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Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:18




El Nino

• El Nino is a weather pattern that sets up in the Tropical Pacific Ocean. South American fishermen have given this phenomenon the name El Nino, which is Spanish for "The Christ Child," because it comes about the time of the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child-Christmas.

• This climate pattern referred to a weak, warm current appearing annually around Christmas time along the coast of Ecuador and Peru and lasting only a few weeks to a month or more.

• Sir Gilbert Walker in the 1930s, climatologists determined that El Niño occurs simultaneously with the Southern Oscillation. The Southern Oscillation is a change in atmospheric pressure over the tropical eastern and western Pacific Ocean.

• When coastal waters become warmer in the eastern tropical Pacific (El Niño), atmospheric pressure decreases in the eastern Pacific and increases in the western Pacific (Southern Oscillation). Climatologists define these linked phenomena as El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

• El Nino has an impact on ocean temperatures, the speed and strength of ocean currents, the health of coastal fisheries, and local weather from Australia to South America.

• Under normal weather conditions, trade winds ferry warm ocean currents westwards, from the eastern and central Pacific towards Indonesia and Australia. Warmer ocean waters in these regions then heat up the air above, leading to cloud formation and triggering the prodigious monsoon. But in the years where the El Nino takes shape, eastern and central Pacific regions experience abnormal warming of the sea.

• The abnormal warming of the sea leads to increased cloud formation and torrential rains in Peru and some sections of America. The ocean currents in the western Pacific remain cool, which means weak monsoon rains in Indonesia and Australia and sometimes in India.

• The El Nino usually occurs once in every 3 -7 years. Its effect tends to be felt in India around August, bang in the middle of the south-west monsoon. As a munificent south-west monsoon is critical for India’s main kharif crop, El Nino is a dreaded word for Indian farmers.




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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 10:56