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El Niño 2014 Might Become a Repeat of 1997

    May 21, 2014
    Mike Fossum
    Comments are off for this post.

NASA satellite imaging of the Pacific Ocean has revealed data that resembles the conditions which fostered the record-breaking El Niño year of 1997.

El Niño, which is Spanish for “the boy,” with the capitalized version meaning “Christ Child,” is a system of abnormally high seawater temperatures that develops off the Pacific coast of South America, leading to extreme weather across the Pacific Ocean.

The NASA/French Space Agency Jason-2 satellite scans the world’s oceans every ten days, measuring changes in sea surface height, along with heat levels in the upper layers of the water. Lately, Jason-2 has presented data from the Pacific that looks a lot like it did in 1997.

Here is a documentary which describes how researchers attempt to predict El Niño patterns:

Jason-2 has been detecting a series of Kelvin waves, which are large ripples at sea level that travel across the Pacific from Australia to South America. Kelvin waves are good indicators of El Niño, and both phenomena are linked by wind. Trade winds in the Pacific blow from east to west, which push sun-warmed surface waters toward Indonesia. As a result, the sea level around Indonesia is typically 45 centimeters higher than it is near Ecuador. This area is called the warm pool, and is the largest reservoir of warm water on earth.

Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, commented that “a pattern of sea surface heights and temperatures has formed that reminds me of the way the Pacific looked in the spring of 1997. That turned out to precursor to a big El Niño.”

Mike McPhaden of NOAA’s Pacific Environmental Research Laboratories in Seattle added, “We can’t yet say for sure that an El Niño will develop in 2014, or how big it might be, but the Jason-2 data support the El Niño Watch issued last month by NOAA.”

The NOAA and NASA are meticulously monitoring the Pacific trade winds. It will become much more clear in the coming few months whether these recent developments are the forerunner of a major El Niño, or any El Niño at all.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


  • Josh

    Two words in the second paragraph of this story have been changed so that it no longer exactly matches the first paragraph of El Nino’s Wikipedia article.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Nino

  • Sherlocktoo

    Here we go again. Might, maybe, could possibly, pure BS from the left crying in desperation for attention for the hoax of globull warming. When do we start to slap these nuts, literally? And the liberal media makes sure one such story is on yahoo each and every day, why? It’s not news, it’s lies!

    • jz

      What the heck does the left have to do with nature? This is not a left or right issue except for those who make it such. My unbiased view is that we are tearing up the planet. Believe it, accept it Sherlock. For someone with the name of a detective calling what is happening to our planet a bunch of left BS your name should be Clouseau.

      • Sherlocktoo

        The left’s claim to fame is to protect nature. Nature will adjust, as always, to mankind, and anything and everything that mankind can throw at it. Earth destiny is doomed, and there is nothing we can do about it. We pick the fruit, replant, and pick it again. We will always find a way to survive until the planet has fulfilled it’s destiny. Still, if you would like to live in a cave, go ahead. Otherwise, shut up and think of all the parts of earth you use and misuse daily!

    • Kevin Davis

      You have checked in your brain at the door before posting. El Nino’s have been measured empirically since the 1600’s. Their existence is a separate matter from climate change. You must be just old enough to know how to regurgitate what you hear.

      • Sherlocktoo

        Re-read the article! Might, maybe, could be is what? You and other will swear that they got the prediction correct, whether it happens or not. If these people are so smart about what the climate is going to do, spell it out and say it with confidence. If they want us to believe, then let them give us a 10 day forecast without change. Yet they expect us to hang on their every word, because they have a degree in something. Again pure BS!

    • earth watcher

      I have never known someone so stupid like you lol. Its not a left or a right thing its a earth thing. You must be freeking lost in your world lol

  • Combat Survivor

    who cares this world sucks and needs to be destroyed

  • bloozedaddy

    as soon as I saw all that red I got out my checkbook…where do I send the money ?

  • William D…

    if it has a mexican name..its gunna be screwed up

  • Chasb211

    It’s called weather and Earth doesn’t play by our rules. It has it’s agenda. It’s been doing it as long as earth has been around. Earths weather is very violent and always will be.

  • Ray Del Colle

    “97 percent of top climate scientists and every major National Academy of Science agree that man-made carbon pollution is warming our climate.” http://clmtr.lt/c/Hza0cd0cMJ