Tisdale asks: Hey, Where’d The El Niño Go?

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

This post will serve as the mid-September 2012 sea surface temperature anomaly update.

Sea surface temperature anomalies for the NINO3.4 region of the eastern equatorial Pacific are a commonly used index for the strength, frequency and duration of El Niño and La Niña events. In recent weeks, they have cooled to well below the threshold of El Niño conditions. For the evolution of an El Niño that starts from La Niña conditions, that dip is unusual during the satellite era (since November 1981). See Figure 1. Actually, it’s unusual for any El Niño event over the past 30 years.

Figure 1

This does not mean the El Niño this year has come to an end. A dip of similar magnitude did occur once before in the satellite era, and that was during the evolution of the 1991/1992 El Niño. See Figure 2. The dip in 1991, however, may have been in response to the June 15, 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. There have been no explosive volcanic eruptions comparable to Mount Pinatubo this year.  The evolution of the 1991 event is highlighted in purple in Figure 2.

 

Figure 2

MID-MONTH UPDATE

Weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies for the week centered on August 15, 2012 are approximately +0.365 deg C, having dropped from almost +1.0 deg C over the past few weeks.

Figure 3 – Weekly NINO3.4

Global sea surface temperature anomalies are continuing their wiggly upward march, rebounding from La Niña conditions and responding to the evolving El Niño. There is a time lag between the variations in the NINO3.4 data and the response of global sea surface temperature anomalies. It will be interesting to see if they reach 2009/10 levels.

Figure 4 – Weekly Global

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE EL NIÑO AND LA NIÑA AND THEIR LONG-TERM EFFECTS ON GLOBAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES?

Why should you be interested? Satellite-era sea surface temperature records indicate El Niño and La Niña events are responsible for the warming of global sea surface temperature anomalies over the past 30 years, not manmade greenhouse gases. I have been publishing blog posts for the past 3 ½ years that illustrate that fact.

I’ve recently published my e-book (pdf) about the phenomena called El Niño and La Niña. It’s titled Who Turned on the Heat? with the subtitle The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño Southern Oscillation. It is intended for persons (with or without technical backgrounds) interested in learning about El Niño and La Niña events and in understanding the natural causes of the warming of our global oceans for the past 30 years. Because land surface air temperatures simply exaggerate the natural warming of the global oceans over annual and multidecadal time periods, the vast majority of the warming taking place on land is natural as well. The book is the product of years of research of the satellite-era sea surface temperature data that’s available to the public via the internet. It presents how the data accounts for its warming—and there are no indications the warming was caused by manmade greenhouse gases. None at all.

Who Turned on the Heat? was introduced in the blog post Everything You Every Wanted to Know about El Niño and La Niña… …Well Just about Everything. The Updated Free Previewincludes the Table of Contents; the Introduction; the beginning of Section 1, with the cartoon-like illustrations; the discussion About the Cover; and the Closing.

Please buy a copy. (Paypal or Credit/Debit Card). It’s only US$8.00.

SOURCES

The Sea Surface Temperature anomaly data used in this post is available through the NOAA NOMADS website:

http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

or:

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

94 thoughts on “Tisdale asks: Hey, Where’d The El Niño Go?

  1. Thanks Bob, it is interesting watching the present ENSO developments. All the better for your input.

    Should the following

    Weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies for the week centered on August 15, 2012 are approximately +0.365 deg C,

    be “centered on September 19, 2012?

  2. Ugh, I was actually hoping for an El Nino, so all this talk of horrific drought would cease.

    Also, I like rain.

  3. Thanks Bob, always looks forward to your updates. I made the following observation in late June 2012: “Thought that this may be of interest: It looks like El Nino is starting to kick in (not official yet), after a double-dip La Nina. The SST anomaly maps below show a tongue of warm water off the West coast of South America, expanding westward into the tropical Pacific. But there is still strong upwelling off the West coast of North America (from a negative PDO) and it will be interesting to see if the cooler water to the North will dampen the development of this El Nino.”
    See http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/anomnight.current.gif
    See http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif

    Not sure if the -PDO is really influencing this El Nino’s weak start, was wondering what your thought were about that.

    -Frank

  4. Son of a gun. I was hoping for some semblance of El Nino. Us western states need to moisture which it (usually) brings. As long as it doesn’t go La Nina like it did this past winter/spring…

  5. Bob-

    Thanks for update. I saw the 3.4 temp drop the other day and wondered if the El Nino was over. You really didn’t venture an opinion, just stated the fact that the only other time there was a dip, it was probably caused by volcanic eruption. Would you care to guess? Is the El Nino over?

    By the way, I am reading your book. I can’t praise it highly enough. Well written and illustrated. Being an old guy, I am still amazed by the technology that allows you to click on a reference and there it is. A real argument for an on-line book.

  6. Maybe the ocean – atmosphere is decoupling and we will see massive swings in temperature … Venus to Day After Tomorrow types of events. What do you think? :)

  7. I don’t see any striking divergence from previous La Nina-initiated El Ninos with exception of the 1998 one, all of the differences are below noise level and the fact that some arbitrary line was crossed in “wrong” direction does not change anything on that. If the line was just 0.2 degree higher, the 2010-11 would have done the same.
    My prediction has not changed: I believe we’re going to have a weak El Nino.

