El Niño upsets seasons and upends lives worldwide.WHO estimates that changes induced by El Niño are putting 60 million people at increased risk of malnutrition and illnesses.

by Henry Fountain

Visualization of El Niño in November 2015 by NOAA. Orange indicates warmer than average ocean temperatures. Photo: NOAA

In rural villages in Africa and Asia, and in urban neighborhoods in South America, millions of lives have been disrupted by weather linked to the strongest El Niño in a generation. In some parts of the world, the problem has been not enough rain; in others, too much. Downpours were so bad in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción, that shantytowns sprouted along city streets, filled with families displaced by floods. But farmers in India had the opposite problem: Reduced monsoon rains forced them off the land and into day-labor jobs.