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El Niño

The images and animations shown here are visualizations of the El Niño phenomenon that occurred in 1982 and 1997, two of the strongest El Niño events on record.
         
         
Sea Surface Temperature   Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies   Anomalies Composited with Outgoing Longwave Radiation
         

1982-84
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

1995-97
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

Red regions represent warmer sea surface temperatures and blue regions cooler. Notice how the bands of color in the animations move with the changing seasons.

 

 

1982-84
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

1995-97
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

Temperature anomalies represent the departure from normal sea surface temperatures. Red shows regions where the water is warmer than normal and blue shows regions where the water is cooler. El Niño shows up as the large red area off the West coast of South America.

 

1982-84
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

1995-97
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

         
         
Anomalies
Composited with
Outgoing Longwave Radiation & Raytraced
  Anomalies Compared Across Two Periods   VRML
         

1982-84
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

1995-97
QuickTime
| Real | MPEG

These images were created using raytracing to compute shadows and reflections and produce an artistic view of El Niño events.

 

 

QuickTime | Real | MPEG

These images show a comparison between two large El Niño events. The first begins in Oct '81 and the second in Oct '96. As the El Niño event in the second animation begins to fade, a La Niña event begins to emerge in the early part of '98.

 

 
Also included here is a VRML representation of a subset of the imagery that provides interactive navigation through a VRML world.
         
         
Research Project
Science:
Atmospheric Science
Scientists:
Phil Arkin
John Janowiak
Richard W. Reynolds
Diane C. Stokes
Animators:
Tim Scheitlin
Don Middleton
Date Catalogued:
2002-08-05
Rights:
© 2002, UCAR, All rights reserved.