Satellite Sentinel-6 Detects Elusive El Niño within the Making

Kelvin Waves El Nino

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This animation exhibits a sequence of waves, referred to as Kelvin waves, shifting heat water throughout the equatorial Pacific Ocean from west to east throughout March and April. The indicators might be an early signal of a growing El Niño, and have been detected by the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich sea degree satellite tv for pc. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Kelvin waves, a possible precursor of El Niño circumstances within the ocean, are rolling throughout the equatorial Pacific towards the coast of South America.

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc information signifies early indicators of a possible El Niño, a local weather phenomenon identified to disrupt international climate patterns. The information exhibits Kelvin waves carrying hotter water and better sea ranges throughout the Pacific, with potential international climate impacts anticipated.

The most up-to-date sea degree information from the U.S.-European satellite tv for pc Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich signifies early indicators of a growing El Niño throughout the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The information exhibits Kelvin waves – that are roughly 2 to four inches (5 to 10 centimeters) excessive on the ocean floor and lots of of miles broad – shifting from west to east alongside the equator towards the west coast of South America.

When they type on the equator, Kelvin waves deliver heat water, which is related to larger sea ranges, from the western Pacific to the jap Pacific. A sequence of Kelvin waves beginning in spring is a widely known precursor to an El Niño, a periodic local weather phenomenon that may have an effect on climate patterns world wide. It is characterised by larger sea ranges and warmer-than-average ocean temperatures alongside the western coasts of the Americas.

Water expands because it warms, so sea ranges are typically larger in locations with hotter water. El Niño can also be related to a weakening of the commerce winds. The situation can deliver cooler, wetter circumstances to the U.S. Southwest and drought to international locations within the western Pacific, akin to Indonesia and Australia.

Sea Level Data April 2023

Sea degree information from the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc on April 24 exhibits comparatively larger (proven in pink and white) and hotter ocean water on the equator and the west coast of South America. Water expands because it warms, so sea ranges are typically larger in locations with hotter water. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite tv for pc information proven right here covers the interval between the start of March and the top of April 2023. By April 24, Kelvin waves had piled up hotter water and better sea ranges (proven in pink and white) off the coasts of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Satellites like Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich can detect Kelvin waves with a radar altimeter, which makes use of microwave indicators to measure the peak of the ocean’s floor. When an altimeter passes over areas which are hotter than others, the information will present larger sea ranges.

“We’ll be watching this El Niño like a hawk,” stated Josh Willis, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich venture scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “If it’s a big one, the globe will see record warming, but here in the Southwest U.S. we could be looking at another wet winter, right on the heels of the soaking we got last winter.”

Both the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization have recently reported increased chances that El Niño will develop by the end of the summer. Continued monitoring of ocean conditions in the Pacific by instruments and satellites such as Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich should help to clarify in the coming months how strong it could become.

“When we measure sea level from space using satellite altimeters, we know not only the shape and height of water, but also its movement, like Kelvin and other waves,” said Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, NASA program scientist and manager for Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich in Washington. “Ocean waves slosh heat around the planet, bringing heat and moisture to our coasts and changing our weather.”

More About the Mission

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, named after former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich, is one of two satellites that compose the Copernicus Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of Service) mission.

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS was jointly developed by ESA (European Space Agency), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), NASA, and NOAA, with funding support from the European Commission and technical support on performance from the French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales). Spacecraft monitoring and control, as well as the processing of all the altimeter science data, is carried out by EUMETSAT on behalf of the European Union’s Copernicus program, with the support of all partner agencies.

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, contributed three science instruments for each Sentinel-6 satellite: the Advanced Microwave Radiometer, the Global Navigation Satellite System – Radio Occultation, and the Laser Retroreflector Array. NASA also contributed launch services, ground systems supporting operation of the NASA science instruments, the science data processors for two of these instruments, and support for the U.S. members of the international Ocean Surface Topography Science Team.

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