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Can you tell El Nino from La Nina? This interactive was created by UCAR Center for Science Education using satellite images of the height of the ocean surface.  Students interpret these images to identify whether they represent El Nino, La Nina, or neither event (La Nada!).


Students will investigate the differences in sea surface height during an El Niño event by creating a model with gelatin, sherbet and whipped creme.



Students will use coloring sheets to create a color coded model of El Niño. If the Data Literacy Map Cube is used with this, students should color their models first.





The world's ocean is heated at the surface by the sun, and this heating is uneven for many reasons. Earth's rotation, revolution around the sun, and tilt all play a role, as do the wind-driven ocean surface currents.This animation shows the long-term average sea surface temperature, with red and yellow depicting warmer waters and blue depicting colder waters.  


The radar measurements made by NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory are sensitive to whether land surfaces are frozen or thawed. Students analyze two maps of SMAP data to make inferences about changes to the Arctic's Geosphere showing spring thaw.


Review this animation showing monthly average wind speed at 10 meters above the ocean surface for our global ocean (meters per second) in 2017-2018.  This animation was created using the My NASA Data Earth System Data Explorer. For more information about how to create your own animation, see links at the bottom of this page.


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