Friday, April 22, 2005

El niño

It was announced on the Bloomberg News section of the "Weather Channel" that Australian researchers have said "el niño" the weather changing phenomenon, will recur this year with about 86 percent certainty by July and 100% certainty by September 2005, as I remember, waking up in a Super 8 Motel in Newburgh, NY, (next to Stewart airport, where last week two servicemen were caught with over 1/4 million tablets of "Ecstasy" in their luggage returning from Germany on a cargo plane.) It was reported that Australia, is where "el niño" starts. In anthropology graduate school (1978-1982) we were considering studying the problem, first named by the coastal fishing people of Peru. It has been somewhat regarded as having to do with "Christmas" though I never heard it called that in "Planetary Atmospheres" or in the author's class of "Peru Before the Incas," Edward Lanning, of Columbia University and Stony Brook University. As he described it, it resulted from the terrible rains and landslides that occurred, the burying "refuse" of plants and culture, smelling like a baby's diaper, therefore referred to as "el niño" which since has had a "la niña" part of the cycle added to it. It perhaps, a part of a cycle involving the Humboldt Current, off South America, and controls upwelling currents, and therefore changes the distance to and amount of available anchovy fish there. It was thought it might have had cycles that might be discerned from the archaeological/environmental record in Peru.

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