Hazards Caused By El Niņo



The yellow shading represents years in which an El Niņo event had occurred, and their results of sea-surface temperature along the equator in the eastern Pacific, in barometer readings at Darwin, and in rainfall measurements at Christmas Island in the central Pacific are outstanding.





Floods and Droughts

The 1982-83 El Niņo caused the upper-level ridge off the West coast of the United States to be stronger, inducing an increase of amplitude of the waves as shown below. This event had led a warming in the Pacific regions of North America, and as a result produced heavier rains in the south (during that period), causing a wide spread flooding.

Normal Winter El Niņo Winter  


Images were taken from  DAS, University of Washington without permission




THE 1982-83 EL  NIŅO FLOOD    


The map shows the distribution of temperatures during this particular El Niņo (red-warm, blue-cool).

The storms produced by this El Niņo had caused over $100 million of damage in California. About $25 million of the damage occurred in Orange County, where big waves and heavy rain damaged piers, triggered mudslides and flooded residential areas and freeways.




During this event, it was seen that in North America, the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., western Canada and parts of Alaska showed warmer temperatures in 81% of the years while the south-eastern U.S. showed below normal temperatures around 80% of the time.

During the summer, heat waves and below-normal precipitation brought about severe drought, crop failures, and even death.




Rotation of the Earth

It was announced at the Spring American Geophysical Union annual convention in Boston 27-19 May, 1998, John Gipson at NVI Inc based at the NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center that El Nino had increased the length of the day by 600-700 microseconds. Air currents change their location on the earth, and their distance from the earth's centre by a few miles. The atmosphere carries air in clouds, and hence the earth's rotation  is constantly changing due to the conservation of angular momentum.



Conclusion-what can be done?

El Niņo is a global phenomenon. It is extremely important to gain a better understanding of them as they can only be predicted. It had caused a lot of damages all over the world over the last decade.


It is said that the world is experiencing higher temperatures than ever before. However, people continue to cut down trees and polluting the earth even more. Trees are essential sources to the earth, absorb toxins but up to a certain point, then the toxins will eventually kill the tree. They take in CO2 and produce O2 some of which we humans and other living things use, some also goes up into the atmosphere and is converted into O3 (ozone), keeping the ozone layer strong. Less trees more CO2, less O2, less O3, more CO2 (green house effect). Therefore, let us save the trees on this earth, to keep it a healthy place to live.