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: Russian, American ready for a year in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

The Fickle El Nino of 2014

Sep 24, 2014

Prospects have been fading for an El Niño event in 2014, but now there's a glimmer of hope for a very modest comeback. Scientists warn that unless these developing weak-to-modest El Niño conditions strengthen, ...

Recommended for you

Russian, American ready for a year in space

8 hours ago

The Russian astronaut heading off for a year in space says he'll miss the natural landscapes on Earth. His American counterpart jokes he won't miss his twin brother.

Galaxy clusters collide—dark matter still a mystery

14 hours ago

When galaxy clusters collide, their dark matters pass through each other, with very little interaction. Deepening the mystery, a study by scientists at EPFL and the University of Edinburgh challenges the ...

Using 19th century technology to time travel to the stars

19 hours ago

In the late 19th century, astronomers developed the technique of capturing telescopic images of stars and galaxies on glass photographic plates. This allowed them to study the night sky in detail. Over 500,000 ...

Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

21 hours ago

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took these images from the International Space Station during her six-month mission. The Progress cargo ship and Soyuz crew spacecraft reflect sunlight as our star sets ...

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

23 hours ago

Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine—but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

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.