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El Nino with its large ecological consequences. The case of fires in Borneo

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  1. Explanation of el niño and its numerous consequences
    1. A climatic phenomenon
    2. With serious ecological consequences all over the world
    3. Focussing on the large fires in Borneo area
  2. Ecological consequences of the fires in borneo at
    1. General impacts on the rain forests ecosystem
    2. Carbon and haze pollutions, a big issue for the environment
    3. Examples of specific ecological disturbances at different trophic levels, following the 1997-1998 wild fire
  3. The humankind responsibilities for fires
    1. El Niño only playing a role
    2. The direct human responsibility: complex interlinked causes
    3. The indirect human responsibility: the global warming

El Niño is a climatic phenomenon that arrives approximately during the period of Christmas in the east part of the Pacific Ocean near the west coast of South America. It involves elements from both, the Tropical Ocean and the Global Atmosphere. From a climatic point of view, El Niño is an extensive warming of the upper ocean in the tropical Eastern Pacific region and lasts for more than 5 months. This phenomenon has strong ecological consequences all over the world such as the increase in the number of tornadoes in North America, the decrease of the stream flow of a river in China or even a reduction in the Galapagos penguin populations. Nevertheless, the biggest ecological consequences are those occurring in South America and Indonesia. In Peru, El Niño causes very heavy rainfalls that lead to dangerous floods. On the contrary, there are timely droughts that lead to dramatic fires on the other side of the ocean especially in the Borneo area. These fires have a very noticeable impact on the general forest ecosystem and are the prime causes of strong haze and smoke pollution. More specifically, the wild fire that occurred in 1997-1998 caused big ecological disturbances in Borneo forests. It affected different trophic levels, more particularly the interaction of the animal population and vegetation. From the first example it can be inferred that the trees species providing fruits for sun bears had decreased a lot and therefore there was a drastic decline in the sun bear population. Next, a riverine bird saw a decrease in its population because of a disturbance in his habitat following the wild fire. Finally, the change in the vegetation after the fire had consequences on the assemblage of a particular species of butterfly. It can be inferred that, the humankind, through bad land use management techniques (which has resulted in an increase of the global warming) has been strongly responsible for these fires.

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