From NASA Image of the Day: In July 2009, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center reported that ocean temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific had shifted into El Niño—anomalously warm—conditions. El Niño conditions are evident in this sea surface temperature anomaly image based on data from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on July 26. THe current data are compared to long-term average temperatures (1985-1997) measured by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers that have flown on several NOAA missions.
In this map, places where temperatures were near normal are cream-colored, places where temperatures were warmer than normal are red, and places where temperatures were cooler than normal are blue. An area of dark red occupies the eastern Pacific off the coast of Peru and Ecaudor (north of Peru), indicating temperatures were much warmer than average. Meanwhile, across the Pacific, ocean temperatures around Indonesia were slightly cooler (light blue) than usual.