El Nino Natural Phenomena

Topics: Nature

Physical geography relies on the examination of the connectivity of varying environmental elements. When studying weather and climate it is crucial to consider temperature, wind patterns, and other factors that contribute to environmental shifts and patterns. One example of this reciprocity can be considered through the exploration of the natural phenomena known as El Niño. El Niño occurs when sea surface temperatures of the equatorial Pacific Ocean rise above normal levels for prolonged periods of time. This results in the warming of the sea surface.

Despite its environmental significance, El Niño did not garner worldwide attention until the early 1980s when severe weather conditions occurred across the globe. There were droughts in Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Central America, and elsewhere. There were also terrible floods in the western and southeastern United States, as well as in Cuba. This extreme weather was also demonstrated by tropical cyclones in the Pacific where cyclone activity is unusual.

La Niña is considered to be the opposite of El Niño.

La Niña occurs when the sea surface temperature of the equatorial Pacific Ocean falls below normal levels for prolonged periods of time cooling the sea surface. Both El Niño and La Niña are part of what is called the “El Niño Southern Oscillation” or, ENSO.

I moved to the Bay Area at the beginning of 2015. I did not notice any El Niño related unusual weather patterns at the time, likely due to my inability to identify them.

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I do remember people complaining about the cold, and I was surprised by the amount of frost on my windshield that winter, I was in California!

The most severe weather that I have personally experienced was Hurricane Sandy in 2012. I was living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with my brother at the time. We were very lucky to be unharmed and there was no severe flooding in our immediate neighborhood. What I most noticed during Hurricane Sandy were the immense winds that made walking difficult, at least in upper Manhattan. The subways were affected, and we lost electricity. We were unable to leave our neighborhood but remained safe for the entirety of the hurricane.

In Sag Harbor, New York, where I grew up damage was more evident. Weeks after Sandy, there was flooding, there were uprooted and fallen trees still in the streets. The ocean was very grey, unbelievably rough, and extraordinarily windy. A family friend who owns a beachside home had basement flooding, and the steps down to the beach were completely destroyed.

I do not know if Hurricane Sandy was definitely propelled by, or intensified due to El Niño, and I cannot find any data to confirm that claim. However, it could have been El Niño related due to the fact that Sandy was classified as a tropical cyclone.

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El Nino Natural Phenomena. (2022, May 13). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/el-nino-natural-phenomena/

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