December 12, 2014
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a quasi-periodic fluctuation of ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. The temperatures generally fluctuate between two states: warmer than normal central and eastern equatorial Pacific (El Niño) and cooler than normal central and eastern equatorial Pacific (La Niña).
February 12, 2014
This visualization from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013 shows sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with the Agulhas Current near South Africa at 1-kilometer (~0.6 mile) resolution. The Agulhas Current is a western boundary current that transports warm water southward in the Indian Ocean along the west coast of Africa. Near South Africa the current retroflects (or turns back on itself), called the Agulhas Retroflection, due to interactions with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Eddies that form as a result of Agulhas Retroflection are clearly visible in the animation.
February 12, 2014
This visualization from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013 shows sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Eastern Pacific near Central America at 1-kilometer (~0.6 mile) resolution. Cold SSTs are clearly visible off the Central American coast from October to March. Such cooling events are associated with accelerated winds that blow through gaps in the mountainous terrain of Central America.
February 5, 2013
This visualization celebrates over a year of successful Aquarius observations. Sea surface salinity is shown at various locations around the globe. The range of time shown is December 2011 through December 2012. The data continuously loops through this range every 6 seconds. This visualization was generated based on version 2.0 of the Aquarius data products with all 3 scanning beams.
February 4, 2013
This visualization celebrates over a year of successful Aquarius observations. Sea surface salinity in the northern hemisphere is shown as the globe slowly rotates. The data cycles through a single year, 2012, and repeats. Two versions of the visualization are provied: a version with dates and a scientific color bar and another version without dates and a simpler color bar. The range of time shown is December 2011 through Decemeber 2012. The data continuously loops through this range every 6 seconds. This visualization was generated based on version 2.0 of the Aquarius data products with all 3 scanning beams.
January 7, 2013
Animation showing the extent of MY sea ice (white), FY sea ice (light gray), and open water (darker gray) from June 20, 2002 – November 23, 2009. Sea ice extent was derived from QuikSCAT data. Provided courtesy of David Long, Brigham Young University. Animation Link: QuikSCAT Arctic Sea Ice Classification and Extent (2002-2009) (~ 76 MB MPEG-4 File)
October 22, 2012
Using data from several satellite altimeters, a finer picture of the ever-changing height of the oceans is revealed. Swirling currents called eddies pepper the global ocean. Like small pock-marks in sea surface height, these eddies are found in every major ocean basin. Near the Equator, the eddies give way to fast moving features called Kelvin Waves. When they build up in the Pacific, these waves can usher in a phenomenon known as El Nino, which happens when warm water and high sea levels move into the Eastern Pacific along the Equator.
October 15, 2012
The Argo Array of profiling floats is the first attempt to monitor the global subsurface ocean temperature and salinity fields in real time. The first floats were deployed in late 1999 and it took another 8 years to reach the global target of 3000 operating floats delivering data every 10 days. This animation shows daily float locations overlayed on the 150m depth salinity field from an eddy resolving ocean model. While 3000 floats seems like a lot, on a daily basis the ocean is still very undersampled. Animation Link:
October 15, 2012
The IPRC Surface Currents Diagnostic (SCUD) model is used to simulate evolution of debris field, drifting from the shores of Japan, affected by the March 11, 2011 tsunami. The model is on 1/4° grid. Daily surface velocities are diagnosed using the mean dynamic topography, AVISO anomalies of geostrophic velocities and satellite winds. Local coefficients of the model are tunes to best reproduce concurrent velocities of near-surface drifters. Down-wind velocities are added according to the windage of the model debris, varying from 0% to 5% and shown on the animation in colors, mixed according to the debris concentration and composition.
October 8, 2012
This animation illustrates sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) from 1950 to 2009. The pre TOPEX/Poseidon (1992) SSHA data are derived from a cyclo-stationary EOF tuned to the AVISO SSHA and then applied to tide gauge data. Animation Link: Reconstructed Sea Surface Height from altimetry and tide gages: 1950-2009 (~ 110 MB MPEG-4 File)