El Niño

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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

El Niño, in its original sense, is a warm water current that periodically flows along the coast of Ecuador and Peru (WHO et al. 2003). See also El Niño-Southern Oscillation

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

During an El Niño event, the prevailing trade winds weaken and the equatorial counter current strengthens, causing warm surface waters in the Indonesian area to flow eastward to overlie the cold waters of the Peru current. This event has great impact on the wind, sea surface temperature, and precipitation patterns in the tropical Pacific. It has climatic effects throughout the Pacific region and in many other parts of the world (WHO et al. 2003).


WHO, WMO and UNEP (2003) Climate change and human health: Risks and responses.

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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