El Nino

El Nino is a very unpredictable, warm ocean current that occurs off the coast of South America around the months of December and January. El Nino occurs every three to seven years, and is caused by interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere. It results in changed weather patterns all over the world, especially in regions around the equator. El Nino occurs when easterly winds become weaker, pushing less warm water to the west, resulting in warmer water in the east. The warmer ocean then affects the winds, making them weaker, which then makes the ocean warmer and so on. That is how El Nino grows and is called positive feedback. When there is not an El Nino the strong easterly winds push the warm water to the west along the equator in the pacific. In the east the warm surface water that was pushed to the west is replaced by deeper colder water that gets pulled up from below. Typical weather patterns result in warm water in the west, about 30ºC, and cold water in the east, about 20ºC. When an El Nino occurs the water in the east can become as warm as the water in the west. The Southern Oscillation Index is the reversal pattern of air pressure between Tahiti and Darwin. An El Nino occurs when the values of the Southern Oscillation Index are negative. This means that the Pacific Trade winds will weaken and the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean will experience warming. In Australia El Nino events are associated with an increased probably of drier conditions. When the Southern Oscillation Index values are positive it indicates that a La Nina may occur. La Nina is the opposite of El Nino, meaning that the Pacific Trade winds will become stronger, influencing warmer sea temperatures to the north of Australia. Because of the drastic weather changes, El Nino causes multiple problems around the world. Countries in the western pacific region such as Australia and Indonesia experience droughts, which affects the farmers by destroying their crops. Droughts can result in famines in various parts of the world. In 1877 nine million people were killed in China and eight million in India, due to a famine caused by El Nino. Whilst areas in the western pacific region become drier, areas in the eastern pacific experience an increase in rainfall. This can result in severe flooding and storms that can leave people without homes and food. In 1982 and 1983 the worst El Nino of the 20th century occurred. The weather changes associated with El Nino¶s took place around the world and caused damaged of more the eight billon dollars. The fish industry in South America was

also suffered floods and landslides. and make more accurate predictions. Ruby Bolt http://www.gov/kids/elnino.nasa.gov.ldeo. More research on El Nino would help us understand how it works.au www.fema. Many other countries.wikipedia. Although El Nino can cause great problems that have negative effects on humans.edu www. as the rise in sea temperatures destroyed reefs.htm http://www.devastated.columbia. Six tropical cyclones hit Tahiti and Australia experienced severe droughts and bushfires.bom.com http://earthobservatory. it is a very important part of the worlds weather systems. such as Peru and Ecuador.gov/Features/ElNino/ .

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