El Niño, the noted periodic Pacific Ocean warming thing, has a positive effect for us living on the East Coast: It depresses strong hurricane activity.
According to a new study in the journal Nature, global warming could mess all of that up by strengthening El Niño's obscure twin -- also called El Niño. Except this one occurs in the central Pacific, while classic El Niño occurs in the eastern Pacific.
Climate change could lead to an increase of the second El Niño's activity, tempering classic El Niño's hurricane-hampering effects in the Atlantic.
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Riptide, ironically, is not the best at describing these things, but basically hurricanes could be a lot more frequent and more powerful in these parts.