El Nino Phenomenon

Topics: Pacific Ocean, South America, Atlantic Ocean Pages: 2 (511 words) Published: December 6, 2011
El Nino Phenomenon

El Niño or also called Southern Oscillation, it’s an occurrence that happen every three or seven years and usually lasts for 9-12 months, but may continue for up to 18 months, and dramatically affects the weather worldwide. It appears along the pacific coast of South America, more specifically in Peru and Ecuador, each year around Christmas. This phenomenon got its name from a South American fisherman who began to notice the El Nino event in the previous decade.

The name translates into “the child” in English; and since it always happens around Christmas they name it “Christ’s child”. El Nino is a series of warm water currents that can have unexpectedly serious effects. Warmer water temperatures reduce the amount of algae, which grows forcefully in cooler temperatures. With fewer algae to feed on, fish populations noticeably decline. It also brings heavy rain to western South American and drought to eastern Australia and Indonesia. This phenomenon is still kind of a mystery for scientists, but El Nino it’s like an interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. These climate anomalies spread from the warm water regions along the equator in the mid-Pacific. What happens is that usually, the wind blows strongly from east to west along the equator in the Pacific. This actually piles up water in the western part of the Pacific. However, in the eastern part, deeper water gets pulled up from below to replace the water pushed west. So, the normal situation is warm water in the west, cold in the east. In an El Niño, the winds pushing that water around get weaker. Therefore, some of the warm water piled up in the west slumps back down to the east, and not as much cold water gets pulled up from below. Both these tend to make the water in the eastern Pacific warmer, which is one of the negative impacts of an El Niño. At the same time, El Nino brings a lot of negative impacts for tons of countries. For instance, in...
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