el Nino

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el Nino

a warm-water current which periodically flows south along the coast of Ecuador and which affects the climate throughout the Pacific; it is associated with the Southern Oscillation of the atmosphere. At approximately seven-year intervals the equatorial counter-current strengthens and warm surface waters cover the cold waters off Peru. This affects the plankton and fisheries adversely, causing poor breeding seasons for the seabirds.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005