With last week’s NOAA announcement that El Niño is back, scientists, resource managers and coastal dwellers are preparing for a winter of increasing storm activity and potentially diminished ocean productivity in the Pacific – but a possibly milder-than-average Atlantic hurricane season and potentially beneficial rain in the arid American southwest.
El Niño, or the southern oscillation, is a climate phenomenon that occurs every two to five years and has significant effects on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries. While its relative frequency makes El Niño among the most-studied and better-understood large-scale phenomena among climate scientists, it can be a mystery to the rest of us.
Oregon Sea Grant can help unravel that mystery through its short publication, El Niño. Profusely illustrated and written for lay audiences, the eight-page, color publication explains how ocean currents, wind and weather patterns come together in the Equatorial Pacific to create El Niño conditions that affect weather and fisheries from South America to Alaska.
El Niño can be downloaded free of charge from the Oregon Sea Grant Web site:
For more in-depth information, visit NOAA’s El Niño page.