El Niño

At a Glance

 60 M

people affected globally




funding gap (67%)


chance of La Niña in the 3rd quarter of 2016


What is El Niño?

El Niño is a warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific that occurs, on average, every two to seven years. During an El Niño event, sea surface temperatures across the Pacific can warm by 1–3°F or more for anything between a few months to a year or two. El Niño impacts weather systems around the globe so that some places receive more rain while others receive none at all, more extremes becoming the norm. More>>

What is La Niña?

The term La Niña typically refers to atmospheric as well as oceanic patterns, as with El Niño. It often lasts longer than El Niño, sometimes persisting or recurring for two or more years. The term El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, refers to the combination of atmospheric and oceanic effects associated with both El Niño and La Niña. As counterpart to El Niño, La Niña is defined as cooler-than-normal sea-surface temperatures (SST) in the central and eastern tropical parts of the Pacific Ocean. More>>

In Depth