PMEL/TAO: The El Niño story Among these consequences are increased rainfall across the southern tier of the US and in Peru, which has caused destructive flooding, and drought in the West Pacific, sometimes associated with devastating brush fires in Australia. Observations of conditions in the tropical Pacific are considered essential for the prediction of short term (a few months to 1 year) climate variations. To provide necessary data, NOAA operates a network of buoys which measure temperature, currents and winds in the equatorial band. These buoys daily transmit data which are available to researchers and forecasters around the world in real time. In normal, non-El Niño conditions (top panel of schematic diagram), the trade winds blow towards the west across the tropical Pac:ific. The sea surface temperature is about 8 degrees C higher in the west, with cool temperatures off South America, due to an upwelling of cold water from deeper levels. December 1998 was a strong La Niña (cold) event. Hayes, S.P., L.J.
Humboldt Current The Humboldt Current is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chile to northern Peru. Also called the Peru Current, it is an eastern boundary current flowing in the direction of the equator, and can extend 1,000 kilometers offshore. The Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), named after the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, is one of the major upwelling systems of the world, supporting an extraordinary abundance of marine life. The Humboldt Current LME is considered a Class I, highly productive (>300 gC/m2-yr), ecosystem. The presence of the Humboldt Current and its associated wind shear prevents the formation of tropical cyclones in the area (The same effect occurs in the South Atlantic with the Benguela Current). Periodically, the upwelling that drives the system’s productivity is disrupted by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event. See also References
Humboldt Current large marine ecosystem Introduction Location of the Humbolt Current Large Marine Ecosystem. (Source: NOAA) The Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) extends along the West Coast of South America from Northern Peru to the southern tip of Chile. It is one of the major upwelling systems of the world, responsible for extremely high levels of organic production. Productivity The Humboldt Current LME is considered a Class I, highly productive (>300 gC/m2-yr), ecosystem. Fish and Fisheries Catch by species in the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Approximately 18-20% of the world’s fish catch comes from the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Pollution and Ecosystem Health ENSO events occur regularly. Socio-economic Conditions Both Chile and Peru rely on their fisheries resources. Governance Peru and Chile, the countries bordering this LME, have established regional cooperation for management of this LME. References Alheit, J. 1985. Citation (2008).