Global Warming and El Niño – No Connection

The Vice President and scientists at NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) claimed in a press release that “new data and analysis suggest that global warming is exacerbating the effects of El Niño.” They further maintain that data from the ten strongest El Niño weather events over the last century show they are increasing in frequency and are becoming warmer.

It was important for the Vice President and the NOAA experts to focus on the 20th century because had they included the 18th or 19th centuries it would have been clear that there is no connection between global warming and El Niño weather events.

El Niños occur every few years and can affect weather around the world. The most recent El Nino was indeed comparatively severe compared those earlier in this century. But compared to the El Niño in 1877-9 or 1789-93, or 1685-88, it was nothing special. Some of these earlier events had more severe global affect than the recent El Niño as noted in the science journal Nature (Vol. 393, 28 May 98, p. 318), with that of 1789 being one of the most severe on record.

Additionally, the suggestion that warmer weather causes harsher El Niños is also spurious. In warmer times some 5000 years ago El Niño actually disappeared altogether for thousands of years.

The evidence shows that attempts to link El Niño with human-induced global warming are without foundation.

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