The natural burst of El Nino warming that changes weather worldwide is far costlier with longer-lasting expenses than experts had thought, averaging trillions of dollars in damage, a new study found. An El Nino is brewing now and it might be a big one. El Nino is a temporary and natural warming of parts of the equatorial Pacific, that causes droughts, floods and heat waves in different parts of the world. It also adds an extra boost to human-caused warming. The study in the journal Science totals global damage with an emphasis on lasting economic scars. It runs counter to previous research that found, at least in the United States that El Nino’s were not such a problem. Study authors said the average El Nino costs the global economy about $3.4 trillion.

“We have this sense that El Nino is a really big hammer that hits the Earth system every few years. But we didn’t have as much of a handle on its sort of macroeconomic implications, both what that means just on a year-to-year basis and what that might mean with future global warming a lead scientist says.

“Economies bear the scars of El Nino for a decade or more and potentially forever,” The economic scars are the diversion of spending away from technology and innovation toward recovery and rebuilding efforts. It’s about opportunities lost while digging out of the El Nino hole.

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