Earth 2: Homework #4
(due Wed., Mar. 1)
As mentioned in class, El Niño is a phenomenon in which the tropical eastern
Pacific ocean warms for a period of ~18 months, then cools back down. This affects the
fishing industry in Peru, and it also affects weather patterns over much of the globe,
including the southwestern U.S.
Assignment: Write a short (2-page, typewritten) essay on one of the following topics:
1) In what parts of the world is the weather most strongly affected by El Niño? Are the
effects generally harmful or beneficial to humans?
2) Some scientists have speculated that the frequency of El Niño episodes has been
increasing with time as a consequence of global warming. Can you find evidence to
support this idea? What implications might this have for climate and for human
activities if global warming continues in the future?
Hint for both questions: There is lots of information on the Web! Try googling either El
Nino or ENSO, i.e. El Nino/Southern Oscillation. Be sure and cite your references—
websites are fine.