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top: normal water temperatures, with warm water concentrated in the western tropical Pacific
bottom: El Niño conditions, with warm water extending from the western tropical Pacific to the eastern Pacific
A climatic event occurring every two to seven years, characterized by warming of surface waters and reduced upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water off the western coast of South America, causing die-offs of plankton and fish and influencing jet stream winds, altering storm tracks and affecting the climate over much of the world.
[American Spanish (originally used by fisherman in Ecuador and Peru as a name for the warm ocean current typically appearing around Christmastime in El Niño years), from Spanish, the Christ child : el, the (from Latin ille; see al- in Indo-European roots) + niño, child (from Old Spanish ninno, from Vulgar Latin *nīnnus).]
El Niño(ɛl ˈniːnjəʊ)
(Physical Geography) meteorol a warming of the eastern tropical Pacific occurring every few years, which alters the weather pattern of the tropics
[C20: from Spanish: The Child, i.e. Christ, referring to its original occurrence at Christmas time]
El Ni•ño(ɛl ˈnin yoʊ)
a warm ocean current of variable intensity that develops after late December along the coast of Ecuador and Peru and sometimes causes catastrophic weather conditions.
[< Sp: literally, the child, i.e., the Christ child, alluding to the appearance of the current near Christmas]
El Ni·ño(ĕl nēn′yō)
A warming of the surface water of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, occurring every 4 to 12 years and causing unusual weather patterns. The warmer water kills fish and plankton, brings heavy rains to western South America, and causes drought in eastern Australia and Indonesia. Compare La Niña.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||El Nino - (oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time|
oceanography, oceanology - the branch of science dealing with physical and biological aspects of the oceans
ocean current - the steady flow of surface ocean water in a prevailing direction
El Nino southern oscillation - a more intense El Nino that occurs every few years when the welling up of cold nutrient-rich water does not occur; kills plankton and fish and affects weather patterns
|2.||El Nino - the Christ child|
Spanish - the Romance language spoken in most of Spain and the countries colonized by Spain
n → El Niño m