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El Nino

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El Niño
(Spanish - literally "the {Christ} child") climactic phenomenon that occurs generally every 3 to 5 years at Christmas time in which the wind direction changes in the Pacific and ocean waters are unusually warm (affects weather patterns worldwide)

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El Niño
El Niño (, , ) is a band of anomalously warm ocean water temperatures that periodically develops off the western coast of South America and can cause climatic changes across the Pacific Ocean. There is a phase of 'El Niño–Southern Oscillation' (ENSO), which refers to variations in the temperature of the surface of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean (El Niño and La Niña) and in air surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific. The two variations are coupled: the warm oceanic phase, El Niño, accompanies high air surface pressure in the western Pacific, while the cold phase, La Niña, accompanies low air surface pressure in the western Pacific. Mechanisms that cause the oscillation remain under study.

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WordNet 2.0 Dictionary

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El Nino

Noun
1. (oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time
(hypernym) ocean current
(hyponym) El Nino southern oscillation
(classification) oceanography
2. the Christ child
(hypernym) Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, the Nazarene, Jesus Christ, Christ, Savior, Saviour, Good Shepherd, Redeemer, Deliverer
(classification) Spanish


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El Niño
n. El Niňo

EPA Glossary of Climate Change Terms

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El Nino
A climatic phenomenon occurring irregularly, but generally every 3 to 5 years. El Ninos often first become evident during the Christmas season (El Nino means Christ child) in the surface oceans of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The phenomenon involves seasonal changes in the direction of the tropical winds over the Pacific and abnormally warm surface ocean temperatures. The changes in the tropics are most intense in the Pacific region, these changes can disrupt weather patterns throughout the tropics and can extend to higher latitudes, especially in Central and North America. The relationship between these events and global weather patterns are currently the subject of much research in order to enhance prediction of seasonal to interannual fluctuations in the climate.

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