An international research team has developed a new approach to view past El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity and have determined that ENSO was more active during the 1979-2009 period than any 30-year period between 1590 and 1880.
The team, which was led by Shayne McGregor of the Climate Research Center at the University of New South Wales developed a new way to look at past ENSO activity with a more consistent and robust point of view that helps answer many of the discrepancies from previous analyses.
This new approach resulted in the synthesis of many different existing proxies such as lake sediment cores, corals or tree rings that give a clearer picture of past ENSO activity with modern instrumental data.
The multivariate ENSO Index (El Nino are warm events, La Nina are cold events)
The team also found that ENSO activity over the past 600 years seems to roughly track global mean temperature but they are still not sure why.
Excerpt from the Nature World News report…….
"Climate models provide no clear indication of how ENSO activity will change in the future in response to greenhouse warming, so all we have to go on is past records," McGregor explained. "We can improve the projections of climate models, however, by selecting those that produce past changes in ENSO activity consistent with the past instrumental records.
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