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1997-1998 El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies (SSTA)

Friday, 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). The 1997-98 event was the first major El Niño that was observed extensively by satellites, including those that measured SST and sea surface height (SSH). These measurements are helpful to examine the evolution of an El Niño event. The animation illustrates the evolution of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) associated with the1998-1998 El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.