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Thursday, May 26, 2016

What We Need To Know About El Niño & La Niña

With the ending phase of El Niño and the coming of La Niña, everyone seems to be bothered on what it would cause the environment and the food supply in a certain country as well as its economy. El Niño is a Spanish word which means "The Little Boy" or "The Christ Child", and was used since the occurrence emerge around christmas. Whereas, La Niña (also called"El Viejo") is the counterpart of El Niño meaning "The Little Girl", this is the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) cold phase or event. El Niño occur every 3 to 5 years and almost always followed by La Niña.
      *oscillation > movement from one position to another .  
What is El Niño?
     El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), it is characterized by warm ocean temperatures that develops in equatorial Pacific.

What causes the El Niño?
     It is caused by the warmer waters of Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Why the waters are warmer?
     As the trade winds lessen or reverse their direction, winds from the west push the warm surface of waters to the east in the direction of South America, such that there are lesser cold waters pulled up from below due to increase in warmer waters.

What are the effects of El Niño?

Changes in weather patterns
  • temperature changes
  • precipitation changes
  • storm track changes
  • changes in currents and ocean temperature
These changes lead to another consequences such as:
fires, drought, flooding, economic changes, price of heating and food, crash of fisheries, famines, plagues, insect population explosion, crop failure.

However, there are also positive effects  brought by El Niño such as,
fewer hurricanes and other tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic, milder winters in southern Canada and the northern continental United States, replenishment of water supplies in the southwestern United States, less disease in some areas due to drier weather like malaria in southeastern Africa.

What is La Niña?
     La Niña is the cold phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), it is characterized by cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.

What causes the La Niña?
     It is caused by the build-up of cooler-than-normal waters in the tropical Pacific, the west coast of South America.

Why the waters are cooler?
     The unusually easterly trade winds and ocean currents bring this cold waters to the surface, known as the process of upwelling.

What are the effects of La Niña?
  • drops in the ocean temperature
  • cold currents rise up along the coast
  • extended rains
  • higher than average rainfall
  • hurricanes and cyclones
  • flooding
These effects can also have consequences in agriculture and food supply of countries, as well as in private and insurance costs in crops.
There are also positive effects such as enhanced growth of fish populations and marine life due to the nutrients brought about by upwelling cold currents, thus fishermen get good catch.

Click to watch more >> Observing El Niño

#elniño #laniña #ENSO #warmwaters #coldwaters #oscillation #pacific #tradewinds

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