A Quiet Pacific Ocean
November 15, 2003
Some climate forecast models indicate there is an above average chance that there could be a weak to borderline El Niño by the end of November 2003. However, the trade winds, blowing from east to west across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, remain strong. Thus, many scientists doubt that the warm temperature anomaly will form again this year. The latest remote sensing data from NASA’s Jason-1 satellite show normal conditions across the equatorial Pacific. There are currently no visible signs of an impending El Niño. The image above is a global map of sea surface height, accurate to within 30 millimeters. The image represents data collected and composited over a 10-day period, ending on Nov. 3, 2003. The height of the water relates to the temperature of the water. As the ocean warms, its level rises; and as it cools, its level falls.
Topics: Environment, Tropical meteorology, Physical oceanography, Climate change, El Niño, Ocean Surface Topography Mission, Jason-1, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Pacific ocean, wind