The response of El Nino Southern Oscillation to global warming

El Nino Southern Oscillation is a major cause of global climate variability. It causes droughts or floods over many populated regions including the United States. To understand and prepare for the impact of global warming on the climate and water resources in regions influenced by ENSO, one has to understand how the El Nino Souther Oscillation responds to global warming.

Our present knowledge of how ENSO responds to global warming is primitive. We do not know even the sign of the change or it will change at all. To improve the present situation, we are undertaking research on the following fronts:

  • Understand the differences between the observed ENSO and those simulated by coupled general circulation models

  • Understand the differences in the simulated ENSO by different coupled general circulation models

  • Understand the differences in the predicted response of ENSO to global warming by different coupled general circulation models

  • Isolate key processes and mechanisms by conducting numerical experiments