Recent climate changes probably not a fluke

June 15, 2000 5:27 p.m.

Recent changes in the frequency and intensity of the global climate event El Niqo may be a trend and not just a statistical fluke, according to Princeton scientists.

Over the past 20 years, scientists have observed longer intervals between major El Niqo episodes compared to those in the 1960's and the 1970's, as well as stronger intensity of the events.

In the June 16 issue of Science, geoscientists Alexey Fedorov and George Philander suggest that the changes, particularly the lengthening of the cycle, are a trend that stems from a long-term rise in ocean temperature in the Eastern Pacific and an associated weakening of trade winds in the region.

Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-3601