Here Comes the Boy | God's World News

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Here Comes the Boy
Science Soup
Posted: September 01, 2023
  • 1 El Nino
    People visit a water park to beat the summer heat in Nanjing City, China, in July 2023. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
  • 2 El Nino
    Rice is on display at an Indian grocery store in New York. An earlier than expected El Niño brought drier, warmer weather in some parts of Asia. It is expected to harm rice production. (AP/Bobby Caina Calvan)
  • 3 El Nino
    A digital billboard displays a high temperature in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, on July 17, 2023. (AP/Matt York)
  • 4 El Nino
    A man travels by paddle board through a flooded market district in Sebastopol, California, in February 2019. The last El Niño took place in 2019. (AP/Eric Risberg)
  • 5 El Nino
    A forest fire burns in Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil’s Amazon basin in 2016. El Niño can change weather patterns. Those may lead to more flooding or wildfires in different areas of the world. (Vinicius Mendonca/IBAMA via AP)
  • 1 El Nino
  • 2 El Nino
  • 3 El Nino
  • 4 El Nino
  • 5 El Nino

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El Niño (ehl NEEN-yo) means “little boy” in Spanish.

It’s not really a boy, of course. It’s a climate pattern. El Niño happens when water in part of the Pacific Ocean gets extra warm. (The boy has a sister too. Her name is La Niña. She shows up when the water grows unusually cool.)

Weather scientists watch. They know El Niño is an irregular guest. Sometimes he shows up every two years. Sometimes he comes every seven years. And sometimes it’s anytime in between. People can guess what El Niño will do. But they can’t be sure. He’s not a fully predictable cycle like ocean tides are.

So what will the boy bring this year?

Meteorologists disagree. Some say, “Look out! El Niño is coming early! He’ll be big. He’ll get sloppy. He’ll make the world hot, hot, hot.” They say this year’s pattern formed a month or two earlier than it usually does. He has “room to grow.”

Weather watchers keep eyes on an imaginary rectangle of water south of Hawaii—right along the Equator. Does that spot measure at least 0.9 degrees above normal for three months in a row? If so, they say, “El Niño is here!” If it measures more than 2.7 degrees hotter than usual, they say, “El Niño is going to be strong!”

So will “little boy” be a “big boy” this time? We wait and see.

When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He makes the mist rise from the ends of the Earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and He brings forth the wind from His storehouses. — Jeremiah 10:13

Why? God rules the weather. We can guess what might happen, but only He knows for sure.