Cover image for The Oryx resource guide to El Niño and La Niña
The Oryx resource guide to El Niño and La Niña
D'Aleo, Joseph S.
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Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Oryx Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
x, 230 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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GC296.8.E4 D35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Fish die. Seagulls starve. Economies wither. And that's just in the coastal villages. El Ni o--The Christ Child--and its climatological opposite, La Ni a, are global events so powerful and strange they virtually have personalities. Many remember the El Ni o seasons of 1982-83 and 1997-98, which brought floods, tornadoes, droughts, and snow to unusual locales. Increased study of these Tropical Pacific phenomena, also known as ENSO (the El Ni o and Southern Oscillation), has now enabled scientists to predict the ENSO state as much as 12 to 18 months in advance and has helped to shape weather prediction in general. Here, the basic causes and effects of El Ni o and La Ni a are carefully chronicled for anyone in search of accurate and current information on these natural phenomena.

Chapters are devoted to the history of ENSO; its influence on global weather and on the United States, including the ecosystem; and how governments and industries worldwide are utilizing new weather data to harness ENSO's economic impact, rather than be saddled by it. A chronology tours key events, from the 15th century diary observations of colonists in Ecuador and Peru to recent events like the devastating El Ni o of 1997-98, which was responsible for 23,000 deaths and $33 billion in damages. Biographies of important researchers, illustrations and maps, and an extensive bibliography help make this a total guide to these magnificent natural cycles.

Author Notes

JOSEPH S. D'ALEO has 30 years experience in professional meteorology. He has BS and MS degrees in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin and did doctoral studies in meteorology at New York University. He taught meteorology at the college level for over eight years and was a cofounder and the first director of meteorology at the cable TV Weather Channel, a position he held for seven years. He joined Weather Services International (WSI) in 1989, where he was a marketing manager and chief meteorologist. Currently, he is senior editor (also known as Dr. Dewpoint) for WSI's Intellicast Web site. D'Aleo is a Certified Consultant Meteorologist and was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. He has authored, presented, and published numerous papers focused on advanced applications enabled by new technologies and how research into ENSO and other atmospheric and oceanic phenomena has made possible skillful seasonal forecasts.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this volume two meteorologists seek to explain the basic causes and effects of El Nino and La Nina, also known as the El Nino and Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. Once thought to be a weather phenomenon that affected only the tropical Pacific, nowadays El Nino and its climatological opposite, La Nina, receive widespread media interest and attention. This work chronicles what is known about ENSO in 12 short chapters. Topics covered include a history of ENSO and its causes, the effects of ENSO on weather in the U.S., global weather, and world ecosystems. The authors discuss how scientists study and track the ENSO phenomenon, and the advances made in prediction, as well as how governments around the world are using this information. One chapter is devoted to two past super El Nino events (1982^-83 and 1997^-98). Brief biographies of nine "key people" in ENSO research are provided as well as a directory and description of organizations involved with ENSO, with relevant Web sites. A chronology of milestones in the study of ENSO, from the fifteenth century to the present, concludes the work. A detailed glossary and an extensive bibliography are provided. Numerous charts, maps, and diagrams are included as well as color plates comparing strong and weak El Ninos and La Ninas. Well written and easily accessible, this work will appeal to anyone interested in learning more about the ENSO phenomena. A solid choice for public and academic libraries looking for materials on this topic.

Choice Review

The last decade has witnessed growing interest in and investigation of the causes and effects of El Nino and La Nina, also known as ENSO (The El Nino and Southern Oscillation). D'Aleo (Weather Services International) and Grube discuss the ecological, environmental, economic, historical, and meteorological impacts of these natural phenomena. The fundamental impacts of ENSO are discussed thoroughly through a chronology of key events, biographical sketches, illustrations and maps, and a useful bibliography, making this book an excellent resource for the most up-to-date information. The language is straightforward and provides numerous examples to illustrate key concepts. Both of the authors are very active in the field of meteorology and extremely experienced meteorologists; D'Aleo has 30 years' experience in professional meteorology and Grube, 27 years in the field. This very readable book is recommended for all levels of readers interested in these once-obscure weather phenomena. W. Weston University of New Orleans

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
1. El Nino and La Nina: Children of the Tropicsp. 1
2. What Causes El Nino and La Nina?p. 12
3. The Global Effects of El Nino and La Ninap. 21
4. El Nino and La Nina Effects on Climate in the United States: Winter and Springp. 29
5. ENSO and Summer Weather Patternsp. 47
6. Other Effects of ENSOp. 66
7. How Scientists Study El Ninop. 71
8. Forecasting ENSOp. 89
9. The Super El Ninosp. 97
10. How Governments Use ENSO-Based Seasonal Forecastsp. 103
11. ENSO, Tip of the Iceberg in Climate Predictionp. 116
12. Biographical Sketchesp. 129
13. Directory of Organizationsp. 143
Chronologyp. 151
Glossaryp. 155
Bibliographyp. 165
Indexp. 227