Firefighters and emergency worker wait on the effects of climate lotto
We understand the effects of El Nino being the Spanish for “the boy” where regional climates become hotter and drier and La Nina “the girl” where regional climates become cooler and wetter. Each year the southern oscillation index (a climate cycle operating in the Pacific) is watched to see what impact it will have on disasters. These events last about 3 to 5 years.
More recent studies on overarching systems that scientists have named El Tio meaning, “the uncle,” and La Tia “the aunt” have shown how they may influence the impact of El Nino and La Nina and may even hide the true effects of human-caused global warming. El Tio and La Tia work on a longer cycle (decades) and if Le Nino and Le Tio align, temperature rise will move faster and if the other two align temperature rise may slow.
Understanding these cycles is important to emergency preparation, unfortunately, it is still a game of wait and see.