UK
14/09/2015 09:12 BST | Updated 27/12/2015 11:59 GMT

Everything You Need To Know About El Niño, The Weather Pattern Nicknamed 'Bruce Lee'

Floods in Japan, bushfires in Australia and storms in Brazil; El Niño, the weather pattern one meteorologist nicknamed Bruce Lee thanks to the punch it has packed Planet Earth, has a lot to answer for.

So what exactly is El Niño?

El Niño - and it's sister La Niña - are complex weather patterns which result from changes in temperatures in the Pacific ocean. El Niño, which means "little boy" or "Christ Child" in Spanish, is the appearance of unusually warm water in the ocean, while La Niña, which translates as "little girl", represents periods of colder sea temperatures in the Pacific.

japan floods

Japan has experienced devastating floods, thanks to the El Niño phenomenon

Episodes can last up to 18 months, and occur on average every two to seven years.

This year's El Niño looks set to be the most powerful of its kind for the past 65 years.

Research conducted by the Met Office reveals global temperatures are rising again, with Professor Adam Scaife, although of the report, saying 2016 is likely to be very warm, contradicting previous claims global warming had slowed down.

Photo galleryAnswering your El Niño questions See Gallery