Mid-January 2011 SST Anomaly Update

clickable global map of SST anomalies

Full size image of above here

Guest post by Bob Tisdale
This mid-month update only includes the shorter-term NINO3.4 and global SST anomaly graphs; that is, the ones from January 2004 to present. Both the NINO3.4 and Global SST anomalies have dropped.

As noted in the November 2010 SST Anomaly Update, the global SST anomalies do not appear as though they will drop to the level they had reached during the 2007/08 La Niña, even if one were to account for the differences in NINO3.4 SST anomalies. This of course will be raised by alarmists as additional proof of anthropogenic global warming.

But the reason the global SST anomalies have warmed in that time is due primarily to the fact that the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans (about 25% of the surface area of the global oceans) can warm in response to both El Niño and La Niña events. Refer to Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1 and Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 2, and the video included in La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos.

Keep in mind, the warm water released from below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool doesn’t simply vanish at the end of the El Niño.

#############

NINO3.4

NINO3.4 SST anomalies for the week centered on January 12, 2011 show that central equatorial Pacific SST anomalies have dropped in the past two weeks. They cycled back down to near their earlier low for this La Niña season. They’re at approximately -1.8 deg C.

http://i53.tinypic.com/zxp5l0.jpg
NINO3.4 SST Anomalies – Short-Term

GLOBAL

Weekly Global SST anomalies have dropped to a new seasonal low, but they are far from the low reached during the 2007/08 La Niña. They are presently at +0.04 deg C.
http://i51.tinypic.com/2choryb.jpg
Global SST Anomalies – Short-Term

SOURCE

OI.v2 SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS system:
http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite

About these ads
This entry was posted in ENSO and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Mid-January 2011 SST Anomaly Update

  1. Adam Soereg says:

    The UAH Ch5 anomaly is dropping below 2008 levels, (most recent value: -0.251 deg.C) while global SST anomalies are roughly 0.1°c higher than the lowest value ever reached during the 2007/08 La Nina.

  2. Ed Scott says:

    Combet’s hot air tax
    by Bob Carter

    January 3, 2011

    No seasonal break for the climate commissars

    Following the failure of the UN’s Cancun talkfest, Climate Minister Greg Combet, displaying what Paul Keating would doubtless term remarkable intransigence, commented that it was still “very important from the government’s point of view that a market mechanism is adopted” to put a price on carbon dioxide.

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/01/bob-carter

    Support for Australia’s international objectives. Australian objectives presumably should not include economic and political stupidity in the face of the collapsed talkfests at Copenhagen and Cancun. The idea that overseas nations will discriminate against Australia unless we implement anti-carbon dioxide measures is well worn out, and has anyway always been a juvenile argument. Nations take hard decisions in accordance with their sovereign economic interests, irrespective of Green lobby group dreaming.

    The irony is that the eleven principles adopted by the MCCC, to the degree that they are not mere persiflage, add up to a strong argument for NOT introducing a levy on carbon dioxide emissions, i.e., the principles indicate a course of action precisely the opposite of what the government currently intends.

    This obvious conclusion escapes not only the government, but also our national newspaper which editorialised recently (December 30th):

    Blaming Julia Gillard’s [intended] carbon legislation [for recent increases in the price of power] will come easily to consumers — even if putting a price on carbon is inevitable and logical. A price mechanism is the cheapest way to end uncertainty and reduce pollution …

    Meanwhile, from the UK has just come the news that, with a December temperature average of -1 deg. C, England has already had its second coldest winter since records begin in 1659 – and, if January and February continue to be cold, England may yet achieve its coldest winter in the last 1,000 years.

    The effective response from the British Meteorological Office (BMO) was for Director Julia Sligo to demand more funding to purchase bigger computers, saying:

    It’s quite clear that if we could run our models at a higher resolution we could do a much better job — tomorrow — in terms of our seasonal and decadal predictions. It’s so frustrating. We keep saying we need four times the computing power. We’re talking just 10 or 20 million a year — dollars or pounds — which is tiny compared to the damage done by disasters.

    The delusion that pouring more funds into ever more powerful computers will “solve” the climate prediction problem is chimerical, and simply represents an infinite regress for continuing (indeed, increased) funding for the very scientists who have led us astray so badly by their naïve over-reliance on unvalidated computer models in the first place.

