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New research shows El Niño has become more intense in Industrial Age

Physics Today posted an interesting article late in November which discussed some new research on trends in the strength of El Niño over time. The research, by Dr. Kim Cobb of Georgia Tech and others, looked at chemical swings in the growth of coral and other indicators in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last 7,000 years and saw that the swings were about 25 percent stronger now than in pre-industrial times, and the swings are especially noticeable in the last 50 years.  The strength of ENSO is important to the Southeast because it is one of the biggest drivers of climate variation in our region and can affect winter temperature and precipitation patterns as well as Atlantic hurricane activity.  You can read the article here.