Better altimetry; better El Nino forecasts

Apr 11, 2006

Oceanographers at the University of New Hampshire say improvements in measuring sea level by satellite are helping predict El Nino events.

A paper published Tuesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans says the satellite radar improvements can lead to better forecasts of events such as El Nino and La Nina -- ocean/atmosphere phenomena that can alter global weather patterns.

Previously, about 6 percent of all global altimetry measurements have been discarded because of inaccurate readings. Since millions of altimeter measurements are made each year, that 6 percent translates into a huge amount of unused data, said the study's co-author, Doug Vandemark, a radar engineer/oceanographer and research professor at the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space.

The improvements in satellite altimetry are expected to provide agencies such as NASA and NOAA with more accurate measurements for El Nino predictions and tracking.

The paper's lead author was Jean Tournadre of the French Institute of Research for the Exploitation of the Sea.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Don't blink or you might miss the leap second on Tuesday

Related Stories

NASA sees the start of India's monsoon season

Jun 09, 2015

Monsoon rainfall, although a little later than normal, started on June 5, 2015, in southern India. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core satellite gathered rainfall data that was used to create ...

Two NASA satellites see Tropical Storm Andres intensify

May 29, 2015

The first tropical depression of the eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season strengthened into tropical storm Andres. NASA's Aqua and Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite both provided information ...

Ocean satellite dies after 11-year mission (Update)

Jul 03, 2013

Jason-1, a satellite that for more than a decade precisely tracked rising sea levels across a vast sweep of ocean and helped forecasters make better weather and climate predictions, has ended its useful life ...

Recommended for you

What is the habitable zone?

7 hours ago

The weather in your hometown is downright uninhabitable. There's scorching heatwaves, annual tyhpoonic deluges, and snow deep enough to bury a corn silo.

Galaxy survey to probe why the universe is accelerating

8 hours ago

We know that our universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, but what causes this growth remains a mystery. The most likely explanation is that a strange force dubbed "dark energy" is driving it. Now a ...

Early Titan was a cold, hostile place for life

9 hours ago

Titan is a mysterious orange-socked moon of Saturn that is exciting to astrobiologists because it has some of the same kinds of chemicals that were precursors to life on Earth. It also has a hydrological ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.