AP Environmental Science : ENSO

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #32 : Introductory Concepts And Earth Science

The El Niño phase of ENSO is associated with:

Possible Answers:

warmer sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific and higher rainfall in the central Pacific

strong upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water in the eastern Pacific

stronger hurricanes affecting the western United States

increased rainfall in South America

cooler sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific and higher rainfall in the western Pacific

Correct answer:

warmer sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific and higher rainfall in the central Pacific

Explanation:

The El Niño phase of ENSO is associated with warmer surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific and higher rainfall in the central Pacific. Storms and hurricanes are more frequent in the central Pacific. There is a weaker upwelling of nutrient-rich water off the coast of South America during this phase.

Example Question #1 : Enso

The impacts of ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) will most strongly impact countries that border which body of water?

Possible Answers:

Arctic Ocean

Pacific Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

Indian Ocean

Correct answer:

Pacific Ocean

Explanation:

The correct response is Pacific Ocean. ENSO occurs specifically in the Pacific Ocean, thus its impacts will most strongly impact countries bordering the Pacific.

Example Question #1 : Enso

ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) weather patterns are characterized by variations in air pressure and temperature. Which type of ENSO pattern contains both low air surface pressure and a cooling phase?

Possible Answers:

El Nino

Coriolis effect

Madden-Julian oscillation

La Nina 

Correct answer:

La Nina 

Explanation:

The correct response is La Nina. The La Nina has low air pressure and cooling, while El Nino contains high air pressure and warming. Madden-Julian oscillation and Coriolis effect do not make sense as answer choices. 

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