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El Nino caused record CO2 spike in 2015-16: NASA

El Nino caused record CO2  spike in 2015-16: NASA
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Scientists have found that the impact of the 2015-16 El Nino-related heat and drought occurring in tropical regions of South America, Africa and...

Washington : Scientists have found that the impact of the 2015-16 El Nino-related heat and drought occurring in tropical regions of South America, Africa and Indonesia was responsible for the largest annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration seen in at least 2,000 years.

El Nino is a cyclical warming pattern of ocean circulation in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that can affect weather worldwide. The findings, are based on analysis of the first 28 months of data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite.

"These three tropical regions released 2.5 gigatonnes (a billion tonnes) more carbon into the atmosphere than they did in 2011," said lead author of the study Junjie Liu of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

"OCO-2 data allowed us to quantify how the net exchange of carbon between land and "atmosphere in individual regions is affected during El Nino years," Liu added.

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