El Niño is a natural phenomenon capable of great devastation, which occurs every two to seven years and causes acute problems within Central America, Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Associated with warm bands of water stretching across the Pacific Ocean, the event distorts the connections between winds and ocean currents, leading to changes in weather conditions across the globe. Such alterations in temperature and rainfall can damage the agricultural sector immensely to the detriment of those that need it most.
Food shortages were all too apparent after the El Niño of 2015, particularly across Africa and the poorer countries of South East Asia. Despite increased support from numerous organisations intent on lessening the impact, the levels of flooding, storms and droughts were almost impossible to combat, hence a disturbingly low success rate.
Humans are not the only species to suffer El Niño’s power, with several animals and marine life also experiencing severe consequences to this climatic disturbance. Satellite images have shown time and again the colour changes that occur within the ocean and the bleaching and subsequent death of the coral reefs, which is of course distressing for the whole world and all its inhabitants.
The weather changes in Ireland in recent years have been reported in the media as a direct result of El Niño. However, this speculation has been proved false as empirical research has shown almost no correlation between Ireland’s climate and the occurrence of El Niño. There was a slight influence, although nothing compared to the effect on other countries.
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