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the El Niño Southern Oscillation

El Niño takes place in the Pacific Ocean and has the power to affect weather patterns around the world; an especially intense El Niño event is thought to be partly responsible for the famously high surface temperatures of 1998.

Scientists are in broad agreement that an El Niño this year is underway, but its effects are notoriously hard to predict. Two scientists came to the SMC to address questions such as:

  • What is El Niño and why is it singled out as such a significant phenomenon?
  • What are the chances of it being big this year, and how will we know?
  • What effects could it have, particularly here in northern Europe?
  • What’s the link with climate change, and how will one affect the other?



Prof. Adam Scaife, Head of the Monthly to Decadal Prediction Group at the Met Office Hadley Centre

Prof. Eric Guilyardi, Professor of Climate Science at the University of Reading

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