Case Studies in Earth & Environmental Science Journalism

El Nino and Climate Prediction


Questions to Ponder and Discuss



Background information:

Canby, T. Y., 1984. El Nino's Ill Wind, in National Geographic. February 1984. p. 144-183.


Scientific Papers: Prediction of El Nino

Cane, M. A., 1983. Oceanographic events during El Niño. Science, 1189-1195.

Rasmusson, E. M. and Wallace, J. M., 1983. Meteorological aspects of El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Science, 222: 1195-1202.

(OPTIONAL) Barber, R. T. and Chavez, F. P., 1983. Biological consequences of El Niño. Science, 222: 1203-1210.

Cane, M. A., Zebiak, S. E. and Dolan, S. C., 1986. Experimental forecasts of El Niño. Nature, 322: 827-832.

Barnett, T., Graham, N., Cane, M., Zebiak, S., Dolan, S., O'Brien, J. and Legler, D., 1988. On the prediction of the El Niño of 1986-1987. Science, 241: 192-196.


Popular Articles: Prediction of El Nino

Press released "for use after 11 am March 13, 1986"

Radio TV Reports transcripts of broadcast excerpts from:



WOR radio

anonymous, 1986, Scientists: New "El Nino" weather problem possible, Rockland Journal-News , p. ??, March 13, 1986. (representative of articles based on AP report)

anonymous, 1986, El Nino threatens summer weather, Riverside Press-Enterprise, p. A-1 +, March 14, 1986.

anonymous, 1986, New El Nino weather pattern due?, Chicago Sun-Times, p. ?, March 14, 1986.

Acuna, A., 1986, Storms indicate El Nino is back, meteorologist says, Los Angeles Times, p. 1+, March 14, 1986.

Bishop, J. E., 1986, Scientists predict return of El Nino later this year, Wall Street Journal, p. ??, March 14, 1986.

Eckholm, E., 1986, Meteorologists say El Niño will hit in summer and fall, New York Times, p. B5, March 14, 1986.

Eddy, S., 1986, Rambunctious El Nino may revisit with a climatic bag of tricks, Orange County Register, p. A1+, March 14, 1986.

Garlington, P., 1986, New El Niño brewing off coast of South America, Los Angeles Herald, p.A1+, March 14, 1986.

----------------------- after March in 1986 -----------------------------------------

Acuna, A., 1986, El Nino: Disastrous currents may skip California this year, Los Angeles Times, p. 1+, May 14, 1986.

Kerr, R. A., 1986. Predicted El Nino failing to show. Science, 232: 1604.

--------------------- 1987 ----------------------------------------------------------------

Eckholm, E., 1987, El Niño returns, but disaster is not foreseen, New York Times, p. ??, January 21, 1987.

Cowen, R. C., 1987, Study of El Niño weather system pays off for forecasters, Christian Science Monitor, p. 7+, February 4, 1987.

Kerr, R. A., 1987. Another El Niño surprise in the Pacific, but was it predicted? Science, 235: 744-745. (Feb 13, 1987)

anonymous, 1987. As prediction improves, the monsoon is less predictable, in Economist. August 22, 1987. p. 77.

Nesmith, J., 1987, Pacific weather pattern may cause another unusual winter in the U.S., Atlanta Constitution, p. 24A+, September 1, 1987.

Nesmith, J., 1987, Scientist's El Nino forecast brings Peru record rice crop, Atlanta Constitution, p. ?, Sept 1, 1987.


Scientific Papers: Prediction of Harvests

Cane, M. A., Eshel, G. and Buckland, R. W., 1994. Forecasting Zimbabwean maize yield using eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature. Nature, 370: 204-205.

Kane, A. I., Rosenzweig, C. and Cane, M. A., in prep. Statistical survey of relationships between ENSO and global crop productivity. submitted to Nature, ??: ??


Popular Articles: Prediction of Harvests

press release for use after 6pm Wednesday July 20, 1994

Associated Press report

Stevens, W. K., 1994, El Niño said to predict rain and crops in Africa, New York Times, p. C4, July 26, 1994.

Allen, S., 1994, Pacific temperatures may foretell Africa crop, study finds, Boston Globe, p. 11, July 21, 1994.

Monastersky, R., 1994. Exploiting El Niño to avert African famines, in Science News. July 24, 1994. p. ??

Zimmer, C., 1995. El Grande, in Discover. January 1995. p. 68.

Sherman, E., 1995, El Niño watchers say they see the future, Miami Herald, p. ??, January 8, 1995.

Wuethrich, B., 1995. El Niño goes critical, in New Scientist. 4 February 1995. p. 32-35.

Dayton, L., 1995, El Niño has power to change weather around the globe, Sydney Morning Herald, p. ?, April 13, 1995.


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