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Research by Texas A&M University has raised speculation as to whether global warming has strengthened El Niño while simultaneously providing fodder for a connection between El Niño and the 1918 flu pandemic, which scientists now know was H1N1.
Giese told Science Daily that parallel conditions between 1918 and 2009 are cause for concern. In 1918, winter and spring were colder than normal in North America and the flu outbreak began in March. Just after that, the 1918 El Niño strengthened; as it increased, the flu outbreak evolved into a pandemic, he said.
In 2009, we have seen a moderate to strong El Niño and have been fending off widespread H1N1 flu around the world, he noted.