El Nino

El Nino

Causes of:

El Nino takes place when the surface water of the Pacific Ocean (usually around the equator) is warmed a few degrees celsius.
Normally, winds will blow from east to west piling up the warmer water in the west. This allows the deeper colder water to rise and warm up some. However, when it is the season of El Nino, the trade winds will be weaker and the water piled up in the west will slowly merge back into the east and cause the water to heat up more.

Results:

The warmer surface water caused by El Nino fuels large thunderstorms that cause a lot of rainfall to the Americas. However, Australia and parts of Asia suffer from droughts and a very dry season.
The increased heat of the water also decreases the amount of nutrients in the areas affected. This causes the fish to migrate elsewhere. If El Nino lasts too long, it can seriously damage the fishing industry of the regions being affected.

El Nino 1997-1998

This is considered to be the most powerful El Nino in history. California and many other parts of America received huge amounts of rain as a result, and places like Indonesia experienced massive droughts and other disasters. 1998 was considered, at the time, to have been the hottest year on history.