Example of an El Nino. Photo credit: waves.blogs.agu.org

Example of an El Nino. Photo credit: waves.blogs.agu.org

The projected upsurge of severe El Niño will cause an increase in storm events leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean.

This is according to a multi-agency study published in Nature Geo-science.

The study significantly advances the scientific knowledge of the impacts of El Niño and La Niña, said Patrick Barnard, USGS coastal geologist and the lead author of the study.

Mr. Barnard says, understanding the effects of severe storms fueled by El Niño helps coastal managers prepare communities for the expected erosion and flooding associated with this climate cycle.

The impact of these storms is not presently included in most studies on future coastal vulnerability, which look primarily at sea level rise.

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