El Nino as a Climatic Pattern – Assignment Example
The paper "El Nino as a Climatic Pattern" is an outstanding example of an assignment on environmental studies. El Nino, or the “little boy”, refers to a climatic pattern that repeats itself at the end of every year in the Pacific Ocean, caused by a change in temperature in the surface water of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. Southern Oscillation occurs due to a fluctuation of surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific Ocean. When combined together, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation occurs, which is a climatic occurrence in the Pacific Ocean, repeating itself every three to seven years. El Nino and Southern Oscillation have a great impact on weather around the world.
During an El Nino year, there is a constant, marked increase in the temperature of the tropical Pacific Ocean water, with a decrease in the air pressure, as compared to non-El Nino years. The trade winds ebb, or change their directions from the west, where they are directed during non-El Nino years, to east.
A major El Nino event causes many climatic changes in the United States; southern Alaskan temperatures are raised above normal in autumn and winter, whereas it causes a drop in the temperature in the Gulf Coast in winter. There is more snowfall in the southern Rockies and the Sierra Nevada in winter as a consequence of El Nino, and as the jet stream moves from west to east in the southern United States El Nino causes harsh weather occurrences. However, there is a decrease in the chances of an Atlantic hurricane in the Continental United States. There is increased rainfall in the Gulf Coast and Southeast of the United States during El Nino, though it has the opposite effect in Hawaii during late winter and spring when there is less rainfall there.