The countries that border the Pacific Ocean are at risk of facing the phenomenon of The boy during the next boreal summer.
The last time this happened was in 2016, when the effects of El Niño began to be felt with the increase record temperatures globally, the decline of tropical forests, the disappearance of corals and polar melting.
According to scientists who have been studying the climate for months, there is a possibility that a powerful El Niño will form, added to a context “abrupt and unexpected” of the oceans, which could generate a new temperature record in the coming years.
To arrive at such a forecast, the researchers are based on the analysis of various factors, such as the speed of the trade winds and the temperature of the ocean waters, both on the surface and in the depths.
Among these, members of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory use satellite images to study the kelvin wavesand to be able to predict with greater rigor and certainty the probabilities of generating a new Child.
“When we measure sea levels using altimeters in space,” Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, NASA Sentinel-6 program scientist said in a statement, “we not only see the shape and height of the water, but the movement of waves such as waves. Kelvin”.
What are Kelvin waves?
A wave is produced by the pressure that the atmosphere exerts on the water: as the pressure increases on the water that is on the surface, it compresses and expands. What causes a wave to occur.
This phenomenon is known as wave motion. Also, currents are created, which is the mixture between the warm water on the surface with the cold water from the depths.
During the boreal spring period, Kelvin waves are considered precursors of El Niño, which is noted for rising levels and higher-than-average ocean temperatures along the western side of the American continent.
By increasing the temperature of the waters, there is greater evaporation that encourages greater precipitation and extreme weather events.
“Kelvin waves are something that we usually see as a precursor to El Niño,” NASA researcher Josh Willis tells BBC Mundo.
“There have been several historic El Niño events in recent years (1996-1997, 2015-2016) and all have seen Kelvin waves before they occurred.”
Satellite images facilitate the visibility of the distribution of temperatures in the Pacific and what the phenomenon will be like.
“I think it’s much more likely that we’ll have an El Niño this year than not,” says Willis, “but whether it’s a big one or a small one, it’s something we’ll have to wait and see for ourselves.”
Meanwhile, global temperature increases continue due to climate change, but their increase, accelerated by El Niño, will create greater consequences.
“Satellite data for the period between March and April showed that by April 24 Kelvin waves had accumulated higher levels of warmer waters off the coasts of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia,” JPL said in its statement.