Anthropogenic enhancement of moderate-to-strong El Niño events likely contributed to drought and poor harvests in southern Africa during 2016

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
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Abstract

In December–February (DJF) of 2015/16, a strong El Niño (Niño‑3.4 SST >29°C) contributed to a severe drought over southern Africa (SA; Funk et al. 2016). A 9-million ton cereal deficit resulted in 26 mil‑ lion people in need of humanitarian assistance (SADC 2016). While SA rainfall has a well-documented nega‑ tive teleconnection with Niño‑3.4 SSTs (Hoell et al. 2015, 2017; Jury et al. 1994; Lindesay 1988; Misra 2003; Nicholson and Entekhabi 1987; Nicholson and Kim 1997; Reason et al. 2000; Rocha and Simmonds 1997), the link between climate change and El Niño remains unclear (Christensen et al. 2013) due to the large natural variability of ENSO SSTs (Wittenberg 2009), uncertainties surrounding measurements and trends (Solomon and Newman 2012), intermodel differences in ENSO representation and feedbacks (Guilyardi et al. 2012; Kim et al. 2014), and difficulties associated with quantifying ENSO strength (Cai et al. 2015).

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Anthropogenic enhancement of moderate-to-strong El Niño events likely contributed to drought and poor harvests in southern Africa during 2016
Series title Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
DOI 10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0112.1
Volume 99
Issue 1
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 4 p.
First page S91
Last page S94