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.
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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.
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.