Sea Surface Height Anomaly, 2022-2023

  • Released Sunday, July 9th, 2023
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:45AM

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific. The warmer water associated with El Niño displaces colder water in the upper layer of the ocean causing an increase in sea surface height because of thermal expansion.

This visualization, created using a sea surface height anomaly product available from the Copernicus Marine Service shows sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) from January 1, 2022 through 2023. The maps have been processed to highlight the interannual signal of SSH, i.e., the mean signal, seasonal signal, and the trend have been removed. Red and orange shades indicate high sea surface heights relative to the reference state, while blue and green shades indicate sea surface heights lower than the reference state. Neutral conditions appear yellow.

A statement issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center on September 14, 2023, states that "El Niño is anticipated to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter (with greater than 95% chance through January - March 2024)."

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Generated using E.U. Copernicus Marine Service Information.