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News Release 18-061

Future impacts of El Niņo, La Niņa likely to intensify, increasing wildfire, drought risk

Changes to precipitation, temperature, wildfire risk

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During the July 2011 La Niņa, a boat sits on dry land in a branch of Lake Travis in Texas.

During the July 2011 La Niņa, a boat sits on dry land in a branch of Lake Travis in Texas.

Credit: Erik A. Ellison, Wikimedia Commons


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A result of projected changes in the El Niņo-La Niņa pattern, wildfire risk may increase.

A result of projected changes in the El Niņo-La Niņa pattern, wildfire risk may increase.

Credit: USGS


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El Niņo and La Niņa

El Niņo and La Niņa "alternate," but both have effects on extreme events such as flooding and fires.

Credit: USGCRP


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High surf during an El Niņo storm batters coastlines and structures built there.

High surf during an El Niņo storm batters coastlines and structures built there.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Rains fuel the growth of grasses and other vegetation, increasing fire risk once the land dries out.

Rains fuel the growth of grasses and other vegetation, increasing fire risk once the land dries out.

Credit: USDA


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Increased wildfire danger in the Southwest United States is associated with La Niņa events.

Increased wildfire danger in the Southwest United States is associated with La Niņa events.

Credit: NASA


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