El Nino in English
August 15, 2006
That's right, the wee one is back--sort of. It’s looking like a weak El Niño this year.
The more we learn about our little friend, the more we find him to be a disturbing reflection of our own children--i.e., cute and destructive simultaneously. I recently attended a conference on climate change and finally have an idea what the little heathen’s up to...
Think of the
Well, the brat jumps in the tub, bumps the trades a bit and--walla!--all that warm water rushes back to the east and splashes up against the Americas, spilling torrential downpours on the Peruvian deserts, houses on Malibu beaches, and sloppy grins on water managers’ faces.
So far, not too bad--he’s a bit of a twerp, you wouldn’t claim him as your child, but he does have certain perks. However, it turns out that, like most kids, he’s not as well behaved elsewhere as he is at home. Good news in southern
And don’t think our drought is at an end, either (the U.S. Drought Monitor says differently). El Niño events are actually part of a much wider, long-term cycle that is only recently getting attention. Climatologists recently discovered through tree-ring studies a pattern of droughts in the western U.S. that appear to be more bust than boom for the region. Less comforting still is a strange, symbiotic tug-of-warmth between the
Oh boy, indeed! And we haven’t even talked about the potential effects of global warming (enter Gore's droning voice). As Greenland warms at a frightening pace and glaciers melt worldwide, we are faced with increasing signs that global warming may force this relatively mild child to grow up too quickly. What strange and unpredictable tantrums are in our future? Even though we’re not his “natural” parents, are we responsible for his upbringing? Our carbon dioxide may be just the drug a growing boy doesn’t need…
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