Going Further


  • Use the techniques learned above to investigate SST variations in other years.
  • Expand on this investigation by downloading rainfall data from PMEL and compare rainfall patterns associated with normal, El Nino, and La Nina years. The rain follows the warm water. Therefore, during an El Nino year, it is dryer than normal in the Western Pacific, and wetter in the Eastern Pacific.
  • Investigate the relationship between SST and Precipitation patterns in the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean.
  • Investigate El Nino Impacts. See graphic in the Case Study for ideas.

Other Data

Links to Precipitation and Drought monitoring Pages

Links to additional El Niño Pages

Case Studies with Tool

Other EET chapters that Investigate Ocean Data.

When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maineexplores the relationship between plankton blooms and upwelling.

Other EET chapters that use My World GIS and/or other GIS software include the following:

How Cities Affect Their Local ClimateExplore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

Evidence for Plate TectonicsIdentify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.

Exploring Monsoon Precipitation and Streamflow in a Semi-Arid WatershedInvestigate the effect of summer thunderstorms on streamflow in a semi-arid watershed in Arizona.

Investigating Earthquakes with AEJEEDownload earthquake data from the USGS. Bring it into a GIS and analyze it to predict where the next big earthquake will occur on Earth.

Is Greenland Melting?Explore map layers to examine annual melting and long-term changes of Greenland's ice sheet.

Looking into Earth with GISExamine seismic wave data in a GIS and analyze wave velocities to infer the depth of the crust-mantle boundary.

Mapping Local DataFollow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of a map-based science research project.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: What's in Your Woods?Investigate forest biodiversity in Maine using a spreadsheet and My World GIS. Then consider the environmental factors that contribute to tree species diversity.

Protecting Wetlands from Exurban DevelopmentExamine land-use changes around Macclenny, Florida. Propose locations for future development that minimize impacts on wetlands.

Tsunami Run-up Prediction for Seaside, Oregon with My World GISDownload and examine global, historical tsunami run-up patterns. Acquire DEM contours and import them into My World GIS. Then visualize the potential sea level rise that could occur during a tsunami run-up event near Seaside, Oregon.

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