This essay intends to answer the question whether El Niño phenomena is an actor upon human society or a product of it. It does so first by discussing characteristics of a more general concept, the climate, which is the primary domain under which El Niño concept falls. Then, the El Niño phenomenon is briefly explained, and finally its characteristics are discussed. At the last part of the essay, the significance of the central question in the context of adaptation to climate change is elaborated.

Those were the days, sir. We used to have very harsh winters here. Half a meter of snow cover, staying on the ground at least for 3 months was normal. Nowadays, we have very strange winters! (A taxi driver, complaining about “abnormal” climatic conditions in Ankara, Turkey, 2013)