El Niño – riding the climate roller coaster

Useful Sites

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology site has a vast amount of information about climate. Here is just a taste:

Climate variability and El Niño
A good overview of what causes El Niños and how they affect Australia's climate.

El Niño wrap-up
Starts with a look at the current situation then briefly explains what El Niño is. 'El Niño education' gives more information about climate variability and El Niño.

El Niño: "droughts and flooding rains"
An article by Neville Nicholls describing the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and how it affects Australia. Nicholls also discusses climate forecasting and the 1997 El Niño.

The Long Paddock (Queensland Government, Australia)

Climate management information for rural Australia
Practical information to help people plan for climate variability. Information includes 'Seasonal climate outlook' and 'Queensland drought monitor'.

El Niño and the Southern Oscillation
A good explanation of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Indian Ocean – influence on Australia's climate (The Science Show, 30 September 2006)
Discusses how the Indian Ocean influences the climate over the whole of Australia.

Earth almost as hot as in ancient times (News in Science, 26 September 2006)
Comments on the role of El Niño in global warming.

Droughts and flooding rain (Scribbly Gum, August 2006)
Describes El Niño and La Niña events that bring long dry spells and then periods of intense rain to south-eastern Australia.

Transition from El Niño to La Niña affected vegetation (Goddard Space Flight centre, USA)

Discusses African El Niño events and their effects on vegetation.

El Niño and the Australian drought

Dr John Zillman, President of the World Meteorological Organisation, describes global patterns of climate, the Southern Oscillations Index and the 1997 El Niño. (Beware: heavy graphics.)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA

An El Niño theme page
An extensive site compiled by a number of different US government agencies. It explains El Niño, discusses impacts, provides forecasts and has frequently asked questions. There are good illustrations and real-time graphics.

NOAA La Niña Page
Includes general information, forecasts and impacts.

The ENSO cycle
Covers ocean temperatures, atmospheric circulation and rainfall patterns.

El Niño and La Niña – tracing the dance of ocean and atmosphere (National Academy of Sciences, USA)

Explores how climatologists and oceanographers have joined forces to construct theoretical models to simulate and predict broad climate changes associated with ENSO.

External sites are not endorsed by the Australian Academy of Science.
Page updated February 2009.