Author Archives: Christopher Allen

About Christopher Allen

Chris is a senior analyst - model development, working within the Event Response team at RMS, and is based in London. He works on real-time response to catastrophe events and on climate peril model development. Chris has a doctorate in climatology from Oxford University and is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO): Discovery and Dynamics

What is the El Niño Southern Oscillation? More conveniently known as ENSO, it is the planet’s largest source of natural climate variability on interannual time scales. ENSO describes the interaction between ocean and atmosphere in the equatorial Pacific, but the results of this interaction are global, and can last for many months. There is a good level of ENSO awareness in our industry, such as that warm phases of the oscillation (El Niño) tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity, and that cool phases (La Niña) tend to enhance it. But how was ENSO discovered? And how does it work?

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