Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hello and welcome to Friday's Are Awesome. Happens every Friday here. I'm Carl Azuz and we're taking you around the world for today's current events. First up, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand. These are some of the countries in southeast Asia that are suffering under a heat wave and a dangerous drought. Temperatures are rising over 112 degrees Farenheit in some places. That's setting records. In Malaysia, schools are closing and animals are dying. Wells and lakes are drying up. Vegetables are withering. Same story for crops in Vietnam with the Mekong River at record low levels. And the Indian government says 330 million people, more than the entire population of the US, have been affected by drought. So what's causing all of this? Scientists say the blame rests with El Nino. We've talked about this natural climate cycle a lot since last year when it started disrupting normal US weather patterns. This El Nino is tied for the strongest one on record. And even as it weakens and approaches its end, it's still affecting weather worldwide. We've heard so much talk about El Nino, but what is it? In fact it's a weather phenomenon that happens between the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere. It can have an influence on the temperature and the weather all over the world. In the springtime, the tradewinds start to relax. And in a normal year, they come back during the Asia monsoon, in the summer. During an El Nino year, they don't. In fact, some years, the trade winds can even reverse, that has a huge impact on the Pacific Ocean. During a normal year, warm water is pooled, on the west side of the ocean. Cooler water on the east side. That results in cooler waters off the coast of California, and warmer waters in the Western Pacific. During an El Ni o year, that thermocline tilt goes away, and so warm water is spilt all the way to the east side of the Pacific. That increases convection. It also brings thunderstorms to the coast of California and droughts to the western side of the Pacific. We all know that El Ni o will impact the world. The only question is, how will it affect you? Yesterday a group of nine climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest. More than 4, 000 people have done that in history, but this is the first time in over two years that anyone has made it to the top. Why? Because in 2014 and 2015 deadly avalanches, one of them the result of an earthquake in Nepal, brought a tragic end to the climbing season. The weather on Everest is generally unpredictable, but so far this year it's reportedly been pretty good. Still, climbing the mountain is incredibly dangerous, exhausting and expensive. It can cost anywhere from $ 35, 000 to $ 100, 000 once you factor in the permit, the Sherpas who'll assist you, and the supplies. Yet there's no shortage of people who are willing to try each year. A by- the- numbers look now at the tallest mountain on the planet. Everest rises more than 29, 000 feet into the sky. To put that into perspective, imagine stacking 20 Empire State Buildings on top of each other. The first people to summit the mountain, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, who reached the top back in 1953. The record for much climbs to the summit, Apa Sherpa, who's made it 21 times. And Yuchiro Miura, at age 80, became the oldest person ever to climb Everest. In another proof that just age is just a number, Jordan Romero at age 13, is the youngest person to reach the summit. But the danger remains. More than 225 people have lost their lives trying to climb the mountain. Not too far from the Japanese capital of Tokyo is where we're starting today's call of the roll. First up is Camp Zama Middle School. Thank you for making us part of your Friday in Camp Zama Japan. Jumping across the Pacific we're making a stop in La Habra California. The Heralds are watching from Whittier Christian High School. And from the city of Danville, Arkansas in the school of Danville Middle welcome to the little John. It's great to see you. Four, three, two, one. Next today there's a new project under way an undersea cable system that will connect South Africa with Southern Asia the Middle East and ultimately the rest of the world. Though it'll stretch for thousands of miles, it'll account for just a tiny part of the vast, intricate network of underwater fiber cables that ships have been laying since the 1800's. Where are you watching this video? The United States? Europe? Asia? It's a cliche to say we live in an interconnected world, but, duh, we do. And the global circulatory system that delivers 99 % of international data from point a to points b through z and back again, is made of fiber optic cable. Unlike copper cables which transmit electrical energy, fiber- optic cables transmit light. That makes them significantly faster and less susceptible to interference. Fiber- optics trump satellites too. They're cheaper, they're faster, and you don't get those delays. Fiber- optic cables are buried deep under water. Over 300 of them connect every continent not named Antarctica. And laid end to end, the 550,000 miles of cable would circle the Earth 22 times. And boy, is that good for business. E- commerce isn't bound by borders. An international stock trade can be executed in a flash. You can videoconference with colleagues in Florida or France or Fiji, not a problem. Take a ride on the global fiber optic network. And offices wired with a fiber optic network allow for speedy data sharing, so we here at CNN can send our videos from one edit suite to another really fast. And consider this, thanks to fiber optic cables, innovations aren't bound by bandwidth. Remember trying to stream a video in the old days? Brutal. Do you think Netflix would have even come to be with that kind of infrastructure? I mean would you even be watching this video? A mom in New York recently surprised her daughter at college by sneaking into a dorm room and snapping a selfie. Looks great, there's just a little problem, the mom says look where I am, where are you? The daughter says where's that? I'm in my dorm. Then she writes, please tell me you're not in someone else's dorm. And the mom promptly thought, uh- oh. We'd say this happens all the time, but it probably doesn't. Hey, at least the picture went viral. Will this shut the dorm on future visits? It was a mom's mistake. Everyone who's lived on campus would say there's roomie for improvement. Surprise visits always keep students guesting, and at least mom hasn't lost her college. I'm Carl Azuz and I am so glad I graduated.