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A 7,000-Year Record of El Niņo Activity
Riedinger, M.A., Steinitz-Kannan, M., Last, W.M. and Brenner, M.  2002.  A ~6100 14C yr record of El Niņo activity from the Galapagos Islands.  Journal of Paleolimnology 27: 1-7.

What was done
The authors extracted a 4.2-m sediment core from hypersaline Bainbridge Crater Lake, located on a small island off the southeastern coast of Santiago Island in the Galapagos system, on which they performed a number of lithostratigraphic and mineralogic analyses designed to reveal the history of El Niņo activity there over the past 7,000 years.

What was learned
The authors determined that "mid-Holocene [7130 to 4600 yr BP] El Niņo activity was infrequent," when, of course, global air temperature was significantly warmer than it is now, but that both the "frequency and intensity of events increased at about 3100 yr BP," when it was much colder than now (see Earth's Climatic History: The Last 10,000 Years).  Throughout the former 2530-year warm period, their data revealed the existence of 23 strong to very strong El Niņos and 56 moderate events; while throughout the most recent (and significantly colder) 3100-year period, they identified 80 strong to very strong El Niņos and 186 moderate events.  These numbers correspond to rates of 0.9 strong and 2.2 moderate occurrences per century in the earlier warm period and 2.7 strong and 6.0 moderate occurrences per century in the latter cool period, suggestive of an approximate tripling of the rate of occurrence of both strong and moderate El Niņos in going from the warmth of the Holocene "Climatic Optimum" to the colder conditions of the past three millennia.

What it means
Contrary to the claims of climate alarmists that global warming will produce more and stronger El Niņos, these real-world data suggest that just the opposite would likely happen if the earth were to warm as predicted by today's state-of-the-art climate models.  In fact, the data suggest that such a warming would probably lead to a complete cessation of El Niņo activity.

Clearly, the models - and their blind-to-everything-else followers - have a problem.  We hope this climatological check-up helps them "see the light."

Reviewed 6 March 2002