  8. More global cloudiness from more meridional jets is reducing the amount of energy entering the oceans to weaken the recharge process.

  9. All the ninos in a cold PDO are short lived reactionary, mainly central pacific based. Jamstec on target again.. weak winter nino.. La Nina returns next years. Hasta la vista to las Warmingistas! Let me remind the super nino spikers, you admit the ocean, not co2 , controls the shooting match every time you scream global warming from the el nino. The cold PDO eats ninos and is why the average length of la nina in cold PDO is 21 months, nino 9 months, hence the global downturn in temps

    http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frsgc/research/d1/iod/e/seasonal/outlook.html

    scroll down to enso 2 year outlook. Pretty good looking to me.

  10. If the threshold for El Nino dips without a Mt Pinatubo eruption event doesn’t this cause concern for a stronger La Nina for the future? Which may cause a stronger La Nina for the future and a continued drought for the southern states and a stronger dry year for California? Not good news for the Golden State.

  11. http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/07/10/after-two-years-of-la-nina-el-nino-may-be-on-the-way/

    July 10, 2012 | 11:51 AM | By Climate Central

    After Two Years of La Niña, El Niño May Be on the Way

    El Niño events can also help boost global average surface temperatures. A strong El Niño event led to the record warm year of 1998, and some climate scientists, including NASA’s James Hansen, have pointed out that a new El Niño event would likely lead to another record warm year given the combination of El Niño and manmade global warming.

    One of the key indicators that El Niño conditions are developing is a growing area of warmer-than-average equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures, and an increase in the oceanic heat content as well. “The observations . . . reflect a likely progression towards El Niño,” the Climate Prediction Center said.

    Forecasters use computer models to help anticipate El Niño and La Niña events. Right now, most of the simulations of air and sea conditions show a developing El Niño.

    The answer is obvious. The models showed El Niño. Hansen and cronies wanted a good strong El Niño for a “record breaking year of dangerous deadly Anthropogenic Climate Change!”

    So reality and Nature itself have canceled the El Niño, to spite both the modelers and Hansen with his “known associates”.

    They should have remembered the old Chiffon commercials, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” If they say it’s global warming, but it’s not…

  12. Green Sand: Thanks for picking up the typo. I only had one cup of coffee when I did my cutting and pasting this morning–at least that’s my excuse for now. I’ll go correct the cross post at my blog.

    Thanks again.

  13. I’m currently doing some research into the ENSO index. It is my thinking that the ENSO index tends to have a negative drift during the spring and autumn equinox. And that the tendency during mid winter and summer solstice is for a positive drift.
    Is that so?
    As we all know El Niño got is name because it starting to affect Peruvian fishermen mostly during Christmas time.

  14. Thanks Bob!

    BTW, That is the best 1.4 cents per page (561) I have invested in for some time. I would encourage others to spend the 8 bucks on his very good /educational read.

  15. Frank says: “Not sure if the -PDO is really influencing this El Nino’s weak start, was wondering what your thought were about that.”

    Here’s a link to the Unisys animation:

    Too bad that doesn’t run further back in time. The North Pacific gyre definite spun some coolers waters down to the tropics, which very likely have had an impact on suppressing the El Nino this year.

    The recent cool anomaly at depth is also interesting:

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

  16. Isn’t this exactly what we’d expect during a negative PDO? Fewer, shorter and weaker El Niños and more, longer and stronger La Niñas?

    Here on the west coast La Niñas can be very wet or very dry as seen in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 winters unlike El Niños which tend to be wet only.

  17. Philip Finck says: “Maybe the ocean – atmosphere is decoupling and we will see massive swings in temperature … Venus to Day After Tomorrow types of events. What do you think? :)”

    I don’t think it’s possible to decouple the ocean and atmosphere.

  18. So, just let me see if I’ve got this straight.

    El Nino just died.
    Ice is now increasing at BOTH poles.
    The earth’s atmosphere has shrunk to the smallest diameter NASA has ever recorded.

    And we’re still all going to die from heat exhaustion.

  19. Well if one takes a good look at Figure 2 and watch the grey line (1994/95 El Niño) you will notice that it is impossible to conclude anything about the strength of this coming El Niño.
    Now also take a look what kind of effect that 1994/95 El Niño had on temperatures in those years:

    Sure doesn’t look a weak El Niño to me.
    It all depends on where the temperature ends in week 50 and beyond. Mr. Tisdale should know that by now, but he already draws conclusions “Personally, I don’t believe it’s over. But I don’t expect it to be very strong.” on September 24, 2012 at 9:01 am.
    1982/83 ( http://www.atmos.washington.edu/gcg/RTN/rtnt.html#part3 ) was by far the strongest El Niño. One can see that in Figure 2. The 1982/83 line stays well beneath the 1997/98 line and only goes beyond it in week 52.

  20. The .05 threshold is an artificial number to use in determinining if this one is unusual. If you picked a number a little higher or lower then several of the other years you list go above then below those lines. This does look like the largest drop from a maximum, but we are talking about only five events.

  21. I think the appearance of cooling is a side effect of periodic sudden energy transfer into the Trenberth Hidden Heat Reserve (THHR) (calculated as Ocean heat Content – Climate Model Prediction heat content = THHR).

    Given that everybody knows climate sensitivity greatly exceeds 2.0 deg C per CO2 doubling, and that therefore that excess heat has to be out there somewhere (even if it resists discovery by satellite, ARGO etc,) we are in big trouble. Because why else would the heat hide unless it meant to get us?

  22. prjindigo says:September 24, 2012 at 9:45 am
    The earth’s atmosphere has shrunk to the smallest diameter NASA has ever recorded.

    I came across an article a few years ago mentioning this. Do You have more info? Thank you.

  23. Ian L. McQueen says:
    September 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

    > How does this affect the ENSO-meter on the WUWT home page?

    I update that automatically on Tuesdays from http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/nino_3.4.txt . Currently it’s still showing last Tuesday’s data:

    20120827,20120902,0.92
    20120903,20120909,0.75
    20120910,20120916,0.57

    The value is the average of the week in question.

    I used to use http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for but that kept breaking until I pointed it out. Hmm, still broken since I gave up on them in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/08/tisdale-noaa-issues-el-nino-watch-for-second-half-of-2012-joe-romm-issues-rapid-warming-alert-for-2013/#comment-1005371

  24. Bob Tisdale!
    What I mean with negative drift is that the derivation of the ENSO signal drops, i.e. if the ENSO index is increasing then there is an increased likelihood that the increase drops or goes negative.
    So what I am talking about is a slight negative change in the direction of the ENSO index during spring and autumn and a slight likelihood for an increase during summer and winter solstice.

  25. Let’s think about something unusual going on elsewhere, maybe there’s a correlation or even causation. Oh, how about them sun spots?

  26. Interesting.

    If you look at this graph:

    There is a huge pool of cold pacific waters that have been slowly making their way south from the very large ice buildup in the Bering sea this past winter.

    Wonder how that plays into the meme.

    There is also a large pool of cooler water in the southeast pacific moving northwestward that seems to be cooling off this Nino…

  27. Equatorial Pacific Upper Ocean Temperature Anomaly as at last week. This measure is the most reliable short-term indicator and leads the Nino 3.4 Index by about 1 month on average. Big drop in the last few weeks.

  28. Since we are entering the first PDO warm phase of the “satellite era”, I would expect to see unusual things happening.

  29. Pressure in Darwin dropping rapidly last week too, indicating an early season build up as I forecast in July. Trades are also strong along the QLD coast, so with these factors taken into consideration one wonders why the BOM on their seasonal outlook 5 days ago made mention to EL Niño patterns when nothing of the sort is happening?

  30. The wind anomalies are not showing an el nino event. Looks neutral to me. There won’t be an El Nino condition until wind anomalies go Eastward.

  31. I thought last years La Niña was not like what we had experienced previously. It was more of a neutral ENSO being pushed to the cool side by outside forces. I’ve noticed all along that the current El Niño didn’t act like the last few as well and I’ve been expecting something like this. I think the next few years will be very entertaining for those studying this phenomenon.

  32. There is one ENSO indicator that is tracking 2009 very closely and 2009 ended with a transition into El Nino:-

    “Cloudiness along the equator, near the Date Line, is an important indicator of ENSO conditions, as it typically increases (negative OLR anomalies) near and to the east of the Date Line during an El Niño event and decreases (positive OLR anomalies) during a La Niña event.”

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    Next few months will be interesting.

  33. kadaka (KD Knoebel) wrote:

    The answer is obvious. The models showed El Niño. Hansen and cronies wanted a good strong El Niño for a “record breaking year of dangerous deadly Anthropogenic Climate Change!”

    It is obvious that you neither know what Hansen said, nor what the models show.

  34. Cool PDO means weaker & less frequent El Ninos and stronger and more frequent La Ninas. Isnt this the new pattern that we are seeing from the weather?

  35. Robbie says: “Now also take a look what kind of effect that 1994/95 El Niño had on temperatures in those years:

    Sure doesn’t look a weak El Niño to me.”

    Robbie, you’re looking at the rebound in the TLT data that occurred a couple of years after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and mistaking it for the effect of the 1994/95 El Niño.

    Robbie says: 1982/83 ( http://www.atmos.washington.edu/gcg/RTN/rtnt.html#part3 ) was by far the strongest El Niño. One can see that in Figure 2. The 1982/83 line stays well beneath the 1997/98 line and only goes beyond it in week 52.”

    The discussion you linked was written before the 1997/98 El Niño. Back out one page to here:

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/gcg/RTN/

    Now click on the link for the 1997/98 El Niño. It was written in July 1997, as the 1997/98 El Niño was evolving.

    The 1997/98 El Niño was much stronger farther to the east (outside of the NINO3.4 region) than the 1982/83 El Niño. Also, the 1982/83 El Niño was counteracted by the eruption of El Chichon, so it became a non-factor.

