Observations of El Niño impacts using in situ GLOBE protocols and satellite data

Danielle De Staerke (CNES, France)


Margaret Srinivasan (Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA); Vinca Rosmorduc (CLS, France); Annie Richardson (Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA)

Event: 2015 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Outreach, Education and Altimetric Data Services

Presentation type: Type Oral

The El Niño phenomenon is a periodic ocean condition that occurs every two to ten years in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific Ocean. It alters the normal patterns of ocean circulation, surface temperature, and evaporation, causing noticeable and often severe changes in weather conditions in many areas of the world. El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and usually reaches its peak between December and February time period.

El Niño and its worldwide consequences are studied by the school network of the GLOBE Program (www.globe.gov) which brings together students, teachers, and scientists in support of student research and validation of international Earth science research projects.

Since the start of the GLOBE Program over 20 years ago, GLOBE classrooms utilize carefully developed daily, weekly, or seasonally protocols such as maximum, minimum and current temperatures, rainfall, soil moisture, and others, to measure changes in the environment. The data collected by the students is entered in an online GLOBE database. In addition to the student-contributed data, automated stations also collect and send measurements to the GLOBE database.

Students compare their data with global data acquired by satellites to help validate the satellite data. With a potentially historic-level El Niño event thought to be on the horizon--possibly one of the strongest in 50 years—we will propose an emphasis on measurements from GLOBE schools that will support studies and satellite observations of El Niño. We plan to provide the schools with additional satellite data sets such as ocean temperature measurements from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), sea surface elevation measurements from Jason-2 and 3 (after it launches), and others to be identified.

We wish to address and support the following educational objectives:
- Demonstrate how El Niño affects local precipitation and temperature across the globe,
- Link teachers, scientists and students to improve understanding of the local effects of El Niño on weather, ecosystems, and society, and compare these effects in different countries,
- Provide insights to the essential elements of satellite images and their use in identifying physical changes on Earth’s surface,
- Strengthen scientific reasoning abilities in GLOBE students.

Oral presentation show times:

RoomStart DateEnd Date
Grand Ballroom 2 Tue, Oct 20 2015,17:30 Tue, Oct 20 2015,17:45
Danielle De Staerke