NASA Plans To Study 2015-16 El Nino More Deeply Than Ever Before

Posted: Oct 21 2015, 4:08am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 21 2015, 10:04pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


NASA Plans to Study 2015-16 El Nino More Deeply than Ever Before
Credit: NASA/JPL

This year's El Nino event is expected to be one of the strongest ever and has been nicknamed 'Godzilla El Nino'.

El Niño is a temporary warm phase which develops in eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and spurs extreme weather patterns around the world.

2015-16 El Nino will be most noticeable in late September and continue till February next year and is expected to be one of the strongest ever, in fact, equal to the 1997-98 El Nino, which is the strongest on record.

NASA is also geared up for this coming 'no normal' El Nino and planning to study it from space in a way that has never done before. 

NASA’s had launched its earth-observing missions around two decades ago. Now, the space agency calls itself to be experienced enough to gather and analyze data more accurately and to understand more about the global impact of El Nino as can trigger a number of disasters including fire, floods and droughts.

"El Niño is a fascinating phenomenon because it has such far-reaching and diverse impacts. The fact that fires in Indonesia are linked with circulation patterns that influence rainfall over the United States shows how complex and interconnected the Earth system is,” Lesley Ott, research meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland said.


NASA will observe the effects of El Nino throughout the winter. The images and data, collected through satellite, will be used for creating modeling systems and the latest scientific insights and imagery will be shared from time to time.

NASA scientists are more mostly interested to konw how this year's El Nino event will affect the drought in California as NOAA is predicting heavy rains in some parts of the California. Due to torrential downpour risks, it has been already nicknamed ‘Godzilla El Nino.’

"We still have a lot to learn about these connections, and NASA's suite of satellites will help us understand these processes in a new and deeper way," Ott said.

Jason 2, joint satellite of NASA and other related organizations is measuring sea level, which is especially useful in quantifying the heat stored and released by the oceans during El Niño years. Other NASA satellites are tracking storms, cloud covers and other weather conditions to help warn fisheries and other industries. 

Duane Waliser, chief scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California claims. "NASA is at the forefront in providing key observations of El Niño and advancing our understanding of its role in shaping Earth's weather and climate patterns.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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