Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet

Date:
August 6, 2004
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Recent sea-level height data from the U.S./France Jason altimetric satellite during a 10-day cycle ending July 27, 2004, show that weaker than normal trade winds in the western and central equatorial Pacific during June have triggered an eastward moving, warm Kelvin wave.

Credit: Image NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team

Recent sea-level height data from the U.S./France Jason altimetric satellite during a 10-day cycle ending July 27, 2004, show that weaker than normal trade winds in the western and central equatorial Pacific during June have triggered an eastward moving, warm Kelvin wave. In the central equatorial Pacific, this "warm wave" appears as the large area of higher-than-normal sea surface heights (warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures) between 180 degrees W and 130 degrees W. These types of events, should they continue and persist into the fall, can herald the beginnings of an El Niño episode.

"Although an El Niño would be welcome in the American west which definitely needs the rainfall, it's way too early to even begin talking about a possible El Niño," said JPL oceanographer Dr. Bill Patzert. "Scientists will continue to monitor the Pacific closely for further signs of possible El Niño formation and intensity," said Dr. Lee-Lueng Fu, JPL Jason Project Scientist.

The image shows a red area in the central equatorial Pacific that is about 10 centimeters (4 inches) above normal. These regions contrast with the eastern equatorial Pacific, where lower-than-normal sea levels (blue areas) continue that are between 5 and 13 centimeters (2 and 5 inches) below normal. Along the equator, the red sea surface heights equate to sea surface temperature departures greater than one degree Celsius (two degrees Fahrenheit).

These images show sea surface height anomalies with the seasonal cycle (the effects of summer, fall, winter, and spring) removed. The differences between what we see and what is normal for different times and regions are called anomalies, or residuals. When oceanographers and climatologists view these "anomalies" they can identify unusual patterns and can tell us how heat is being stored in the ocean to influence future planetary climate events. Each image is a 10-day average of data, ending on the date indicated.

The U.S. portion of the Jason mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, D.C. Research on Earth's oceans using Jason and other space-based capabilities is conducted by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise to better understand and protect our home planet.

To view the latest Jason-1 data see http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/jason1-quick-look/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040805092034.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2004, August 6). Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040805092034.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040805092034.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) — Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) — Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 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