How does El Niño affect the climate in Colombia?

EarthzineEarth Observation, Original, St. George’s School poster project


The chosen question related to climate and the usage of satellite images was “How does ‘El Niño’ affect Colombian climate in aspects such as temperature and rainfall? How does this affect Colombian society?” For this, we researched the phenomenon and the measures that the government has taken when it occurs.

Satellite images let us see how the “El Niño” phenomenon has been affecting the Colombian climate over the years. Despite the innumerable experiences of the phenomenon in this country, it has been impossible to diminish the terrible effects on society. With every new episode of “El Niño,” there is always a new tragedy.

The research looked at the most important effects that the phenomenon had in South America, and more specifically in Colombia. After this research, it was found that the worst episode ever in Colombia was in 1997. During this period, because of the low precipitation rates and the constant high temperatures in the Colombian territory, factors like water supply for the living population, agriculture, energy supplies, sanitation and forest fires significantly affected the whole country’s infrastructure and population.

The Colombian government has taken preventive measures each time “El Niño” occurs, especially in aspects such as limiting water use and regulating energy usage. Moreover, local committees implement the irrigation systems and train people in case of emergencies. However, these measures are not enough, as the problems cover a wider range of difficulties. This is where satellite images can help, because we already know that during “El Niño” there is less rainfall and higher sea temperatures. With these images it is possible to see when this will happen and it will be possible to make decisions on what to do before disaster occurs.
SGS Earth Observation Climate themed poster
• Sara Castellanos
• Juan David Cortes
• Santiago Esguerra
• Maria Alejandra Leal
• Maria Carolina Ribero
• Juan Felipe Toro
• Gabriela Villar
• Nelson Robby, Physics Teacher
• Hans Simons, Biology Teacher
• Daniel Nieto, Chemistry Teacher
• Annie Dye, Project Coordinator