Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

El Nino Link To Southern Ocean Currents

The Antarctic Circumpolar Wave occurs in the Circumpolar Current around Antarctica. The Current takes eight years to complete a full rotation of the earth, and influences Australia's weather.
Sydney - June 26, 2001
Scientists have found that El Nino is primarily responsible for determining the strength of the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave.

The Antarctic Circumpolar Wave occurs in the Circumpolar Current around Antarctica. The Current takes eight years to complete a full rotation of the earth, and influences Australia's weather.

The Wave alternates large regions of slightly warmer and cooler water.

"During El Nino events, there is a massive build up of warm water in the equatorial central Pacific Ocean," says Dr Peter Baines from CSIRO Atmospheric Research.

"This warm water causes atmospheric linkages, known as 'teleconnections', that set up a large region of high atmospheric pressure in the South Pacific near the Ross Sea, off Antarctica", says Dr Baines.

Associated with this high atmospheric pressure, warm, northerly winds heat the surface waters of the Southern Ocean nearby, slowly raising the temperature by up to 1 C over a six-month period. Cold southerly winds also cool a similarly large region adjacent to it.

These areas of warm and cold water are then slowly transported eastward, approaching Australia approximately three years later.

"When the warm patch of water passes to the south and west of Australia, it appears to produce higher rainfall over the south of the continent. However, we are still investigating the actual impact of the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave on Australia's rainfall," says Dr Baines.

"From the 1980s until the mid-1990s, El Nino events occurred approximately every four years. This regular appearance strengthened the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave.

Over the past few years, though, the pattern has been disrupted, with El Ninos becoming irregular. As a result, the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave has weakened. We may expect the next big El Nino to fire it up again," says Dr Baines.

During the opposite phase of El Nino, known as La Nina, there is a build-up of cooler water near the Ross Sea, producing the cooler phase of the Circumpolar Wave, which is then transported around Antarctica.

Dr Baines' findings have been published in the international Journal of Geophysical Research.

A graphic showing the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave is available on request.

Related Links
CSIRO Atmospheric Research Home Page
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

Pacific Remains Locked In Three-Year-Old Pattern: No El Nino Yet, But One Due Soon
Pasadena - June 21, 2001
While change may be on the way, the Pacific is still dominated by the strong, larger-than-El Nino/La Nina pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), according to the latest data from the U.S.-French TOPEX/Poseidon satellite mission.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.