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November/December 2009

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Weather Front

A Possible El Niño-Flu Pandemic Link

New research by scientists at Texas A&M University draws a link between severe El Niño conditions and influenza, findings that could have important implications for the 2009 flu season.

El Niño occurs when unusually warm surface waters form over large areas of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It can affect weather systems worldwide. According to Benjamin Giese, a professor of oceanography at Texas A&M, one of the strongest El Niño's in the twentieth century occurred in the winter of 1918–1919, the same year that the Spanish Flu devastated the world's population.


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