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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Climate Models

Some climate models are suggesting that El Niño may return later this year, but for now, the Pacific Ocean lingers in a neutral "La Nada" state, according to climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The latest map of sea level height data from the U.S./European Jason-3 satellite mission shows most of the ocean at neutral heights (green), except for a bulge of high sea level (red) centered along 20 degrees north latitude in the central and eastern Northern Hemisphere tropics, around Hawaii. This high sea level is caused by warm water.
Patzert postulates that the leftover warm-water bulge was responsible for the lackluster La Niña. "Did the warm bulge suppress the trade winds in the eastern and central Pacific, muting the conditions required for a full-blown La Niña to form?" he asks. "As all El Niño researchers know, no two El Niño or La Niña episodes are exactly the same." http://go.nasa.gov/2lXBy64

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