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It is extremely imformative Ditto Typically the level of ocean water around the world is higher in the western Pacific and lower in the eastern near the Western coast of South and North America This is due primarily to the presence of easterly winds in the Pacific which drag the surface water westward and raise the thermocline relatively all the way up to the surface in the east and dampen it in the west During El Nino conditions however the easterlies move east reducing the continuing interaction between wind and sea allowing the thermocline to become nearly flat and to plunge several feet below the surface of the water allowing the water to grow warm and expand With the help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations weather satellites tracking shifting patterns of sea-surface temperatures can be made easier Normally a pool of warm water in the western Pacific waters exists Under El Nino conditions this pool drifts southeast towards the coast of South America This is because in a normal year there is upwelling on the western South American coastline and cold waters of the Pacific rise and push westward However during an El Nino year upwelling is suppressed and as a result the thermocline is lower than normal Finally thermocline rises in the west making upwelling easier and water colder Air pressures at sea level in the South Pacific seesaw back and forth between two distinct patterns In the high index phase also called Southern Oscillation pressure is higher near and to the east of Tahiti than farther to the west near Darwin The east-west pressure difference along the equator causes the surface air to flow westward When the atmosphere switches into the low index phase barometers rise in the west and fall in the east signaling a reduction or even a reversal the pressure difference between Darwin and Tahiti The flattening of the seesaw causes the easterly surface winds to weaken
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