    To the degree that statements such as those made by BMO’s Dr. Sligo represent the views of the professional meteorological community, that community has now moved beyond parody and demands to be ridiculed. Can it really be the case that amidst the hurricane of Green spin about global warming, not a single bureaucrat or government politician in Canberra has retained a functioning bullshit detector?

    Remarkably, in enunciating their “eleven principles”, the Canberra MCCC managed to evade entirely any mention of the underpinning scientific justification for introducing a tax on carbon dioxide. That is, of course, because there is none (which is doubtless why only one, tame, scientist was included as a member of the committee in the first place).

    As the government will discover from its focus groups over the next few months, no matter how hard Mr. Combet tries to spin it as beneficial, they will introduce a carbon dioxide tax at their considerable electoral peril.

    For where global warming alarmism is concerned, the good news is that the bullshit detectors of the Australian electorate are both alive and activated.

  3. stephan says:

    re first reply graph link above shows zilch nada no temp trend whatsoever

  4. John Kehr says:

    There is still a difference in the behavior of the central Atlantic compared to 07/08. Much like the stock market past performance does not predict future performance.

  5. RobertL says:

    Hi all – first post here. I noticed some talk in these pages yesterday of Obama’s SOTU speech being a “tipping point” in the AGW debate – given that he did not mention it at all.

    Well – we may have another. Our (Australian) PM, Julia Gillard yesterday announced a new flood levy ( a “levee levy”?) to pay for the recent flood damage here.*

    She has also listed a number of Government initiatives that will be cut to assist to pay for the flood damage. They are mostly environmental related – like a “cash for clunkers” car replacement scheme. This has been slammed by the Greens party.

    Gillard actually came out and said that one-off envonmental disasters like these floods cannot be blamed on global warming, they are simply extreme weather events.

    That single comment is the best thing that she’s done since being elected!

    * Yeah – I know, there’s lots of political debate about whether we should have this levy. I have strong views of my own, but I’m ignoring them here to focus on the AGW-related impact.

  6. John F. Hultquist says:

    Bob,

    In the first chart the period of time for the SST anomalies to be around -1.6 is about the same currently as the time period before and after 2008. That’s just viewing, so I don’t have the exact days or average for these. Still, the current value seems not to be about to jump up. So, is a longer period of slightly less intense La Niña more or less interesting?

  7. Nonoy Oplas says:

    Hi Bob, if the global SST anomaly is positive while Pacific Ocean’s equatorial Nino 3.4 is at a low -1.8 C, it means the north Pacific, or the Atlantic Ocean, or Indian Sea, etc. on average are on high positive SST anomaly? I remember from Dr. Spencer’s global SST anomaly as of Dec 2010 was negative. Thanks.

  8. Ian W says:

    The reduction of the strength of the ENSO to just a narrow band of numbers may hide information that would show different behavior.

    If these SST anomaly maps are compared:
    Jan 13, 2008

    Jan 14, 2011

    It is apparent that there is a considerable difference in the spread of the cold upwelling. It may be that the air pressure differential and winds were stronger – but the SST anomalies appear colder and more widely spread this time.

    Or am I looking at the wrong thing?

  9. Bob Tisdale says:

    Nonoy Oplas says: “Hi Bob, if the global SST anomaly is positive while Pacific Ocean’s equatorial Nino 3.4 is at a low -1.8 C, it means the north Pacific, or the Atlantic Ocean, or Indian Sea, etc. on average are on high positive SST anomaly? I remember from Dr. Spencer’s global SST anomaly as of Dec 2010 was negative.”

    Dr Spencer uses different base years for anomalies. I’m not sure what he uses but the Reynolds OI.v2 SST anomalies in this post use 1961-1990 for base years.
    ftp://ftp.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/cmb/sst/papers/oiv2.pdf

  10. twawki says:

    It may look like it’s stalling but it could still drop further. Sun continues to almost flatline. SOI continues high and will prob finish the month around +18

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    John F. Hultquist says: “So, is a longer period of slightly less intense La Niña more or less interesting?”

