The Geographical Impacts of ENSO

The Geographical Impacts of ENSO

This pages looks in depth at the geographical impacts of ENSO cycles. It develops a number of skill based activities based on well chosen graphics as well as providing a broad range of detailed examples to illustrate the impacts of both El Nino and La Nina .

Enquiry Question

What are the geographical impacts of El Niño and La Niña?

Lesson Time: 1 Hour

Lesson Objectives:

  • To examine the geographic impacts of El Nino and La Nina

Teacher Notes:

Teacher notes to follow

Starter Activity - What do we know do far? - Processes

Working in pairs or small groups complete the following mind map of potential geographical impacts of ENSO

ENSO Impacts Mind Map

El Nino (2015)

Student Activity - The Geographical Impacts of ENSO - Processes and Places

Using the following resources complete the table of impacts sheet

Table of Impacts

El Nino in Somalia

As El Niño is expected to continue from October to December, flooding is more likely. This would have a negative impact on the food security of some riverine populations. Above average to average Deyr (October-December) rains are expected to lead to substantial improvement in food security conditions across most pastoral livelihood zones in central and southern Somalia. In northern pastoral areas, Deyr rains are expected to be below average to average, resulting in a moderate improvement in food security.

El Nino - Cambodia

Watch the following animation and describe the pattern of Agricultural Stress Index in Cambodia

The El Nino weather phenomenon affected large parts of the world and resulted in a severe drought in Cambodia. According to the Cambodian National Committee for Disaster Management an estimated 2.5 million people throughout the country were affected and left with no access to safe drinking water and water shortages for farming.

Surveys by ActionAid and partners revealed that wells and water ponds dried up and people had to travel long distances for water that was often of uncertain quality or even unsafe to drink. The worst affected groups were women, children, elderly and sick people -- particularly in poor households which could not afford to buy bottled drinking water.

La Nino - Australia

Study the following before and after satellite image showing the extent of fire damage in Tazmania. Using evidence from the photograph describe the extent of damage

Look at the other images

La Nina (2016)

Student Activity - Comparing the Global Impacts - Processes and Places

Study the infographic and note down the global impacts of El Nino and La Nina

La Nina Somalia

Read the following Reuters article based on the impacts La Nina in Somalia in 2016

La Nina - California

Study the graph and describe the patterns of rain in Sacramento for 2016


Read the following CNBC article on the potential impacts of ENSO in California

La Nina - Indonesia

Read the following Mongabay news article on the La Nina induced landslides

Student Assessment - Essay Question

Explain the occurrence and consequences of El Nino Southern Oscillation (10)

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