What is El Nino?
El Nino is a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean which affects many weather systems over the globe. It is a phenomenon typically associated with warmer water of the western tropical Pacific Ocean shifting eastward along the equator towards the western coast of South American before Christmas. As an immediate effect of these phenomenon countries like Chile and Peru receive unusual rainfall in December, fishermen in the west coast of South America have less fish to catch.
It was since the 1600s that the term was in vogue among Ecuadorian fishermen. El Nino when translated to English means â€˜baby Jesusâ€™. The fishermen used the term to describe the warm weather that the phenomenon is usually associated with during the time of the Christmas once in every two to seven years.
What is an El Nino year?
The El Nino phenomenon occurs during December in the western coast of South America every two to seven years. The year followed by the December phenomenon is considered an â€˜El Nino yearâ€™ as it exhibits the effects of the warming of the Pacific Ocean.
Along with unusual rain in the western coast of South America and less fish to catch for the fishermen in the region, the El Nino is usually associated with a general warmer than usual tropical Pacific which snowballs to disruption of many weather systems around often resulting in extreme weather conditions like flood and droughts. In addition, El Nino years experience an overall higher temperature across geographies.
Few days back there were news about 2015 being the hottest year replacing 2014 ever recorded in the recent past. Thereâ€™s a group of scientists who believe this to be an effect of the global warming while some blame the El Nino. In addition, to causing above average temperatures the recent typhoon in Philippines, bad harvest for African cocoa farmers and a relief for the Californian drought it is poised to affect India very soon.
Usually during an El Nino year, India suffers from drought with areas dependant on only rainfall with poor irrigation as it dries up the South West Monsoon. For example, during 2009-2010 caused sugar prices to soar up highest in 30 years. Currently, there are high pressure regions in Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean near the south Indian peninsula which acts as a catalyst for the North East Monsoon which was initially late. According to most weather bloggers as a direct result of the El Nino, Tamil Nadu and other parts of the southern peninsula will receive more rainfall than that of the last three years. Most of India is otherwise dependant on South West Monsoon.