The El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been influencing climate in Fiji and other Pacific Islands for centuries, and to this day remains a major source of climate variability.
The main climate effects of the ENSO cycle are:
– Changes in rainfall seasonality
– Occurrence of localized droughts and floods
– Changes in the frequency, strength and location of tropical cyclones
– Extreme high tides that result in saltwater intrusion which damages crops in low lying areas z Widespread frosts at higher altitudes in PNG
El Niño and La Niña are opposite extremes of the ENSO, referring to very different environmental conditions. The impact of El Niño and La Niña on islands in the Pacific will vary depending on their location.