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Section 4
El Niño and the Ocean Circulation

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm, Section 4: El Niño and the Ocean Circulation.


Inquiring Further

  1. To learn more about the technology used to study oceanic-atmospheric interactions, specifically TOPEX/Poseidon and TAO, visit the following web sites:

    Ocean Surface Topography From Space, NASA
    Understand how continuous data from satellites like TOPEX/Poseidon help scientists understand and foresee the effects of the changing oceans on climate and on catastrophic climate events such as El Niño.

    TOPEX/Poseidon Educational Outreach, University of Texas at Austin, Center for Space Research
    Learn more about the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, how it collects data, and what has been learned from this important mission.

    TAO Project, NOAA
    Learn more about the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Project, how it collects data, and what has been learned.

  2. To learn more about La Niña, visit the following web sites:

    La Niña Page, NOAA
    Includes links to general La Niña information, such as climate data for past La Niña events, forecasts, and the impacts of La Niña.

    What is La Niña, NOAA
    Includes color animations comparing La Niña, El Niño, and "normal" conditions, a review of the impacts that La Niña has had on the global climate, and links to further information.

    El Niño/La Niña Home, NOAA
    Includes links to information on ENSO forecasts, an "expert assessment" (updated weekly), ENSO figures (updated weekly), and a list of FAQ. Also includes an online tutorial which contains numerous color images.

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Resources

To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

El Niño and non- El Niño Conditions

El Niño Theme Page, NOAA
Contains links to cover a wide range of topics, including definitions of El Niño and La Niña, impacts of El Niño, predicting El Niño, 3-D animations of El Niño temperatures, and information on finding El Niño data.

NOAA’s El Niño Page, NOAA
Contains an image of current sea-surface temperature anomalies which is updated regularly. Site also contains links to El Niño images and information, including a list of El Niño-related web sites.

The Southern Oscillation

El Niño/La Niña Home, NOAA
Includes links to information on ENSO forecasts, an "expert assessment" (updated weekly), ENSO figures (updated weekly), and a list of FAQ. Also includes an online tutorial which contains numerous color images.

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), NOAA
Information on the science behind ENSO, current ocean/atmosphere conditions, impacts of ENSO on climate, forecasts, current research, and links to educational resources.

The Equatorial Pacific and El Niño

TOGA-TAO and the 1991-93 El Niño-Southern Oscillation Event, McPhaden, M.J., NOAA/PMEL
Examines data collected by the TOGA-TAO program. Includes color data images.

Cause and Effect - El Niño  

USGS Information on El Niño, USGS
Focuses on the impacts of El Niño, including coastal erosion, flooding, landslides, storms, and climate change. Click on link to open the article of interest.

List of Impacts and Prediction Benefits, NOAA
Click on link to find further information on the impacts of El Niño, such as El Niño and tornado occurrences, El Niño and hurricane frequency, coral reef bleaching, El Niño and marine fish and birds, and more.

El Niño Sea-Level Rise Wreaks Havoc in California's San Fransico Bay Region, USGS
Looks at the impact of the 1997-1998 El Niño event on the Bay area. Site includes damage photos, sea level data, upwelling images, and an explanation of Kelvin waves and their impact.

El Niño and La Niña Resources on the Internet: Technical Articles, COAPS, Florida State University
Lists several online articles which detail the impact of El Niño on the U.S. and world.

To pose a question about El Niño to a scientist, visit the following web sites:

TOPEX/Poseidon "Ask a Scientist", University of Texas
Ask a question about the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite or mission.

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