ICON Press Release: El Nino Affects Conditions in Space

Monday, December 28, 2015

The warm El Niño conditions affecting weather around the Pacific Ocean are also affecting conditions in space, according to University of California, Berkeley scientists. See ICON Press-release.

Effect of El Nino image
Data showing an unexpected enhancement on the night side of the Earth's ionosphere (courtesy of A. Maute).

El Niño is commonly observed as a global change in rainfall due to changes in temperature in the Pacific Ocean. However, UC Berkeley scientists report today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco that the processes that lead to increased precipitation are also driving unexpected changes in the ionosphere, the uppermost level of the atmosphere.

The findings (AGU abstract #SA31F-2383) will be presented by Dr. Thomas Immel, and are based on calculations by Dr. Astrid Maute of the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado.

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