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2015-12-15. NASA Examines Global Impacts of the 2015 El Niño.

posted Dec 19, 2015, 11:27 PM by Alan Gould
By NASA Release 15-235. For GSS Energy Flow chapter 8. Excerpt: People the world over are feeling, or soon will feel, the effects of the strongest El Niño event since 1997-98, currently unfolding in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. New satellite observations are beginning to show scientists its impact on the distribution of rain, tropospheric ozone and wildfires around the globe. ...this year's strong El Niño likely will bring more precipitation to California and some relief for the drought. Due to this El Niño, tropospheric ozone, a pollutant and greenhouse gas, is seen decreasing over mid-latitude locations such as the United States, and the risk of fires across the tropics is showing signs of increasing. ...El Niño's elevated sea surface temperatures shift rain patterns by affecting the temperature of the air above the ocean, which alters how winds and air masses circulate air around the planet. The change in winds also affects the distribution of tropospheric ozone around the planet. Tropospheric ozone exists in the atmospheric layer closest to the surface and comprises ozone produced naturally and from human pollution. Ozone in the troposphere is a greenhouse gas and a health hazard.  ...During El Niños, the number and size of fires increases in tropical forests across Asia and South America. ...Fires in tropical forests also accelerate carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere and reduce air quality....  http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-examines-global-impacts-of-the-2015-el-ni-o