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Effects of El Nino on the South Pacific Islands. Virginia Smith CE 394K.3, GIS in Water Resources Term Project Presentation University of Texas at Austin. What is an El Nino?. An oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific Causes global weather alterations

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Effects of El Nino on the South Pacific Islands


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    1. Effects of El Nino on the South Pacific Islands Virginia Smith CE 394K.3, GIS in Water Resources Term Project Presentation University of Texas at Austin

    2. What is an El Nino? • An oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific • Causes global weather alterations • Typically occur every 3-7 years • “The Christ Child”

    3. Forming an El Nino • Easterlies blow water to the western Pacific • Warm water collects • Trade winds relax and rainfall patterns begin to shift • Thermocline is depressed in the eastern Pacific and elevated in the west • Rainfall follows the warm water eastward

    4. Impacts of an El Nino • Increase in rain in Americas (flooding, landslides) • Decrease in rain in west Pacific (droughts, crop failure and fires) • Fluctuation in Pacific temperature (marine life dramatically hurt)

    5. Cyclones

    6. Cyclones

    7. Small Island nations…like Samoa • Agricultural base • Fisheries • Limited Infrastructure • Destructive cyclones • Increase in Disease

    8. Benefits of Prediction • Social benefits • Economic opportunities for agriculture, fisheries, forestry and energy • Water harvesting • Prediction for disease outbreak

    9. Predicting an El Nino • Conditions in the tropical Pacific can predict climate variations on a short term basis • Surface sea temperature (SST), sea level analysis, and monitoring winds, temperature, and air pressure • Using satellites, moored buoys, drifting buoys and island data • Difficult to predict

    10. Surface Sea Temp

    11. Sea Level Variations by Country

    12. What’s Happening Today • Groups disagree if we are entering an El Nino or feeling the effects of global warming • More cyclones • Higher SST • West sea surface slightly higher

    13. Any Questions?