An image of El Nino spreading its warmth in 1997, taken by the Topex/Posiden satellite. The white represents the warm current originating the Pacific.
El Nino has been implicated in civil conflicts in a Nature paper published this week. I wrote a report on the pattern for SciDev.net. Does the effect have implications for climate change? Not directly, say the study authors, but Mark Cane said at a press briefing: “[Our study] shows beyond any doubt that climate variations do have an impact on the propensity of people to fight in civil conflicts. It is difficult to see why that won’t be carried over into a world that is disrupted by global warming.”