El Niño gives colder European winters

9 December 2008

Weather chart showng warm and cold frontsClimate scientists have confirmed links between the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) – a natural oscillation in the Pacific Ocean – and the weather over Europe in late winter.

A letter in Nature Geoscience published this week outlines Met Office Hadley Centre findings. Scientists have extended computer models into the upper atmosphere to show evidence of the atmospheric link from the Pacific to Europe.

Sarah Ineson, climate research scientist at the Met Office says: "We have shown evidence of an active stratospheric role in the transition to cold conditions in northern Europe and mild conditions in southern Europe in late winter during El Niño years".

Last updated: 18 April 2011