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 In normal years, atmospheric pressure is greater in the eastern Pacific than in the western Pacific.  The trade winds blow surface water from east.

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Presentation on theme: " In normal years, atmospheric pressure is greater in the eastern Pacific than in the western Pacific.  The trade winds blow surface water from east."— Presentation transcript:

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2  In normal years, atmospheric pressure is greater in the eastern Pacific than in the western Pacific.  The trade winds blow surface water from east to west.  Warm water "piles up" in the western Pacific and sea level is higher than it is in the east.

3  Upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water occurs along the western coast of South America  More nutrients = more phytoplankton = food fishing

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6  First noticed off coast of Peru around Christmas, El Niño refers to the Christ child ◦ Occurs every 2 – 7 years  Unusual and atmospheric conditions ◦ Trade winds slack off or reverse ◦ Warm water moves eastward ◦ Upwelling slacks off or stops completely

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8 Compare the thermocline from normal conditions (above) to El Niño (below)

9  Western Pacific (ex. Indonesia) does not get rain ◦ No monsoon season ◦ Drought ◦ Fires  Eastern Pacific (ex. South America) ◦ Tropical thunderstorms ◦ Flooding

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11  Opposite effects of El Niño  Stronger winds  Colder temperatures

12 El Niño  Warmer ocean temps  Occurs every 3-7 years  Wetter than normal summers  Weak trade winds  Fewer Atlantic hurricanes La Niña  Colder ocean temps  Frequency unknown  Drier than normal summers  Strong trade winds  Increased hurricane activity in Atlantic


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