International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5 Issue 5 2015- March 2015    Pages: 995- 1010  <<Previous    Next>>

The Impacts of El Niño/Southern Oscillation on Changing Precipitation over the Tropical Pacific

Author Information:

Salau,O. R.1  Akinyemi S. A.2
1-Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Ekiti State University, Ado – Ekiti, Nigeria
2-Geology Department, Faculty of Science, Ekiti State University, Ado – Ekiti, Nigeria


This study employed Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Precipitation data to investigate the variability in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, ENSO (La Niña, El Niño) and its impact on the intensity of precipitation over the Tropical Pacific. The recent La Niña and El Niño episodes were compared in the study to establish the relationship between variability in the ENSO and the associated precipitation. The results suggest that an increase in the strength of a La Niña event will tend to reduce the overall amount of rainfall over the Tropical Pacific while the intensity of the precipitation rises as the strength of El Niño event increases in the region. Also, the changes in the precipitation are largest in December – April during which the ENSO events are strongest under the influence of SST, which is highest over the equatorial Pacific during the period. The outcome of this investigative study would help to improve crop yield through reliable forecast of ENSO and that of the precipitation by proper monitoring of the SST with special focus on periods favourable for ENSO development.

Keywords: El Niño, La Niña, ENSO, Precipitation, SST, Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific  


© 2014 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The electronic version of the article can be downloaded below

Download full text pdf

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend