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La Niña and Climate Chaos
Written by Diana Thebaud Nicholson // March 13, 2008 // Americas, Climate Change, Natural Disasters // Comments Off on La Niña and Climate Chaos
Flooding in eastern Bolivia.Credit:Franz Chávez/IPS
(IPS) SANTIAGO, Mar 13 (Tierramérica) – It is still difficult to predict the local impacts of the cyclic climate phenomenon known as La Niña, which has been responsible for catastrophic floods in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina, and — on the other extreme — severe drought in Chile.
The death toll has already reached about 100, and around one million people have been affected by recent floods and drought.
“La Niña” and “El Niño” are the extreme phases of the oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon known as “El Niño-Southern Oscillation” (ENSO), which takes place in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean every two to seven years, affecting many regions around the world to varying degrees.
La Niña is characterised by an atypical cooling of the surface waters of the ocean and an increase in the winds blowing east to west at the equator. The better known El Niño is the opposite: warmer surface waters and weaker winds. Read full article