Science: Adios, Maybe, to El Ni

The freakish spate of global bad weather could be ending

The radio signals that arrived in Washington, D.C., last week from weather satellites drew a rapt audience of oceanographers and meteorologists. Reason: the transmissions showed that a villainous, once-in-a-century temperature rise in the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, which scientists blame for a costly year of cockeyed weather around the globe, has finally begun to disappear.

El Niño, a reference to the Christ Child, is a warm current of equatorial water that usually appears off the coast of South America around Christmas. Its impact on annual weather patterns is generally minor. But...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!