- El Niño dramatically reduces primary productivity in the eastern
coastal equatorial Pacific region, along the coast of Peru, because
upwelling is inhibited.
- Phytoplankton populations, nourished by the nutrients brought up
through upwelling. are reduced. As the phytoplankton diminish, the
anchovy population that feeds on them declines dramatically and the
fish disperse (move away).
- El Niño's warm waters also destroy
coral reefs in tropical
areas that are accustomed to cooler waters. The temperatures bleach
the coral reefs and destroy the animals that inhabit the reefs and
rely on them for survival.
- Along the Peruvian coasts, huge populations of birds died with the
disappearance of the anchovy.
- Due to the rise in sea temperature during an El Niño, the
southwestern coast of North America, especially California, receives
higher than normal precipitation and storms. This excess of rain leads
to destructive landslides.
Less Atlantic Hurricanes
- Hurricanes develop over warm, tropical ocean areas where a low-pressure
zone develops. These low-pressure zones draw air inward across the
ocean surface. If the conditions are right, the low-pressure zone
deepens and a hurricane may form.
- Under El Niño conditions, less hurricanes form in the Atlantic
because of changes in the tropical atmosphere.