ño was named by local Spanish fisherman since they noticed warmer waters came around Christmastime. The El Niño/La Niña yearly time scale ranges from 2-7 years and a more general term to describe an El Niño/La Niña is ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation)
Figure 1- Diagram of Sea Surface depth relative to their normal depth (From http://www.solcomhouse.com/elninolanina.htm)
Climate Prediction Center Internet Team. The ENSO Cycle. 19 Dec. 2005. <http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensocycle/enso_cycle.shtml>.
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society. Overview of ENSO. 27 Mar 2008. <http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/enso/societal/impact/index.html>.
Paul Simmons. El Niño is back, bringing droughts, floods, crop failures and social unrest. 13 Jul 2009. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6695339.ece>.
Kump, Lee R, Kasting, James F, Crane, Robet G. The Earth System. Upper Saddke Ruverm New Jersey: Person Education, Inc., 2010.