G. JACOBS, STENNIS SPACE CENTER / GEOSPHERE PROJECT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY G. JACOBS, STENNIS SPACE CENTER / GEOSPHERE PROJECT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
El Nino event. Map of sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean, showing the persistence of the effects of El Nino events. In the shaded area at lower right is the warm water of the 1991 El Nino (orange & yellow). The orange and yellow band further north (centre) is a sea temperature anomaly caused by the El Nino of 1982-83. The El Nino is caused by weak westward trade winds, which allow a large 'tongue' of warm water to move east across the Pacific from Asia. This changes the position of the atmospheric jet streams - the boundaries of the climate zones - and results in dramatic climate shifts across the globe.
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