Ocean weather monitoring failure hampers scientists tracking El Niño patterns

01/23/2014 | Nature (free content)

Half of the moored buoys in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean array have been failing in the past two years, hampering scientists who use the information as an early warning system for El Niño and La Niña weather events. "It's the most important climate phenomenon on the planet, and we have blinded ourselves to it by not maintaining this array," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration senior scientist Michael McPhaden. Only 40% of the array is providing data currently.

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