The El Niño Zone

This documentary,in the form of a Google Map, accounts for everything you want to know about the El Niño Zone in a Google Map. Like weather changes, the Galapagos volcanic hotspot, changes in Thermohaline Circulation from Deep Current to Surface Current, the Westerly Winds, the submarine topography, disease outbreaks, food shortages, famine and cultural uprisings. I created this map because I discovered that no map to date put all the factors listed above together in one image. You can even compare today's weather in the zone by turning on the weather feature in Google Map as shown below. 

Click here to speed up viewing this map, it will take you to the original Google map, complete with legend.

Two interesting observations: 1) as the image below shows, the west traveling clouds within the El Niño Zone dissapate just as they approach the point where the Deep Sea Thermohaline Current changes to Thermohaline Surface Current. 2) that within the zone on the east is the Galapagos Hotpsot, a unique location where four different lava reservoirs mix to form the various Galapagos islands, and the Galapogos Rift, Ventura and Meyibó hydrothermal vents. What impact, if any, does the Galapagos Hotpsot, the hydrothermal vents, and the Thermohaline Circulation have in creating El Niños? And, do El Niños feed the Thermohaline Circulation?

NOAA El Niño Watch Alert Issued for 2014!

Synopsis: While ENSO-neutral is favored for Northern Hemisphere spring, the chances of El Niño increase during the remainder of the year, exceeding 50% by summer.

ENSO-neutral continued during March 2014, but with above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) developing over much of the eastern tropical Pacific as well as near the International Date Line (Fig. 1). The weekly SSTs were below average in the Niño1+2 region, near average but rising in Niño3 and Niño3.4 regions, and above average in the Niño4 region (Fig. 2). A significant downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave that was initiated in January greatly increased the oceanic heat content to the
largest March value in the historical record back to 1979 (Fig. 3) and produced large positive subsurface temperature anomalies across the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. 4). Also during March, low-level westerly wind anomalies were observed over the central equatorial Pacific. Convection was suppressed over western Indonesia, and enhanced over the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 5). Although these atmospheric and oceanic conditions collectively reflect ENSO-neutral, they also reflect a clear evolution toward an El Niño state.

Turn on the weather feature to see an El Niño in action.

By turning on the Weather feature in Google Map, you can see today's weather during the upcoming predictions of a monster El Niño in 2014 or any other period.

The weather image below is May 3, 2014, The clouds are moving east to west (right to left) within the  El Niño zone. Notice the impact that volcanoes have on cloud formation.


Galapagos Hotspot Bathymetry
Wikipedia Commons / William Chadwick, University of Oregon.

NOAA El Niño Zone Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly.
NOAA / Public Domain

The journal reference associated with this dataset is the following:
 Reynolds, R.W., N.A. Rayner, T.M. Smith, D.C. Stokes, and W. Wang, 2002:
An Improved In Situ and Satellite SST Analysis for Climate. J. Climate, 15, 1609-1625.

The El Niño Zone in Google Earth 3D.

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