Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

El Niño

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_603

El Niño occurs in eastern equatorial waters when the water temperature of the cold water zone rises by 3–6 °C higher than normal, killing fish and other marine life. It usually occurs before and after Christmas. The word El Niño means ‘Child Saint’ in Spanish. The El Niño phenomenon occurs once every 3.8 years, but it is not a periodic phenomenon. Certain sea areas are sustainable for more than one year and have a major impact on the short-term oscillation of the global climate. The basic feature of the El Niño phenomenon is that the temperatures of the surface waters of the Pacific coast increase abnormally with rising seawater level, and warm currents flow southwards. This warms the eastern Pacific waters, which were originally cold, inducing strong waves, torrential rains and storms in some areas and droughts in others.

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