an actual forecast and
the challenges of making short-term projections of natural processes that can act chaotically.
El Niño and La Niña are counterparts in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a cyclic warming and cooling of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean that exerts a major influence on global weather patterns, but they are not mirror images.