Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, September 26, 1998 Published at 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK


Sci/Tech

Hot and cold in the Pacific

Red is warm water, blue cold.

The battle between El Nino and La Nina is still being waged in the Pacific, according to recent satellite images. Our science editor Dr David Whitehouse reports:

Satellite images show a titanic tussle between warm and cold masses of water ebbing and flowing across the ocean.


[ image: Topex-Poseidon]
Topex-Poseidon
The winner will influence the global climate for many months, altering the direction of ocean currents as well as rainfall and wind patterns.

Images taken from the ocean-monitoring Topex-Poseidon satellite show that a recent rapid cooling of the central tropical Pacific has slowed. An area of cold water called the La Nina effect has also decreased in size.

At the moment the central Pacific displays the complicated characteristics of a lingering El Nino effect and possibly a waning La Nina - an ocean and climate in transition.

La Nina is basically the opposite of El Nino. During the La Nina effect the trade winds are stronger than normal. Cold water, usually found along the coasts of South America, extends to the central Pacific.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


Sci/Tech Contents

Relevant Stories

29 Jun 98 | Sci/Tech
El Nino's angry sister

27 Mar 98 | Sci/Tech
El Niño in decline





Internet Links

El Nino watch

Topex-Poseidon mission


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

World's smallest transistor

Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone

Mathematicians crack big puzzle

From Business
The growing threat of internet fraud

Who watches the pilots?

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer