El Niño Modoki
Posted by feww on September 8, 2010
El Niños Growing Stronger: Study
“A relatively new type of El Niño, which has its warmest waters in the central-equatorial Pacific Ocean, rather than in the eastern-equatorial Pacific, is becoming more common and progressively stronger, according to a new study by NASA and NOAA.”
Sea surface temperature anomaly during the peak of the 2009-10 El Niño, the strongest Central Pacific El Niño observed to date.High resolution (Source: NASA JPL).
Above is a freeze frame of the top animation posted for comparison.
A new type of El Niño that has been occurring with since the early 1990s. Called “central-Pacific El Niño,” “warm-pool El Niño,” “dateline El Niño” or “El Niño Modoki” (Japanese for “similar but different”), this El Niño causes its maximum ocean warming in the central-equatorial, instead of the eastern, Pacific. “Such central Pacific El Niño events were observed in 1991-92, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2009-10. Studies have hypothesized that global warming due to human-produced greenhouse gases could shift the warming center of El Niños from the eastern to the central Pacific, further increasing the frequency of such events in the future.” The “new” El Niño appears in the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every 3 to 5 years, researchers say. More…