El Niño-Southern Oscillation Displacements of the Western Equatorial Pacific Warm Pool

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Science  07 Dec 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4986, pp. 1385-1388
DOI: 10.1126/science.250.4986.1385


The western equatorial Pacific warm pool (sea-surface temperatures >29°C) was observed to migrate eastward across the date line during the 1986-1987 El Niño-Southern Oscillation event. Direct velocity measurements made in the upper ocean from 1986 to 1988 indicate that this migration was associated with a prolonged reversal in the South Equatorial Current forced by a large-scale relaxation ofthe trade winds. The data suggest that wind-forced zonal advection plays an important role in the thermodynamics of the western Pacific warm pool on interannual time scales.

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