A warming of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America that occurs every 4 to 12 years when upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water does not occur. It causes die-offs of plankton and fish and affects Pacific jet stream winds, altering storm tracks and creating unusual weather patterns in various parts of the world.
Origin: American Spanish
Origin: , from Spanish, the Christ child (from its onset being around Christmastide)
Origin: : el, the (from Latin ille; see al-1 in Indo-European roots)
Origin: + niño, child (from Old Spanish ninno, from Vulgar Latin *nīnnus)