NASA: La Niña has remained strong

The La Niña is evident by the large pool cooler than normal (blue and purple) water stretching from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean, reflecting lower than normal sea surface heights. "This La Niña has strengthened for the past seven months, and is one of the most intense events of the past half century," said Climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA JPL. Credit: NASA JPL/Bill Patzert

From NASA JPL in Pasadena:

New NASA satellite data indicate the current La Niña event in the eastern Pacific has remained strong during November and December 2010.

A new Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean that averaged 10 days of data was just released from NASA. The image, centered on Dec. 26, 2010, was created at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.

“The solid record of La Niña strength only goes back about 50 years and this latest event appears to be one of the strongest ones over this time period,” said Climatologist Bill Patzert of JPL. “It is already impacting weather and climate all around the planet.”

“Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,” said David Adamec, Oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “The copious rainfall is a direct result of La Niña’s effect on the Pacific trade winds and has made tropical Australia particularly rainy this year.”

The new image depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is near-normal, higher (warmer) than normal and lower (cooler) than normal. The cooler-than normal pool of water that stretches from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean is a hallmark of a La Niña event.

Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate. Only from space can we observe our vast ocean on a global scale and monitor critical changes in ocean currents and heat storage. Continuous data from satellites like OSTM/Jason-2 help us understand and foresee the effects of ocean changes on our climate and on climate events such as La Niña and El Niño.

The latest report from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) noted that “A moderate-to-strong La Niña continued during December 2010 as reflected by well below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.” The CPC report said that La Niña is expected to continue well into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011.

Read the latest ENSO forecast here (PDF)

This Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean is based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Dec. 26, 2010. The new image depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is higher (warmer) than normal as yellow and red, with places where the sea surface height is lower (cooler) than normal as blue and purple. Green indicates near-normal conditions. Sea surface height is an indicator of how much of the sun's heat is stored in the upper ocean. Credit: NASA JPL/Bill Patzert

 

About these ads

109 thoughts on “NASA: La Niña has remained strong

  1. A strong La Nina would explain flooding in Sri Lanka and Australia and Brazil, due to coupling with the PDO/ADO which are both in a negative phase lowering temperatures in other parts of the globe.

  2. The maps provide excellent illustration of the La Nina phenomenon, but are purely qualitative.
    So it is very difficult to relate the current La Nina to prior such without additional measurements.
    What are these measures and how are they summed over an ocean basin to determine the scope of the event?
    Given the spotty quality control seen in other relevant data collections, how is this segment handled?

    Presumably the lower surface elevation measured in the above charts reflects the greater density of colder water, so that the water column has similar pressure as at spots where the surface water is warmer.

  3. ….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm

  4. “Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”. And how does the ocean get its heat? From the CO2 driven atmospheric warming? But water has ~3,000 times the heat capacity (per unit mass) of air. I think the pseudo-scientists have their independent and dependent variables reversed.

  5. This must be caused by AGC (Anthropogenic Global Cooling) caused by aerosols from dirty coal power plants in China. LOL

  6. According to the monitoring graph on WUWTs ENSO page, this La Nina isn’t even as strong as the 2008 one (at least, yet. . .it could take another leg down).

    Are they hyperventilating over there, or is there something about “strength” not reflected in the monitoring graph?

  7. “Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,”

    I suppose 1974 was the last century, in his defence

  8. The following Sea Surface animations, especially the longer timescale temperature ones, do a good job at demonstrating the large changes that have occurred due to the La Nina event:

    Global Tropical Sea Surface Temperature – 3 Months

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/gsstanim.shtml

    Global Sea Surface Temperature – 30 Days

    Global Sea Surface Temperature – 12 Months

    Global Surface Currents over Temperature – 30 Days

    Global Surface Currents over Temperature – 12 Months

    Global Surface Currents over Height – 30 Days

    Global Surface Currents over Height – 12 Months

    Global Surface Currents over Speed – 30 Days

    Global Surface Currents over Speed – 12 Months

    Global Sea Surface Height – 30 Days

    Global Sea Surface Height – 12 Months

    Global Sea Surface Salinity – 30 Days

    Global Sea Surface Salinity – 12 Months

    Sources:

    Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at Stennis Space Center (SSC):

    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Services (NWS), Climate Prediction Center:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

    Anthony

    Is it possible to include some of the global sea surface animations on the WUWT “ENSO/Sea Level/Sea Surface Temperature Page”? I think it should become a more encompassing WUWT Ocean Reference Page.

  9. Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain? Is the Gulf Stream currently (pun intended!) impacting NW Europe in a way that is the inverse of the impact for which it is famous?

  10. “Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,”
    =========================================================
    Before global warming, there were twice as many floods….
    ….global warming has cut the amount of floods in half

    Between 1840 and 1900, 60 years, there were five floods much higher.

    Have led to levels of flooding usually only seen 8 times in a century.

  11. All levity aside, is there a claimed relationship between man-made CO2 and a La Niña event that can be gleaned from climate models?

    How do the models, which by my (limited) understanding predict warming due to the excess of CO2 put into the atmosphere by man account, for cycles like the current La Niña?

  12. rushmike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am
    ….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm

    and global temps have already lost ALL of those high temps and are still dropping. Global sea ice is flat although the arctic has become the dumping ground for the NH’s heat and the thickness has grown from last year in spite of this. The Australian flooding, as bad as it is, still isn’t the worst on record and AGW touted us getting hotter and drier. It is not hotter than ten years ago and we have seen this year that it certainly isn’t drier.

    Sorry you are so wrong, but, I guess someone has to be.

  13. What new do we learn from these data? All this is known from terrestric data and from other satellite data which measure SST. Now NASA measures sea surface temperatures by sea surface heights. And by a very complicated, time consuming analysis which gives nothing new, but that is achieved with much bigger error bars.
    The other day we had the solar constant minimum baseline newly adjusted, it differs considerably from the previous satellite result. And the new value approaches the sixty year old terrestric value of Abbot.
    How many satellites are in space measuring climate data? 20 or 50 or 100?
    Each 100 megabucks or how much more?
    And terrestric data taking is shut down (or not even started) because of lack of funds.

    It may be allowed to ask: who benefits most from all the climate change excitement?

  14. “Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,” said David Adamec, Oceanographer

    In Adamec’s defense, there was only one really big flood during the last century, if you count the century as 1909-2009. And he probably just missed the five major floods that occured between 1840 and 1900, at levels higher than the current flooding. After all, only two of those floods registered as almost double the level of today’s. Another half-dozen or so floods during this same 60 year time period were merely almost to the level of today’s.

  15. Matt Schilling says: January 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

    “Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain? Is the Gulf Stream currently (pun intended!) impacting NW Europe in a way that is the inverse of the impact for which it is famous?”

    No. Mexico, Central America and South America’s contiguous land mass prevents La Nina’s cold waters in the Pacific Ocean from entering the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Stream:

    http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/wind-driven-surface.htm

    The atmospheric effects of the La Nina can certainly impact the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Stream and Great Britain, but there is no direct interchange between the bodies of water.

  16. Suffering under La Nina? Did you suffer under El Nino? Did you suffer under a negative AO? The fault is ours.

    Wherever the winds pile up warm water during La Nina’s worst PMS days, is exactly where much of civilization has extended their city boundaries out into the ocean (kinda reminds me of trailer houses parked in Tornado Ally areas). Isn’t there a biblical reference directed at this folly? We flood because we have purposely sunk our cities into the ocean just for the ocean view. We freeze because we build in freeze and glacier prone areas just so we can see framed valleys below through our front window. We sweat because we desire to build in deserts. The river gnaws away at our front door because we wanted river-front property. Our houses fall into the sea because the sand beneath us falls away. Why? Developer and buyer visionary, yet still stoooopid, greed. Many of the houses under water in Aussie land look new to me. Sorry, but I have no sympathy. Reminds me of the houses built on sand spits along the Oregon coastline.

    Some good advice from your past: You should not build a house where your ancestors refused to build a house. Just because you are modern doesn’t mean you are smarter.

  17. Don’t listen to “Just The Facts”, he is forgetting about the Panama Canal , where [undocumented] climate workers furiously shuttle the cooler water through to cool the planet.

  18. Matt Schilling says: “Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain?”

    Nope. The Atlantic responds to ENSO events through teleconnections. That is, the La Nina is changing the “normal” atmopheric circulation patterns, rearranging the “normal” wind patterns, etc., which in turn alter the “normal” SST anomalies.

  19. As Sam Glasser says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:00 am
    “Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”. And how does the ocean get its heat? From the CO2 driven atmospheric warming? But water has ~3,000 times the heat capacity (per unit mass) of air. I think the pseudo-scientists have their independent and dependent variables reversed

    I think that the AGW theory fails at almost every level but the heating of the oceans is one of the most fundamental stumbling blocks. Given that 70% of the surface area of the earth is ocean and given the heat capacity of the oceans (bear in mind the heated volume in comparison to the depth to which the ground/soil can be heated) means that you cannot get global warming unless the oceans are being heated. However, a slightly warmer atmosphere (whatever be its cause) cannot heat the oceans. You cannot heat a cup of water by blowing a hair dryer over and parallel with the surface of the water.

    We know that CO2 does not in itself heat, and at best can only slow down heat loss but in practice in the real world, it is not very effective at slowing down heat loss, witness how cold a desert is at night. The CO2 in the atmosphere does not act an effective blanket keeping in the heat which has been generated during the day and the sand in the desert does not possess sufficient latent heat to continuously at night heat the air above it. Contrast this with the air over an ocean which remains warm at night due to the heat capacity of the ocean which continuously heats the air above it and due to the moisture of ocean air.

    Oceans, if they are getting warmer (which they do not appear to be doing) can only be heated by energy from the sun or thermal energy from the mantle/crust. CO2 cannot drive the energy budget of the oceans and that is a death knell to the AGW theory.

    NB. I am ignoring currents which are merely distributing or redistributing heat that is already in the system and which may change where the heat is to be observed but which do not in themselves actually heat the ocean.

  20. rushmike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

    ….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm
    *******************
    So many mistakes in a single post.

    1) Temperatures haven’t gone up since 1998.
    .

    .
    2) Ice in the Arctic has increased the last 3 years and the Antarctic is well above average.
    .
    3) Temperature was very slightly warmer because of an El Nino in the spring which GISS’s saw and a La Nina in the fall which GISS missed. Other temperature records didn’t. The real news was the lack of warming since 1998.
    .
    4) The extreme weather events can’t be caused by global warming if it hasn’t warmed since 1998. The alarmists are so embarrassed by the failure to warm that they are grasping at straws with the climate disruption nonsense. There is no proof that calamities have increased.

  21. As regards La Nina, it will be interesting to see how tempwratures in 2011 compare with those of 1999. Specifically, will the 2011 global temperature drop below 1999 levels? If they do, what will the warmists say?

  22. Obviously the isthmus of Panama is a barrier for the free flow of water, yet it does at seem at first glance that there is (nearly) one long streak of blue stretching the width of the Pacific and on up to Great Britain.
    Does a seemingly matching blue tongue often appear in the Gulf/Atlantic during a La Nina? I am guessing not, after looking at a La Nina page on NOAA’s site (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/la-nina-story.html). They show images of 3 recent La Nina’s near the top of the page; none of them display blue to the west of Panama.

  23. John R T says: “Should that be ´temp?´”

    Nope. These satellites are montoring Sea Surface Height. The sea surface temperature patterns are similar.

  24. James H says: January 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

    “Don’t listen to “Just The Facts”, he is forgetting about the Panama Canal , where [undocumented] climate workers furiously shuttle the cooler water through to cool the planet.”

    Funny. I actually checked on the Panama Canal before I wrote it, and almost wrote “essentially” contiguous, but didn’t want to confuse the situation. For the record, the Panama Canal is 48 miles long, and climbs over “the mountainous spine of Central America” that “rises to a height of 110 meters (360.9 ft) above sea level at the lowest crossing point.”;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Panama_Canal

    thus no direct interchange of water occurs between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the Panama Canal. However, one could argue whether the existence of locks along the canal sufficiently meets ones criteria for contiguousness…

  25. geo says: “Are they hyperventilating over there, or is there something about ‘strength’ not reflected in the monitoring graph?”

    Based on NINO3.4 SST anomalies, it’s still a relatively strong La Nina:

    The graph is from the December 2010 SST update:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/01/december-2010-sst-anomaly-update.html

    But I’ll agree that this statement doesn’t ring true: “…this latest event appears to be one of the strongest ones over this [50 year] time period…”

  26. Besides the the Austrailian floodings, 1974 brought on one of the worst severe thunderstorm outbreaks in North America. The infamous Day of the Killer Tornado occured during a modertate to strong La Nina episode. Tornados broke out from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico in one event. Xenia Ohio was totally flattened.

  27. netdr2,
    shame you’ve fallen for the usual misinformation:
    “Temperatures haven’t gone up since 1998″- OK, what about 1999…or 1997? The particularly strong and long lasting El Nino was the main factor there. Now come back and tell me how much the temperature has risen since 1999 (you can cherry pick, so will I). To take out the ENSO effect lets plot a graph of global temperatures using a 5 year mean and see what happens. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1930/to:2010/mean:60/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1930/to:2010/scale:0.1/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1930/to:2010/mean:60/offset:0.2/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1930/to:2010/scale:0.0005
    Notice the correlation of global temperatures to an annualised PDO mean until 1980…then pow….No warming, yeah right.
    “2) Ice in the Arctic has increased the last 3 years and the Antarctic is well above average.”
    You obviously haven’t checked out Anthony’s sea ice charts, very handy source so I suggest you look quick quick. Notice GLOBAL (sorry to emphasize but I think you missed it first time round) sea ice area…hmmmm. Oh, and also note the Antarctic ice area, I think you’re statement “it’s well above average” would be, how you say, false? Looks below average to me!
    “3) Temperature was very slightly warmer because of an El Nino in the spring which GISS’s saw and a La Nina in the fall which GISS missed.”
    ???? GISS missed? I’m hoping you’re not suggesting some kind of conspiracy here……http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt
    “4) …..There is no proof that calamities have increased.” Just overwhelming evidence.

  28. To Bob Tisdale: Bob, you are right. I was not aware of that series.
    I was fooled by this sentence: “A new Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean that averaged 10 days of data was just released from NASA. The image, centered on Dec. 26, 2010, was created at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.”
    and thought, this a a new satellite (Jason-2), delivering first data. And I was also fooled by the solemn language of the announcement.
    So what is presented is a spin-off of the Jason project and they show that there is a signature of La Nina in the data. Fine. Congratulations, USA. So U.S. knows much better the heights of global oceans than it knows the heights of their ground water levels, which are pumped through irrigation into the oceans and contribute how much with all other arid countries to global sea level rise?

  29. geo says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:21 am
    According to the monitoring graph on WUWTs ENSO page, this La Nina isn’t even as strong as the 2008 one (at least, yet. . .it could take another leg down).

    Are they hyperventilating over there, or is there something about “strength” not reflected in the monitoring graph?

    The metrics are based on a nice tidy little box NINO 3.4

    But the La Nina this year has spread considerably and is well outside the Nino 3.4 box see

    Is this a La Nina modoki ?

    Perhaps the metric used for the strength of El Nino and La Nina need to be reassessed to take in the large ocean area and potentially depth affected by the anomalies.

    It is also interesting from the SST maps the cold anomalies in the eastern Atlantic and Indian ocean. The North Atlantic Drift won’t be warming Europe much for a while.

  30. I completely disagree with the statement:
    “Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”.

    I would possible agree with: Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global WEATHER.

    The CLIMATE of the Earth is 100% controlled by the Sun.

    The time-frame between weather and climate must be defined!

    I would suggest Climate is over 100 years and Weather is over 5 years.

    Lest anyone have a fit: were the innumerable ice ages caused by AGW or by a low level of Solar energy reaching the Earth.

    Just an aside: How does one equate radiative forcing due to the Sun to heat trapping due to CO2??? Other than geothermal heat from the Earth’s core, there is no other heat input to the Earth’s surface other than the Sun
    (Cosmic Rays < .00000000001%).

  31. According to NIWA’s (New Zealand ) State of the Climate report for 2010, in 2000 the IPO (interdecadal pacific oscillation) went negative and should remain that way for 10 to twenty more years. This means La Ninas should dominate over El Ninos in strength and duration similar to the period from 1947 to 1977 when SST’s were either flat or declined. They point out that climate modelers predicted the opposite to occur.

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/104762/State-of-the-Climate-2010-.pdf

    This is similar to the failed predictions for the NAO to remain positive due to GHG forcing. The models are failing.

  32. @- richard verney says: –
    “Oceans, if they are getting warmer (which they do not appear to be doing) can only be heated by energy from the sun or thermal energy from the mantle/crust. CO2 cannot drive the energy budget of the oceans and that is a death knell to the AGW theory.”

    The last man on Earth is incorrect on two counts.
    1) Oceans certainly appear to be getting warmer, direct and satellite measurements of surface temperature indicate this as does the rise in sea level which is at least in part from thermal expansion.
    2) Oceans are heated by absorption of visible light from the sun, thermal energy from the mantle AND down-welling long-wave radiation from the atmosphere. The back-radiation from the atmosphere is measured to increase with rising CO2. The photons in this radiation are predominately absorbed and thermalized min the top few nanometers of the ocean surface.
    How far that heating mixes with the bulk ocean, or how it affects evaporation rates is a matter for discussion, but that it heats the ocean is not in dispute.

  33. Matt Schilling says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain? Is the Gulf Stream currently (pun intended!) impacting NW Europe in a way that is the inverse of the impact for which it is famous?

    The cool (well, low sea level) water you see in the Gulf Stream may be from the recent cold weather in the American southeast and mid-Atlantic coast. A large fish kill in the Chesapeake Bay occurred to a temperature sensitive species.

    The negative Arctic Oscillation has been forcing coastal storm systems into Canada. That’s the source of their warm temperatures. Since that weather isn’t flowing northeast, arctic winds bring cold air into Europe.

  34. rushmike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

    ….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm

    I suggest you visit North America soon. La Nina traditionally makes the eastern US warmer and drier than normal. Yet, this has been the second year in a row we have experienced a brutally cold winter. According to the latest accuweather.com long-range predictions, the cold ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/44401/year-of-extremes-strongest-la.asp

    Sure, summer was La Nina like. That, coupled with the lingering effects of El Nino, made 2010 “the hottest year on record”. Yet why is this winter not La Nina like? If we know the climate so well that we can make 100 year forecasts, why is it that a well-known phenomena isn’t causing the effects traditionally observed? I was afraid that this summer will also be extremely hot because of La Nina, but now I have to rethink that. I was afraid this winter would be mild, and it has been anything but. Now when temperatures are normal, I call those days warm.

    I grow tired of this winter already. Usually the winters in North Carolina where I live have some very mild spring-like days, warm enough to not need a jacket all day. This winter and last winter, I’ve needed to wear a jacket every single day.

    We know so little. Tell me again why I should trust 100 year forecasts? AGW is like trying to decide how a movie will end when we only have 10 scenes of the entire movie and then of those 10 scenes, 8 were thrown away because we didn’t like what they were saying. How can you possibly know the ending when you know so little?

  35. Hi Wade,
    La Nina isn’t the only driver of your weather, when jet streams stop doing their usual west to east and start to take more detours south and north then more extreme weather is to be expected. Whether the jet stream changes are due to arctic ice melt I don’t know but certainly interesting times.

  36. Does anybody believe as I do that the 2010 super El Nino may be the result of the twenty year lag in solar forcing that began with the decline in SSN that started in 1990 and continues today? If so we may have a moderate El Nino in ten years but then see progressively weaker ones after that.

  37. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

    If LWR heated the ocean down to 100m and SWR heated just the top few nanometers, would you say this caused the ocean warming?

    Put your hand in a swimming pool in Winter and you will warm few nanometers of the water in conact with them. Do you think you can warm the entire swimming pool if you left them long enough?

    The correct term is the LWR warms the few nanometers of the ocean, stating this warms the ocean is misleading at best and technically not true. There is no evidence that LWR actually warms the ocean below this depth.

  38. richard verney says:
    January 15, 2011 at 9:09 am
    As regards La Nina, it will be interesting to see how tempwratures in 2011 compare with those of 1999. Specifically, will the 2011 global temperature drop below 1999 levels? If they do, what will the warmists say?

    The temps will continue to drop this year, and the warmists will churn out another version of AGW causes global cooling.
    Why are temps dropping (and people chattering thier teeth)?
    1. ) because there is nothing going on that propels the temps any higher, and they have to return from whence they came.
    2. ) The ride up bears little to no resemblance to the climate patterns now being observed on the drop side. That is why the current La Nina does not fit the pattern as depicted on the ENSO/SST WUWT page. It is more like a La Nino or El Nina, or better yet, a climate marriage made in hell.
    3.) TSI is in defecit mode as the last century was in surplus mode. However slight and seemingly inconsequential, a defecit is a defecit is a deficit. A function of time as to how long before equilibrium is reached.
    4.) Jet Streams have moved equatorwards and fattened thier traveled ranges. Storm fronts now operate on 1.5 to 2 times thier latitudinal breadth. Should result in much wider band of cloud activity.

  39. izen says: January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am
    quote
    1) Oceans certainly appear to be getting warmer, direct and satellite measurements of surface temperature indicate this as does the rise in sea level which is at least in part from thermal expansion.
    unquote

    And the warming of the land seems to depend on the oceans’ warming if

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/gilbert.p.compo/CompoSardeshmukh2007a.pdf

    is to be believed.

    Does anyone have a theory of why the oceans have warmed first? Apart from me, obviously?

    JF

  40. I think warming of the ocean’s surface via longwave radiation may be both ever-so-slightly warming and mostly cooling, depending on oceanic conditions. It is known that choppy seas throw salt water spray into the air, leaving not much chance of LW warming. Quiet seas are another matter. What are the temperatures of quiet seas? Depends on their address. I think that LW radiative addition to sea surface warming would be extremely hard to determine and very hard to model holistically. The best you could do would be to input oceanic surface condition, oceanic temperatures, air temperatures, cloud parameters, and ozone parameters. Not to mention just how much CO2 is above.

  41. The Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) has reached recently -1.4, which was the same level it reached back in 2008. Last years El Nino reached 1.8, so it was a stronger event then this La Nina so far. The El Nino in 2002 reached 1.5 and was considered a moderate event not a strong one. Although Nina3.4 only reflects a little strip of the region and fails to demonstrate much bigger or smaller events by surface area. The length of the events also have a significant bearing with the strongest two recorded since 1950 lasting between 3 and 4 years.

    Stronger La Ninas (ONI)
    1998-2000 -1.6
    1988-1889 -1.9
    1973-1976 -2.1
    1954-1957 -2.0
    1950?-1951 -1.7

    I think it’s fair to say that this has not yet reached strong event compared with others since the 1950’s. A ONI of -1.4 is around the middle value of the La Nina events since 1950, so I thinks it’s fair to call it so far a moderate La Nina. The lack of La Ninas over more recent years has discoloured a little how there were compared in the past.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  42. Dr. Lurtz says: January 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    “The CLIMATE of the Earth is 100% controlled by the Sun.”

    No. The sun is the largest contributor of energy into Earth’s Climate System, however there are an array of other factors that help control earth’s climate including:

    1. Earth’s rotation that;

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6h.html

    results in day and night,

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_rotation_cause_day_and_night

    influences Oceanic Gyres;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_gyre

    through the Coriolis Effect;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_Effect

    and causes Earth’s Polar Vortices;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

    which “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”

    http://www.cfm.brown.edu/people/sean/Vortex/

    Here’s an animation of the currently broken up Antarctic Polar Vortex;

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_sh_anim.shtml

    and here’s an animation of the currently broken up Arctic Polar Vortex:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_nh_anim.shtml

    A key measure of the vortices appears to be when they breakdown each year. According to this paper on the Final Warming Date of the Antarctic Polar Vortex and Influences on its Interannual Variability;

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7598/is_20091115/ai_n42654411/

    “several studies (including Waugh and Randel 1999; Waugh et al. 1999; Karpetchko et al. 2005; Black and McDaniel 2007) have indicated a trend over the 1980s and 1990s toward a later vortex breakdown.”

    This is a good paper exploring the Polar Vortices;

    http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/waugh+polvani-PlumbFestVolume-2010.pdf

    and the chart on page 10 shows the vortex break-up dates for the Northern Hemisphere since 1960 and Southern Hemisphere since 1979.

    2. Earth Tilt and elliptical orbit around the sun (same reference as above);

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6h.html

    create seasons and significant climatic variability;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season

    as well as over longer time frames changes in Earth’s orbit, tilt and wobble called Milankovitch cycles;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

    may be responsible for the periods of Glaciation (Ice Ages);

    http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/time1/milankov.htm

    that Earth has experienced for the last several million years of Earth’s climatic record:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age

    3. Lunar forces have various impacts,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_force

    http://www.themcdonalds.net/richard/astro/papers/602-tides-web.pdf

    including tides;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide

    as well potentially influencing Earth’s Thermohaline Circulation;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation

    i.e. “Satellite measurements of sea levels suggest the moon’s tidal pull plays a once-unrecognized role in lifting cold water from the ocean depths and influencing Earth’s climate.

    Data from the U.S.-French TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite, which bounces radar off the oceans to measure sea levels precisely, also may solve the mystery of what happens to all the energy that the moon transfers to Earth by creating ocean tides.
    Scientists once thought most of the energy was dissipated by friction as waves and tidal currents drag along shallow coastal sea floors. The new study indicates about three-fourths of the energy indeed is dispersed in that manner.
    But the measurements also imply 25 percent to 30 percent of the energy in tides dissipates when deep-ocean tidal currents hit seamounts and mid-ocean ridges, creating turbulent “internal waves” that stir and lift cold bottom water so it mixes with warmer, shallower water. That effectively moves heat away from the sea surface, influencing climate in the overlying atmosphere.

    “In the past, people thought wind was the primary agent to mix warm water down into the deep, cold part of the oceans,” said Richard Ray, a geophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “Our work suggests tides are equally important.””

    http://wwww.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/tide_energy_000627.html

    If that link doesn’t work, as it didn’t for me, try this cached version:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XE2pBOHIwu4J:www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/tide_energy_000627.html+lunar+climate+impacts&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    4. Geothermal Energy;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_energy

    especially when released by volcanoes;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano

    which have been shown to influence Earth’s climate;

    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html

    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

    including in the infamous Year Without a Summer;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

    which was partially caused by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1815_eruption_of_Mount_Tambora

    There are several more influences of note, Cosmic Rays and Magnetic Fields come to mind, but I need to jump in the shower so I’ll leave you with these summaries of the known variables involved in Earth’s climate system;

    http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7y.html

    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/whatfactors.pdf

    and a notation that it is impossible to assign primary driver status to any variable in Earth’s climate when we have a rudimentary understanding of such an astoundingly complex system…

  43. @- Matt G says: –
    “Put your hand in a swimming pool in Winter and you will warm few nanometers of the water in conact with them. Do you think you can warm the entire swimming pool if you left them long enough?”

    Yes.
    2LoT.
    Not much of course. Swimming in an olympic pool would warm it by 1 degC in around 3000 years at a rough calculation. -grin-

    “The correct term is the LWR warms the few nanometers of the ocean, stating this warms the ocean is misleading at best and technically not true. There is no evidence that LWR actually warms the ocean below this depth.”

    Actually there is evidence of turbulent mixing from wave effects. But the real problem with the assertion that the surface effect from LWR is not capable of warming the bulk ocean is then the source of the energy for the observed warming of the oceans. Surface temperatures have increased and thermal expansion is the only credible explanation for part of the sea level rise.
    If as has been claimed the only other sources are solar and geothermal, and both show no rising trend to match SST then you have a problem with explaining the observed data unless you are willing to accept the purely descriptive, but scientifically uninformative, ‘Natural variation’.

  44. Dr Lurtz said: ‘I would suggest Climate is over 100 years and Weather is over 5 years.’

    Very amusing, but it won’t work. How would climate scientists make any money? At the same time the whole idea that a 30 year trend is essential for the recognition of climate change is utterly flawed.

  45. There must be long-wave warming of the oceans otherwise they would be frozen solid. The question is what does 324 + 2.63Watts/m**2 do that 324 Watts/m**2 doesn’t.

  46. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am
    I got a feeling that you are wrong on all counts. Go to NASA, Agos. The data from these bouys suggests that the oceans are cooling. Sea level has begun to level off from the century long 3mm rise. The Maldives are not sinking and the UK is tilting so the sea level is falling in the north and rising in the south.
    Back radiation is a negligable effect because CO² absorps a little IR radiation and reradiates in all directions which means under half goes ground ward and that is probably absorbed by N and O kinectically.

  47. richcar 1225 says:
    January 15, 2011 at 10:48 am
    Does anybody believe as I do that the 2010 super El Nino……

    The 2009-2010 El Nino was not exceptionally strong and quite short lived…hardly a ‘super’ El Nino.

    Dr Lurtz said: ‘I would suggest Climate is over 100 years and Weather is over 5 years.’
    I think it was Mark Twain that provided the best definitions. “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”

  48. GregO says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:47 am
    All levity aside, is there a claimed relationship between man-made CO2 and a La Niña event that can be gleaned from climate models?

    How do the models, which by my (limited) understanding predict warming due to the excess of CO2 put into the atmosphere by man account, for cycles like the current La Niña?

    _____

    In general, the acceleration (which would necessarily mean intensification) of the hydrological cycle is predicted by GCM’s when looking at increased amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. From a geological perspective, as part of the basic carbon-rock cycle, when CO2 in the atmosphere increases, so does the hydrological cycle, as a natural negative feeback mechanism to remove the CO2, through rock weathering. In this way, the level of CO2 is kept in a range. It is entirely possible that increased CO2 amounts could change the nature/character/severity etc. of the natural ENSO and PDO ocean cycles, and this would be one way the acceleration of the hydrological cycle would be manifested.

  49. If instead of buying computers for the bad guys we would just work our shifts and learn!
    Just saying …..
    ENSO is one of the principal keys to weather/climate, I have no doubts.

  50. To rushmike: I may have sounded like I was coming down on you; that was not my intention. I was just highlighting what you said to transition to what I wanted to say. You are absolutely right, there are many drivers to the climate, some known and some unknown. Of those that are known, none are fully understood. To prove the point, why is this winter different than previous La Nina winters?

  51. The SOI is higher right now than it has been in a long, long time. I perused the monthly historical readings the other day, and I think you have to go back to 1917 to find higher values.

    Here’s to a long, strong La Nina…

  52. rushmike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

    ….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm

    Rushmike, if global temperatures still keep climbing, why did even Phil Jones of Climategate fame conclude no significant warming for over a decade? 2010 wasn’t warmer than 1998 in Spencer’s UAH record. Yes, 1998 was an El Nino, so was much of 2010. Now we’re getting La Nina and cooling, plus plenty rain here in Australia, though not record amounts – we had worse in 1974 and there were earlier ones that were worse still. And where are the PDO and the Medieval Warm Period in your analysis?

    Re Arctic icecap check out the effect of the Arctic Oscillation:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220010410.htm

    Re Antarctic ice see:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/01/30/antarctica-again/

    I don’t trust anything NASA and co. put out while Hansen has any power there. Continual high outlier data, mysterious adjustments, and his recent revelation that democracy doesn’t work and we should adopt China’s way of doing things:

    http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/hansen-us-democracy-not-competent-to-deal-with-global-warming-calls-on-communist-china-to-save-humanity/

    Hmmm indeed. Conspiracy I doubt, but craziness fits the bill.

  53. izen says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm
    I do agree with some of your post, thank you.

    Yes it is possible in the swimming pool only in a enclosed system (if we could live a lot longer, lol), but this is not the case including the oceans. (ie there are much bigger other factors) This was my point regarding the oceans, where this tiny amount would take many centuries to warm the oceans a little if everything remained the same and was in a enclosed system. (persuming the enclosed system didn’t warm or cool it from SWR) BUT, the energy ratio between warming the water by SWR and LWR is absolutely huge, so the percentage change in LWR must have to be many (orders) times bigger then any change in SWR to cause this rise in such a short period. (eg 30 years)

    “If as has been claimed the only other sources are solar and geothermal, and both show no rising trend to match SST then you have a problem with explaining the observed data unless you are willing to accept the purely descriptive, but scientifically uninformative, ‘Natural variation’.”

    I agree the only other two sources are these, but don’t agree there is no trend to match SST’s. Mid and low levels clouds generally have been declining during this period with albedo decreasing. This enabled more SWR to reach the surface of the ocean warming it down to 100m depth. A few percent change in global albedo is easily enougth to increase ocean temperatures 1c over a lengthy period.

    While the solar ouput has been steady until recently with high levels over recent decades there is only a tiny change needed with such a huge energy source (many orders over anything else) can have a little affect. This is demonstrated above and below.

    The step up in solar output during the mid 20th-century was hidden by numerous La Ninas which cooled the atmosphere, but warmed the oceans below the surface. During the late 1970’s this energy content from the ocean started to move towards the surface and release it’s energy into the atmopshere with increasing and stronger El Nino’s from the earlier solar step up. That is why we had a delay in the planet warming from this increased activity. This energy realised from the ENSO events was transferred towards the pole which in turn helped melt sea ice. This has a knock on affect where this leads to more ocean exposed to SWR, therefore this increased the SST’s further.

  54. MattN says:
    January 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm
    The SOI is higher right now than it has been in a long, long time. I perused the monthly historical readings the other day, and I think you have to go back to 1917 to find higher values.

    Here’s to a long, strong La Nina…
    _____

    Matt,

    It is interesting that you’d hope for a long and strong La Nina as it is causing untold misery to the people of Australia. You might also be interested to know that during La Nina events, there is a general accumulation of heat in the Pacific to be released during the inevitable El Nino cycle…so a “long and strong” La Nina, with the misery it brings to Australia and other areas, might also mean a lot more heat released during the next El Nino cycle to inevitably come.

  55. This la Nina is by far the strongest since 1954. The 3.4 ocean index is worthless when it comes to comparing Nina because it does not examine the driving force, the temp difference between the cold area and the warm area. This generates pressure fields (SOI)and trade winds, both of which are the highest seen in the last 50 years. The cold water in the central pacific is not that cold but the warm water around northern australia is the hottest on record. Thats where the power is coming from.
    The best metric for measuring ENSO strength has to be Klaus Wolter’s Multivariate ENSO index (MEI) which assigns ENSO strength based on 6 different metrics!

  56. Moderators

    There is a misattributed quote/wrong link my prior post;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/15/nasa-la-nina-has-remained-strong/#comment-574922

    i.e. “which “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”
    http://www.cfm.brown.edu/people/sean/Vortex/

    That quote cited can be found here;

    http://www.optcorp.com/edu/articleDetailEDU.aspx?aid=122

    whereas if you select the “Physical Overview” link at the top left of this page;

    http://www.cfm.brown.edu/people/sean/Vortex/

    you’ll see a good animation of a fully formed polar vortex.

    Can you please change/fix the link in my post above so the quote is correctly attributed? Sorry for the confusion.

    [Corrections noted. Thank you for catching them. Robt]

  57. MR. Gates, if you have not visited B. Tisdales sight, I recommend heartily that you do. Perusing this site, you will come across a graph that sets out the ENSO oscillation patterns. It appears from this graph, that if the world is on a cooling trend, La Nina’s dominate the time sequence. If warming, well then yeah, La Nino’s. If we are going into a La Nina dominated time period, then the heat that is being “stored” by the oceans right now, may not be dominate for another 15-30 years.

    And yes I agree with you, warmer is generaly better, at least where I live.

    :)

  58. Thank you for the response Matt G, the alternative explanation you propose for recent warming in the effect of solar changes decades ago on albedo and ocean cycles is probably the most credible alternative hypothesis I have encountered on the skeptic side. I am not sure would survive the level of review applied to AGW over the last few decades! -grin-

    @- Matt G says: -(re warming a pool by body heat).
    “Yes it is possible in the swimming pool only in a enclosed system ….., but this is not the case including the oceans. … This was my point regarding the oceans, where this tiny amount would take many centuries to warm the oceans a little if everything remained the same and was in a enclosed system.”

    I agree that there are other factors, but on a rough calculation the extra DLR from the extra CO2 is a bit over 2 W/m2. that is enough energy to raise the temperature of an olympic pool by 1degC in about a month and a half.
    Obviously the ocean is not an enclosed pool system…

    “BUT, the energy ratio between warming the water by SWR and LWR is absolutely huge, so the percentage change in LWR must have to be many (orders) times bigger then any change in SWR to cause this rise in such a short period. (eg 30 years)”

    The problem I have with this argument is that the 1LOT means that extra energy is doing something… somewhere…
    In physics (and biology and chemistry) the rule is follow the energy – rather like follow the money in politics.
    Where the energy goes always points to the underlying causation.

    Unlike possible effects from solar variation on cloud albedo the DLR from the extra CO2 has both a well established physical mechanism and direct measurement of the anthropogenic change.
    That seems to require any alternative to AGW the explanation to also provide a mechanism that negates the CO2-energy effect while amplifying the cloud/albedo energy effect.

  59. If the rule of thumb is what is happening in ENSO + 9 months till it effects global mean temperature, then there’s a while to go till global mean hits bottom. It will be in negative anomaly.

    Global warmers, get your long underwear out and keep them handy. Next winter could be worse than this one.

  60. izen says: January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am
    quote
    “1) Oceans certainly appear to be getting warmer, direct and satellite measurements of surface temperature indicate this as does the rise in sea level which is at least in part from thermal expansion.
    unquote”

    The Argo data suggests that ocean heat content is on a downward trend. Is there a credible data source that suggests otherwise?
    Also there doesn’t appear to be any change in the ongoing sea level rise that started long before AGW could have been a contributing factor. We can continue to live with 1 – 2 mm per year.

  61. @- edbhoy says:
    “The Argo data suggests that ocean heat content is on a downward trend. Is there a credible data source that suggests otherwise?
    Also there doesn’t appear to be any change in the ongoing sea level rise that started long before AGW could have been a contributing factor. We can continue to live with 1 – 2 mm per year.”

    While the ocean heat content is certainly a key parameter to measure in assesing the climate systems, along with the radiative energy balance, unfortunately the ARGO bouy system is not capable of providing definitive data.
    First; it is a new system that has not operated for long enough to reveal a significant trend over the interannual variation and has a history of systemic errors. More time is required before it can be certain that errors have been eliminated and a trend is measurable to a significant level.
    Second the maximum depth of measurement of the AGRO system, measured at a lower rate than shallower data is only half the average depth of the oceans. ARGO is incapable of measurement of half the ocean volume.

    There is credible evidence that the recent sea level rise is not typical of past rates. A rate of ~2mm per decade over the last century still implies a increasing ocean heat content we are unable to measure directly.

    Unless you know of an undiscovered source of water (from the Deeps?) to raise the oceans….

  62. If the La Nina develops into a long term cold PDO then there will be global cooling. I am not sure we are there yet, but soon it will happen. Once it does it will be fun to watch the AGW crowd start crying about the unfairness of the PDO and how we need to ignore it because the Earth would be warming without it.

    John Kehr
    The Inconvenient Skeptic

  63. If the argo buoys suggest a decreasing heat content and sea level measurements indicate an increasing level, one may well question the argo buoy data. OTOH one may also question the sea level measurements.

  64. Just making an early call here but I’m putting the odds on a strong El Nino developing in 2011 at about 80%.

    The patterns are really setting up for year-by-year switch between La Nina then El Nino with no neutral years.

  65. If the argo buoys suggest a decreasing heat content and sea level measurements indicate an increasing level, one may well question the argo buoy data. OTOH one may also question the sea level measurements.

    It doesn’t look to me like there has been any sea level rise since late 2005:

  66. “Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate.”

    But only to mask any CO2 driven warming, it never causes warming of it’s own accord (that would be completely unnatural). But yet, Global Warming causes Global Cooling…which came first…the Global Warming or the Cooling?

  67. I like to try to stay one step ahead of Alarmists by inventing cooling-is-caused-by-warming theories before they can. I was a bit annoyed I didn’t come up with the delayed-freezing-in-Hudson-Bay-is-causing-Europe’s-cold before they did. However I did come up with a La-Nina’s-are-caused-by-warming theory, and have always been surprised no Alarmist has ever drempt it up (and used it with a voice of severe authority in a newscast.)

    I suppose the problem with my audacious theory is that it cuts both ways; it would also mean El Nino’s were caused by cooling. In other words, recent warming may have occurred because the ENSO was jarred by cooling. I postulate it may actually be cooling which sets off oversized El Ninos, with their world-wide warming.

    I don’t like cold, and the idea of the recent El Nino being a sign of cooling makes me uneasy, and therefore I would like someone to shoot my audacious theory down in flames.

    I know cooling-causing-warming sounds backwards, but I keep reading that a delayed reaction to big, tropical volcanic eruptions is an El Nino. In other words, the initial cooling of ash in the atmosphere, after a lag, triggers a warming El Nino.

    Of course, there hasn’t been that sort of eruption recently. So why am I uneasy? I guess it is because there HAS been a quiet sun. Perhaps a quiet sun has the same effect as ash in the atmosphere: A cooling that, after a lag-time, triggers an El Nino.

    In case you wonder how cooling can trigger a warm El Nino, consider how much energy is used up hauling cold water from the depths, in a La Nina. Imagine you had to pay the electric bill to pump all that heavy, dense, cold water up, and spread it out over the top of the Pacific. Then imagine something pulled the plug on all your pumps. You wouldn’t have to pay that energy bill any more, and the ocean would warm.

    I theorize that in essence a La Nina is an air-conditioner. More energy is used running that tropical air-conditioner than in shutting it off. More energy is involved in a La Nina than an El Nino. Cut off the “power,” (whether it be with volcanic ash or a quiet sun, ) and the tropical ocean isn’t “air-conditioned,” and warms.

    OK. I have expressed my audacious idea. Now give me a few moments to put on a helmet and get into my bomb shelter, before you respond.

  68. The problem with this debate is the quality of data. Generally, the required data is either not available or there are reasons to suspect that the quality of data is poor so that it is difficult to make trustworthy extrapolations.

    In my post of 15th Jan 09:00 hrs when I made the comment is parenthesis that the oceans do not apear to be warming, I had in mind the ARGO data. I accpet that that data is open to question in that it is over a very short span and that temperatures to the entire depths of the ocean are not recorded.

    The sea level data is also questionable (on a number of grounds) but even if correct, it is not clear precisely what is being measured given plate techtonics. For example Southern England is rising whereas Scotland is falling. As the earth has come out of the ice age, some of the land which was covered by glaciers that have since receded is still moving upwards as a result of the reduction in weight. I have never seen a proper calculation of displacement caused by land mass/plate movements. Sea water levels are also displaced in other ways such as rock/soil erosion (I haven’t checked but believe that the delta area in Bangladesh has grown significantly in area), new atols (admittedly miniscule) and water is being added by ice melts.

    If anyone considers that sea level rise is due to CO2, I would like to see their calculation as to the amount of energy required given the volume of the ocean to raise sea levels by say 2mm and compare that to the energy that they claim CO2 imparts to the ocean by back radiation.

    Materially, during the last 150 years, the rate of sea level rise has remained fairly constant and there is eveidence to suggest that the rate of rise has been slowing for the past 30 or so years. If the rate of rise since 1940 has either not altered or more significantly has even slowed, it demonstrates that CO2 in the atmosphere is not actually warming the oceans (to any measurable extent). It has not added one measurable iota to the rate of change that was occuring between 1850 to 1940 due to natural variation.

    When in my post, I suggested that only solar (or geothermal) energy could (effectively) heat the oceans, I had in mind not simply the total energy being emitted by the sun (in whatever forms that energy may take) but also how much of that energy is received by the earth (ie., I include changes in albedo due to cloud changes and also changes in the transparency of the atmoshere due to reduction in aerosols and any effect that changes in the magnetic field may have).

    PS. I am not sure that the hand in a swimming pool is a good analogy. A better an analogy would be if you were to place your hand fractions of a mm above the water would this effectively heat the swimming pool?

  69. R.Gates,
    while the La Nina-related flooding has sadly in this instance caused tragedy and damage for humans in the short term in Australia, it is part of the cycles that make up for hardships caused by El Nino droughts. I sincerely hope we are heading for another period similar to what took place between the 1940s to late 1970s. It is essential for recharging the water tables that supply watercourses and underground supplies… supplies that have become depleted in the last 30 years. Instead of sparse ground cover, leading to more topsoil loss and dirty flows, we will have better ground cover and cleaner flows that will end up removing decades of accumulated silt from rivers and streams. While at times it causes pain for humans, the improved conditions only benefit them in the long term through improving the “health” of the country.

  70. I’ve downloaded ENSO weekly data from http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for and plotted the Nino3.4 anomaly, from 1990 onwards. I got the same graph as Bob Tisdale at http://i51.tinypic.com/2ivn3n8.jpg I’ve noticed a 12-year cycle. Let’s start from late 1994 to get past the effects of the Pinatubo explosion…

    peak late 1994
    peak late 2006 – check

    minimum late 1995 / early 1996
    minimum late 2007 / early 2008 – check

    minor peak mid 1996
    minor peak mid 2008 – check

    minor minimum late 1996 / early 1997
    minor minimum late 2008 / early 2009 – check

    peak late 1997
    peak late 2009 – check

    minimum late 1998 / early 1999
    It looks like a minimum in late 2010 / early 2011

    So much for “predicting the past”; predicting the future provides more fun and profit. After dropping into negative territory in the 2nd quarter of 1998, Nino3.4 didn’t go positive until the 2nd quarter of 2001. Assuming the 12 year pattern holds, Nino3.4 shouldn’t go positive until the 2nd quarter of 2013. That’s my prediction for what it’s worth.

  71. The sea level data is also questionable (on a number of grounds) but even if correct, it is not clear precisely what is being measured given plate techtonics.

    It is apparently measured by satellite these days so wouldn’t be influenced by changes in ground movement.

  72. @- crosspatch says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    If the argo buoys suggest a decreasing heat content and sea level measurements indicate an increasing level, one may well question the argo buoy data. OTOH one may also question the sea level measurements.

    It doesn’t look to me like there has been any sea level rise since late 2005: -LINK-

    ———

    The ARGO system is new, has known error problems and covers a very short time. It is also uncorroborated by any independent source of measurement of the OHC.
    Sea level rise is derived from two independent sources – at least since satellite measurement began.
    The link you provided was to the satellite record that included a large amount of short-term variation from seasonal temperature changes and air pressure changes. It is possible to exclude these effects and the CU does that here :-

  73. Sam Glasser says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:00 am
    “Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”. And how does the ocean get its heat? From the CO2 driven atmospheric warming? But water has ~3,000 times the heat capacity (per unit mass) of air. I think the pseudo-scientists have their independent and dependent variables reversed.
    ———
    But since the oceans are being heated both by the sun directly and by IR radiation from the atmosphere and not by conduction from the air it appears your understanding of the process is poor.

  74. rushmike says:
    January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am
    ….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm
    ——–
    The primary driver for these weather events is la Nina, but exactly how much worse they are due to AGW is hard to fathom at this stage.

    I am waiting for some decent state-wide rainfall figures to pop up so some proper historical comparisons can be done. Also the rain may not be finished yet.

  75. Pamela Gray says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Right on Pamela. All over the world you see people building and farming on flood plains.
    Why are they called flood plains for Heavens sake? And then they bitch and say
    “Give us money.” And other stoopid people do give them money. You can’t win!

  76. Walter Dnes says: “I’ve downloaded ENSO weekly data from http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for and plotted the Nino3.4 anomaly, from 1990 onwards. I got the same graph as Bob Tisdale at http://i51.tinypic.com/2ivn3n8.jpg I’ve noticed a 12-year cycle.”

    What appears to be agreement between ENSO and the Solar Cycles looks better when one uses NINO3.4 SST (not anomalies). But the apparent relationship falls apart when one goes back further in time.

  77. Izen

    The Argo data set may be short in duration and have some problems but it is still the best data we have and suggests no increase in OHC since 2003. WHy did you claim that OHC is increasing? Can you refer me to a contradictory reliable data set? If so please provide a link, I am genuinely interested. Sea level is a proxy for heat content and we know how unreliable proxy measurements can be!

    Was this claim based on the continuing slow rise in sea level which apparently started hundreds of years before AGW and hence cannot be used to support the AGW hypothesis? Again, providing data that suggests the rate of change is increasing would be helpful.

    The Argo floats do not drop down to the deepest parts of the ocean but the top layer is where we would expect to see increases since the mass and thermal transfer to the Abyss is so low. Presumably that is why they were designed to only sink to 2000m in the first place. Are you suggesting that the top water OHC is going down only because cold water is circulating upwards from the deep?

    In my opinion OHC is the critical parameter in attempting to prove that the planet is warming. If you could demonstrate that OHC is increasing you would have strong support for the AGW meme.

  78. LazyTeenager says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm
    Sam Glasser says:
    January 15, 2011 at 7:00 am
    “Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”. And how does the ocean get its heat? From the CO2 driven atmospheric warming? But water has ~3,000 times the heat capacity (per unit mass) of air. I think the pseudo-scientists have their independent and dependent variables reversed.
    ———
    But since the oceans are being heated both by the sun directly and by IR radiation from the atmosphere and not by conduction from the air it appears your understanding of the process is poor.

    Hi Lazy, What is the ocean residence time of any LWIR energy which manages to enter the oceans instead of being converted to latent heat, verses the residence time of SWR entering the oceans, and how much does this residence time differnce in energy spectrum affect the ability of a flux change in energy to accumalate over time?

  79. crosspatch says:
    January 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm
    The sea level data is also questionable (on a number of grounds) but even if correct, it is not clear precisely what is being measured given plate techtonics.

    It is apparently measured by satellite these days so wouldn’t be influenced by changes in ground movement.

    Crosspatch, this raises a curious question. the earth surface is slowly changing everywhere. I would think these changes average out with very minor exceptions. Is the mean altitude of all land , and or all ocean floor known, and is it changing?

  80. edbhoy says:
    Sea level is a proxy for heat content and we know how unreliable proxy measurements can be!

    Mercury in thermometers is a proxy measurement, seems quite reliable to me…..and virtually everyone else…..unless you disagree?

  81. Audacious Idea #2

    The excellent observations of Bob Tisdale and others has increased our understanding of what goes into El Ninos and La Ninas. I think these observations will eventually make people aware things simply are not adding up, and that a missing component is involved.

    A La Nina in some ways is a chicken-or-the-egg dynamic, for La Ninas influence trade winds, and trade winds influence La Ninas. Which comes first?

    Another way to look at it is that trade winds cause upwelling off the coast of Peru, but the upwelling also causes the trade winds. At certain times there is more upwelling than should occur, if we measure the effect of the trade winds alone. This suggests a missing component, and my audacious idea begins by suggesting the missing component involves the thermohaline circulation actually speeding up, like the rate of flow through a hose when the spigot is turned up. Something other than trade winds is causing the upwelling.

    At this point I look back to the origins of thermohaline circulation, which is the formation of ice at the poles. We have heard much about how melting ice creates fresh water which “floats” atop the salt water, and reduces the thermohaline flow, however the formation of ice increases the salinity of adjacent water, and must increase the flow. In other words the flow isn’t even, but occurs in pulses, as ice forms. Water is injected into the thermohaline flow off Greenland, (and likely also off Antarctica,) in a pulse, as ice increases in the autumn and early winter. How does this pulse translate downstream?

    Thermohaline circulation is often discounted because the flow itself is very slow, and it takes centuries for the actual water to move from place to place. However water, unlike air, cannot be compressed, and the moment water is injected into the thermohaline flow a reflection of that compression must occur elsewhere.

    In a sense it is like squeezing the bottom of a toothpaste tube. Much of the pressure will push out the dents at the side of the tube, but a small amount of the pneumatic pressure will force toothpaste out the opening of the tube. The sides of the tube, in this analogy, represent the thermocline, which likely is deformed by the injection of an abrupt pulse of water into the thermohaline flow. Perhaps waves form in the thermocline. However the opening of the toothpaste tube, in this analogy, represents the upwelling off the coast of Peru.

    Pneumatics means that the moment you press your brake pedal, the brakes grab in a far part of your car. In the same manner, the moment water is injected into the thermohaline flow, the rate of upwelling changes in far parts of the globe.

    It is an outrageous, audacious idea, I admit. So I now will return to my bomb shelter and await replies.

  82. “Mercury in thermometers is a proxy measurement”

    No, its relation, via thermal expansion, is direct.

    Take a few, slow breaths.

  83. The Nino 3.4 Index or Klaus Wolters MEI aren’t breaking any records in this La Nina event.

    A comment above about the high differential between sea surface temperatures in the Nino regions in the Central Pacific versus the Pacific Warm Pool north of Australia are something to take note of but this is common when a La Nina follows an El Nino.

    The Pacific Trade Winds, however, were the highest on record in December (going back to 1979) and Outgoing Longwave Radiation in the equatorial Pacific were the highest on record (going back to 1974).

    What is also unusual about the past month is that temperatures are falling at the fastest rate we will see in this event. Water Vapour is falling at its fastest rate that we will see in this event. These high rates will continue for a few months yet. There is falling temperatures and then there is the rate at which those temperatures are falling and that is peaking now.

    The atmosphere is cooling at a fast rate and it is dumping water vapour at a fast rate (hence all the snow and rain in the areas usually affected by this scenario – a strong La Nina following El Nino. For most places on the planet, there is not much difference – it is just the specific areas which are the most affected by the scenario).

    This has been seen before in this scenario so it is not unusual. Its just that this scenario only happens two or three times in a decade and it only lasts for several months at a time in those rare periods.

    And then, the impact patterns can shift several hundred kilometres from scenario to scenario. Twice or three times a decade, Australia really gets dumped on for a few months. But it is only every second decade that Brisbane gets hit this hard. The other times it is Darwin or Cairns or some less inhabited region. Hope that all makes sense to you.

  84. gary gulrud says:
    January 16, 2011 at 5:55 am
    “Mercury in thermometers is a proxy measurement”

    No, its relation, via thermal expansion, is direct.

    Take a few, slow breaths.
    Your rather unfortunate attitude aside, with a mercury thermometer you are not measuring temperature directly but observing the expansion of the metal and comparing the expansion to previous results….a proxy. The same is true of sea level rise and ocean temperatures….levels go up would suggest that ocean temperatures have increased. This is of course the original point which in your attempted snideness probably missed.

  85. Caleb says: January 16, 2011 at 4:46 am

    “At this point I look back to the origins of thermohaline circulation, which is the formation of ice at the poles. We have heard much about how melting ice creates fresh water which “floats” atop the salt water, and reduces the thermohaline flow, however the formation of ice increases the salinity of adjacent water, and must increase the flow. In other words the flow isn’t even, but occurs in pulses, as ice forms. Water is injected into the thermohaline flow off Greenland, (and likely also off Antarctica,) in a pulse, as ice increases in the autumn and early winter. How does this pulse translate downstream?”

    This is an interesting line of thought. NASA’s Ocean Motion page offers some good insights;

    http://oceanmotion.org/html/impact/conveyor.htm

    as does this page;

    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/deep_ocean.html

    this page;

    http://www.womenoceanographers.org/Default.aspx?pid=28EF75D5-D130-46c0-947E-5CCBC627B0EE&id=AmyBower

    and on this page;

    http://web.deu.edu.tr/atiksu/toprak/ani4083.html

    these visualizations were helpful;

    This map shows where cold ocean water is sinking;

    this one shows where heat is released to the atmosphere

    and this animation is helpful in visualizing the process:

    http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewVideo.do?fileid=46592&id=32693

    In addition to temperature and salinity Earth’s rotation comes into play, especially around Antarctica;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conveyor_belt.svg

    which is also called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Circumpolar_Current

    and is “the largest ocean current.” “at approximately 125 Sverdrups”. Given that “The entire global input of fresh water from rivers to the ocean is equal to about 1 sverdrup.”;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sverdrup

    this circulation is of an amazing scale. Also Figure 2 about two third down this page;

    http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Mi-Oc/Ocean-Currents.html

    offers another perspective. And this page offers technical insights on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current:

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter13/chapter13_04.htm

    These maps seem to indicate an interesting circulation at the North Pole as well:

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=441&cid=47170&ct=61&article=20727

    “my audacious idea begins by suggesting the missing component involves the thermohaline circulation actually speeding up, like the rate of flow through a hose when the spigot is turned up.”

    An interesting hypothesis, but do you have any data to back it up? According to this reference “The comparison suggests that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation has slowed by about 30 per cent between 1957 and 2004.”

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7068/abs/nature04385.html

    In this presentation on the Atlantic Meridinol overturning circulation, the chart Slide 4 seems to indicate a slight slowdown, but the alignment between data sets appears awful and the resultant divergent predictions laughable:

    http://ioc-goos-oopc.org/meetings/oopc-9/presentations/monAM/Bryden_rapid4oopc.pdf

    On the other hand, this article from November 29th, 2008 in Nature, is titled, “North Atlantic cold-water sink returns to life – Convective mixing resumes after a decade due to massive loss of Arctic ice.”

    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081129/full/news.2008.1262.html

    The claim that it resumed “after a decade due to massive loss of Arctic ice.” seems dubious considering that there does not appear to have been a “massive loss of Arctic Ice”;

    but this article from January 9, 2009;

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=282&cid=54347

    also asserts that “One of the “pumps” that helps drive the ocean’s global circulation suddenly switched on again last winter for the first time this decade. The finding surprised scientists who had been wondering if global warming was inhibiting the pump and did not foresee any indications that it would turn back on.

    The “pump” in question is in the western North Atlantic Ocean, where pools of cold, dense water form in winter and sink beneath less-dense warmer waters. The sinking water feeds into the lower limb of a global system of currents often described as the Great Ocean Conveyor (View animation (Quicktime)). To replace the down-flowing water, warm surface waters from the tropics are pulled northward along the Conveyor’s upper limb.”

