"El Nino events can have a significant impact on the yields of certain major food crops, a study has shown.
El Nino episodes are caused by changes in the sea surface temperature in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
Writing in Nature Communications, the team said the data could be used by governments to manage food supplies.
They wrote: "Results show that El Nino likely improves the global-mean soybean yield by 2.1-5.4% but appears to change the yields of maize, rice and wheat by -4.3% to 0.8%.
"The global-mean yield of all four crops during La Nina years tend to be below normal (-4.5% to 0.0%)," they observed.
The periodic warming (El Nino) and cooling (La Nina) of sea surface temperature in the eastern Pacific Ocean are phases in the naturally occurring phenomenon El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)."...