El Nino and La Nina patterns bring different winter precipitation and climate patterns to North America.
El NiA±o: A new study suggests it may be to blame for nearly a quarter of recent global conflicts. A new study suggests El NiA±o may be to blame for nearly a quarter of recent global conflicts. A newly released study in this week's Nature suggests that there may be some science underlying this speculation and that El NiA±o's effects on the wealth and stability of nations has continued into recent times. The primary mechanism by which warmer, drier weather potentially causes civil conflict is none too subtle—heat and drought reduce the food supply, leaving hungry, rebellious populations in their wake. El Niño promises not just one lean season but up to 18 months of heat and drought, which can sometimes be predicted well in advance. The new Nature study isn't the first to consider the link between global climactic changes and war. These findings are of grave concern, if you believea€”as many climate scientists doa€”that climate change will produce global weather patterns that are more El NiA±o-like, with just as much year-to-year climate variability as exists today, but with warmer and drier conditions overall. But linking the onset of violence to a relatively predictable phenomenon like El NiA±o might help us head off impending conflict before it starts.
Ray Fisman is the Slater family professor in behavioral economics at Boston University and co-author of The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Thema€”And They Shape Us.
In 1969, the Apollo moon shot provided extraordinary photographs of this planet, suspended in space. Our increasing understanding of climate change is transforming how we view the boundaries and determinants of human health. During the twentieth century, world average surface temperature increased by approximately 0.6A?C, and approximately two-thirds of that warming has occurred since 1975.
The global scale of climate change differs fundamentally from the many other familiar environmental concerns that refer to localised toxicological or microbiological hazards. Human societies have had long experience of naturally-occurring climatic vicissitudes (Figure 1.1). The IPCC (2001) has estimated that the global average temperature will rise by several degrees centigrade during this century. World temperature has increased by around 0.4A?C since the 1970s, and now exceeds the upper limit of natural (historical) variability. Change in world climate would influence the functioning of many ecosystems and their member species. The first detectable changes in human health may well be alterations in the geographic range (latitude and altitude) and seasonality of certain infectious diseases a€“ including vector-borne infections such as malaria and dengue fever, and food-borne infections (e.g. Unprecedentedly, today, the world population is encountering unfamiliar human-induced changes in the lower and middle atmospheres and world-wide depletion of various other natural systems (e.g. This topic is emerging as a major theme in population health research, social policy development, and advocacy. Meteorologists are learning more and more on the connection between El Nino, La Nina, and weather across the United States.
The graph here shows ENSO (abbreviation for the phenomenon otherwise known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation). In recent years we have been more negative than positive, which is responsible for more significant weather events. Nice one, there is actually some good points on this blog some of my readers may find this useful, I must send a link, many thanks. Both weather and climate tend to be quite variable, with short and long time scale variations. Normally the trade winds in this region blow towards the west from a region of higher pressure in the eastern Pacific to a region of lower pressure in the western Pacific.
Every few years, this pressure pattern breaks down, resulting in higher pressure in the western Pacific and lower pressure in the eastern Pacific.
This large area of warmer ocean temperatures can have an effect on the global wind patterns, which in turn affects the temperature and rainfall patterns around the world. Eventually the El Niño event will begin to subside and the pressure and wind patterns will return to normal. This pattern can also have an effect on the global wind patterns and thus the temperature and rainfall patterns throughout the world. Heavy rains that are tied to the warm water move into the central Pacific Ocean and cause drought in Indonesia and Australia. Reliable predictions of an El Niño occurrence will lead to better preparation for its widespread impact.
During a La Niña, the trade winds are stronger and cold, nutrient-rich water occupies much of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Retired anthropologist and author Brian Fagan blames it on the weather, and in particular on the pernicious effects of El Niño, a periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that brings a hotter, drier climate to tropical countries worldwide.
Combining cutting-edge climate science with data on civil conflicts during the second half of the 20th century, the researchers estimate that more than a fifth of violent flare-ups worldwide may have been triggered by El NiA±o. The unruly hordes take up arms against the government or fight amongst themselves for scarce resources. But most large-scale shifts in weather take place over centuries or millennia, amid technology revolutions and social upheaval that make it impossible to discern any measurable effect due to climate.
El NiA±o is a relatively frequent event, occurring every four to seven years, and it affects fully half of the world's population (including most of Latin American, South and Southeast Asia, and all of Sub-Saharan Africa).
