| Other changes occur
across the Pacific during an El Niño. As the warm water moves eastward
towards the central Pacific, the westward descending cool, dry air brings
high pressure, drought conditions and often wild fires to Indonesia. The
low pressure zone usually located over Indonesia, shifts to the mid-Pacific.
This region of low pressure coupled with the rising moist air above the
warm water pool, greatly increases rainfall to the mid-Pacific. This shifting
of the pressure zones is known as the Southern
The impacts of El Niño, extend far beyond the South American coast
and the Indonesian interior. As this map shows, El Niño events
produce ripples of change throughout the world's climate
system; ripples that occur far away but are related are known as teleconnection.
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.
An El Niño ends as the Pacific waters become warmer and the water
at the equator flows from west to east and also towards the poles. Gradually,
this flow decreases the pool of warm water at the equator, which leads
to intensification of the tradewinds
and an eventual return to normal conditions.
NOAA Paleoclimatology Program
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