Batten down the worldwide hatches. Scientists say baby Jesus' meteorological namesake will become a thundering hulk more often as the climate changes.
The latest scientific projections for how global warming will influence El Niño events suggest that wild weather is ahead. El Niño starts with the arrival of warm water in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and it can culminate with destructive weather around the world. It was named by Peruvian fishermen after the infant Jesus because the warm waters reached them around Christmas.
We've previously told you that El Niños appear to be occurring more frequently as the climate has been changing. The authors of the latest paper on this subject, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, don't project that El Niños will become more common in future. What they do project, though, is that twice as many El Niños will be of the "extreme" variety.