Cover image for El Nino : stormy weather for people and wildlife
El Nino : stormy weather for people and wildlife
Arnold, Caroline.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [1998]

Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Explores the nature of the El Niño current and its effects on people and wildlife.
Reading Level:
1250 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 8.4 1.0 39838.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.5 4 Quiz: 26757 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GC296.8.E4 A76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
GC296.8.E4 A76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GC296.8.E4 A76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GC296.8.E4 A76 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



When the weather becomes extreme or even unseasonal, "El Nino" is usually the phrase we hear. Every three to seven years, El Nino disrupts weather all over the globe, second only to the change of seasons in its influence on the climate. But what is El Nino? El Nino is the name given to the unusual increase in ocean temperatures along the Peruvian and the Ecuadorian coasts that is part of a larger pattern of changes in wind and weather throughout the world. With El Nino come violent storms and upsets in global food chain that dramatically affect both humans and wildlife. Effects can be as gentle as a mild winter in northeastern United States or as violent as drought in Southeast Asia, brutal storms in South America, and wildfires in Australia. With the help of carefully selected photographs and clarifying charts and maps, Caroline Arnold makes clear how this remarkable weather pattern forms, how scientists track it, what its effects are, and why following its path is of such importance.

Author Notes

Caroline Arnold always loved books, but as a child she never thought of writing as a career. Born in Pittsburgh, she grew up in Minneapolis and studied art at Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. It was only after my children were born that I became acquainted with children's books and it occurred to me that I could use my training to become a children's book illustrator. I soon realized that I needed a text to go with the pictures, and the more I wrote, the more I realizedthat I liked writing as much as or more than drawing. I've always been fascinated by the natural world and love to go to the parks and museums. Perhaps that is why so many of my books are about scientific topics." Arnold is now the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, a neuroscientist, and teaches writing at UCLA Extension. For more information visit"

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. Science teachers and students will appreciate this very readable introduction to the El Nino current. In just 48 pages, Arnold explains the complex relationship between the warming of the Pacific current and global weather patterns, describes the effects of the most recent El Nino and notable ones of the past, and discusses the tracking and forecasting of the phenomenon and the importance of scientists' predictions. Difficult concepts and terms are defined in the text and, again, in a glossary, and attractive, full-color photographs and diagrams clearly show El Nino's disruptive effects. A brief listing of suggested resources, including periodical articles, children's books, and the Internet address of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) program, where up-to-date information can be obtained, is appended. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)0395776023Chris Sherman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-The phenomenon known as El Niño (and its cooler sibling, La Niña) have apparently been upsetting the meteorological applecart on a relatively regular basis for many centuries, but it is only recently, with the use of modern technologies, that scientists have correlated these oceanic effects with disconcertingly dramatic weather on a global scale as well. Arnold has drawn on this body of scientific knowledge to present a picture of the atmospheric and ecological import of such shifts in oceanic temperatures. Her readable, informative text describes the physical symptoms of El Niño and La Niña and their widespread effects, ranging from a quiet hurricane season in Florida to severe drought in the rainforests of Indonesia, and what this means both to animal/plant habitats and human economies. Full-color photos, a computer-image series, diagrams, and Internet sources bolster the narrative. (Unfortunately, the text is sometimes printed across page-size photos, making deciphering difficult.) While the latest, very powerful El Niño has made headlines for over a year, this is seemingly the first book for young people in this important area of study. And though La Niña now seems to be in the ascendancy, El Niño will return-as will demand for information on the topic.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Wacky Weatherp. 5
What Is El Nino?p. 8
Watching El Ninop. 10
Ocean Warmingp. 12
Changing Windsp. 14
The Southern Oscillationp. 16
El Nino's "Twin"p. 17
An Irregular Schedulep. 18
El Nino and North Americap. 22
La Ninap. 24
What Triggers El Nino?p. 25
El Nino and Wildlifep. 26
Sea Birdsp. 28
Coral Reefsp. 30
Marine Iguanasp. 32
Kelp Forestsp. 33
Sea Mammalsp. 34
Foxesp. 36
The Disease Connectionp. 38
Past and Futurep. 40
El Nino and La Nina Since 1900p. 45
For Further Referencep. 45
Glossaryp. 46
Indexp. 47