GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: XDF

It has long been known that during an El Nino, two conditions exist: (1) unusually warm water extends along the eastern Pacific, principally along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru, and (2) winds blow from the west into the warmer air rising over the warm water in the east. These winds tend to create a feedback mechanism by driving the warmer surface water into a "pile" that blocks the normal upwelling of deeper, cold water in the east and further warms the eastern water, thus strengthening the wind still more. The contribution of the recent model is to show that the winds of an El Nino, which raise sea level in the cast, simultaneously send a signal to the west lowering sea level. According to the model, that signal is generated as a negative Rossby wave, a wave of depressed, or negative, sea level, that moves westward parallel to the equator at 25 to 85 kilometers per day.

Question List: 1 2

According to the passage, which of the following features is characteristic of an El Nino?

  • A Cold coastal water near Peru
  • B Winds blowing from the west
  • C Random occurrence
  • D Worldwide effects
  • E Short duration

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