El Nino is a short time change in the climate in the pacific ocean. You can see the effects in both the air and water. The ocean will heat up a few degrees. The air therefore heats up to because the heat comes of the water and heats up the air. The heavy storms move to the east. These are small effects that can make a huge difference on the world’s climate.
El Nino causes unusual warming of the surface waters of the oceans in the tropical pacific. One part is called the Southern Oscillation. The Southern Oscillation is the up and down pattern like a see-saw. Scientists do not understand the whole concept of how the El Nino works and forms.
The wind blows strongly from the east to the west. This piles up the water in the west. In a El Nino winds in it get weaker as it pushes the water around. Some of the warm water that is piled up in the west slides back to the east. Not much cold water get pulled up from under the warm water.
This usually happens around Christmas time in South America so they called it El Nino. This means the infant or the Christ child because it happens around Christmas.
A strong El Nino often is associated with wet winters all over the southeastern U.S. and drought in the Indonesia and Australia.
El Nino may have caused the 1993 Mississippi and 1995 California floods. They also believe that it also caused the lack of serious storms like hurricanes in the north Atlantic which spreads over to Florida.
The equator has some of the worlds warmest oceans. Most horrible El Nino’s of the century is in the winter of 1982 and 1983 the total was $8 billion in damage.
The El Nino happens about every three to seven years. It is often the most windy time of the year around the pacific ocean. They use satellites to watch El Nino grow and move. They also use these things like bobbies that they put in the sea to watch El Nino, so they can see if its dangerous to us.
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