El Nino and La Nina

El Niño and La Niña are parts of an oscillation in the ocean-atmosphere system (called the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO cycle) that can impact weather and climate conditions across the globe. El Niño features warmer-than-average temperatures in the waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, while La Niña features colder-than-average waters. Read our stories below on the latest ENSO conditions and research into how the cycle affects global weather patterns.
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Snakebites in Costa Rica Rise Along with El Niño Cycles
a female Terciopelo snake in Costa Rica
September 11th, 2015
Snakebites in Costa Rica spike during El Niño and La Niña as venomous snakes respond to changes in the weather and climate.
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Record Hot First Half May Herald Warmest Year Yet
Global surface temperature differences map
July 20th, 2015
June 2015 was the warmest June on record, and there's a good chance 2015 will be the warmest year.
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El Niño Brings Wet Summer to Plains; Western Drought Continues
May 21st, 2015
The West can expect its warm and dry weather to continue through the summer, while the central Plains will be relatively cool and wet.
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Predicting El Niño Devastation, Weeks in Advance
Trinity Lake
May 30th, 2015
No, El Niño is not the source of every weather crisis, but it can be devastating, and researchers have uncovered a new clue that may help predict how bad things can get.
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2015 Already Setting Heat Records
global temperature
April 17th, 2015
The first three months of 2015 set new global heat records.
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After Much Ado, El Niño Officially Declared
warm Episode relationships map - summer, la nina, el nino
March 5th, 2015
A weak El Nino has finally emerged a year after its first signs of forming, but weather impacts will be muted.
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Billions of Blue Jellyfish Setting Sail for Beaches
May 26th, 2015
Billions of by-the-wind sailors, also called Velella velella, could wash ashore in coming months because of favorable water temperatures and onshore winds.
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'Warm Blob' in Pacific Ocean to Blame for Wonky US Weather
warm blob image plot
April 10th, 2015
A warm blob of water squished into a patch in the Pacific Ocean may be to blame for the weird weather the United States has experienced this year.
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