Some things in nature happen very
fast. A honeybee can fly quickly from flower to flower. Thousands of gallons of water can stream over a waterfall
every second. In the same way, some climate changes happen faster than others. For example, El Niño (Ehl NEE nyoh)
affects climate from season to season.
What is El Niño?
Years ago, fishermen in Peru and Ecuador (EHK wah door)
in South America noticed that during some winters, the ocean became warmer than usual. The fishermen gave the
warmer water a name. They named it "El Niño." In Spanish, El Niño means "the little boy." When the ocean became
warmer, the fishermen noticed that they could not catch as many fish. The fishermen also noticed that the amount
of rain increased.
What is La Niña?
La Niña happens when ocean waters off Peru and Ecuador become colder
than usual. La Niña means "the little girl."
What Happens During El Niño or La Niña?
During an El Niño or La Niña year, parts of the Pacific Ocean warm
and make changes in weather around the world. The effects of El Niño or La Niña cause changes in rainfall and
temperature as far away as the United States and Australia. Usually, El Niño comes every 3 to 5 years, and La Niña