El Nino and La Nina

El nino may return in 2012
Warming sea surfaces in the tropical Pacific, in an image released July 5th, 2012. There's a greater than 50 percent chance that El Niño conditions will develop during the second half of 2012. (Image credit: NOAA/National Weather Service)

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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