Ludescher, J.,Gozolchiani, A.,Bogachev, M. I.,Bunde, A.,Havlin, S.,Schellnhuber, H. J.

Although anomalous episodic warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific, dubbed El Nino by Peruvian fishermen, has major (and occasionally devastating) impacts around the globe, robust forecasting is still limited to about 6 mo ahead. A significant extension of the prewarning time would be instrumental for avoiding some of the worst damages such as harvest failures in developing countries. Here we introduce a unique avenue toward El Nino prediction based on network methods, inspecting emerging teleconnections. Our approach starts from the evidence that a large-scale cooperative mode-linking the El Nino basin (equatorial Pacific corridor) and the rest of the ocean-builds up in the calendar year before the warming event. On this basis, we can develop an efficient 12-mo forecasting scheme, i.e., achieve some doubling of the early-warning period. Our method is based on high-quality observational data available since 1950 and yields hit rates above 0.5, whereas false-alarm rates are below 0.1.