El Niño / La Niña

ENSO Observations:
Latest winds and ocean temperatures from the tropical Pacific

Data & photo courtesy PMEL

ENSO Simulation: GFDL Global Climate Model

Results from a comprehensive ocean/atmosphere/land/ice model running at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.  The image at right shows upper-ocean temperature anomalies at the peak of an El Niño event, with red indicating 1°C or more above normal, blue 1°C or more below normal.  The animation shows how the simulated temperatures evolve slowly from cold to warm, and then back to cold, over the course of 5 years.  Oceanic changes associated with El Niño affect ocean ecosystems and global weather patterns, with far-reaching impacts on fisheries, agriculture, and natural disasters (worldwide losses resulting from the 1997-98 El Niño are estimated at $32-$96 billion).  Accurate predictions of these events could potentially reduce these costs to society.  Click here for more on climate forecasting at GFDL.
Quicktime Animation (5.5 Mb)


  • Quick Look: Current State & Forecast -- IRI
  • ENSO Signal newsletter -- NCAR

    Introduction to El Niño and the Southern Oscillation

  • El Niño / La Niña: Nature's Vicious Cycle -- National Geographic Magazine
  • NOVA: Tracking El Niño -- PBS
  • Understanding El Niño -- IRI
  • The physics of El Niño -- Chang & Battisti (Physics World)
  • El Niño and Climate Prediction -- Reports to the Nation on Our Changing Planet
  • ENSO: A Reversal of Fortune -- Kimberly Amaral
  • What is an El Niño? -- PMEL
  • ENSO Learning Module -- U. Florida
  • Understanding ENSO -- IRI
  • The Impact of Global Climate: ENSO -- Stanford
  • El Niño & The current state of the tropical Pacific -- NASA
  • ENSO Primer -- NASA
  • The ENSO Cycle -- NOAA
  • NOAA El Niño Page
  • Children of the Tropics: El Niño and La Niña -- Henson & Trenberth
  • El Niño Scenario -- UCSB Earth Space Research Group
  • Understanding and Predicting ENSO -- Battisti & Sarachik
  • Monitoring El Niño with Satellite Altimetry -- Don Chambers (UT Austin)
  • Frequently Asked Questions about ENSO -- Billy Kessler (PMEL)
  • ENSO FAQ -- Bernard Meisner (NWS)
  • El Niño's Powerful Reach -- Smithsonian Exhibit
  • ENSO and Beyond -- UCAR
  • El Niño in the Ocean World -- Texas A & M University
  • El Niño information from KNMI -- Gerrit Burgers
  • ENSO mechanisms and simple models -- Eli Tziperman
  • Ocean Surface Topography from Space -- JPL


  • El Niño's Effects -- CNN (clickable map)

    Pacific Climate Data

  • El Niño Theme Page -- PMEL (animations)
  • ENSO Information -- Climate Diagnostics Center (animations)
  • NCEP Reanalysis -- Climate Diagnostics Center
  • ENSO History, Status, and Outlook -- Climate Prediction Center
  • NOAA Office of Global Programs
  • International Research Institute for Climate Prediction
  • IRI Map Room
  • TOGA COARE -- raw data from NCDC

    Event Visualizations and Comparisons

  • El Niño Visualizations -- NASA
  • 1997-99 ENSO events -- U. Washington
  • ENSO event comparisons -- Climate Diagnostics Center
  • ENSO Composite -- Harrison & Larkin (PMEL)
  • Cold Events: Anti-ENSO? -- Harrison & Larkin (PMEL)

    Lists of Links

  • Fundamental ENSO Links -- ENSO Signal, UCAR
  • Annotated List of El Niño Resources -- Florida State
  • El Niño Resource Center -- Florida State
  • ENSO Research and References -- Climate Diagnostics Center
  • ENSO Links -- Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (NASA JPL)
  • El Niño -- AOL
  • El Niño / La Niña -- NCDC


  • Shareable Figures -- Billy Kessler (PMEL)
  • ENSO Monitor -- Columbia University (PMEL)
  • MJO Figures -- Billy Kessler
  • Miscellaneous figures -- Columbia University


  • El Niño and Tropical Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions -- Trieste, Italy
  • Big Island ENSO summer school -- Hawaii 2008

    Fun Stuff

  • Ensonification of ENSO -- Marty Quinn
  • El Niño pudding -- NASA JPL

    Other climate fluctuations

  • North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) -- LDEO
  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation -- U. Washington
  • Pacific Decadal Oscillation -- NASA JPL
  • Madden-Julian Oscillation -- Climate Prediction Center

    Last Updated: August 2004