Topex/Poseidon data

Oceanographer Dr. William Patzert, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will discuss one of the planet's most powerful climate phenomenon, El Nino, in a live interactive web chat on March 15. He'll be taking questions about when we might expect the next one with its accompanying rains and floods and discussing the current conditions in the Pacific.

The two-hour Internet event will begin at 11 a.m. Pacific time (2 p.m. Eastern). The chat is part of a series sponsored by the NASA Oceanography web site. To participate, log on to:

Dr. William Patzert has been a research oceanographer with JPL for more than 18 years. He is especially well known for his work with the TOPEX/Poseiden mission, a partnership between the United States and France to monitor global ocean circulation, discover the tie between the oceans and atmosphere, and improve global climate predictions. TOPEX/Poseiden's ability to measure sea-surface height has made it an invaluable tool for studying ocean events such as El Nino, its little sister La Nina and the much larger and longer-lasting ocean event called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Before joining JPL, Bill was a faculty member at the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. He completed his Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Hawaii in 1972.

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

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