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Home > Science & Nature > Nature > Universe > Earth > La Nina and El Nino Compared

Difference Between La Nina and El Nino

La Nina vs El Nino

Although both La Nina and El Nino are phenomena possibly caused by global warming, they both are two different conditions that occur in the ocean surface temperature across the central and eastern tropical Pacific. Fishermen off the west coast of South America observed the incidence of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean in the beginning of the New Year. This rare phenomenon was called El Nino.

La Nina on the other hand denotes a cold event or a cold episode. Both El Nino and La Nina are Spanish terms that show difference as far as their inner meanings are concerned. El Nino represents child Christ and hence the phenomenon is also called as El Nino since it occurs around the time of Christmas. La Nina is a Spanish term on the other hand that gives the meaning of ‘a little girl’.

The phenomenon of El Nino occurs due to the fact that the surface of the ocean gets heated up in excess of few Celsius above the normal temperature. On the other hand the phenomenon of La Nina occurs when the situation is exactly opposite. It means La Nina occurs due to the fact that the surface of the ocean has its temperature reduced by few Celsius below normal.

One of the important differences between La Nina and El Nino is in connection with the frequency of their occurrence. It is said that El Nino occurs more frequently than La Nina. As a matter of fact El Nino is more widespread than La Nina. In fact since 1975, La Ninas have been only half as frequent as El Ninos.

It is firmly believed that both the phenomena are resultants of global warming and hence they are considered deviations from normal and acceptable weather scenario. Thus both of them are not favorable to human life.


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