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Paleo Slide Set: Coral Paleoclimatology
Global effects ("teleconnections") of ENSO warm events.
The term El Niño (Spanish for the Christ Child) was originally used by South American fisherman to refer to especially warm ocean conditions that typically appear around Christmas and occasionally last well into the summer. Catches decline markedly during these warm periods, producing economic hardships not only for individual fisherman, but also for entire nations such as Chile and Peru who depend on fish for crucial export earnings. But the impacts of El Niño extend far beyond the South American coast. As this map shows, El Niño events produce ripples throughout the world's climate system. Ripples that occur far away but seem to be related are known as teleconnection. These teleconnections stretch across the globe, from flooding in the Peruvian Andes and the southeastern United States, to severe drought in Indonesia and central India, to voracious wildfires that hurtle across the forests and brush of eastern Australia.

Photo Credits:
Thomas.G. Andrews
NOAA Paleoclimatology Program
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Last Modified: 12 October 2001

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