El Niño Continues to Grow: Pacific Ocean Shows Higher Than Normal Sea Surface Heights
December 02, 2002
The image shows red areas in the north Pacific and at the equator that are about 10 centimeters (4 inches) above normal; white areas indicate sea surface heights between 14 and 32 centimeters (6 to 13 inches) above normal. These regions contrast with the western tropical Pacific, where lower-than-normal sea levels (blue areas) have developed that are between 5 and 13 centimeters (2 and 5 inches) below normal, while purple areas range from 14 to 18 centimeters (6 to 7 inches) below normal. Along the equator, the red sea surface heights equate to sea surface temperature departures greater than one degree Celsius (two degrees Fahrenheit) and the white sea surface heights are sea surface temperatures 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius (three to five degrees Fahrenheit) above normal.
The U.S. portion of the Jason mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, D.C. Research on Earth's oceans using Jason and
other space-based capabilities is conducted by NASA?s Earth Science Enterprise to better understand and protect our home planet.