This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

El Niño-Southern Oscillation

El Niño-Southern oscillation

In 1924, Sir Gilbert Thomas Walker, Director General of the Observatory in India, coined the term ‘Southern Oscillation’ to describe the ups and downs in a ‘east-west seesaw’ in southern Pacific regional pressure. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is defined as the pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia (Fig. 44). El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a global coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon.

Figure 44 Spatial patterns of La Nina vs El Nino sea-surface temperature departures for December–February. Darker gray is warm anomaly from normal; light areas cooler than normal.

From NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

The Pacific ocean experiences major shifts in sea surface temperature that have become recognized as representative of what is called El Niño and La Niña, which are major temperature fluctuations in ...

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