As the cost of El Nino mounts, a new theory suggests that global warming may be part of the reason it is so powerful this year.


A climate expert working for the UN has suggested that global warming may be the spur for more frequent and intense El Nino events, though no scientific link has yet been established. "New scientific models have shown intriguing, tantalising results," said Michael Coughlan, "but nothing conclusive to tie global warming to El Nino."

Central America

The World Food Programme has appealed for $9.4m to provide emergency food aid to 323,000 farmers in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama, where El Nino has been blamed for causing drought and floods.

Los Angeles

Thousands of starving seals and sea lions have been waddling ashore on the coast of California after the warm waters of El Nino have driven away the fish and squid which form their staple diet. Of 2,000 northern fur seals born at one location, 1,500 had died by the start of October.

Papua New Guinea

The El Nino linked drought in Papua New Guinea is estimated to have killed 1,000 people, with another 700,000 facing starvation.