El Niño and La Niña are parts of an oscillation in the ocean-atmosphere system (called the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO cycle) that can impact weather and climate conditions across the globe. El Niño features warmer-than-average temperatures in the waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, while La Niña features colder-than-average waters. Read our stories below on the latest ENSO conditions and research into how the cycle affects global weather patterns.
The year 2016 was one for the record books, at least when it comes to the weather. Last year had the highest global temperature in modern history and extremely high levels of carbon dioxide and sea level rise.
From crippling drought in southern Africa to a record number of February tornadoes in the U.S. Southeast, an exceptionally strong El Niño has been making headlines around the globe as it tampers with the world’s weather.
Thousands of dead seabirds have washed up on Alaskan shores over the past nine months. And while a dead bird washing ashore is a fairly common occurrence, these large numbers are leaving scientists concerned and confused.