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Investigate: Explore Climate Conditions

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Case 1: Ecuador
It's December in Ecuador, South America. Fishermen notice that the Pacific Ocean water is warmer than usual. When they pull in their fishing nets, they are empty. The fish that normally feed in the colder water have found new feeding grounds or have died. Sea lions and other animals that feed on fish are going hungry. At the same time, an unusual number of thunderstorms have soaked the region. Fishermen know about this strange condition. For hundreds of years, their ancestors have described the same thing happening every three to seven years.

Investigate the Case
Use the links to find answers the questions below. The more facts you gather, the closer you'll be to solving the case.

Fact 1: In what direction do strong winds — called the "trade winds" — usually blow across the Pacific?

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Fact 2: How do these trade winds sometimes change?

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Fact 3: What can happen when the trade winds change?

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Share Your Findings
Enter your answers. Then use those facts to summarize the reasons for the mysterious weather conditions.

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* Detective (First Name Only):
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* Fact 3:
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