The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

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The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

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El Niño Coming for 2024?

El Niño – some may have heard the name, some have not. The name comes from the Spanish language, meaning “Little Boy” or “Christ Child”. El Niño got its name from South American fishermen who started to notice the pattern that would occur on their shores. If you aren’t aware, El Niño is a phenomenon, a climate pattern that although not active, has been recorded to be around for quite some time. The first recorded event, to be specific, was in 1578. It is unknown exactly how long this phenomenon has been around, but the possibility of El Niño being older than we think is not a foreign concept. As mentioned before, El Niño got its name in the 1600’s which further backs up that it could have been around for longer.

El Niño is the warming of the ocean surface which targets the central and eastern part of the Pacific Ocean. Countries like Ecuador, Peru and Chile, are greatly affected with the rise in waves the warming causes. When the warm water makes the cool, cold water move up to the coasts of a shore, it creates a process that provides large amounts of seafood. This is called upwelling. Upwelling is very essential for the seafood market in these countries, but because of El Niño, it meddles with the natural process and creates an abnormal upwelling that mixes in the very warm water with the cold water, either killing off or scaring off all the fish that usually migrate to those areas. The coast isn’t the only thing that El Niño changes, the increase of warm water causes a higher chance of rain, rain that falls heavily on Ecuador and Peru. The more aggressive the rain, the higher the chance for a flood. 

South America isn’t the only continent the rain affects, once El Niño brings the rain to South America, Australia and Indonesia are left with an unfortunate drought which damages agriculture. Generally speaking, El Niño affects the world globally as a domino effect, with North America possibly facing longer winters. As El Niño stays active and has an atmospheric circulation that messes with the distribution of heat across the globe.

During the years 1997-1998, The world would have witnessed its worst year of El Niño, the climate pattern caused many natural disasters such as droughts, floodings, etc, while also destroying 16% of the world’s coral reef biomes. Not only did El Niño damage the planet, but it also took the lives of 23,000 people worldwide. El Niño is so complex, variations of it are called “flavors”. “Flavors” are patterns that have been recorded for thousands of years, even before El Niño had its name. Thanks to scientists, we have been able to figure out when the next big wave of El Niño will strike. While talking about patterns, during the start of the year, researchers have found unusual sea-surface temperatures. This can only mean El Niño is possibly coming back for the year 2024. The last El Niño event was during December of 2023, which is very recent. 

One big question that one might ask themselves is: Should I be scared? No doubt El Niño has become more prevalent throughout the years. But there’s a chance that there should be no concern in regards to whether El Niño could cause any damage this year. The storm of December could prove El Niño’s comeback, but it doesn’t 100% guarantee it will be strong. Usually when El Niño has a strong “flavor” the next one that appears is less aggressive. The wave will most likely end by Spring of the same year.

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