El Nino Case Study

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1. An El Nino is an event where warmer waters are pushed to the region of Central America, caused by a shift in the atmospheric pressures that typically occur near the equator. Typically, the winds blow across the Pacific Ocean from East to west, moving from a high to a low-pressure system. These so called “trade winds” have an a effect on the water current that pushes the surface of the oceans to the west, thus creating an upwelling of cold water by Central America (Ahrens, 2014). In an El Nino scenario, the trade winds that typically push west in a strong manner cannot compensate for a strong shift in pressure. Thus, a high-pressure system in the western part of the Pacific Ocean pushes through the trade winds and flows air to the east. The new winds to the east reverse the flow of the upwelling and cold water and pushes the warmer waters over to Central America. Lastly, the normal precipitation that would occur in the west now occurs in Central America leading to potential flooding. In the cases of a very strong fluctuation of pressure changes,…show more content…
The earth rotates around the sun and this plays a profound effect on how the earth and its atmosphere circulate. Known as the Coriolis affect, the winds on earths surface as well as the winds a loft deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere and oppositely to the left in the southern hemisphere. Currently, with the earths rotation as it is now, as air apart of the Hadley cell cools and falls it deflects to become a northeastern wind, or what is commonly known as the North Eastern Trade winds (Ahrens, 2014). If the earth were to suddenly shift direction, all of these current circulations would revers. To expand, the trade winds mentioned before would actually be northwest trade winds in the northern hemisphere and southwest trade winds in the south. The polar winds would also change their current flow as well, changing from easterly to westerly winds in the north and vice versa in the southern

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