Topex/Poseidon data

"Forecasting an El Niño: TOPEX/Poseidon Brings News of a Wet Winter" will be the theme for two free public lectures, one on Thursday, Jan.15 at 7 p.m. in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, the other on Friday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. in The Forum at Pasadena City College. Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first- served basis.

The lecture will be presented by Annette deCharon, Outreach Leader for JPL's Earth Science Flight Projects. She has also served as an engineering and science planner for the Magellan mission to Venus, the Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-C) mission, and the Galileo mission to Jupiter.

Earth observations from space have allowed unprecedented predictions of severe weather associated with the 1997-1998 El Niño. In normal years, warm ocean water is found near Australia, held in check by steadily blowing trade winds. In spring 1997, triggered by a complex "dialog" between the ocean and atmosphere, this pool of warm water migrated to the coast of South America. Since then, it has affected weather patterns and ocean habitats globally.

Data from JPL's Earth-observing satellites such as TOPEX/Poseidon, coupled with a network of ocean-based measurements, have provided insight into the formation and development of the current El Niño. This wealth of data will help scientists improve prediction of future El Niños and thereby mitigate the damage from associated storms and drought. This talk will discuss both the technologies involved in studying El Niño and the phenomenon itself.

Pasadena City College is located at 1570 East Colorado Blvd. Visitors can park in staff parking on Bonnie Avenue south of Colorado Boulevard between Hill & Allen Avenues.

This lecture is part of the von Karman Lecture Series sponsored monthly by the JPL Media Relations Office. A web site on the lecture series is located at For directions and other information, call the Media Relations Office at (818) 354-5011.

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