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The strength of the historic 1997-1999 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event was captured and recorded by NASA Earth observing satellites. By downloading and plotting that satellite data, students will observe and analyze El Niño's effect on sea level height and sea surface temperatures. Students will then determine the effects of that same El Niño event on their local environment by downloading and plotting precipitation data for their latitude and longitude. Researching data from beyond the 1997-99 period will also allow students to study the subsequent La Niña. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics.
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