Thursday, 15 May 2014

Is El Niño coming back?

Idly looking at things on my phone I happened across this image...

so what does it show you? Well you would think that red represents hot water and the blue cold and in a way you are right. What this imaging satellite is able to do is measure the height of the water. Why is it higher you ask? Well because it is hot and has expanded. So yes, red does mean hot (or warmer than it should be at least).
So why is this a problem? Well the warm water shouldn't be going East across the Pacific (that's left for non-compass readers) but West. That warm water will bring rain and flooding to normally desert area and take the rain from places that expect it leaving drought. The warm water will also sit on top of the cold ocean up well off the coast of Peru thus starving the Plankton of vital nutrients and dissolved gases. So that's bye bye plankton, bye bye fishies who eat plankton and by bye fishing industry that supports about 15% of Peru's economy.
But this happens every so often and the Peruvians are used to it so why did this image have such an effect? Well, the image on the left shows the start of the 97-98 El Niño event that changed the phenomenon from a local pain into a global buzz word for changing climate. (I even remember the effects of it in Ireland!) And the image on the right is this year......doesn't it look kinda worse?
Now maybe it won't develop into anything, or maybe it will. What could be making it worse/hotter? I'll let you answer that one!
Watch this space!!
For more on this article go here. Follow these guys, they release some cool stuff!

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