Lab 9 Handout

Lab 9 Handout - Introductory Meteorology Laboratory El Nio...

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79 Introductory Meteorology Laboratory El Niño - Southern Oscillation Lab #9 - El Niño/Southern Oscillation and Its Impacts Objective This lab is designed to help you become more familiar with the phenomenon known as El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its impacts. 1. Introduction to El Niño Every few years, the phenomenon known as El Niño occurs. At first glance a local phenomenon associated with warm water in the tropical eastern South Pacific Ocean (El Niño is known as the warm phase), the ENSO is a complex physical system involving interactions between the ocean and atmosphere on multi-year time scales, and large spatial scales. It poses both societal and economic impacts that affect the entire world. Its most familiar manifestation is the appearance of unusually warm water off the coast of Peru and Ecuador, which lasts for several months, spreading across the coastal eastern Pacific Ocean in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The 1972/73 El Niño event sparked tremendous interest in monitoring programs for the tropical Pacific Ocean, in particular, and NOAA, as the lead agency involved in monitoring of the ocean and atmosphere, has played a lead role in funding investigations at research labs and Universities, including Florida State. Permanently mounted and free drifting buoys continuously monitor air and sea conditions to provide instantaneous measurements of the events associated with ENSO. Several significant El Niños (and its cool counterpart) have occurred since that time, with major consequences on agriculture, forestry, economy, weather, etc. 2. Helpful Lab Links for this Lab What is El Niño? (NOAA) http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/el-nino-story.html El Niño Online Meteorology Guide (University of Illinois) http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/eln/home.rxml Blank maps for the Pacific Ocean may be helpful - a good online site is http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/ National Geographic Article on El Niño http://www.nationalgeographic.com/elnino/mainpage.html
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