What caused the monster El Nino in 2015?
Washington, May 10: Presence of warm water in the Pacific Ocean due to a stalled El Nino in 2014 stacked the deck for a monstrous version of the warming climate cycle to occur in 2015, a study says. Easterly winds in the tropical Pacific Ocean stalled a potential El Nino in 2014 and left a swath of warm water in the central Pacific. This left over warm water gave the current El Nino a head start, the researchers explained. El Nino and La Ni are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific Ocean called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. The warm and cool phases shift back and forth every two to seven years, and each phase triggers predictable disruptions in temperature, wind, and rain across the globe. During El Nino events, water temperatures at the sea surface are higher than normal. Low-level surface winds, which normally blow east to west along the equator, or easterly winds, start blowing the other direction, west to east, or westerly. In the spring of 2014, strong westerly winds near the equator in the western and central Pacific Ocean created a buzz among scientists - they saw the winds as a sign of a large El Nino event to come in the winter of 2014, said lead author of the study Aaron Levine, a climate scientist at US tiol Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington. (IANS)