Computer climate models help scientists such as Dave Dewitt predict the life cycles of individual El Niño or La Niña events and their effects on weather patterns throughout the world. While the accuracy of these models continues to improve, they still have limitations.
 

Will climate change affect frequency or intensity of El Niño and La Niña? There is still little consensus among scientists on this, explains the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s Lisa Goddard.
 

El Niño and La Niña can significantly alter seasonal climate conditions, such as temperature and rainfall patterns, in many parts of the world. Scientists Brad Lyon and Paul Block explain the potential impacts of La Niña in different parts of Africa.

Weather in the Southeast this fall and winter is keeping up with the dry part of the typical La Niña pattern. Precipitation across most of the Southeast was "below" or "much below" normal for October-December.

NOAA's Climate Scene Investigators analyzed why the mid-Atlantic region had record-setting snowstorms this winter. The team looked for but found no human "fingerprints" on the severe weather. Instead, they fingered two naturally occurring climate patterns as co-conspirators in the case.

Almost two months after a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti, nearly half a million people there are displaced from their homes, and a million more are living without proper shelter. What climate-related risks will they face in the coming months?

NOAA researchers have built a "time machine" for weather that provides detailed snapshots of the global atmosphere from 1891 to 2008. The system's ability to "hindcast" past weather events is emerging as a powerful new tool for detecting and quantifying climate change.

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?

The Southern Oscillation Index tracks differences in air pressure between the eastern and western sides of the tropical Pacific.

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