While it would be premature to draw any conclusions, given the randomness in year-to-year appearances of El NiA±o and the extreme complexity of global climate systems, it does hint at one more reason to worry about a warming planet. Scientists can with some certainty spot an El NiA±o half a year away, which means aid organizations should have more than enough time to deliver El NiA±o-dependent relief that can diminish the conflict-inducing effects of drought and famine before bad weather even arrives. This publication describes the process of global climate change, its current and future impacts on human health, and how our societies can lessen those adverse impacts, via adaptation strategies and by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While our personal health may seem to relate mostly to prudent behaviour, heredity, occupation, local environmental exposures, and health-care access, sustained population health requires the life-supporting "services" of the biosphere.
We are increasing the atmospheric concentration of energy-trapping gases, thereby amplifying the natural "greenhouse effect" that makes the Earth habitable. Climatologists forecast further warming, along with changes in precipitation and climatic variability, during the coming century and beyond.
Indeed, climate change signifies that, today, we are altering Eartha€™s biophysical and ecological systems at the planetary scale a€“ as is also evidenced by stratospheric ozone depletion, accelerating biodiversity losses, stresses on terrestrial and marine food-producing systems, depletion of freshwater supplies, and the global dissemination of persistent organic pollutants.

The ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Mayans, and European populations (during the four centuries of the Little Ice Age) were all affected by nature's great climatic cycles. As is shown in Figure 1.2, there is unavoidable uncertainty in this estimate, since the intricacies of the climate system are not fully understood, and humankinda€™s developmental future cannot be foretold with certainty. Indeed, the World Health Organisation estimated, in its "World Health Report 2002", that climate change was estimated to be responsible in 2000 for approximately 2.4% of worldwide diarrhoea, and 6% of malaria in some middle-income countries (3).
Indeed, consideration of global climatic-environmental hazards to human health will become a central role in the sustainability transition debate. Typically, the pattern occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years.
For instance, the EF-3 tornado that affected Poplar Grove and Harvard occurred in January 2008 when we were at the peak of a La Nina cycle. The great blizzard of 1967, followed by the Belvidere tornado happened during a weak La Nina.
The consensus is that La Nina will be gone by June with an expectation for El Nino by this fall.
Long time scale variations are generally associated with changes in atmospheric circulations, which lead to changes in weather, temperature and rainfall patterns around the world.
These winds enhance upwelling (the rising of cold water from the deep ocean towards the surface) in the eastern Pacific off the coast of South America.
Most of the precipication occurs in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, so rain is abundant over Indonesia. Fagan and others have suggested that El Niño had a hand in the biblical droughts in Egypt, the disappearance of the Mayan Empire, and even the French Revolution.
And if climate experts are correct in predicting that in the next century El NiA±o-like conditions will become more commonplace due to climate change, the study's findings point to a hotter, drier, and more violent planet in the years ahead.
Andean potato farmers, for example, learned to predict El Niño's onset from the brightness of stars in the Pleiades constellation.
Saying that the world is less violent now than it was 500 years agoa€”or more violent than it was during the last ice agea€”isn't a very useful observation, even if we had comparable data on violence going back that far. Given this high frequency and wide-ranging impact, the paper's findings suggest that El NiA±o has had a hand in triggering as much as 21 percent of recent conflicts worldwide. By uncovering the link between El NiA±o and violence, this study may serve as a very early first step in shielding the developing world from the ill effects of its hotter, drier future. Populations of all animal species depend on supplies of food and water, freedom from excess infectious disease, and the physical safety and comfort conferred by climatic stability.
Their forecasts are based on increasingly sophisticated global climate models, applied to plausible future scenarios of global greenhouse gas emissions that take into account alternative trajectories for demographic, economic and technological changes and evolving patterns of governance. More acutely, disasters and disease outbreaks have occurred often in response to the extremes of regional climatic cycles such as the El NiA±o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle (2).
However, small changes, against a noisy background of ongoing changes in other causal factors, are hard to identify.
Warmer average temperatures combined with increased climatic variability would alter the pattern of exposure to thermal extremes and resultant health impacts, in both summer and winter. Beyond the early recognition that such changes would affect economic activities, infrastructure and managed ecosystems, there is now recognition that global climate change poses risks to human population health. Of course, La Nina is when the tropical Pacific Ocean’s waters are cooler than normal and El Nino is when the water is warmer.
Therefore, sea surface temperatures, as seen on the figure below, are cool off the coast of South America and significantly warmer in the western Pacific.
