The Oryx Resource Guide to El Niño and La Niña

The Oryx Resource Guide to El Niño and La Niña

The Oryx Resource Guide to El Niño and La Niña

The Oryx Resource Guide to El Niño and La Niña

Synopsis

Fish die. Seagulls starve. Economies wither. And that's just in the coastal villages. Here, the basic causes and effects of El Nino and La Nina, also known as ENSO (The El Nino and Southern Oscillation), are carefully chronicled for anyone in search of accurate and current information on these natural phenomena. Chapters are devoted to the historical, meteorological, ecological, and economic impacts of ENSO. A chronology of key events, biographies of important researchers, illustrations and maps, and an extensive bibliography help make this a total guide to these magnificent natural cycles.

Excerpt

As I addressed the nation’s television weather broadcasters for the third consecutive year on the status and the seasonal effects of the Tropical Pacific phenomena known as El Ninño and La Niña, I realized how much has changed in the last few decades.

As late as 1980, when I taught weather and climate to college students, the El Niño phenomenon was discussed only in reference to the weather in the tropical Pacific, from Peru to Australia and Southeast Asia. At that time, the relationship between the sea surface temperatures and the pressure, temperature, and precipitation patterns in the Tropical Pacific was well established and accepted. Some of the more progressive governments in these areas had even begun to monitor these events and to apply the knowledge for decisions and policies related to agriculture and foreign trade. But for the rest of the world, it simply became a story relegated to the science magazines and a paragraph buried in the Sunday paper.

Then came the Super El Niño of 1982 and 1983, which coincided with great climate and weather extremes on a global basis. This spurred considerable media attention, which fostered much government-funded research. This research has lead now to a much greater understanding of the phenomenon and a recognition of its true global importance.

Thanks to this heavy media coverage, the phenomenon, which for centuries was known only by Peruvian fishermen and farmers and climatologists, today has become a household word. Although un-

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