The reason we can so accurately predict the solar eclipse of 2017 is because we have accurate knowledge of the moon’s orbit around the earth and the earth’s orbit around the sun.
Likewise, the reason that we could potentially understand the behavior of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is that we have knowledge of these same orbits. As we have shown and will report at this year’s American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting, the cyclic gravitational pull of the moon (lower panel in Figure 1 below) interacting seasonally precisely controls the ENSO cycles (upper panel Figure 1).
The implications of this research are far-ranging. Like knowing when a solar eclipse occurs helps engineers and scientists prepare power utilities and controlled climate experiments for the event, the same considerations apply to ENSO. Every future El Nino-induced heat-wave or monsoon could conceivably be predicted in advance, giving nations and organizations time to prepare for accompanying droughts, flooding, and temperature extremes.
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— Paul Pukite (@WHUT) August 13, 2017