PerspectiveAtmospheric Science

In Search of Paleo-ENSO

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Science  09 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5668, pp. 219-221
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095435

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Recent modeling has indicated that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events that strongly influence modern climate may also be a big factor in climate changes over the past 50,000 years. In their Perspective, Rosenthal and Broccoli discuss the current state of climate modeling and recent observational evidence that bears on this question. Coupled atmosphere-ocean models have been especially important, but large uncertainties remain. To make progress on this front, an interdisciplinary community of tropical climate researchers will have to learn to better exploit the paleoclimate record.