El Nino


What is El Nino? The semisynthetic environmental catastrophe made out to be, or an flight from what research workers can non explicate? Understanding the events construction and planetary impact is the first measure to construing these inquiries. The planetary population can non take sides on an issue that they do non grok, yet recent information encourages the belief that worlds are to fault for this ecological catastrophe and continuously do it worse. Accurately mensurating recent El Ninos and foretelling those that follow, will find if we should be concerned about what is go oning climatically.

This paper suggests that there is a batch to be learnt about this hideous environmental debacle. Without proper information there can be no opinion and there can be no rectification. The lone hardened fact that remains is that this subject, El Nino, should non be ignored, for if it does decline, the whole universe will be different.

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For 100s of old ages, Peruvian fishermen noticed an remarkably warm H2O current that appeared every twelvemonth about Christmas. These fishers dubbed this happening? El Nino’, which is Spanish for The Little One. What was one time an one-year conditions happening grew into a planetary phenomenon, associating many unconnected and unusual conditions events around the universe. El Nino refers to the warm stage of a larger warm/cold oscillation, or motion, happening in the H2O and ambiance of the Pacific part along the seashores of Peru and Ecuador. A typical warm El Nino stage could last between 8 and 18 months. The unheard of opposite number to El Nino is La Nina ( or El Viejo ) , which is the cold stage that could be merely as strong, but with opponent effects. Scientists know this complete phenomenon as El Nino/Southern Oscillation ( ENSO ) , and the full ENSO rhythm normally last 3 to 7 old ages ( Kessler-Internet ) . However, the rhythm is unlike the changing seasons, and can change in strength and timing. Presently, scientists do non wholly understand what causes alterations in the ENSO rhythm.

Under normal fortunes, cold H2O deep below the surface of the ocean tends to lift, and blending with the H2O at the surface creates a passage zone called thermocline ( Environment Canada-Internet ) . As cold H2O reaches the surface, little life signifiers begin feeding on its rich foods. Cold H2O will go on to lift because trade air currents blow the warm surface H2O from E to West. Few electrical storms and small rainfall consequence from these stable atmospheric conditions of a non-El Nino season. But during El Nino, the trade winds weaken go for thing a deeper bed of warm surface H2O and doing it hard for cold H2O to lift to the ocean surface. Since warm H2O lacks foods, the fish that relied upon the little life signifiers attach toing the cold H2O die off. An addition of electrical storms and heavy rainfall may besides happen.

El Nino is much more than a temperature alteration in the ocean degrees. During a usual season, the trade air currents blow from E to west across the southern Pacific, traveling warm H2O to the West. The ambiance above the South/Eastern Pacific is dominated by a high-pressure, while the Western Pacific is dominated by a low force per unit area system. These differing force per unit areas, in bend, drive the trade air currents. However, during El Nino the force per unit areas seesaw, a high force per unit area ruling the West and a low in the E, therefore altering the air currents and flow of ocean currents ( Thrive Online-Internet ) .

A mature El Nino will impact the conditions around the universe. Nevertheless, the most seeable impacts by and large take topographic point in the tropical countries. It typically produces drouth over southeast Asia, Australia and sometimes New Zealand. As good it often causes abnormally high rain falls over South America – in topographic points which are frequently really dry ( Environment Canada-Internet ) . As the El Nino phenomenon additions, its effects can be felt beyond the Torrid Zones. The warm H2O creates more uncommonly intense hurricanes in the Pacific. With a ferocious El Nino, storms travel from the Torrid Zones bring forthing heavy rainfall, deluging and harm across the Earth. The 1982-83 El Nino, called the El Nino of the century, caused more than $ 2 billion in harm in the United States entirely and included Australia’s worst drouth in over 200 old ages ( Environment Canada-Internet ) . The largest known ecological consequence of El Nino took topographic point in 1970 when the food supply for fish collapsed off the seashore of Peru and Equador. Back to endorse El Ninos in 1972 and 1974 forced the Fisheries Minister of Peru to forestall anyone from angling the close bare country. Several old ages subsequently, despite a dramatic effort to retrieve, the harm appeared to hold been lasting and is non expected to retrieve.

In Canada, the most apparent effects of El Nino take topographic point in the winter. Air temperatures across the state lift an norm of 3 grades Celcius during El Nino. This creates uncommonly mild and dry winters, most noticeable over the Prairies and British Columbia. The Arctic parts and Atlantic states maintain unaffected by an El Nino event ( Environment Canada-Internet ) .

An El Nino episode can be measured, and is done so rather easy. The most widely used graduated table is known as the Southern Oscillation Index ( SOI ) , which is based on the surfaces atmospheric force per unit area difference between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia, which are on opposite sides of the Pacific . Tahiti and Darwin are anti correlated, for illustration, when Tahiti force per unit area is high, Darwin force per unit area is low. Normally, Tahiti force per unit area is high, bespeaking that air currents are blowing toward the West, but eastbound merchandise air currents are a direct nexus to El Nino. The greatest advantage of SOI is that information has been available since the 1880’s. Therefore, it is far more accountable than any other measuring.

