El Nino

El Nino

David Mardakhayev, Reporter

There is a new threat emerging that is targeting the Golden State of California, and the rest of the Western coast of America. It isn’t ISIS, it isn’t a gang, and it isn’t some venomous animal outbreak. It is something much worse and much more dangerous. It is known as El Nino, and it does not play around. El Nino is a cyclic weather phenomenon that mainly deals with the warming up of the Pacific Ocean, due to the dying of trade winds. It occurs every 2-7 years along with its Atlantic counterpart “El Nina.” Though it isn’t exactly new to the planet, it is bringing some especially devastating effects this time around, such as heavy precipitation in the Gulf states, dryness in the south and most importantly, a huge amount of natural disasters in California. This includes storms, flooding, and landslides.

Of these, the worst, and unfortunately the most likely, is the landslides thanks to the ongoing drought in the state. Due to the lack of rainfall, the ground is weaker and is more susceptible to collapse in some areas under the right conditions. Seeing as there are many homes in California elevated up on hills or elevated ground, effects would be magnified even more. Should a huge storm of near hurricane levels strike, sinkholes and landslides would occur all over the state, leaving it with an immense death count. Moreover, the floods that would persist, due to this great rain, would submerge beach side homes and neighborhoods, leaving them in a weak and damaged state.

On the flip side of the situation, however, many people look at the El Nino as a blessing as it may just end the drought which has been hurting the crop growing industry in the state for years. It brings hope to the eyes of the farmers and residents of the glamorous state. Though the catastrophe which may occur thanks to the natural episode, might bring devastation to some people, the ending of the drought would not only benefit Californians, but also people worldwide. The problem with these people’s belief is that most reporters and experts on the topic do not believe that the drought can be ended by this El Nino. According to Bill Patzert, “El Niño has been billed here as the great wet hope, but that belies the facts. El Niño usually just gives you a lot of flooding and mudslides, not drought relief.”

There are many conflicting opinions on the topic of El Nino’s effect on California, but clearly, the chances of the bad outweigh the chances of the good. If anything is to be expected from the upcoming weather change, it is probably negative and should probably be prepared for. However, no matter how the odds are stacked, an anxious America sits and prays for the best outcome for the Golden State.