​Wild December weather, thanks to El Niño

Shawn Johnson directs the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. He says that in the past two years, 90 percent of California's sea lion and fur seal pups have died. When critically-ill animals wash up on beaches, the staff tries to nurse them back to health.

"2015 has been one for the record books," said Johnson. "Typically we rescue 600-800 animals. We're almost to 1,800.

"Because the water is so warm, it's pushed all the feeder fish -- the foraging fish for their mothers -- farther out to sea, deeper in the water column, or farther north. What it's come down to is, all the animals have a lack of food. There's not enough food right in this area for them right now."

Relief will come eventually, because historically, El Niño is followed by La Niña, characterized by cooler ocean temperatures.

But at least for the next few months, the world will continue to feel El Niño's effects -- both on land and in the ocean.


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