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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

El Nino and Greenhouse Gases

The current issue of Nature magazine has the following article, which might be reason to question any unambiguous connection between the cycles of El Nino and El Nina and man-made greenhouse gasses:
Intense hurricane activity over the past 5,000 years controlled by El Nino and the West African monsoon

To investigate the links between hurricane activity and climate, this study has constructed a long-term record of intense hurricane activity in the western tropical North Atlantic Ocean by taking sediment cores from a lagoon on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, where sand is deposited by hurricanes. The record shows striking similarities to records of El NiƱo events and rainfall in tropical Africa, suggesting that changes in the El Nino/Southern Oscillation and the strength of the West African monsoon were important in controlling the frequency of intense hurricanes in the tropical North Atlantic over the past 5,000 years.

Jeffrey P. Donnelly and Jonathan D. Woodruff

Article here

[Updated: I beat the New York Times by about 15 hours - NYT review here]

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