Abstract

 

 

Due to increased technology, El Nino 1997-1998 presents the opportunity for great scientific achievement. Using the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Array( PMEL/NOAA TAO) weather buoy system, I have recorded ocean temperatures at strategically located stations along the equator at the 1st and 15th of the month , June 1997 through February 1998. These locations include a buoy off the coast of Ecuador and off the coast of Asia. The location of the chosen buoys can be seen here. Information from the same buoys was then used to record ocean temperatures for the same dates except from exactly one year earlier, a normal non El Nino year. The rate of increase in temperature at South America and that of decrease for Asia was then determined from 1996-1997 to 1997-1998 in order to discover which area of the Pacific Ocean is more vastly affected by El Nino. I predict that the change in ocean temperature will be seen more drastically off Asia in early 1997. As the year progresses I predict that the change in water temperature will move strongly to the eastern pacific, off the coast of Ecuador. Overall though the average change in temperature will hypothetically remain the same for both areas of the pacific. Contrary to hypothesis, the average increase in temperature off the coast of South America was 4.94 degrees C, a huge 21.9% average increase in temperature. In comparison the waters off the coast of Asia decreased by an average of only .9 degrees Celsius a small average decrease of only 3%. This information leads to the conclusion that without a doubt, the waters of the eastern pacific along the equator experience a much greater change in water temperature as a result of El Nino.