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Aging El Nino Buoys Get Fixed as Weather Forecasts at Risk

The National Weather Service is set to start repairing 70 towering buoys used to track El Nino and La Nina patterns, whose damage has led scientists to warn the accuracy of forecasts is in danger.

The Tropical Atmospheric Ocean Array, deployed after a 1982-83 ocean warming caught governments by surprise and caused at least $8.1 billion in damage worldwide, is designed to help predict developments that can alter global weather. The system has degraded to about 40 percent effectiveness, a victim of age, vandalism and neglect, according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.