What Causes El Niño and Why We Can’t Predict The Weather

joe hanson on el niño

Most people have a misconception or a bad understanding about the El Niño phenomenon. Only few understands its cause and how can it affcet the weather. Others even think that this will bring chaos and severe drought.

American Ph.D. Biologist and host of PBS Digital Studios’ It’s Okay To Be Smart Joe Hanson clearly illustrated what’s causing the mysterious El Niño. He also explaied in his recent video the reason why we can’t predict the weather.

El Niño is defined as the extended warming in the Pacific Ocean’s surface temperatures when compared with the average value. This is because the trade winds over the Pacific Ocean gets weaker or even reverse their direction. Warm sea surface are pushed back from Southeast Asian region to South America, casing sea temperature to rise in the east Pacific and colder at the western side.

A severe El Niño is often associated with warm weather in South America like Peru and Chile, drought in Africa, as well in Indonesia and Australia, heavy downpours in southern California, and fewer hurricanes. But understand that these effects are not certain. A small change in any variable can cause major difference in weather conditions. El Niños occur erratically at approximately every two to seven years. Warm water appears near the coast of South America close to winter season, and reaches its warm peaks during the late fall of the following year. After peaking, the waters will tend to slowly cool down through the next winter upto spring the following year. The consequence can be felt persistently for more than a year all around the globe.

About Ryan Usi

Ryan is a Junior Web Developer and writer at the Asian Center for Flood Control located in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines.
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