El Niño in History
Storming Through the Ages

César N. Caviedes

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"The most thorough and up-to-date analysis of the impact of El Niño on human events. It cogently explains El Niño, La Niña, Southern Oscillation, and other concepts to the non-meteorologist/oceanographer."--Ben Finney, University of Hawaii

"A staggering amount of historical research to pinpoint El Niño events in time and space, interpret them using physical theory, and correlate them with human history, ranging from locust swarms, the sinking of the Titanic, and the demise of the Roanoke colony, to the discovery of Easter Island."--Betty J. Meggers, Smithsonian Institution

César Caviedes provides the first comprehensive historical account of El Niño, the fascinating and disruptive weather phenomenon that has affected weather cycles all over the globe for thousands of years. Combining scientific accuracy with readable presentation, he brings together all existing information, references, and clues about past El Niño occurrences and their impact on political, military, social, economic, and environmental history. This sweeping demonstration of the impact of climatic fluctuation on human history will be fascinating to the scientific community as well as to the general public.
From the extraordinary discovery of Easter Island and Pizarro’s conquest of the Incas to the defeat of both Napoleon and Hitler in Russia and the sinking of the Titanic, Caviedes shows how this enigmatic phenomenon has swayed the course of history and human affairs. Searching historical sources, traditional accounts, archaeological findings, and geological evidence in North America, South America, and Europe, Caviedes discusses in length the toll that El Niños have taken on populations in various parts of the world and offers an overview of La Niña, the equally feared twin.
Presenting basic concepts necessary to understand the oceanic and meteorological processes associated with El Niño, Caviedes explains how air flows from the Pacific Ocean export heat and humidity to distant parts of the world, describes the impact of these climatic variations on ecological systems, and discusses the methods used to track down past episodes of El Niño and La Niña. He also looks back at the origins of the term El Niño among regional fishermen in northern Peru during colonial times and presents a compilation of El Niño events that have occurred in recent centuries.
César N. Caviedes, professor and past chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Florida, is the author or coauthor of nine books, including South America. A respected authority on El Niño for thirty years, he has published and lectured extensively on El Niño in North and South America, Europe, and Japan.

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"an interesting and thought-provoking book, and certainly one that will appeal to those with an interest in the human impact of El Nino." - International Journal of Climatology
--International Journal of Climatology

"handsomely produced, extensively illustrated." "A fascinating work of history and a profoundly scholarly work, El Nino in History may be more meticulous in scientific detail than some readers will wish. But it is a satisfying book for anyone who wants to understand a natural phenomenon that affects us all." - East Texas Historical Association
--East Texas Historical Association

"An outstanding treatise on El Nino and La Nina, and related oceanic and atmospheric phenomena. Caviedes provides a tremendous amount of information about floods, droughts, shipwrecks, hurricanes, economic fluctuations, and other human events. Recommended for anyone interested in climate history." - Choice Magazine

"Caviedes skillfully brings together scientific precision with a collage of information to look at past El Nino occurrences and their impact on such areas as politics, war, and economics." - Foreign Affairs
--Foreign Affairs

"provides an innovative and interesting account of the coexistence between human history and a particular climatic phenomenon and is a welcome addition to the library of any weather enthusiast who is also a history buff." - Weatherwise

"well worth considering for the scientist or layman primarily interested in the cascade of impacts that proceed from El Nino events to affect human societies, and for its effective sleuthing of anecdotal evidence for such impacts in historical and prehistorical times. I am unaware of alternative treatments of this subject that provide such a comprehensive review while keeping it within the grasp of the nonscientist." - Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
--Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

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