El Niño Could Be Worse Than Predicted
The widely predicted El Niño in the Pacific could be more severe than was previously thought say scientists
Posted: 27 June 2002
According to a story on the New Scientist web site, the projected
El Niño in the Pacific could be worse than at first
The El Niño phenomenon takes place every few years when
temperatures in the Pacific rise above normal, having a major effect
on weather patterns in South America. The last El Niño in 1997
brought unseasonal snow to the Andes and had a big impact on the
nature of big snow and ice routes in the following years.
The approach to the classic peak of Alpamayo in Peru, for example,
went from being a straighforward steep snow climb to a precarious
passage through a series of crevasses and seracs after heavy rain
apparently carved its way through the glacier.
There have already been floods in South America this year and a
number of climbers have died in avalanches on South American peaks,
though it's unclear whether this is linked to the phenomenon.
Huascaran, where four Austrians were killed, for example, is
notoriously threatened by avalanches especially early in the
If you're planning a trip to the Andes this summer then, be aware
that weather patterns may not be as settled as usual and keep an eye
on what's going on. See the New
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