This strong flow causes the cold surface water in the eastern Pacific to move out over the central Pacific. El NiA±o causes the tropics to randomly flip back and forth between weather extremes every few years, which allows the researchers to compare the level of civil conflict within a given country under very different climactic conditions but just a few years apart. For example, milder winters would reduce the seasonal winter-time peak in deaths that occurs in temperate countries, while in currently hot regions a further increase in temperatures might reduce the viability of disease-transmitting mosquito populations. Once spotted, causal attribution is strengthened if there are similar observations in different population settings.
By contrast, the public health consequences of the disturbance of natural and managed food-producing ecosystems, rising sea-levels and population displacement for reasons of physical hazard, land loss, economic disruption and civil strife, may not become evident for up to several decades. This occurs in the tropical Pacific Ocean near the equator when there is a reversal of the surface air pressure at opposite ends of the Pacific Ocean. Better to prepare for war instead, especially if you expect your neighbors will be taking up arms as well. The authors also found that El NiA±o's impact on conflict took place relatively soon after its arrival, and well before food shortages would have really set in. Overall, however, scientists consider that most of the health impacts of climate change would be adverse. While they don't speculate on the explanation for these patterns in the data, they are broadly consistent with the critical role that expectations of future hardship play in causing people to switch from agriculture to waging war. Nevertheless there are a few major indicators that can help give insight on what might be more likely to transpire down the road. One of the most, if not the most used, indicators are phases called La Nina, El Nino, and ENSO Neutral.
I’m sure many of our followers are already aware of these phenomena, or at least have tried the El Nino cocktail at your local Chili’s restaurant.The determining factor regarding an El Nino or La Nina is actually all the way out in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean. On the opposite end of the spectrum a La Nina usually develops when sea surface temperatures are unusually cooler. You might be asking yourself why the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean have anything to do with our weather. The stronger low pressure systems that develop near the jet stream not only can bring precipitation to our state but cause more frequent cold air intrusions from the north (known as a cold front). During the winter season the result can be more frequent bouts of arctic air from the Canadian prairies and northern plains. A La Nina will typically keep the Jetstream further north across the United States leaving Texas and much of the Gulf Coast in a dry and warm pattern. A La Nina was in place back in 2011 when much of Texas was expecting record dry and an extreme fire season that we thought would never end.
Fortunately we shifted out of La Nina into a neutral pattern where we had no La Nina or El Nino in early 2012. However the progress towards the development of an El Nino slowed this summer and confidence decreased.

The latest forecast from NOAA and the National Weather Service predict a 65 percent chance that an El Nino will develop this fall and early winter. Based on current observations and the latest climate prediction models, the upcoming El Nino is expected to be a weak event. Based on past experience with El Nino events along with long-range climate prediction models the outlook shows Texas having an above-average chance of precipitation this winter. Let me caution now that just because we have an above-average chance of precipitation does not mean we will receive rain all the time or break the drought.
It just means the chance of being in a wetter pattern this winter is more likely than having a dry winter.Much of Texas is also highlighted in a zone where the chance of having below-average temperatures this winter is more likely than not. Like the precipitation outlook, that does not mean we’re going to experience record cold or be frigid all winter. As a whole, the outlook suggests we will have more frequent cold fronts this winter with temperatures at or below average seasonally verses above average.So what does this mean for our chances of having winter precipitation?
Well I’d say the chances of having winter weather events will probably hinge on the development of an El Nino along with how cold temperatures get to our north.
Just because the Northern United States and Canada get cold in the winter does not mean that frigid air transports south all the time.
Should precipitation fall at time where we have a sub-freezing air mass in place the result would be frozen precipitation.
The 2010-2011 winter season was dominated by a strong La Nina and the 2011-2012 season had a weak La Nina. Impacts of these events are summarized by separating 3-month observations from 3 or more decades into El Nino, Neutral, and La Nina sets, averaging each separately, and then computing anomalies.
2) Trends – Approximated by the OCN tool as the difference between the most recent 10-year mean of temperature or 15-year mean of precipitation for a given location and time of year and the 30-year climatological period (1981-2010). 5) The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – an ENSO-like pattern of climate variability affecting the Tropics and the north Pacific and North American regions, but which varies on a much longer timescale than ENSO.
6) Persistently dry or wet soils in the spring and summer and snow and ice cover anomalies in the winter.