    Robbie, most people study a subject before they come to a blog and attempt to disrupt the discussion. You’re behaving like a troll.

    REPLY:
    Indeed, almost 100% of Robbie’s comments here are like that. Perhaps it is time to toss him in the troll bin. – Anthony

  36. BM says: “The .05 [sic] threshold is an artificial number to use in determinining if this one is unusual. If you picked a number a little higher or lower then several of the other years you list go above then below those lines.”

    The threshold for El Niño conditions used by NOAA is 0.5 deg C. I did not arbitrarily select it.

    BM says: “This does look like the largest drop from a maximum, but we are talking about only five events.”

    Scroll down to Figure 2. That includes all of the El Niño events since 1982.

  37. Per Strandberg (@LittleIceAge): Please provide a graph. I’m having a hard time visualizing what you’re saying. However, what I can show you is, ENSO is tied to the seasonal cycles of two regions. During an El Niño, the NINO3.4 region temporarily takes on the seasonal cycle of the western tropical Pacific:

  38. This is not good. Soil moisture is exhausted. Without LOTS of snow this winter and a wet spring and summer, the drought will get -worse.

  39. prjindigo says:
    September 24, 2012 at 9:45 am
    El Nino just died. Ice is now increasing at BOTH poles. The earth’s atmosphere has shrunk to the smallest diameter NASA has ever recorded.”

    And many northern countries have decimated the reliability of their electricity supply systems.

    With the energy lost from the Arctic seas due to the ice break-up, and now signs that El Nino has backed off, it could get nasty this northern winter. !
    I hope not, because a lot of people will not be able to afford what meagre amount of electricty will be available.

  40. enthalpy says: “Is there any correlation to the recent arctic cyclone?”

    Hopefully, someone will write a paper about that recent Arctic cyclone. If it was tied to ENSO, the person to write that paper would be Trenberth. But the problem is he’s stuck in alarmist mode, though his recent paper about the 2010 Russian heat wave…

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TF_RHW_JGR_2012JD018020.pdf

    ..is good, a return to his early papers, if you can read beneath the AGW hype.

  41. Bob,

    Love to buy your book, but your payment system assumes that all your buyers have a US address. I don’t — I live in Australia!

  42. Dr. Tisdale
    I would very much like to purchase a paper copy of your book. Will a real book becoming available any time soon?

  43. Here’s what I said on Weather Advance.com, on what I think could be the cause of this weakening el nino, “I also noticed that the SOI is slowly coming back from being negative and is headed towards 0 for the present moment. SOI is usually a good indicator of how strong or weak and el nino or la nina is, however, I think the MJO is playing a significant part in this. One thing I’ve taken note of is that over the last several weeks, actually since about mid-August the upward pulse of the MJO has been hanging around the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. The upward pulse of the MJO helps to induce more thunderstorm activity over the tropics and the enhanced thunderstorm activity releases latent heat into the atmosphere and lowers the pressures over the area of the tropics it is at. Now the SOI is a measure of the pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia, and when it is positive, the air pressure at Tahiti is higher than at Darwin, and when it is negative it is vis versa. Now, with the upward MJO pulse generally sitting closer to Darwin, Australia since Mid-August, what that has essentially done is it has favored a positive SOI there, because with an upward MJO pulse in place that favors lower pressures closer to Darwin, Australia, and when pressures are lower towards Darwin as opposed to Tahiti that favors a positive SOI. A positive SOI is associated with la nina conditions, or cooling waters over the eastern pacific not an el nino. With the SOI becoming less negative, that is not favoring warm waters over the eastern Pacific, which is exactly what is occurring, however, the less negative SOI doesn’t as greatly affect the waters over the central pacific and towards the International date line, which remain above normal, and in some cases those waters are warming. Combine this with the fact that is you look at ENSO events since 1950, the el ninos and la ninas really don’t strengthen until later in the fall, anyway, and are prone to large fluctuations in the spring, summer, and the early fall. This why I’m not too concerned for the moment that the el nino is weakening, however, if the el nino continues to behave in this way for another month or so, then I’ll be more open to the possibility of a warm ENSO neutral for the winter.
    As far as dramatically changing the forecast, I would have to disagree to a certain extent on that. Yes, a switch to warm neutral would alter the winter forecast, but the overall pattern playing out over the northern hemisphere remains similar even with warm ENSO neutral. When you have an el nino over the pacific, especially if it is central or west based you have to consider the reasons why the el nino produces a cold winter, at least for the southern and eastern US. An el nino in a cold PDO with the warmer waters over the central pacific, and with the Atlantic ocean warmer than normal, what happens is that pressures lower over both of those oceans, and in between the pacific and the atlantic oceans is the North American continent, and when you have two areas of separate low pressure, in this case being the oceans, you have an area in between that must receive higher pressures, and that area that sees this is North America. In the winter, the above normal pressures are associated with cold air because colder air sinks and forces the pressures to rise. Even with warm ENSO neutral conditions, the waters over the central pacific will be above normal, and you will still see the same effects as far as overall pressure patterns go, with the lower than normal pressures still being focused over that area of the global tropics. (although the drops in pressure aren’t as dramatic as they are in el ninos.) Unless we go into cool neutral territory, (which is very, very unlikely to happen) I don’t see this winter being a bad one like this year, given that even if we see warm neutral conditions the overall pressure pattern would support a good winter over the US, but if we get an el nino to form, the winter will likely be even better. Also of note is how the AO and NAO are going to shape up this winter. One very strong indicator of how the NAO will be in the winter is the water temperatures that are just south of, and around Greenland in the month of October. A trend that was noted during the 2009-10 & 2010-11 winters was that when the water was warmer than normal in October, the NAO and AO were negative for the upcoming winter, and last year when the waters were cooler off Greenland, we witnessed how positive the NAO and AO were. The reason this is the case is similar to what I was talking about over the tropical pacific regarding el nino and warm ENSO neutral. When you have warmer than normal waters near Greenland, what happens is the pressures are lowered over the water, and this helps to focus more predominant areas of higher pressures over Greenland, and higher than normal pressures over Greenland are what helps to drive a negative NAO. The opposite occurs when the waters are cooler than normal, and now instead of focusing lower pressures over the water, the pressures are higher simply due to the water being colder than normal, and this induces more rising air over Greenland, thus lowering the pressures overall, and lower pressures over Greenland are what helps to drive a positive NAO. This year I’m happy to say that the waters are VERY warm off of and just south of Greenland, and since this is the case, I’m leaning towards us experiencing strongly negative AO and NAO pulses this winter, which is a good reason not to be nearly as concerned about the state of the el nino, because even if we go into warm neutral, we’ll still have the warmer than normal waters over the tropical pacific supporting lowering pressures there and creating higher pressures over North America, plus, we’ll probably also have strong support from the NAO. In general, even if el nino dissipates into warm ENSO neutral, conditions overall support a colder and snowier winter than normal over the US, however, if we do see el nino conditions over the central tropical pacific this winter, then the conditions may be in place for a very cold and snowy winter, as opposed to just some cold and snow that we would see with warm ENSO neutral.”
    In general, the combination of an unfavorable MJO and a cold PDO, both appear to be working against the el nino, and this could be why the el nino is not strengthening as it typically should this time of the year.

