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ENSO: El Niño Southen Oscillation

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skye marigold

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of ENSO: El Niño Southen Oscillation

Economic Issues
weather conditions
El Niño: What It Is
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an irregular occurring complex system of
climate changes that can affect many
parts of the world simultaneously

Not only do people have to rebuild their homes, find a place to stay, and start anew, but the livelihoods of some can be drastically affected... the fishermen in the affected areas lose a lot of money
the fish move away from the warming waters; so there is nothing to catch
families lose income and cannot provide financially on top of rebuilding their lives, and an economy can potentially collapse
Can El Niño be detected? Early warning signs?
An El Niño can occur when the trade winds that blow from east to west in the pacific slacken. This causes the warmer waters in the east to remain, instead of moving west and becoming cooler. The weak winds and the warm water in the eastern pacific act as a positive feedback loop: the warm water makes the winds weak, and the less strong winds warm the waters.
El Niño is very hard to detect because there are so many variables involved. Scientists monitor the surface temperatures of the ocean using buoys, climate stations, satellites, ocean currents, and computer models.
What about the wildlife?
fish die off or migrate to cooler waters in El Niño-- the warmer waters are never pushed to the west, and the upwelling of cool waters that bring up nutrients and plankton never occurs. Kelp forests can also be destroyed or damaged in El Niño because they depend on cool nutrient-rich waters. In addition, any upper trophic level predators (like sea lions) that depend on the fish populations are impacted. Also, the Galapagos Islands, which are off the coast of Ecuador can be devastated.
Skye Marigold
ENSO: El Niño Southen Oscillation

Other Facts
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El Niño Events: Results from Weakening Easterly Trade Winds. (n.d.). El Niño Events: results from weakening easterly trade
winds. Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/eln/elyr.rxml
El Niño Information. (n.d.). El Niño Information. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/elnino.asp
Khan, Brian. (2013, November 17). NOAA's New Cool Tool Puts Climate on View for All | Climate Central. NOAA's New Cool
Tool Puts Climate on View for All | Climate Central. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.climatecentral.org/news/noaas-new-cool-tool-puts-climate-on-view-for-all-16703
Pierce, D. W. (1997, June 25). What is an El Niño, Anyway?. What is an El Niño, Anyway?. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from
landslides, mudslides, torrential downpour, and severe flooding on the western coastal regions of North and South America
drought in Indonesia, Australia, and other areas of the western pacific
widespread fires in areas of the western pacific that use slash and burn techniques (the rain never comes to put the fires out)
fish in coastal South America move away into colder waters because they cannot survive in the rising temperature
massive housing/infrastructure damage from flooding and landslides
Western regions on the coast of North and South America
Australia, Indonesia, and other west pacific regions
Areas of Africa can experience drought and also rain
World climate in general (North America can have mild winters, while there is less of a chance of hurricanes in the Southeast of America

Environmental Term Project
weather conditions during El Niño
Galapagos Island Species Affected
No El Niño is ever the same as a previous storm (magnitude and length)
They occur irregularly every 2-7 years, but that is merely a time frame---they can come at any point in that time frame
El Niño does not guarantee the aforementioned weather patterns, but merely makes them very likely to occur---it's a complicated system
El Niño means "little boy", which references Christ, as the storm often comes around Christmas
El Niño and Southern Oscillation weren't discovered to be part of the same weather system until the 1950s
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