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Climate change will clearly disrupt El Niño and La Niña this decade – 40 years earlier than we thought

By Wenju Cai, Chief Research Scientist, Oceans and Atmosphere, CSIRO, CSIRO
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You’ve probably heard a lot about La Niña lately. This cool weather pattern is the main driver of heavy rain and flooding that has devastated much of Australia’s southeast in recent months.

You may also have heard of El Niño, which alternates with La Niña every few years. El Niño typically brings drier conditions to much of Australia.

Together, the two phases are known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation – the strongest and most consequential factor driving Earth’s weather. And in recent years there has been much scientific interest in how climate change


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