The child

It is a cyclical climatic phenomenon that wreaks havoc worldwide, with South America and the areas between Indonesia and Australia being the most affected, thus causing the warming of South American waters.

His name refers to the baby Jesus, because the phenomenon occurs around Christmas time in the Pacific Ocean, along the coast of South America. The name of the phenomenon is El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It is a syndrome with more than 7 millennia of occurrence.

In the tropical Pacific Ocean «El Niño» is detected by different methods, from satellites and floating buoys to sea level analysis, obtaining important data on the conditions on the ocean surface. For example, the buoys measure temperature, currents and winds in the equatorial band, all this information is transmitted to researchers around the world.

The phenomenon begins in the tropical Pacific Ocean, near Australia and Indonesia, thus altering the atmospheric pressure in areas very distant from each other, there are changes in the direction and speed of the winds.

Under normal conditions, also called Non-Infant conditions, the trade winds (which blow from east to west) pack a lot of water and heat into the western part of this ocean. Therefore, the sea surface level is about half a meter higher in Indonesia than off the coast of Peru and Ecuador. Also, the difference in sea surface temperature is around 8°C between both areas of the Pacific.

Cold temperatures occur in South America as deep waters rise, producing nutrient-rich water that supports the marine ecosystem. In Non-Infant conditions, relatively wet and rainy areas are found in Southeast Asia, while South America is relatively dry.

Consequences of the phenomenon worldwide

  • Change of atmospheric circulation.
  • The global warming of the planet and the increase in the temperature of coastal waters during the last decades.
  • There are species that do not survive the change in temperature and die, generating economic losses in primary activities
  • Sometimes diseases such as cholera arise, which sometimes become epidemics that are very difficult to eradicate.
  • Consequences of the infantile phenomenon for South America

    • Heavy rains.
    • Heating of the Humboldt Current or Current of Peru.
    • Fishing losses.
    • Intense cloud formation.
    • Very wet periods.
    • Low atmospheric pressure.

    In Mexico, the El Niño phenomenon causes important changes in the climate, causing warming of the sea, drought conditions in the center of said country, heavy rains in sections of the country and generally wet winters.