The Southern Oscillation Index is given in units of standard divergence. For illustration, SOI values for the 1982-83 El Nino were approximately 3.5 standard divergences, by this step that event was approximately twice as the 1991-92 El Nino, which measured merely approximately 1.75 in SOI units ( NOVA Online-Internet ) . Although, scientists do non believe that the Southern Oscillation Index should be the individual beginning sum uping the strength of an full El Nino event.

In 1997, El Nino began smacking mayhem across the Earth. The difference between this happening and others in the yesteryear was that this one was predicted. Trusting on orbiters, temperature-measuring buoys, and simulations of the ocean and atmosphere, meteorologists were able to calculate El Nino’s latest visual aspect. The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle operates the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean ( TAO ) buoy array across the Pacific. TAO measures sea surface temperatures, surface air currents, air temperature, humidness and even subsurface temperatures. These buoys transmit day-to-day information to revolving orbiters ( NOVA Online-Internet ) . Using the orbiter information, NASA is able to supervise the altering atmospheric and pelagic conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean to foretell the following few hebdomads and months. Distinct indicants of future El Nino events include stronger than normal eastern air currents and above norm sea surface temperatures. With both orbiter and buoy information meteorologists now visualize in writing shows of what is go oning, instead than seeking to do sense of Numberss on computing machine paper.


Get downing in 1976, pelagic heatings known as El Ninos have popped up with a frequence unmatched in the last 113 old ages ( Monastersky 54 ) . A figure clime research workers have suggested that recent El Ninos have non been consistent with the natural forms of those two decennaries ago.

Using computing machine simulation and past information research workers believe that the recent El Ninos are extremely unusual. Durable divergences such as the last El Nino occur merely one time every 1,500 to 3,000 old ages and twenty-year-long periods of frequent heatings occur merely one time every 2,000 old ages ( NOVA Online-Internet ) . These statistics encouraged clime research workers Kevin E. Trenberth and Timothy J. Hoar to reason that, “The possibility that the  alterations may be partially caused by the ascertained addition of nursery gases,” produced by the combustion of fossil fuels  . It is possible that as nursery gases heat the Earth, more frequent and durable El Ninos could happen. On the other side, there are those research workers that suggest these clime fluctuations are within normal bounds and that all clime events are natural. Oceanographer Tim P. Barnett debates, “I have jobs with bring fo rthing 1 million old ages of fluctuation utilizing 100 old ages worth of informations,” he continues to state, “It doesn’t convince that this is rare” ( . Neither reading should be taken for the truth, whereas the truly important statistics will non be available for another 100 old ages.


El Nino is a of course happening phenomenon, that is understood. But it remains unexplained as to why it occurs or when it does, and even with what force it emanates. Impacting the Earth as it does, it’s surprising to see how lightly the universe can take it. Current measurings are lone illustrations of current events, and even current engineering. Therefore, thoughts for the hereafter remain current excessively. The efforts taken to understand the hereafter of this climatic event are bantam in comparing to what it does and could intend for Earth. El Nino is non the lone thing that influences weather, yet it can non be overlooked. Undoubtably, as the present El Nino begins to melt, our purposes for its hereafter should non travel with it.

Plants Cited

  1. Diaz, Henry F. ed. El Nino: Historical Paleoclimatic Aspects of the Southern Oscillation. Cambridge University Press: New York, 1992
  2. El Nino – Overview. [ Online ] Available hypertext transfer protocol: //www.mb.ec.gc.ca/Nino/Overview.html,March 26, 1998.
  3. Hjfree @ ios.bc.ca. Brief Notes On Biological Effectss. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ios.bc.ca/ios/sos/elnino/biol.htm, March 26, 1998
  4. Glossary of Footings. [ Online ] Available hypertext transfer protocol: //www.dir.ucar.edu/esig/elnino/glossary.html,March 26, 1998.
  5. Kessler, Brian. Not So Frequently Asked Questions about El Nino [ Online ] Available hypertext transfer protocol: //www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elnino/resources/elninofaq.html, March 26, 1998.
  6. Monastersky, R. “The Loitering El Nino: Greenhouse Guest?” Science News. 27 January 1998: 54.
  7. Simon, Tamar. El Nino Threatens on the Horizon. [ Online ] Availablehttp: //www.exn.net/news/0.cfm? ThisStory=19970529-03.html
  8. Svitil, Kathy A “They Saw It Coming.” Discover. January 1998: 82-83.
  9. Warm Water, Cold Water and El Nino. [ Online ] Availablehttp: //broadcast.webpoint.com/kwgn/elnino/elnino_upwellings.htm, March 26 1998.
  10. What’s El Nino? [ Online ] Available hypertext transfer protocol: //www.thriveonline.com/outdoors/gordo.07-25-97.html, March 26, 1998.

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