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NCAR To Host The World's First La Nina Summit

Date:
May 26, 1998
Source:
National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Summary:
The National Center for Atmospheric Research will host the world's first summit devoted to the causes and consequences of El Nino's less-studied counterpart, La Nina. Sponsored by NCAR and the United Nations University, the July 15-17 summit in Boulder will include a number of the nation's top researchers on La Nina and El Nino.

BOULDER--Will La Nina replace El Nino as the next climate phenomenon inthe public eye? It's too early to tell whether this cooling of theeastern tropical Pacific will arrive this winter, but an in-depthdiscussion of La Nina will hit Boulder this summer.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research will host the world'sfirst summit devoted to El Nino's less-studied counterpart July 15-17."Review of the Causes and Consequences of Cold Events: A La Nina Summit"is being organized by NCAR senior scientist and El Nino expert MichaelGlantz with support from the United Nations University (UNU), based inTokyo. The summit at NCAR's Mesa Laboratory will draw a number of thenation's top researchers on La Nina and El Nino from universities andgovernment agencies. NCAR's primary sponsor is the National ScienceFoundation.

La Nina is a drop from the normal sea-surface temperatures across theeastern tropical Pacific. Usually, sea-surface readings off SouthAmerica's west coast range from the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit, while theyexceed 80 degrees F in the "warm pool" located in the central andwestern Pacific. This warm pool expands to cover the tropics duringEl Nino, but during La Nina, the easterly trade winds strengthen,cold upwelling off Peru and Ecuador intensifies, and sea-surfacetemperatures there fall as much as 7 degrees F below normal. Likeits counterpart, La Nina tends to be strongest during the NorthernHemisphere winter, and it typically lasts one to two years.

Unnamed until the mid-1980s, La Nina (Spanish for "the girl") hasreceived less attention than El Nino. However, La Nina's effects--such as the 1988 Midwest drought and an increased hurricane threatin the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico--can't be ignored.

In the past 20 years there have been only three La Ninas, compared toseven El Ninos. The uneven count has sparked debate over whether globalclimate change might be tweaking the Pacific tropics toward moreEl Ninos or even toward a semipermanent warm state.

The goal of the La Nina summit is to identify what is known about LaNina and its societal and environmental impacts. A workshop report willbe released afterward. The summit is the first project in a "usablescience" collaboration supported by UNU and aimed at helping PacificRim countries respond to El Nino and La Nina risks. Glantz is theproject coordinator.

NCAR is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research,a consortium of more than 60 universities offering Ph.D.s inatmospheric and related sciences.

-The End-

Writer: Bob Henson

Find this news release on the World Wide Web athttp://www.ucar.edu/publications/newsreleases/1998/lanina.html

To receive UCAR and NCAR news releases by e-mail,telephone 303-497-8601 or e-mail butterwo@ucar.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "NCAR To Host The World's First La Nina Summit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980526183626.htm>.
National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). (1998, May 26). NCAR To Host The World's First La Nina Summit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980526183626.htm
National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "NCAR To Host The World's First La Nina Summit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980526183626.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

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