El Niño, La Niña, and ENSO Reagan o'farrell

El Niño

It is considered to be the warm phase of ENSO; it is the recognition of large-scale ocean-atmospheric interactions resulting in a periodic warming

La Niña

It is considered to be the cold phase of ENSO; it refers to a cooling of sea surface temperatures across the East-central Equatorial Pacific


ENSO stands for El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle; it describes the fluctuating and corresponding temperature changes between the ocean and the atmosphere in the East-central Equatorial Pacific

Why They Form

El Niño and La Niña occur due to natural interactions between the surface of the ocean and the atmosphere above it in the Pacific region; surface ocean temperatures change causing rainfall and wind pattern to change causing ocean temperature and current to change, resulting in global weather changes

The Impact

As a world, being prepared for El Niño and La Niña can help save dollars and lives when working on the transportation of water and energy. However,as of now, it is unknown whether or not they have any kind of impact on global warming.

In the United States, El Niño and La Niña can have an impact on the intensity of things like storms. They can also cause billions of dollars in damage through floods, droughts, and other events if we are caught unprepared.

Affects of El Niño and La Niña are usual dismal in Indiana except during moderate to severe episodes. When they occur, it's usually during late fall through early spring where some weather changes can occur.


Scientists use many different methods to obtain information about El Niño and La Niña. One such method is through satellites, which provide information on rainfall, ocean temperatures, wind, and the possibility of hurricanes. They use ocean buoys to measure ocean temperatures. Radiosondes are used to monitor weather and climate patterns, thus keeping track of the events. They also use super computers to gather weather data and put it into an easily understood format.

Latest Effects in Indiana

El Niño was last recorded to be gradually weakening in the spring of 2016, and we are currently in an ENSO-neutral period.


Created with images by NASA Earth Observatory - "La Niña Comes to a Close"

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