  44. Bob – Nino 3.4 catches the El Nino wave before it has reached South America. But atmospheric temperature increase takes place when it reaches the coast, hence the delay between Nino 3.4 and observed El Nino temps. To get in phase with the actual El Nino warming you should be looking at SST in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, not in Mid-Pacific where Nino 3.4 sits.

  45. Let the El Nino thrive.. because it’s letting out the stored heat energy that was building up through 1997… But then… cool winter in the north anyone?

  46. Jan P Perlwitz said on September 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) wrote:

    The answer is obvious. The models showed El Niño. Hansen and cronies wanted a good strong El Niño for a “record breaking year of dangerous deadly Anthropogenic Climate Change!”

    It is obvious that you neither know what Hansen said, nor what the models show.

    That would be “showed”, past tense. In my comment I provided the quote which clearly said “Right now, most of the simulations of air and sea conditions show a developing El Niño.” So at the time of that story’s posting, that is what the models showed.

    I did include the link to the graphic of the many forecasts of ENSO 3.4 SST anomalies, as provided with the story, but that’s a dynamic image thus the exact graphic at the time of posting is unknown. What, in your esteemed wisdom, do you think the current version of the graphic is saying?

    In another example of your devious wording, what Hansen said was not mentioned by me. After over a decade of stalled global warming, as the meme of “inevitable global warming” falls apart as the atmospheric CO₂ concentrations continue their merry rise, requiring endless hem-hawing and “silent” revisions and introducing of temporary exceptions to CAGW theory (actually barely a conjecture),

    As the alarmism that Hansen has long championed is increasingly disparaged and rejected,

    And as the “death trains of coal” continue to happily run on time, in growing numbers in China and elsewhere,

    Can you honestly say that Hansen doesn’t want a “record breaking year of dangerous deadly Anthropogenic Climate Change!” to “prove” the threat he so long warned about is actually real and does exist?

  47. kadaka,

    Disregard the climate alarmist Perlwitz, who has his snout planted firmly in the public trough. The sooner that grant-sucking GISS charlatans like Perlwitz are cut off from public funds, the better.

  48. @ D Böehm on September 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm:

    Gee, I wonder if Jan is a legally-voting US citizen. Seems a guaranteed Obama voter. Either his share of the global warming gravy train continues, or if Congress won’t let Barry follow through on that promise then there’ll be plenty of other places at the public trough for a dedicated government servant. Or at least he could get government-paid job retraining and learn something useful and marketable, like plumbing. They’re often hiring at Lowes.

    Side humor: I Googled his name, got his GISS Personnel Directory listing. Google gave me the option “Translate this page”. I guess it’s official, “Bureaucrat” is indeed a separate recognized language.

