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Current Affairs

El Niño

Date: 25 October 2019 Tags: Climate Change


In a new study, researchers have found that because of climate change, extreme El Niño events are likely to become more frequent.



The El Niño is a widely discussed phenomenon, particularly in India where it can impact the southwest monsoon. In fact, El Niño events cause serious shifts in weather patterns across the globe.



El Niño

  • The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

  • El Niño is a climate phenomenon that takes place over the equatorial Pacific. It is one phase of an alternating cycle known as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

  • When there is a warming of the sea surface temperature in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean, it is known as El Niño. When the opposite cooling phase takes place, it is known as La Niña.

  • ENSO can cause extreme weather events in many regions of the world, and therefore has very important implications for seasonal climate predictions, including the monsoon in India.

  • While El Niño causes warmer temperatures over the equatorial Pacific, these are known to suppress monsoon rainfall.

La Niña

  • La Niña episodes represent periods of below-average sea surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific. Global climate La Niña impacts tend to be opposite those of El Niño impacts.

  • In the tropics, ocean temperature variations in La Niña also tend to be opposite those of El Niño.

  • During a La Niña year, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.

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