How will the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon change over the coming decades? This is a crucial issue in predicting international adaptation needs.

Two key areas where ENSO can impact on Scotland are food security – e.g. mass crop failure in the tropics could cause a spike in global commodity prices – and the insurance industry – e.g. widespread storm damage on the US east coast could significantly affect the international insurance market. There could also be indirect impacts on human health if large ENSO events triggered outbreaks of diseases transferable across borders by international travel.

ClimateXChange have worked with researchers at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh to produce a short brief covering:

  • an introduction to the importance and global relevance of the ENSO phenomenon; and
  • the scientific approaches used by the Scottish-led international research team to better understand changes in past, present and future ENSO variability.