    I guess it depends on what you think is interesting. Here’s the long-term graph of that weekly dataset to put things in perspective:

  12. FergalR says:

    Thanks Mr. Tisdale,

    Your site’s archives are the best eduction for anyone hoping to understand the oceans.

  13. Douglas DC says:

    What if it stalls either down or neutral? sort of a No Nina/Nino ? didn’t that happen some in the 50s?…

  14. Mick says:

    I wonder what the Navy Submariners know about the oceans temperature gradient. They know more about this than any scientific organisation do. And the records are go back to the 50’s perhaps?
    They need to know. And it’s classified me think.

  15. Michael says:

    Globe cooling faster than anticipated and to continue over next 20-30 years says accuweather.com

  16. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ian W says: “It is apparent that there is a considerable difference in the spread of the cold upwelling. It may be that the air pressure differential and winds were stronger – but the SST anomalies appear colder and more widely spread this time.”

    Sometimes it’s better to compare monthly maps because of the weather noise. So I checked the monthly maps for Dec 2007:

    and Dec 2010:

    Still tough to tell.

    The other way to check is at the GISS map making webpage:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

    There you can create a “trend” map of the month and years in question for the SST data only. It gives you the change in temperature based on local linear trends, and it’s the same Reynolds OI.v2 SST data:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=12&sat=-1&sst=1&type=trends&mean_gen=12&year1=2007&year2=2010&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

  17. Roger Knights says:

    Gillard actually came out and said that one-off environmental disasters like these floods cannot be blamed on global warming, they are simply extreme weather events.

    If she blamed Global Warming, then the question would arise, “Well then, why didn’t you warmists warn the Queensland premier to release dam-impounded waters early on?”

  18. wayne says:

    @ Ed Scott:
    January 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hah. I wonder how it long it will take the BMO to understand that it is their own equations that are wrong and not the resolution. Until they bring those equations back to reality they will only fail miserably. Tuned for an upward slope for so many years, that is their problem and the unwillingness to correct, we have the same problem on this side of the pond.

  19. King of Cool says:

    [‘Nonoy Oplas says:
    January 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    Hi Bob, if the global SST anomaly is positive while Pacific Ocean’s equatorial Nino 3.4 is at a low -1.8 C, it means the north Pacific, or the Atlantic Ocean, or Indian Sea, etc. on average are on high positive SST anomaly? I remember from Dr. Spencer’s global SST anomaly as of Dec 2010 was negative. Thanks.]

    Further to answer already provided:

    “The below average sea level pressure and above average sea surface temperatures in the western tropical Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean have led to much above average rainfall in parts of Australia, Indonesia and southeast Asia.”

    So says the latest WMO El Nino/ La Nina Report:

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/wcasp/enso_update_latest.html

    They also believe that this current event “has featured a very strong atmospheric component with the associated indicators showing it to be one of the strongest of the last century”…

    As to how long it lasts, who knows but they have been known to hang around – but not forever:

  20. Mother Nature plays with loaded dice. About anything can and probably will still happen. I strongly suspect this La Niña is not over yet. It very easily could drag on, deepening or just taking its own sweet time about heading back to neutral conditions.

  21. richcar 1225 says:

    SST’s are still working off the relatively strong 2010 El Nino. We do not know yet how long this La Nina will last. Warmists have pointed out that the 2010 El Nino was strong despite the declining sun. Esterbrook predicted by now that we would have a much stronger decline in global atmospheric temperature. Instead they have remained flat for ten years. However, looking at ice core solar proxy, temperature reconstructions over the last 750 years a twenty year lag between solar decline and temperature decline is evident. We now know that the decline that started from solar cycle 22 will likely reach a two hundred year low when cycle 24 peaks. Is it possible that the 1998 and 2010 El Ninos represent 20 year delayed thermal peaks from cycles 21 and 22 and that now we are into at least a twenty year decline in global temps due to the 20 year thermal lag?

  22. Robert M says:

    Hi Bob,

    So you think this La Niña is going to end in the next three months or so? (Not trying to put words in your mouth, just my take on what you had said.) I was thinking that it would moderate, (to around -1.0 or so…) then swing back into full gear in late summer or early fall. Would you consider that scenario unlikely?

  23. Walter Dnes says:

    Speaking of SST anomalies, what happened to the http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for ENSO data site? There have been no updates since January 5th. I’ve tried clearing my Firefox cache, using a text-based browser (w3m), and running wget to fectch the page. It doesn’t help. Anyone have alternate data for the past 2 weeks?

  24. joe says:

    i don’t get the article. sst’s look like they are probably still dropping and the la nina integral looks as big as 2008.

  25. Bob Tisdale says:

    Robert M says: “So you think this La Niña is going to end in the next three months or so?”

    Since I don’t make predictions, I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion.

  26. wayne Job says:

    As a humble engineer and not a scientist, unversed so to speak in the intricacies of global thermal dynamics, I have an observation that seems most at odds with global warming per sec.
    The ocean temperature anomalies on the high side are in the north and south polar regions bleeding heat into precipitation of wet and white on a global basis.
    The warmth in the arctic ocean is of particular concern, as the heat being lost must be huge. The sun having a sabbatical that was predicted by real a scientist is a worry that the lost heat may not be replaced.
    That the L.I.A. happened in similar conditions augers unwell for the northern hemisphere. The sun is almost unvarying in its output regardless of sunspots, however the distance to the sun varies greatly and rapidly depending on the orbits and alignments of our large neighbours.
    The inverse square rule applies to the distance from the sun for our wattage, thus at the moment we are some-what shy 50 watts per square metre or more.
    Measuring the output of the sun from solar orbit is some-what less than useful, and tells nothing of what the Earth receives. The sun is behaving as it always does, pushed and pulled and bullied by its companions and thus is predictable.
    Brave forward thinkers have hindcast and forecast our sun and our prevailing climate with real Newtonian mathematics. In very short shift the sun can vary in distance from the Earth 3 to 5 Million Kms, with the inverse square rule that is a ship load of watts we do not get.
    The solar system is in a perpetual waltz with periodic sinusoidal occurances that give rise to change in our rather special little life raft. That a cold snap is upon us is beyond doubt, the lack of sunspots is an indication of the effects of the orbits of the major planets and the effects on our climate of this condition is known in history.
    For two thousand years the planet has been cooling in fits and starts, one can hope that the overdue ice age stays overdue for a millenium or two, or at least a couple of hundred years.

  27. Juraj V. says:

    ENSO predictive models failed big time one year ago, so grain of salt recommended.

  28. Bob Tisdale says:

    Walter Dnes says: “Anyone have alternate data for the past 2 weeks?”

    You’d have to retrieve through the NOAA NOMADS website:

    http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

  29. Don B says:

    Just eyeballing, but it looks to me that global SST has dropped more in the last year than in any 12 month period on the above graph.

    I really enjoy your site, Bob. I’m a graph guy.

  30. Mycroft says:

    Bob
    Any idea’s why the Gulf of Mexico and “Gulf Stream” track are so low considering that the AMO is positive?.

  31. The sea surface temperature off the south-west coast of Western Australia is of particular interest because it’s now carrying a category 4 severe tropical cyclone predicted to hit the mainland within 36 hours.

    TC Bianca is spinning above 200kmh at the moment and the BoM has today hit the major emergency buttons as the capital Perth is in the firing line with about 1.6 million people exposed to the current cyclone path.

    The region is parched so bushfires are on the cards, although locals are hoping for heavy rainfall to fill our dams. Cyclones usually only track this far south on average every eight years but it’s been quiet for about 20 years. The last major south-west impact was TC Alby in 1978 (five deaths), although she never touched land.

    Bianca is now tracking around 35kmh and is expected to rapidly degenerate in the next day because of cooler south-west sea surface temperatures, and the BoM is predicting cat 1 wind strength upon landfall with winds up to 120kmh.

    The interesting question is the orange warm SST wedge down the West Australian coast in the map atop this page, heat carried south by the Leeuwin Current. Is this warm enough to maintain Bianca’s rage to cat 2 when she touches down early Sunday?

    There’s a lot of damaging difference between gusts up to 125kmh and gusts up to 164kmh. With good luck the SST will cut Bianca to little more than a rain-bearing depression but with bad luck it’ll deliver a nasty punch.