  49. kadaka (KD Knoebel) wrote:

    That would be “showed”, past tense. In my comment I provided the quote which clearly said “Right now, most of the simulations of air and sea conditions show a developing El Niño.” So at the time of that story’s posting, that is what the models showed.

    OK, I see. The misunderstanding was here on my side. Your statement about the model simulations did not refer to climate model simulations on which James Hansen relies (not exclusively, though) for his statements on future global warming, but on the weather prediction simulations of El Nino/La Nina over a time-scale of a year. I apologize.

    But what is the link between those prediction and what James Hansen allegedly “wants” supposed to be, then? Are you asserting most of the model simulations showed a developing El Nino because Hansen wanted it so? That would be quite some conspiracy fantasy. You said “The answer is obvious”. The answer to what question is supposed to be obvious?

    After over a decade of stalled global warming, as the meme of “inevitable global warming” falls apart as the atmospheric CO₂ concentrations continue their merry rise, requiring endless hem-hawing and “silent” revisions and introducing of temporary exceptions to CAGW theory (actually barely a conjecture),

    What is the “CAGW” theory? Where can I read about it? Only your claims quoted here are conjecture. The statements about anthropogenically caused global warming made by mainstream climate science, for which the IPCC report is quite representative, are based on a body of scientific research and evidence accumulated over decades. That something was “falling apart” there is only a figment of your imagination. Claim that global warming “has stalled”, “stopped” or similar talking points don’t have any scientific basis.

    Can you honestly say that Hansen doesn’t want a “record breaking year of dangerous deadly Anthropogenic Climate Change!” to “prove” the threat he so long warned about is actually real and does exist?

    Do you believe there wouldn’t be any record breaking in the years ahead anymore, if El Nino ceased to occur every few years? If Hansen wanted such a thing he wouldn’t need El Nino for such record breaking. The global temperature anomaly would break positive records in the years and decades ahead again and again anyhow, since global warming continues and is going to continue with further increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  50. Ric Werme says:
    September 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

    > I update that automatically on Tuesdays from http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/nino_3.4.txt .
    > Currently it’s still showing last Tuesday’s data:

    I suppose that’s easier, because it’s a text file, and you can set up a script to read it. NOAA has a website at http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh where you can manually type in the NINO34 boundaries and other info, and get a plot, then manually download the ASCII data. I figured out that it builds a honking big URL, which is submitted to the generator. I manually tweaked the URL to http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?ctlfile=oiv2.ctl&ptype=ts&var=ssta&level=1&op1=none&op2=none&day=03&month=jan&year=1990&fday=26&fmonth=dec&fyear=2012&lat0=-5&lat1=5&lon0=-170&lon1=-120&plotsize=800×600&title=&dir= (I did say it was big). And I change it every year. That URL generates a plot and an ASCII file near the bottom left of the page is a link

    “Download data file for -clm.2+(t-273.15) (Text)”

    Click on that, and you get the ASCII file. Only problem is that it’s just the values, no date column. Note that this is a scratchfile generated by your data request. Do not save that URL. Save and use the one I listed.

  51. D Böehm wrote:

    Disregard the climate alarmist Perlwitz, who has his snout planted firmly in the public trough. The sooner that grant-sucking GISS charlatans like Perlwitz are cut off from public funds, the better.

    Insults and fantasies about punishment. Obviously, Boehm dreams of a state where only those scientists are funded with money from the public, who say and produce something that is to his politically or ideologically motivated liking.

  52. I love this forum… there are some very smart and at times passionate and angry folks. I get angry myself because I know the AGW propaganda falls on many folks who believe in it without wanting to understand the basic science which can dispel it all. Keep up the good comments… they are both entertaining and give me confidence that some of you can change hearts and minds so that our economy has a change to prosper!

  53. I think wiggle watching the ENSO 3.4 numbers will get to be a little puzzling for those people who like nice neat causal chains. The PDO has gone cold and we have a quiet sun – neither of these have occurred previously in the ‘satellite era’. Consequently, all these easy rules of thumb may start to become unglued as the chaotic systems involved demonstrate that they are non-linear. We have had a few tens of years of repeated similar cycles now we are likely to see things change in ways that are not forecastable.
    Certainly, the large cold pool to the North of the ENSO 3.4 and the streamer of colder water along the equator from Peru to the mid-Pacific are precisely NOT the indicators of an El Nino indeed _that_ pattern looks more like La Nina – but then the chaotic system may be different this time.

    As an aside – it is interesting how the competitive forecasting of an El Nino/La Nina has become almost a full contact sport. We are all on this same ride; I just hope that the temperatures do not drop only Malthusians want the cold.

  54. Arno Arrak says: “Bob – Nino 3.4 catches the El Nino wave before it has reached South America. But atmospheric temperature increase takes place when it reaches the coast…”

    Wrong. Atmospheric temperatures increase due to the additional heat loss from the tropical Pacific to the atmosphere, which results from the increased surface area of the warm water. The heat loss to the atmosphere occurs primarily through evaporation and has nothing to do with whether the event is a Central Pacific or East Pacific El Nino. East Pacific El Nino events are stronger because a greater surface area is involved, but a Central Pacific El Nino also releases heat to the atmosphere. Also your argument fails to address those two different types of events.

  55. donaitkin says: “Love to buy your book, but your payment system assumes that all your buyers have a US address. I don’t — I live in Australia!”

    What problem are you having? A good portion of the persons who have purchased my book are from Australia. Please advise.

    Regards

  56. Bought you book Bob and enjoying reading it. (And I live in Australia and had no problem).
    Have been watching El Nino reports at BOM for years and this helps greatly in making sense of them.
    I have a question though. On the BOM site there is a description of previous El Nino events going back to ~1900. They don’t list any between 1926 and about 1940. Is that right, or have they ignored some. I ask because I’ve always heard that the mid ’30s were very hot. If so perhaps it can be pretty hot in the absence of El Nino?

  57. Walter Dnes says:
    September 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Ric Werme says:
    September 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

    > I update that automatically on Tuesdays from http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/nino_3.4.txt .
    > Currently it’s still showing last Tuesday’s data:

    I suppose that’s easier, because it’s a text file, and you can set up a script to read it. NOAA has a website at http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh where you can manually type in the NINO34 boundaries and other info, and get a plot, then manually download the ASCII data.

    Oh, is that how you get the ENSO data from that site? I was looking for the NINO3.4 link and couldn’t find it, then I looked for pages with text data, and couldn’t find that either. Sounds like a royal pain in the butt.

    I think I’ll stick with the BOM….

  58. ENSO meter fans:

    Random accurate details:

    My crontab entry, minus NCEP comments:

    # ...  The BoM source according to a single sample, says things are
    # updated on Tuesday at 0015.  Let's do it Tuesday at 7, so I can check before
    # work:
    00 7 * * 2	$HOME/python/wuwt/enso/enso_fetch.sh

    That’s 0700 Eastern US time, currently daylight time, UTC-0400. So updates happen at 1100 UTC. If you Europeans squawk a bit, I might make it earlier.

    Today’s update from copious diagnostic output:

    Opening http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/nino_3.4.txt
    Length of data file 6459, last line:
    20120917,20120923,0.50
    
    file_last 20120910,20120916,0.57
    
    Last update 20120923
    Enso 3.4 0.50
    
    anomaly +05

    The meter graphics are appropriated from NOAA and are 71 different images from elninometer-35.gif to elninometer+35.gif in 0.1° steps. The shell and Python scripts copy elninometer+05.gif to my Comcast area as elninometer-current.gif because WordPress doesn’t do FTP, and that’s what you see.

  59. Walter Dnes says:
    September 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I manually tweaked the URL to [broken up so people can see it]

    http //nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?
    ctlfile=oiv2.ctl&ptype=ts&var=ssta&level=1&op1=none&op2=none&
    day=03&month=jan&year=1990&fday=26&fmonth=dec&fyear=2012&
    lat0=-5&lat1=5&lon0=-170&lon1=-120&plotsize=800×600&title=&dir=

    (I did say it was big). And I change it every year. That URL generates a plot and an ASCII file near the bottom left of the page is a link

    “Download data file for -clm.2+(t-273.15) (Text)”

    Click on that, and you get the ASCII file. Only problem is that it’s just the values, no date column.

    That would be easy enough to scrape. I set year=2010 just to make the data smaller, and the end of the file starting with August is:

    0.755576
    0.919253
    0.681076
    0.688078
    1.00956
    0.88147
    0.620162
    0.364851
    9.999e+20
    9.999e+20
    9.999e+20
    ….

    Okay, this is different than the BoM data:

    20120806,20120812,0.86
    20120813,20120819,0.96
    20120820,20120826,0.78
    20120827,20120902,0.92
    20120903,20120909,0.75
    20120910,20120916,0.57
    20120917,20120923,0.50

    Is the NCEP data for one day of each week? Clearly the BoM data is averaged over the previous week.

    Given the WUWT “gotta have the latest data” sensibility, I could look into using the NCEP. Do you know the day and time when it’s updated?

  60. Geoff C: Do you have a link to the BOM webpage that excludes the ENSO events before the 1950s? I suspect they may be using HADSST2 data which isn’t infilled but I’d like to take a look.

  61. Bob – you describe el Nino as a pool of West Pacific warm water sloshing east. Well – as Tallbloke observed the other day, and as has been clear looking at the WUWT ENSO and ocean reference pages, the west Pacific warm pool has been weakening and has now finally disappeared. East Pacific warm water has also dissipated, now cool water is present on the east side below the surface. So there’s nothing to slosh east. Bill Illis is right I’m sure, its RIP el Nino.

    Only the cool west Pacific could maybe inhibit the return to La Nina, so maybe we’re in for a spell of neutrality?

  62. Jan Perlwitz says:

    “What is the ‘CAGW’ theory? Where can I read about it?”

    Perlwitz can read about it right here, 24/7/365. But it is neither a theory, nor a hypothesis. It is an evidence-free conjecture without supporting data or observational proof.

    Catastrophic AGW is a baseless conjecture pushed by the mendacious, self-serving James “Coal Trains of Death” Hansen. Perlwitz is Hansen’s sycophant, and they both spread disinformation at public expense.

