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THE EL NINO TIMES
Transcript of THE EL NINO TIMES
There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.
-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
El Niño Pattern
How Are El Niños Formed?
El Niños and Tides
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. In the eastern part, deeper water (which is colder than the sun-warmed surface water) gets pulled up from below to replace the water pushed west. So, the normal situation is warm water (about 86 F) in the west, cold (about 72 F) in the east.
In an El Niño, the winds pushing that water around get weaker. As a result, 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 of these tend to make the water in the eastern Pacific warmer, which is one of the signs of an El Niño.
The warmer ocean then affects the winds--it makes the winds weaker! So if the winds get weaker, then the ocean gets warmer, which makes the winds get weaker, which makes the ocean get warmer. This is called a positive feedback, and is what makes an El Niño grow.
El Niños can raise sea levels along US coast causing higher tides. They typically reach their peak in fall or winter. A new study has shown that the cyclical climate phenomenon can raise sea levels off the west coast by nearly 8 inches over just a few seasons.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Vol XCIII, No. 311
What is an El Nino?
An El Niño is a temporary change in the climate of the Pacific ocean, in the region around the equator. You can see its effects in both the ocean and atmosphere, generally in Northern Hemisphere winter. Typically, the ocean surface warms up by a few degrees Celsius. At the same time, the place where hefty thunderstorms occur on the equator moves eastward. Although those might seem like small differences, it nevertheless can have big effects on the world's climate.
The El Niño Times