The coming El Niño and La Niña double bill could be the strongest since 1998, affecting a vast swathe of the planet from Africa, through Australasia and all the way to the Americas, write Wenju Cai, Agus Santoso and Guojian Wang.
When a positive Indian Ocean dipole is coupled with an El Niño event, rainfall decreases dramatically across Australia, and such an event could be on the way, write Agus Santoso and Wenju Cai.
It is only May and summer is seven months away, but climate researchers are seeing the beginnings of what could be the most powerful El Niño event in close to two decades.
Unusual El Niños, like those that led to the extraordinary super El Niño years of 1982 and 1997, will occur twice as often under even modest global warming scenarios.
UNSW researchers have claimed an unprecedented six awards in the 2008 Eureka Prizes, the strongest showing by any institution in the 19-year history of the awards.