These factors tend to persist for long periods and act as a kind of memory in the climate system. 7) Statistical Forecast Tools – Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA), Screening Multiple Linear Regression (SMLR), Constructed Analogue (CA) and Ensemble CCA (ECCA). An experimental model forecast system, the North American Multi-Model Ensemble, comprised of several models and designated NMME, may also be used experimentally and subjectively until it is included into the consolidation. 9) Consolidation (CON) – An objective, skill-weighted combination of the OCN, CCA, SMLR, ECCA, AND CFS forecasts is used as a first guess in preparing the forecast maps. This technique makes optimum use of the known skill of forecast tools.Current atmospheric and oceanic observations are consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions with the likely transition to El Nino conditions in autumn and winter. A weak El Nino event is most probable, however there is a chance of either a moderate event or continued ENSO-neutral conditions into winter. Below-normal mean temperatures are more likely over areas of the Southwest including eastern Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas.The OND 2014 precipitation outlook indicates enhanced probabilities of below-median precipitation over the Pacific Northwest including parts of Northern California and Nevada and over the Northern Rockies. Increased probabilities for above-median precipitation amounts are forecast from southern California eastward across the Southern Rockies and the Southern Plains, and along the Gulf and Southern Atlantic coasts up to North Carolina.
The equatorial upper ocean heat content as indicated by the subsurface temperature anomalies to a depth of 300 meters has increased steadily during the last two months.An area of suppressed convection represented by positive OLR anomalies was observed near the Date Line mostly north of the equator, and enhanced convection and negative OLR anomalies were observed over the Maritime Continent. Low-level (850-hPa) winds were near-average across most of the equatorial Pacific during the last month, and upper-level (200-hPa) easterly anomalies were observed over the east-central Pacific.Persistent, strongly positive SST anomalies were observed over the North Pacific, along the Pacific Coast of North America, and westward across the subtropical Pacific Ocean.
Positive SST anomalies were also observed along the Atlantic Coast and in the North Atlantic.Prognostic Discussion of SST ForecastsMost statistical and dynamical models continue to predict that an El Nino event will develop within autumn.
While few ENSO events have developed at this time of year, it is not unprecedented, and considered together, model forecasts and current observations continue to support the consensus ENSO forecast indicating a 60-65% chance of El Nino development in autumn or winter.Positive North Pacific SST anomalies are forecast to persist through the boreal winter by many dynamical models including the NMME as an El Nino is forecast to develop. Temperature and Precipitation OutlooksThe temperature and precipitation outlooks were influenced by potential impacts of an El Nino beginning with OND 2014 and continuing through MAM 2015. The seasonal outlooks are based primarily on dynamical model forecasts from the NMME and IMME, including the CFS, with adjustments made for potential model biases.
For outlooks from AMJ through OND 2015, decadal trends due to changes in the climate base state are the primary source of temperature and precipitation signals. Temperature outlooks indicate enhanced probabilities of above-normal temperatures across the Northern U.S. These areas of enhanced probabilities for above normal temperatures are supported by most dynamical model forecasts, and are also consistent with impacts of a potential El Nino. Decadal temperature trends have enhanced the chances of above-normal temperatures in much of the Southwest, the Northeast, and the Southeast in the forecasts from MJJ through OND 2015. Enhanced probabilities of above-normal temperatures are forecast for Alaska through OND 2015.
Through FMA 2015, this Alaska forecast is due in part to dynamical model forecasts for the persistence of above-normal North Pacific SSTs.
The anomalous delay in Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea sea-ice cover for October and November in the last decade relative to the 1981-2010 climatology period results in greatly enhanced probabilities of above-normal temperatures for parts of Northern and Northwestern Alaska. The increased likelihood of below-normal temperatures continues into MAM 2015 for Southern New Mexico and Texas.
This forecast is supported by the average impacts of positive Nino 3.4 SST anomalies during these seasons. Dynamical model forecasts for the same seasons indicate only weaker probabilities of above normal temperatures or near-normal temperatures, with few forecasts of below-normal. The outlooks were made by adjusting dynamical model forecasts by the most likely impacts of a potential warm ENSO event.PrecipitationThe OND 2014 through FMA 2015 precipitation outlooks indicate enhanced probabilities of above-median precipitation from parts of Southern California, across most of the Southwest and the Southern Plains, and along the Gulf and Southern Atlantic Coasts. Probabilities of above-median precipitation are enhanced for Southern Alaska and parts of the Alaskan Panhandle through FMA 2015.
Within any given valid period observations and short and medium range forecasts should be consulted.This set of outlooks will be superseded by the issuance of the new set next month on Oct 16 20141981-2010 base period means were implemented effective with the May 19, 2011 forecast release. As of now it looks like an eastern MX threat 15 hours ago • Reply • Retweet • Favorite You'll see MANY weather model graphics posted this week.

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