(Australia, Reuters) -A new study suggests that Pacific islands could be experiencing more cyclones during El Nino years towards the end of the century, according to a new study.

The study suggests that during periods of El Nino, where the surface temperature of the Pacific ocean warms, the number of cyclones could increase by up to forty percent between 2070 and 2100.


El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific occurring every two to seven years which can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the world.

La Nina meanwhile is associated with the increased probability of wetter conditions over much of Australia and increased numbers of tropical cyclones.

Between 2070 and the end of the century, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Hawaii could face an increased frequency in powerful storms during El Nino of up to 40 percent, Australian meteorologists said in a study published in Nature Climate Chage Magazine.

However cyclones may be up to 60 percent less frequent during the opposite La Nina pattern, according to the study published in Nature Climate Change magazine.

According to a Reuters report, rising sea levels caused by global warming can likely increase cyclones, which could impact Pacific, island nations.

Researchers said in the last three decades of the century, the ocean’s surface waters will be hotter than usual in the Western Pacific due to global warming, resulting in more frequent cyclones during El Nino.

“These results suggest tropical cyclone activity in these regions will increase in a future warmer climate,” one of the study’s authors, Savin Chand, of Federation University Australia said in an email.

The latest El Nino, which emerged in 2015 and ended in May this year resulted in sea temperatures rising to the highest levels in 19 years.

Palau experienced the worst drought in years in 2016, causing water shortage for almost two months.

Small island developing states are already suffering the impacts of climate change, including rising seas and worsening extreme weather, and have pushed hard for more ambitious international efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions.

The Marshall Islands, Fiji and Palau were the first three countries to ratify the Paris climate change agreement to limit global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius earlier this year. [/restrict]