Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predicting El Nino With The Help Of A Wind Trigger

Date:
February 20, 2001
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Just as a spark can grow into a fire, so small departures of winds from the normal seasonal cycle in the far western equatorial Pacific can trigger a full-blown El Nino. Writing in the February 15 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Prof. Allan J. Clarke and Research Associate Stephen Van Gorder of Florida State University describe the model they have developed to predict El Nino using this trigger.

Washington -- Just as a spark can grow into a fire, so small departures of winds from the normal seasonal cycle in the far western equatorial Pacific can trigger a full-blown El Nino. Writing in the February 15 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Prof. Allan J. Clarke and Research Associate Stephen Van Gorder of Florida State University describe the model they have developed to predict El Nino using this trigger.

The departure of the wind from its normal seasonal cycle is called a wind "anomaly." The ocean is hypersensitive to zonal (east-west) equatorial wind anomalies. Analysis of eight El Nino events in equatorial wind data since 1960 shows that these events typically begin in the far western equatorial Pacific as small westerly wind anomalies. They grow and move eastward to the central equatorial Pacific as the ocean and atmosphere interact to reinforce the anomaly. La Ninas are similarly associated with easterly wind anomalies.

Based on their observation that the wind anomaly in the far western equatorial Pacific typically precedes El Nino or La Nina by about six months, Clarke and Van Gorder developed a model which, in spite of its simplicity, performs as well as, or better than, the leading El Nino prediction models. Their new model is further improved, they note, by factoring in the east-west movement of the edge of the huge pool of warm water in the western equatorial Pacific. The model also predicts the demise of El Nino and La Nina.

The authors urge further study of the western equatorial Pacific wind anomalies that spark El Nino and La Nina, because these anomalies are at present poorly understood. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Predicting El Nino With The Help Of A Wind Trigger." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010207073628.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2001, February 20). Predicting El Nino With The Help Of A Wind Trigger. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010207073628.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Predicting El Nino With The Help Of A Wind Trigger." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010207073628.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath

AP (July 25, 2014) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe toured the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort on the Chesapeake Bay today, a day after it was hit by a tornado. The storm claimed two lives and injured dozens of others. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) — Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) — Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins