ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation) Investigation

created by Nancy Flowers (Everett High School) and enhanced through collaboration with UW scientists for the UW in the High School Climate Science Course.


This module provides a hands-on learning experience where students will analyze sea surface temperature data collected over half a century. They will then use this data to determine if the year was an El Niño, La Niña, or normal year. The objective of this module is to have students learn about climate variability, data analysis, and be able to understand the content well enough to create predictions.

Learning Goals

  • To understand and identify the differences between El Niño, La Niña, and normal climate patterns
  • To be able to analyze precipitation data for the Pacific Northwest during El Niño and La Niña years
  • To use Excel to analyze and display data


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