NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
El Nino event. Earth graphic showing the difference between average sea heights and those during an El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean (at centre right). Colours run from purple (10 cm below normal level) through blue, green (normal level) and yellow to red (10 cm above normal level). The El Nino is the red patch running across the Pacific at the equator. An El Nino is caused by weak westward trade winds which allow warm water to remain near South America. This mass of warm water affects global weather, causing drought in South East Asia & Australia and storms on the American continent. The image was taken by the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite in November.
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