4What causes our seasons? That’s right…the tilt of the earth and the revolutionof the earth around the sun.
5Okay…we know Texas is hot in the summer. We know we don’t have hardly any snow.We know that spring and fall are great but don’t last long.Well…why was last summer so hot?Why did we get so much snow a couple of years ago?Will we get snow this winter?Will next summer be really hot…and dry?
6The answer is found in the greatest cause of severe weather… The Pacific Ocean
7Why did they name it El Nino? Let’s look at El NinoA long time ago, fishermen along the west coast of South Americanoticed that every few years there was a lot of rain and the fishingwas bad around Christmas. They called it “El Nino” which means“little boy” in Spanish.Why did they name it El Nino?
9Trade Winds push water towards the western Pacific Ocean Cold water off the coast of South America pushes up and brings food for fish with it.= Normal precipitation in Texas!This means lots of rain in the western Pacific……and almost no rain in western South America!A Normal Year
10El Nino Year = wetter conditions in Texas Warm water prevents deeper cold water from rising…no fish!Warm surface water moves from western Pacific …..….. towards eastern Pacific.Trade Winds slow down.
11La Nina YearTrade Winds push more water towards the western Pacific OceanMore cold water off the coast of South America pushes up and brings food for fish with it.This means even more rain in the western Pacific……and almost no rain in western South America and Texas!So…what will we have next summer?The experts say another scorcher!
14The AmazonIf the Amazon was a country, it would be the 9th largest in the world.It is called the “Lungs of our Planet”.20% of world’s oxygen come from the Amazon.>50% of all the earths plants, animals, and insects live in tropical rainforests.1/5 of the world’s fresh water is in the Amazon Basin
15Medicines of the Rainforest 121 drugs come from plants from the rainforest3000 plants fight cancer…70% live in the rainforest.One of the most powerful drugs comes from the rainforest. It fights childhood leukemia.25% of all Western pharmaceuticals come from the rainforest.
17Food of the Rainforest1 acre can contain over 300 types of trees and 700 species of plants.80% of the developed world’s diet originates in the rainforest.3000 fruits are found in the rainforest….only 200 of these are in use in the Western world.Indians of the rainforest use over 2000 fruits.
21Disappearing Rainforest Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s surface…now it is only 6%.Experts estimate the last remaining rainforests will be consumed within 40 years.1 ½ acres are lost every second.
22What is the problem? People need to work. Farmers think the only way to earn a living is by getting rid of the trees.Governments are corrupt.U.S. (and other western nations) exploit countries for their products.Discuss the plight of people living in Brazil.
23Answer the following questions: What ocean experiences el Nino?T or F El Nino occurs every year.What does el Nino cause in Texas or the U.S.?Fill in the blank: __________ Climate Zones are found in South America and are based on elevation.What is the important rainforest found in South America and provides the earth with 20% of its oxygen?What river flows through the above landform?What is the major problem occurring in the above landform?Cutting down trees and burning them is called: ________ and __________.Experts think the above landform will disappear in the next (choose one):10 years 20 years 30 years 40 yearsAtlantic 20 years Horizontal Nile DeforestationVertical Amazon 40 years Hurricanes Slash-and-BurnCongo Pacific 10 years Pile-and-Burn 30 years