ADEOS-II Science Project

Image Library May 23, 2003

The First El Niño in the 21st Century

The First El Niño in the 21st Century

» See Animation (242KB)

This animation shows the mean sea-surface temperature (SST) over the equatorial Pacific region (upper panel) and its deviation from the past 30-year mean (lower panel), observed by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) from June 2002 to May 2003.

The cold-water upwelling in the eastern Pacific Ocean off Peru usually makes the SST much lower than that in the western off the Philippines. However, once the El Niño event begins, the SST increases several degrees above the average.

Looking down the lower panel of the animation, the deviation of SST in the equatorial Pacific Ocean between the International Date Line and the coast of Peru was growing gradually and peaked at two or three degrees in November. This was the first El Niño event reached the mature phase. After that, the SST gradually decreased toward the average, and in March 2003, the El Niño ended.

AMSR-E is a sister sensor of AMSR on ADEOS-II. It was developed by NASDA and is now on the EOS Aqua platform launched in May 2002.

AMSR/AMSR-E website

[Back] [Home]

Earth Observation Research and application Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
ADEOS-II home EORC home