El Nino effects on worldwide climate

El Nino effects on worldwide climate

El Nino effects on worldwide climate

El Nino is a natural phenomenon that takes place every few years in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino consists in a slight warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean surface and high air pressure over the western Pacific Ocean. The opposite variations in western Pacific water temperature (lower temperature) and surface air pressure (lower pressure) is called anti-El Nino or La Nina. The two climate variations occur at different time intervals, but the average distance between two phenomenon is five years.

The natural mechanisms that produce these climate variations are not fully known and understood. Several studies are underway but we currently know so little about what creates these natural events, but we know too well the effect on the worldwide climate.

El Nino causes extreme weather conditions like floods and droughts in many parts of the world but the most affected regions are the ones closer to the Pacific Ocean. The agriculture and fishing industry at the borders of the Pacific Ocean can be severely affected during El Nino.

In South America El Nino brings heavy rainfall on the west coast causing flooding in many regions. The marine life is also affected by climate variations influencing the different species of fish. In North America the winters are drier and warmer than normal, while the summers are wetter.

In Europe El Nino effects are not that severe but, it appears that El Nino brings heavy  winters in North Europe and a dry winter in the Mediterranean Sea region.

The effects of La Nina are the opposite of the El Nino consequences over the climate worldwide. The lower water temperatures in Pacific Ocean affects mostly the South American west coast and the Southeast Asia.

Apparently the number of El Nino events has increased in the last decades while the number of La Nina events decreased. There are no indications if this is a natural fluctuation or it’s the effect of global warming. Futures studies will probably bring more information about these changes and their connection with the global warming.

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