According to NOAA scientists, 2011 was a record-breaking year for climate extremes, not just in the United States, but around the world. Here's an illustrated guide to the year's top ten global climate and weather events.
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.
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.
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.
On Hawaii’s Big Island, prevailing Pacific trade winds from the northeast bring more rainfall to northern & eastern slopes, leading to dramatic differences in vegetation on different sides of the island.