Blowing Hot And Cold

Even as El Nino helps spawn record heat waves in its final days, its unruly sister--La Nina--is brewing in the Pacific

When scientists first spotted it last fall, it was just a wedge of chilly water, parked at a depth of 70 fathoms in the western Pacific and extending from Papua New Guinea to the international dateline. As they tracked it over the next few months, following its development through a vast network of buoys tethered to the sea floor, it slowly expanded up and east, toward South America. Now, like a spume-blowing whale, it has broken through to the surface, forcing temperatures across a 5,000-mile strip of ocean to drop more than 15[degrees]F in just four weeks.

This was the...

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