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Playing hide and seek with El Niño

A much-anticipated 'monster' El Niño failed to materialize in 2014, whereas an unforeseen strong El Niño is developing in 2015. El Niño continues to surprise us, despite decades of research into its causes. Natural variations most probably account for recent events, but climate change may also have played a role.

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Figure 1: Evolution of conditions in 2014 in comparison to 1997.
Figure 2: Relationship between upper-ocean heat content and ENSO SST anomalies.
Figure 3: Monthly NINO-3.4 SST anomalies for El Niños since the 1950s.


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Correspondence to M. J. McPhaden.

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McPhaden, M. Playing hide and seek with El Niño. Nature Clim Change 5, 791–795 (2015).

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