Team member Dr Helen McGregor from the Research School of Earth Sciences at The Australian National University said the change in El Nino patterns could have a major impact on Australia's weather. "During an El Nino event warm waters to the north of Australia move eastward, taking their rainfall with them," she said. "This changes the pattern of Australia's rainfall and droughts significantly."
El Ninos occurs irregularly every two to seven years and have often coincided with severe droughts in Queensland and New South Wales. The current conditions show that a weak El Nin
o has brought warmer and drier conditions to Australia for late 2014.
The team focused on regional differences in sea temperatures that generate the circulating winds known as the Walker Circulation, which drive the trade winds that bring moisture across the Pacific Ocean to the north of Australia.
The island from which the corals were sampled, Butaritari, was chosen for its location at one end of the Walker Circulation....
A causeway on Butaritari, shot by , Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons 2.5 license