As some of you may have seen in the news, we are currently in the midst of the one of the strongest El Niño events in the last 50 years. El Niño is a climate phenomenon that results from atmosphere-ocean interactions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean basin, including the northwestern coast of South America and the Galapagos. The importance of El Niño is its interactions with climate (rainfall and temperature anomalies), environment (ecosystem and biodiversity changes, e.g., coral bleaching) and societal impacts (fires, floods, drought, disease epidemics, and even civil conflicts[some believe]). For interdisciplinary science and policy, it is cross-cutting because it has the potential to affect all sectors of society and developing applications and education to reduce societal vulnerabilities requires contributions from natural, life and social sciences, and humanities. For the implications of climate change, it provides a window of opportunity to understand how society and ecosystems respond to weather and climate variability and extremes, which occur every few years (2-7 on average).
Below is a web portal in development to build capacity worldwide to the current and future El Niños, using an innovative concept, El Niño Ready Nations, financed through USAID and organized through the Consortium for Capacity at University of Colorado, Boulder.
The New School will contribute to this project initially via undergraduate research that tracks media as El Niño develops. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.