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El Niño to Bring Drought Relief for Southern California


Last updated 8/18/2015 at 11:33am

A historically-strong El Niño storm could bring Drought relief to the state of California in its four-year-drought. In a new study, El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), published on Monday, scientists found that the rising global temperatures will lead to more intense El Niño storms.

El Niño occurs when the ocean surface water warms, releasing heat into the atmosphere in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This creates clouds, storms and subsequently heavy rainfall.

In the previous two strong El Niños, California was not under a severe Drought, hence there was nothing to be hopeful about. Instead it was something to be feared as in 1990 when it caused flooding, mudslides and $500 million in damage. Some hope El Niño comes this year as a savior for the state to alleviate the Drought.

Though scientists warn that in the long term, as global temperatures rise, El Niño will not bring much Drought relief to future droughts. Also, the storm is usually accompanied by La Niña events, which lead to dry winters.

Stronger El Niño events can also put at risk critical infrastructure like highways and 450 bridges across state.

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