El Nino

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Mountains overlooking the Hex river valley in the Western Cape, South Africa. The country has been experiencing inclement weather this summer. EPA/Nic Bothma

The three culprits behind South Africa’s weird weather patterns

South Africa has been experiencing odd weather patterns during the month of November. It can be attributed to three culprits.
While firefighters battled widespread fires in New South Wales in October 2013, hundreds of thousands of people turned to social media and smartphone apps for vital updates. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Crisis communication: saving time and lives in disasters through smarter social media

When disaster strikes, more people than ever are turning to social media to find out if they're in danger. But Australian emergency services need to work together more to learn what works to save lives.
There were no fatalities from Hurricane Patricia, which was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Mexico. Tomas Bravo/Reuters

Did El Niño give Hurricane Patricia more kick?

Research shows that El Niño creates conditions for a certain type of hurricane – and offers clues as to how climate change can affect the severity of hurricanes.
Photosynthesis is crucial to the ability of plants to convert sunlight into energy. N i c o l a/Flickr

PM’s Prize for Science for revealing nature’s solar power

Distinguished Professor Graham Farquhar has received this year's Prime Minister's Prize for Science for his pioneering research into photosynthesis.
Storms coming? El Niño is projected to lead to much-needed rain in California next year. chrisamichaels/flickr

What would it take to end California’s drought?

El Niño is expected to bring heavy rains to drought-stricken California, but more rain alone won't solve the West's water crisis.
Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015. Kud Sitango

As Papua New Guinea faces worsening drought, a past disaster could save lives

Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
People in the Philippines have been warned to brace for wet and wild weather, as this year’s El Nino shapes up to be the strongest since 1998. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO/AAP

2015-16 is shaping up to deliver a rollercoaster from strong El Niño to La Niña

The seesaw between El Niño and La Niña is set to get stronger with global warming. Signs are that this year and next will deliver a big swing from one to the other, prompting fires and floods across the world.
The large 1982 El Niño contributed to the Ash Wednesday bushfires that killed 75 people in south east Australia. Sydney Oats/Wikimedia

Odds keep rising for a big El Niño in 2015

El Niño has arrived, it's getting stronger, and it's not about to go away soon. And already there are rumblings that this could be a big one.

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