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Jason-3 begins mapping oceans, sees ongoing El Niño

16 March 2016

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Jason-3, a new U.S.-European oceanography satellite mission with NASA participation, has produced its first complete science map of global sea surface height, capturing the current signal of the 2015-16 El Niño.

The map was generated from the first 10 days of data collected once Jason-3 reached its operational orbit of 830 miles (1,336 kilometres) last month. It shows the state of the ongoing El Niño event that began early last year. After peaking in January, the high sea levels in the eastern Pacific are now beginning to shrink.

Source: NASA

Image credit: Ocean Surface Topography Team - Sea level anomalies from 12-22 February, 2016. The U.S./European Jason-3 satellite has produced its first map of sea surface height, which corresponds well to data from its predecessor, Jason-2.

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