    Do you have any additional data that suggests an acceleration in the Thermohaline Circulation?

  86. “levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century”

    Why do people persist with this incredibly poor way of describing probabilities? It’s rubbish on almost all accounts.

    1) We don’t have anywhere near enough data to do odds on “one in a century” events. We’d need millenia before we could do that accurately. Certainly our less than 200 years of data won’t start to be enough to even give a rough guide. They’re probably doing some extrapolations based on a normal variation (in the technical use of “normal”), when climate is notoriously not normal at the extremes.

    2) The events aren’t independent. So a “one in a century” event is likely to be followed by another as the underlying causal conditions are still similar. You can’t do individual probabilities with dependent events – it’s the first thing you are taught in high school statistics.

    3) “One in a century” where? Queensland? Australia? Brisbane? There is never a boundary condition given. If it is “once in a century” in any given town, say, then you would expect that it would occur every year if there are 100 towns. (Except, of course, because these things are dependent, it will occur everywhere or nowhere.) You need to specify boundaries to your events.

    4) Even if the events were independent, and their frequency well known, and the boundaries well set, it doesn’t help people one jot. People are incredibly poor at judging what truly random behaviour is. They expect that “once in a century” events will basically occur on average one time in any century, which they almost never will.

    5) The margin between extreme and merely high is statistically important, but usually practically worthless. If the flood was a bit lower, so that it was now only “once in a 75 year period” it would still be a disaster. Often from a practical point of view, two slightly smaller floods are worse than one really large one. What you need is flood prevention schemes for all floods, not fretting that “this was a big one”. (The recent Christchurch earthquake, similar in level to the Haiti one, shows how preparedness is the key, not the size of the event.)

    So I would really like meteorologists to stop using the bollocks “once in a century” type descriptors. Get them to a statistics class if need be. Even if it is right, it is unhelpful.

  87. Rushmike
    Some proxies are better calibrated than others and have fewer interfering signals. I would consider mercury thermometers to be an example of a good proxy measurement of temperature, tree rings a bad one.
    Sea level rise has not accelerated since the proposed beginning of AGW, hence you should be wary of claims that it provides evidence of increased OHC due to global warming. Why do you think the Argo temperature data is misleading us? The sensors are meticulously calibrated and have suggested cooling of the oceans since 2003.

  88. Mooloo says:
    January 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    “levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century”

    Why do people persist with this incredibly poor way of describing probabilities? It’s rubbish on almost all accounts.

    I agree that media attempts to report statistical information are generally worse than useless.

    If you’re from the UK – do you remember some years ago the “vague news” slot on the Mark and Lard BBC radio 1 early afternoon show? A good description of climate reporting.

  89. Caleb says:
    January 16, 2011 at 4:46 am
    Audacious Idea #2

    I think your idea of a triggering role for THC and upwelling is quite reasonable. Indeed, to propose that the deep ocean and THC had no role in ENSO would be even more audacious.

  90. Just the facts,

    Thanks for the links.

    I wish I could return the favor, but I confess my “audacious ideas” are simply thoughts that come into my head after pouring over maps and data.

    For something like five years I’ve been looking for an overview which integrates all the various climate topics, but one thing I notice is a sort of myopia among researchers. They are so focused on one topic, (for example arctic sea ice, or ultraviolet rays and ozone, or the ENSO) that they fail to link their topic to others. When I ask questions I get silence. Therefore I’ve developed the habit of phrasing my questions as a theory. It may be a bad habit, however on the web you are fairly certain of getting a response.

    It will take me a while to digest all your interesting links. However already I’ve found stuff I never saw before.

    For example, in your very first link, scroll down to the video showing the Agulhas Current, but rather than looking at the current look up the west coast of Africa to the mouth of the Congo River. About a sixth of the way through the video some sort of shock-wave occurs, and drives a slosh of warm water right down the west coast to Namibia. What the heck caused that shock wave?

    That is the sort of odd detail I notice, and attempt to incorporate into an overview. At times I think an overview might be impossible. Our world is simply too complex, amazing and wonderful. However it is fun to observe and marvel.

  91. Edbhoy, I agree with you that thermometers are better proxies than tree rings. Fewer variables for a start. Tree ring growth is determined by more than the temperature; pollution, light levels, moisture levels etc. Measuring temperatures using thermal expansion of course has its variables, pressure being the most obvious. Once you correct for the pressure then sea level rise has been fairly consistant, even in recent years. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_ib_ns_global.jpg

  92. La Nina may remain strong but here in Montana we have had typical El Nino weather (except for the extreme eastern portions of the state). I live at the north entrance to Yellowstone at an elevation of 5280 feet. The temperature hasn’t dropped below 40 in the last 36 hours. We have been in the mid to upper 30s for that 2-1/2 weeks. The most significant snow has fallen prior to January (and most of that the week before Thanksgiving). It rained steadily yesterday in both Bozeman and Livingston. The snow has vanished from the Livingston area. Billings is predicting mid to upper 30s for the next ten days.

    I have no idea what these predictions of above normal snowfall and below normal temps are based on but they’re all wet (excuse the pun). This winter is exactly like last winter. So I see no difference between a El Nino year and a La Nina year.

  93. Caleb says: January 17, 2011 at 12:39 am

    “What the heck caused that shock wave?”

    Not sure, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend reading up on Ekman Transport;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekman_transport

    as wind is an important factor to account for. Also take a look at this Cold Water Upwelling Animation;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010019/upwelling.mpg

    and associated background;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010019/index.html

    Ocean Convection at High Altitudes – Normal Condition – Animation;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010092/salt.mpg

    and associated background;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010092/index.html

    Ocean Convection at High Altitudes – Fresh Condition – Animation;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010093/fresh.mpg

    and associated background;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010093/index.html

    Atlantic Circulation Animation;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010031/oceanconvey.mpg

    and associated background and;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010031/index.html

    La Nina Retreat Animation;

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010048/ninaRetreat.mpg

    and associated background:

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010048/index.html

    “Our world is simply too complex, amazing and wonderful. However it is fun to observe and marvel.”

    Yes, take a look at this Global Sea Surface Temperature – 12 Month Animation;

    and note the tentacles/tendrils of cold water that begin dancing across the Equatorial Pacific in May as the La Nina takes hold. Now look in the same location and timeframe on this Global Sea Surface Salinity – 12 Month Animation;

    and note that you can still see the essence of the same tentacles/tendrils.

    Also, on the salinity animation, watch the pool of lower salinity water that forms along the Northeastern coast of South America around March and continues through August. Maybe Amazon River output, maybe atmospheric/wind associated with the onset of La Nina, maybe otherwise. There is still so much to be learned…

    “At times I think an overview might be impossible.”

    I think a reasonably accurate overview of Earth’s climate system will likely take many more generations of measurement and research to develop. However, I think we are making good forward progress, and I am hopeful that we’ll be able to get beyond the CAGW debacle in the next few years, thus this decade could hold an array of important discoveries that will help reshape our understanding of how Earth’s climate system works.

  94. Folks, I would like to make an interesting observation, to which I think somebody might validly spend some thinking time, my understanding of Global Climate drivers being somehat limited. 1974 was a very strong LaNina year and it persisted into 1975. In Australia this meant floods in Brisbane at higher levels than recently seen and then into 1975 Northen Australia experienced several serious Tropical Cyclones including the Infamous Cyclone Tracey that flattened Darwin.
    However, my observation is what then happened in 1976 – because as a young high school student in England, I was swimming at Easter because it was so hot! Since this time the World experienced a step change in Climate that “is unequivocal”.
    My question is – were those events linked? That is, did the strong La Nina lead to a “recalibration” of the Worlds Climate? Or was there some underlying oceanic cycle (say) that caused both? Are they linked?
    And then, of course, given that we are now experiencing a 1 in 100 La Nina, what happens next.

  95. As far as I am concerned El Nino and La Nina mean the same thing in Montana. Livingston, MT high on Sunday, January 16th was 51 degrees. All the snow is gone. North Entrance to Yellowstone…haven’t been below freezing for about a week now. It rained all day today. Butte, MT 42 degrees today. Forecast for Billings, MT is for mid to upper 30s for the remainder of the week. Rain in Butte, Bozeman, Livingston, Great Falls, Helena and Billings. It is March in mid-January with no end in sight.

    Joe Bastardi over at Accu Weather is predicting the coldest January since 1985. Good luck with that forecast Joe. Not much of a winter in the Northwest or the Northern Rockies for quite a while. Global cooling?….I don’t think so.

Comments are closed.