El Niņo's Rhythm
Global sea surface temperatures can be used to detect an El Niņo event and its connection to weather patterns and plant growth. In these images, look at vegetation growth during an El Niņo and a La Niņa. How did plant growth respond to the two events? Near areas of warmer water plants grew more. In general, rain increased in areas of warmer water (red) and plants grew vigorously (green). Rain decreased in areas of cooler water (blue) and plants grew less vigorously (yellow/brown).
Sea surface temperature conditions during an El Niņo event (top) and during a La Niņa event (bottom).