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The Impact of Global Warming on the existence of El Niño/ La Niña.

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Introduction

Form 4B2 28/02/03 Geography Midterm Assignment - The Impact of Global Warming on the existence of El Ni�o/ La Ni�a The El Ni�o phenomenon was discovered in 1567 when South American fisherman noticed increases in the temperature of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, especially along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru. They called this phenomenon the El Ni�o because it would occur around Christmas. "El Ni�o is the Spanish for the boy, signifying the baby Jesus' birth. In the 1920s, Sir Gilbert Walker, head of the Indian Meteorological Service, found that the air pressure over Darwin in the Western Hemisphere was exactly opposite to the air pressure over Tahiti an island in the Eastern Hemisphere. He found that when the atmospheric pressure increased in the East, it decreased in the West and when it increased in the West it decreased in the East. He called this relationship between the two the Southern Oscillation. In 1966, a meteorologist named Jacob Bjerknes, recognised that the El Ni�o and the Southern Oscillation, were related inversely and he brought the two phenomena under the name El Ni�o Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The study of Global Warming and El Ni�o come under the geographical branch of meteorology. Meteorology is scientific observation and study of the atmosphere so that weather can be accurately forecast. ...read more.

Middle

over the next 100 years. It is true that average temperatures are rising. Records show that the 1990s has been the warmest decade ever. Global Warming is one of the few theories that scientist universally agree on. They all believe that Global Warming is on its way. It is believed that this rapid warming of the Earth will have diverse effects on countries and places all over the world. For instance, it is thought that weather will be more intense. Hurricanes will come with stronger winds, rainy seasons will be extended and when droughts come they will be worse and for longer periods. This extra rainfall can be helpful for agricultural usages but can also be the cause of flooding. The hurricanes will be powerful are most likely to cause severe damage to structures and people's lives. Drought will cause agricultural yields to decrease significantly and that will be a major blow to most countries' economies. One of the most fearing effects that can and might be caused by Global Warming though is the melting of polar ice caps. This act would cause the sea level to rise by 9 - 100 cm (centimetres) or 4 - 40 in. (inches). This will threaten all low-lying countries. ...read more.

Conclusion

Normally, the winds going out to sea take with them warm water and cool water returns to the coastal regions of Ecuador and Peru. During La Ni�a these winds strengthen. A lot more warm water is taken out to sea and so a lot more cool water is brought back to the shores. As a result of the cool water, La Ni�a causes drought and periods with small amounts of rain in the eastern hemisphere and in the western hemisphere brings a lot of rain. The La Ni�a is also sometimes called El Viejo (The Old Man) or anti-El Ni�o. Normal Conditions El Ni�o conditions La Ni�a Conditions Scientists have said that they believe that Global Warming has an effect on the El Ni�o and La Ni�a. El Ni�os and La Ni�as vary in strength and intensity and so scientists feel that it is likely to be so because the El Ni�os are sensitive to their environment, meaning that Global Warming has an impact on them. Although this is true, scientists still cannot prove that Global Warming has an impact on El Ni�o/ La Ni�a. A climate scientist named Kevin Trenberth thinks that the El Ni�o acts as a release valve for the heat produced in Global Warming. Although this theory is quite practical he cannot be sure, as technology is not as yet that advanced. So for now the impact of Global Warming on the El Ni�o remains speculation. ...read more.

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