Can We Blame El Niño for Wild Weather?
ESU601  Analyze Sea Temperature Changes

The animation below shows ocean temperature and sea level conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean from May 1997 to April 2002. Again, the view is a of a narrow slice of the ocean viewed looking west along the equator.

  !   Click the image to view the animation. Play the animation several times, paying attention to changes in the angle and depth of the thermocline. Use the movie controls to step forward and backward through the movie.


Equatorial Pacific Ocean, June 1997–April 2002

4. Describe the thermocline during normal, El Niño, and La Niña phases.

  !   View the animation again, this time looking at differences in ocean temperatures in the three phases of the cycle.

5. Describe changes in ocean temperatures characterizing each phase.

 Step:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13