El Niñ o: A Regional PhenomenonAlthough largely a regional phenomenon, as Fagan (1999) portrays, the effects are global in nature, as shown through various analyses. Warm ocean water temperatures, occurring anomalously, do develop from the South American west coast and influence climatic conditions across the vast Pacific Ocean. The El Niñ o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) refers to different variations, in terms of the surface ocean temperatures along the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. Air surface pressure is also affected within the Pacific Ocean’ s tropical eastern region with the two variations being coupled (successive in nature).
First, is the warm oceanic phase (El Niñ o), which goes hand in hand with high air surface pressure, within the western Pacific region. Next follows the cold phase (La Niñ a), which occurs with low oceanic air pressure. The above scenario portrays two extremes of climatic patterns, with the oscillations causing such conditions as droughts on the one hand, and floods on the other. This is the primary reason, why cholera and malaria are the most endemic of diseases significantly influenced by this phenomenon. Regionally, the wider Pacific Ocean is affected, in terms of water temperatures (both above and below the surface); in addition to developing nations, especially those bordering the water mass.
These states, majorly dependent upon the fishing industry, and the agricultural sector are thus influenced in more than one way (Fagan, 1999). Not only is their economic basis majorly affected, so too are the prevailing health statistics. The warming period is usually noticed around the Christmas period, which coincides with the boom in the tourist attraction and holidaymaking. This is another reason for worry, as has been witnessed during various occasions where tsunamis occur.
The most severe of these can easily be focused on the Japanese event, which brought about the huge loss of life, as well as major destruction of property. At given times shockwaves can be felt in far away regions as India and the East coast of Africa.
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