The 2015-16 El Niño episode has been either the most or one of the most intense on record, depending on which measure you use.
Going on sea surface temperatures alone, the latest El Niño narrowly edges out 1997-98, the previous strongest. Temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean — the most commonly used of the regions scientists measure for signs of an developing El Niño or La Niña conditions — peaked at 2.37°C above the long term trend in November 2015, just ahead of the 2.33°C mark reached in 1997. Read more
by Gavin Jackson and Keith Fray
On Tuesday the International Monetary Fund released its latest World Economic Outlook. A striking new finding emerges: the seven largest emerging markets are now bigger, in gross domestic product terms, than the long established G7 group of industrialised nations, when measured at purchasing power parity (PPP). Read more
A new military spending forecast from analysts at IHS Jane’s Defence suggests that China’s defence spending will accelerate substantially in the next three years.
This interactive graphic examines defence spending and gross domestic product growth in the region – as well as showing contextual numbers for the US – the world’s biggest spender on defence. Read more