The State of the California Current, 1997-1998: Transition to El Niño Conditions
Lynn, Ronald J.
Collins, Curtis A.
Mantyla, Arnold W.
Schwing, Franklin B.
Hayward, Thomas L.
Sakuma, Keith M.
Hyrenbach, K. David
Tegner, Mia J.
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This report, part of a continuing series of annual reports describing oceanographic conditions in the coastal waters of the Californias, emphasizes the 1997-98 period. The coastal waters of the Californias were strongly influenced by El Niiio conditions beginning late in the summer of 1997 and continuing into the summer of 1998. Timely prediction of the onset of this event made it possible for several research programs to augment their observation programs. We review the pattern of atmospheric forcing and changes in the tropical ocean and note the initial impacts upon the California Current system. Sampling being done by the CalCOFI (California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations) program is described, and recent data are summarized and interpreted. Data from several other programs including oceanographic sampling off Baja California and central California, and coastal data from buoys, shore stations, and diving programs in kelp forests are reported. There were large and rapid changes in atmospheric forcing and in the upper ocean temperature and salinity distribution and circulation pattern.
Lynn et al.: The California Current, 1997-1998, CalCOFI Rep., Vol. 39, 1998
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