Sunday, February 14, 2016

NOAA and NASA Team Up to Investigate Strong El Niño

Difference from Average Temperature (Credit: NOAA) Click to Enlarge.
America’s two leading climate science agencies are conducting an unprecedented survey via land, sea and air to investigate the current El Niño event and better understand its impact on weather systems that have brought both parched and soaking conditions to North America.

The project, which will conclude in March, will deploy resources from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA to analyze one of the strongest El Niños on record.  El Niño is a periodic phenomenon in which parts of the eastern Pacific warm, causing a ripple effect for weather around the world.

NOAA’s Gulfstream IV research plane and its ship Ronald H Brown will collect data from the vast stretch of the Pacific ocean where El Niño climate events are spawned.  NASA will deploy its Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, which is able to fly at 65,000ft for 30 hours at a time.

It is hoped that instruments dropped from aircraft, supported by weather balloons, will help improve weather forecasts and models that predict the longer-term impact of climate change.  The scientists will coordinate with researchers based in Honolulu and the Pacific island of Kiribati, around 1,340 miles south of Hawaii.

Read more at NOAA and NASA Team Up to Investigate Strong El Niño

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