Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Plot from 1950 to 2015

  • Released Monday, December 14, 2015
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Sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) from NOAA are used to determine when El Nino and La Nina conditions have occurred. This visualization shows a plot over time of SSTAs over a region of the Pacific Ocean called "Oceanic Nino Index Region 3.4". An El Nino happens when the SSTA is greater than 0.5 degrees C (shown in red); a La Nina happens when SSTA is less than -0.5 degrees C (shown in blue).

Over this period, several El Nino events occurred including: 1957-1958, 1972-1973, 1982-1983, and 1997-1998.

This visualization is based on the following NOAA data:


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, December 14, 2015.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:07 AM EST.

Datasets used in this visualization

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.