Global climate: Tough little girl

Economist: EL NIÑO, a periodic sloshing of warm water from west to east across the Pacific, gets its name--“the boy child”--because it is around Christmas that it warms the water off Peru. It is now understood to have far wider effects, leading to characteristic patterns of temperature, rainfall and drought around much of the world. El Niño’s female counterpart, La Niña--a cooler sloshing from east to west--is less well known, and less frequent. But it too can impose a distinctive pattern of weather worldwide.......

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