By Lynnette Harris | June 6, 2019

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Senior Scientist Michael McPhaden will give a seminar, “Understanding and Predicting El Niño: Why was the 2015-16 El Niño so Strong?” on Monday, June 10, from 2-3 p.m. in room 412 of the Agricultural Sciences (AGRS) building on USU’s Logan Campus.

McPhaden is a past president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an organization of more than 60,000 Earth and space scientists, and is currently a senior scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. He has published more than 300 articles in refereed journals and is among the most-cited authors on the topic of El Niño. He is a fellow of the AGU, the Oceanography Society, and the American Meteorological Society, and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

McPhaden’s seminar is hosted by USU’s Department of Plants, Soils and Climate. His presentation will review the evolution of one of the strongest El Niño’s on record and examine factors responsible for its unusual strength. He will discuss El Niño dynamics and how they affect weather variability worldwide, how we are able to predict El Niño, and the role that global warming may play in affecting El Niño variability now and in the future.

You can learn more about the Nobel Peace Prize for climate scientists at the Nobel Prize website.

Writer: Lynnette Harris,, 435-797-2189
Contact: Yoshimitsu Chikamoto,