PIA01166: Microwave Limb Sounder/El Niņo Watch - February thru December, 1997
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Terra
 Spacecraft:  Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS)
 Instrument:  MLS
 Product Size:  695 x 900 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Producer ID:  P49503
 Addition Date:  1998-03-14
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA01166.tif (933.4 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA01166.jpg (94.24 kB)

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This series of six images shows the movement of atmospheric water vapor over the Pacific Ocean during the formation of the 1997 El Niņo condition. Higher than normal ocean water temperatures increase the rate of evaporation and the resulting warm moist air rises into the atmosphere altering global weather patterns. Data obtained by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), from late February 1997 to late December 1997, show the movement from the western Pacific to the eastern Pacific of high levels of water vapor (red) at 10 kilometers (6 miles) above the surface. Areas of unusually drier air (blue) appear over Indonesia. December 1997 data also show a rapid increase of water vapor off the coast of South America, the result of very high water temperatures in that region.

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