Cesar Caviedes provides a comprehensive historical account of El Nino, the fascinating and disruptive weather phenomenon that has affected weather cycles all over the globe for thousands of years. Combining scientific accuracy with readable presentation, he brings together all existing information, references and clues about past El Nino occurrences and their impact on political, military, social, economic and environmental history. This sweeping demonstration of the impact of climatic fluctuation on human history should be fascinating to the scientific community as well as to the general public. From the extraordinary discovery of Easter Island and Pizarro's conquest of the Incas to the defeat of both Napoleon and Hitler in Russia and the sinking of the Titanic, Caviedes shows how this enigmatic phenomenon has swayed the course of history and human affairs. Seaching historical sources, traditional accounts, archaeological findings and geological evidence in North America, South America and Europe, Caviedes discusses at length the toll that El Ninos have taken on populations in various parts of the world and offers an overview of La Nina, the equally feared twin. Presenting basic concepts necessary to understand the oceanic and meteorological processes associated with El Nino, Caviedes explains how air flows from the Pacific Ocean export heat and humidity to distant parts of the world, describes the impact of these climatic variations on ecological systems, and discusses the methods used to track down past episodes of El Nino and La Nina. He also looks back at the origins of the term ""El Nino"" among regional fishermen in northern Peru during colonial times and presents a compilation of El Nino events that have occurred in recent centuries.
Cesar N. Caviedes, professor and past chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Florida, is the author or coauthor of nine books, including South America. A respected authority on El Nino for thirty years, he has published and lectured extensively on El Nino in North and South America, Europe, and Japan.