El Nino and La Nina compared

El Nino and La Nina compared

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: El Nino and La Nina compared. Computer illustration comparing the weather conditions that lead to the weather phenomena known as La Nina (top) and El Nino (bottom). El Nino is the warm phase of the El Nino/La Nina-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years. The ENSO affects weather systems across the world, bringing extreme weather such as floods and droughts. El Nino generally causes drier conditions (sun symbols) in Australia and South-East Asia, and wetter and warmer conditions (rain drops) in the Americas. La Nina is the cool phase of the ENSO and generally causes wetter conditions (rain drops) in Southern Africa, Australia and South-East Asia, and drier conditions (sun symbols) along the coastal regions of Peru, Chile and the Southern United States.

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