The weather phenomenon El Nino is more powerful than people are led to believe. It is even estimated that catastrophic weather conditions will happen throughout 2016.
El Nino – meaning ‘The Child’ – has been blamed for several extreme weather events, including freezing conditions and terrible floods across the UK.
And dozens of people have been killed in the US state of Missouri by floods and tornadoes caused by El Nino and La Nina, an opposite weather pattern.
A spokesman for the Institute said clouds “act as a blanket and further warm the atmosphere”.
This allows El Nino and La Nina to wreak havoc.
He said: “The influence of clouds on the atmospheric circulation accounts for more than half of the strength of El Nino and La Nina events.
“The findings indicate that incorporating changes in cloud dynamics into climate models may improve our understanding of the response of El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to climate change.”
He added: “ENSO is the most significant source of weather variability on timescales of three to seven years.
“However, the relative importance of atmospheric and oceanic processes, and the interactions between the two, is the subject of debate.”
The findings were reported in the Nature Geoscience journal.