    Tropical cyclones generate with SST around 26 C and the current SST off the south west is between 23 and 23.5 C:

    http://www.marine.csiro.au/~lband/web_point/

    However, colours in the BoM map from yesterday look between 24 and 26 C:

    http://reg.bom.gov.au/oceanography/forecasts/idyoc10.shtml?region=10&forecast=1

    If the following BoM graph is accurate, south west SST temps for January look about the same as they were in 1978 when Alby skirted the coast…

    http://reg.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi?variable=sst&region=sw&season=01

    The landfall strength of Bianca will be interesting.

    Updated BoM cyclone tracking is at:

    http://reg.bom.gov.au/products/IDW60281.shtml

    Enough research … time to batten down the hatches.

  32. Dr. Lurtz says:

    The radical shift in temperature anomaly points to the issue of temperature measurement. It would be a violation of Physical laws for that much heat to be radiated into space that quickly without a massive change in Global temperature; therefore, either the heat must be going somewhere, or, the temperature measurements do no represent the Global temperature!!

    Where could the heat be going?? It must either radiate into space, or it must go into the oceans. The La Nina shows that the heat is going into the oceans; whereas, the El Nino shows that heat is coming from the oceans.

    If we could get a “read” on Global ocean surface temperature (0-100 foot depth), we could determine how much heat is going into the oceans. I don’t know of any analysis available.

    My thoughts are that the oceans can not absorb heat that fast; therefore, the sudden change in temperature anomaly is due to the inability to correctly measure the Earth’s Global Temperature.

  33. Bob Tisdale says:

    Mycroft says: “Any idea’s why the Gulf of Mexico and “Gulf Stream” track are so low considering that the AMO is positive?”

    The map linked at the top of the post is from NESDIS. And here’s the full version:

    It’s pattern is “similar” to a correlation map of global temperatures in response to the East Indian-West Pacific SST anomalies (which warms in response to La Nina events).

    The correlation map is from my most recent post:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/01/removing-effects-of-natural-variables.html

  34. R. Gates says:

    Bob said:

    “As noted in the November 2010 SST Anomaly Update, the global SST anomalies do not appear as though they will drop to the level they had reached during the 2007/08 La Niña, even if one were to account for the differences in NINO3.4 SST anomalies. This of course will be raised by alarmists as additional proof of anthropogenic global warming.”

    _________
    Bob, I very much respect your SST analysis, but the last sentence here is quite absurd. As as “warmist”, as in, one who believes that it is more likely than not that some level of AGW is occurring, I also can appreciate the natural long and short term cycles. Even if the current La Nina episode, which is occurring in the context of a cool cycle of the PDO, were to somehow dip lower than the previous La Nina level, that would prove nothing for or against the general theory that anthropogenic GHG’s have caused some level of AGW over the past century.

  35. Ian Holton says:

    Looks like Indian and most other oceans are cooling to me!

  36. sunsettommy says:

    Mr. Gates,

    The trends between ENSO and temperature runs a LOT closer together than the CO2 and temperature trend does.

    We know very well that CO2 is going up and up at a fairly steady rate.But temperature goes up and down in a very erratic pattern.No visible connection at all.

    I have to agree that the proponents of the AGW hypothesis have little basis to try the CO2/temperature connection argument.It was dead from the start.

    Cheers.

  37. R. Gates says:

    sunsettommy says:
    January 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Mr. Gates,

    The trends between ENSO and temperature runs a LOT closer together than the CO2 and temperature trend does.

    We know very well that CO2 is going up and up at a fairly steady rate.But temperature goes up and down in a very erratic pattern.No visible connection at all.

    I have to agree that the proponents of the AGW hypothesis have little basis to try the CO2/temperature connection argument.It was dead from the start.

    Cheers

    ________
    The effects of CO2, including positive feedback related to increases in water vapor and polar amplification, were never shown by any of the GCM’s to be linear. This fallacy seems to be continued by AGW skeptics as a way to somehow show the AGW Theory to be completely wrong, but it does nothing of the sort. The idea that small annual increases in CO2 will continually and in a linear fashion lead to small annual increases in temperature was NEVER part of the theory, as it was only that eventually, the forcing of CO2 would become the primary driver of warming as all other forcings would become noise in this longer term signal. Honest skeptics know this and don’t use the lack of direct linear correlation to annual temperatures as an argument against AGW.

Comments are closed.