El Niņo Unlocking the Secrets of the Master Weather-Maker, by Nash, J. Madeleine
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- ISBN: 9780446679923 | 0446679925
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 3/1/2003
El Ni+ÂĻo, the Pacific Ocean-born weather system that has been much in the news over the last decade, "turns dry places wet, wet places dry, cold places warm, and warm places cold." Scientists have only begun to puzzle out its mysterious and erratic workings, a quest that Time magazine science correspondent Madeleine Nash chronicles in this engaging book.What those scientists have learned, Nash tells us, underscores the interconnectedness--and, in her words, the "teleconnectiveness"--of the world's ecological systems. El Ni+ÂĻo may be born in the subtropical waters of the western Pacific (where, among other things, it has helped spark great firestorms in Australia and drought in Indonesia), but its influence extends around the globe. Moreover, Nash writes, El Ni+ÂĻo touches billions of human lives, taking a role in the spread of diseases such as hantavirus and threatening food and water supplies. With the ever-growing human population and the enduring presence of the weather system and its cyclical counterpart, things are only likely to get worse, she tells us: "the torrential rains and searing droughts connected with future El Ni+ÂĻos and La Ni+ÂĻas will mean still more loss of lives and property."Nash's inquiry into world weather and the science surrounding it makes for lively, and sometimes unsettling, reading. --Gregory McNamee