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Why Has The Water Been So Cold?

Mondo Rock

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Good article.

Some places in the world have the prevailing wind blowing in such a direction that the normal situation is to have a cold coastal upwelling running most of the time (which is what is happening here now).

This is often associated with higher production because (as it says in the link) the cold water is nutrient rich, and combined with good sunlight will spark the food chain into overdrive (because the lowest rung in the food chain is phytoplankton - i.e. plant algae).

One of the biggest areas in the world that you see coastal upwelling is off the coast of Peru, where the process drives their anchovy fishery. In years when the currents reverse (like seems to be happening this year), their fishery performs badly - this is where the phrase "el nino" comes from. El nino means "little boy" or "christ child" in Spanish. This name was used for the tendency of the phenomenon to arrive around Christmas.

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