When it comes to climate, a very part of the climate cycle is made up of El-Nino, this is an irregular warming of the Pacific Oceans, takes place in the equatorial region of the Pacific. El-Nino is a huge climate player, the impacts that El-Nino has on different places of the globe can have huge impacts on human life along with marine eco-systems and our everyday weather patterns.
First, El-Nino is the warming of the waters, however this phase of the ENSO cycle doesn’t happen every year, it comes in random cycles of anywhere from three to sevenyears on average. So if we look at one climate set which is at least thirty years, we can note that El-Nino occurs many times during one climate set. The importance of this in climate is that El-Nino can alter our maximum and minimum temperatures and also precipitation during the time it’s present, this can in return account for some years of the climate cycle being really wet for some and really dry for others. El-Nino also has multiple sides to it, from how strong it is and where it’s located, each of these factors also play a role in the climate.
Here is how that is possible, say we have three El-Nino’s during our thirty year climate set, all three of these El-Nino’s where strong just like the 1998 El-Nino, this would drive some places to see well above normal rainfall and also warmer temperatures, these numbers that take place then would go into the climate set, this would then alter the averages of a given place due to these three strong El-Nino’s, providing above normal rainfall and warmer temps than normal. So when climate sets are made this data is taken into consideration.
El-Nino can and will continue to play an important role in climate and how we need to evaluate future climate outlooks based on just this one factor of the climate.
Now let’s just look at what could happen with El-Nino and how it could cause altered data for some stations to get into the climate set. We will use thirty years as one climate set for this example, starting with the most recent and working backwards.
Year Event Average Monthly Temp Recorded Average Monthly Temp
2011 La-Nina 61.73F 63.5F (Above Average)
2010 Neutral 61.7F 56.9F (Below Average)
2009 El-Nino 61.7F 58.3F (Below Average)
2008 La-Nina 61.7F 64.3F (Above Average)
*Table derived from my personal weather station temperatures.
*This is just a small window of data only four years of a thirty year data set, but as you can see El-Nino along with La-Nina, which we will talk about later does play an impact on our climate, giving us either warmer or cooler than average numbers, however as noted earlier climate is just that an average.
So to properly classify climate change, we have to see the big puzzle and all the little pieces of the puzzle that must go together to make it work, El-Nino is one of those puzzle pieces.
Remember there are three locations El-Nino can establish itself and all three will have different impacts, we have the Western Based El-Nino which is more likely to take place heading into the solar max cycle, while the Central based El-Nino has shown signs of being both heading into and out of a solar max, then the Eastern Based EL-Nino which has shown more signs when heading out of a solar max. Remember from earlier chapters the solar cycle and how during the solar max we see the strongest amount of incoming solar radiation