El Niño, 1997-1998: The Climate Event of the Century

By Stanley A. Changnon | Go to book overview

phenomenon affected weather patterns over the United States; discusses how scientific predictions based on El Niño were generated; and presents the seasonal weather conditions that actually occurred in 1997-1998. Chapter 3 describes how the news media interpreted and translated the scientific information generated about El Niño and how the public reacted.

Chapter 4 assesses the scientific issues that emerged as a result of El Niño. Chapter 5 describes how decision makers in weather-sensitive positions in agribusiness, water management, and utilities reacted to the El Niño-based seasonal climate predictions, assesses the uses of the predictions, and identifies the reasons for their nonuse. Chapter 6 presents a national and regional analysis of the impacts of El Niño-caused weather conditions across the nation, defining the winners and losers.

Chapter 7 addresses inherent problems in using predictions and describes some of the key policy actions resulting from El Niño-based predictions and weather problems. Chapter 8 summarizes the key findings, including how decision makers and the public reacted to El Niño and predictions about it and identifies the major scientific surprises related to El Niño, the lessons learned from the event, and the legacy of the event for scientists and the nation.

Many of the illustrations presented in this volume were selected to emphasize how the media presented information about El Niño. Predictions, outlooks, and forecasts are terms used interchangeably throughout the text and are considered to have the same meaning in relation to future oceanic, weather, or climate conditions.


REFERENCES

Changnon, S. A., Changnon, J. M., and Changnon, D. 1995. "Uses and applications of climate forecasts for power utilities". Bulletin Amer. Meteoro. Soc., 76, 711-720.

Chicago Tribune. May 26, 1998. "Mexico's fires cloud horizons", p. 1.

Climate Alert. July-August 1998. "Is there a relationship between El Niño and climate change?" vol. 12, p. 1.

Cleveland Plain Dealer. August 24, 1997. "El Niño is making itself well known", p. 4H.

Detroit News. March 20, 1998. "Farewell to the winter that wasn't", p. E1.

Glantz, M. H. 1996. Currents of Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hare, S. R. 1998. "Recent El Niño brought downpour of media coverage". EOS, 34, 6.

Karl, T. April 7, 1998. "El Niño could be window on future". USA Today, p. 1.

Leetma, A. 1999. "The first El Niño observed and forecasted from start to finish". Bulletin Amer. Meteoro. Soc., 80, 111-112.

Michaels, P. April 19, 1998. "Beware, was El Niño combined with global warming? No!" Los Angeles Times, p. 5A.

Minneapolis Star Tribune. October 29, 1997. A story of superlatives. p. 5A.

-----. June 8, 1998. El Niño accelerates global warming trend, p. 3A.

Ross, T., Lott, N., McCown, S., and Quinn, D. 1998. The El Niño Winter of '97-'98. NCDC Technical Report No. 98-02, NOAA, Asheville, NC.

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El Niño, 1997-1998: The Climate Event of the Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Contributors xv
  • 1 - What Made El NiñO 1997-1998 Famous? 3
  • References 26
  • 2 - Causes, Predictions, and Outcomes of El NiñO 1997-1998 28
  • References 47
  • 3 - Was El NiñO a Weather Metaphor--A Signal for Global Warming? 49
  • Notes 67
  • References 67
  • 4 - The Scientific Issues Associated with El NiñO 1997-1998 68
  • Appendix 103
  • References 105
  • 5 - Who Used and Benefited from the El NiñO Forecasts? 109
  • References 134
  • 6 - Impacts of El NiñO's Weather 136
  • References 166
  • 7 - Policy Responses to El NiñO 1997-1998 172
  • References 193
  • 8 - Summary Surprises, Lessons Learned, and the Legacy of El NiñO 1997-1998 197
  • References 209
  • Index 211
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