Here is a nuanced, informative discussion of the looming 2015 El Niño from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory . . .
El Niño: An unusually warm pool of water off the west coast of South America, usually arriving around Christmas time, linked with complex, large-scale interactions between the atmosphere and ocean in the Pacific.
If you live anywhere El Niño has important impacts, you’ve heard forecasters say this year’s event looks just like the monster El Niño of 1997-98. NASA satellite images of the Pacific Ocean in November 1997 and November 2015 show almost identical, large pools of warm water in the eastern equatorial Pacific. The National Weather Service has forecast that impacts this winter will resemble those in 1997, when California and the South suffered floods, mudslides and tornadoes, while residents of the Upper Midwest saved $2 billion to $7 billion in heating costs throughout their unusually warm winter.
When it comes to El Niños, however, there are no identical twins. This year’s event hasn’t always resembled the ’97 one. Satellite observations from early ’97 and early ’15 show conditions in the Pacific Ocean that were, well, oceans apart.
Read more . . .
For Earth Day 2014, NASA is trying to get people to submit “selfies” (self portraits, usually taken with a cell phone or tablet) from all over the world. It might be fun to send in several against a North Fork background. Here’s the core part the official press release . . .
For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth-observing missions will be launched into space in a single year. To celebrate this milestone, NASA is inviting people all around the world to step outside on Earth Day, April 22, take a “selfie,” and share it with the world on social media.
Designed to encourage environmental awareness and recognize the agency’s ongoing work to protect our home planet, NASA’s “Global Selfie” event asks people everywhere to take a picture of themselves in their local environment.
On Earth Day, NASA will monitor photos posted to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. Photos posted to Twitter, Instagram or Google+ using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie or to the #GlobalSelfie Facebook event page and the #GlobalSelfie Flickr group will be used to create a crowd-sourced mosaic image of Earth – a new “Blue Marble” built bit-by-bit with #GlobalSelfie photos.
NASA’s 17 Earth science missions now in orbit help scientists piece together a detailed “global selfie” of our planet day after day. Insights from these space-based views help answer some of the critical challenges facing our planet today and in the future: climate change, sea level rise, freshwater resources and extreme weather events. NASA Earth research also yields many down-to-Earth benefits, such as improved environmental prediction and natural hazard and climate change preparedness.
For more information on getting involved in the #GlobalSelfie Earth Day event, visit:
For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities in 2014, visit: