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The Independent Online
EL NINO, the weather system blamed for billions of pounds of damage and the loss of scores of lives, did more good than harm, it is claimed.

Stanley Changnon, a US climatologist, said that while the 1997-98 El Nino caused 189 deaths, it preserved 850 that would have been lost in normal winter and hurricane seasons. And the pounds 3bn damage caused is outweighed by pounds 12.5bn in benefits accrued by the downturn in Atlantic hurricanes.