  63. PS – AGW, means something very specific. Anthropogenic Global Warming, refers to the part of the global warming (but never ever the global cooling) that man has directly or indirectly contributed

  64. Ian W says:
    September 25, 2012 at 12:21 am
    I think wiggle watching the ENSO 3.4 numbers will get to be a little puzzling for those people who like nice neat causal chains. The PDO has gone cold and we have a quiet sun – neither of these have occurred previously in the ‘satellite era’. Consequently, all these easy rules of thumb may start to become unglued as the chaotic systems involved demonstrate that they are non-linear. We have had a few tens of years of repeated similar cycles now we are likely to see things change in ways that are not forecastable……… We are all on this same ride; I just hope that the temperatures do not drop only Malthusians want the cold.

    Ian,
    I was thinking similarly. We are participants in a solar linked global event that we have little understanding of… and absolutely no control over.

    As a kid (before the satellite era began), I grew up on a Wisconsin farm, where occasional winters can be truly brutal. Feeding, watering, and caring for livestock, constantly plowing driveways and barn accesses, assisting neighbors with snow removal and water/heating issues, and keeping the old farm house furnace stoked with dry firewood at anything below 0F was very hard work. Even our ice skates did not glide as well, at below zero fahrenheit temps!

    Cold…. real cold makes everything harder, slower, more expensive, and more hazardous.
    MtK

  65. Jan P Perlwitz says:
    September 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    “D Böehm wrote:

    Disregard the climate alarmist Perlwitz, who has his snout planted firmly in the public trough. The sooner that grant-sucking GISS charlatans like Perlwitz are cut off from public funds, the better.

    Insults and fantasies about punishment. Obviously, Boehm dreams of a state where only those scientists are funded with money from the public, who say and produce something that is to his politically or ideologically motivated liking.”

    James Hansen’s work at GISS enables NASA to siphon off 1.2 billion USD a year from the treasury.

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/04/12/nasa-abdalatis-response-to-50-esteemed-professionals-is-managerial-negligence-an-embarrassment/#comment-92515

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/FY12-climate-fs.pdf

    Mr. Perlwitz, why is it that your work is so expensive? The climate models still have no predictive power. 1.2 bn a year for a failure?

  66. Jan P Perlwitz says:

    OK, I see. The misunderstanding was here on my side.

    And there it remains.

    Your statement about the model simulations did not refer to climate model simulations on which James Hansen relies (not exclusively, though) for his statements on future global warming, but on the weather prediction simulations of El Nino/La Nina over a time-scale of a year. I apologize.

    What are you apologizing for, exactly?

    But what is the link between those prediction and what James Hansen allegedly “wants” supposed to be, then?

    That is a very good question. Do tell, exaclty what was your buddy Hansen relying on to make this prediction:

    “Sometimes it is interesting to make a bet that looks like it is high risk, but really isn’t. Such a bet can be offered at this point. The NOAA web pages giving weekly ENSO updates predict a return to ENSO–neutral conditions by mid–summer with some models suggesting a modest El Nino to follow. We have been checking these forecasts weekly for the past several years, and have noted that the models almost invariably are biased toward weak changes. Based on subsurface ocean temperatures, the way these have progressed the past several months, and comparisons with development of prior El Niños, we believe that the system is moving toward a strong El Niño starting this summer. It’s not a sure bet, but it is probable.”

    He explicitly ruled out those … what was it you called them … ” weather prediction simulations of El Nino/La Nina over a time-scale of a year.” He shouldn’t have done that. Though they were spectacularly wrong, they were much closer to correct than he was. They predicted neutral ENSO. He rejected that advice, and went with strong El Nino. Hansen predicts strong warming, who’d a thunk it, huh?

    That was 2011. A double dip into a strong La Nina was what we actually got. So, what was Hansen relying on to pull that epic FAIL?

    Was it the … what was it you called them …”climate model simulations on which James Hansen relies”? Or was he perhaps being a bit of a loose cannon, making predictions colored by his … you know … personal desires?

    What is the “CAGW” theory?

    The alleged justification for declaring that us skeptics are guilty of “crimes against humanity” – as per your buddy Hansen. Seems like you guys ought to have some clue as what that is, given that you are prepared to go all Nuremburg on us over it.

    “Where can I read about it?”

    Right after “Dear Diary,”

    The statements about anthropogenically caused global warming …

    Dude, don’t forget the Catastrophic part! Your livelihood depends on it! There has got to be a “Death trains” = money trains sampler cross stitched over Hansen’s desk, and for good reason. You can screw up the science all you want, but people won’t keep shoveling billions of dollars down the GISS incinerator chute if you forget to tell the scary stories.

    Claim that global warming “has stalled”, “stopped” or similar talking points don’t have any scientific basis.

    Interestingly, they have the same scientific basis as Hansen had when he started telling the scary stories. Actually, the scientific basis is a bit stronger for our “talking point” vs Hansen’s 1988 “cook the room” presentation. He only had 8 years of alleged anthropogenic warming (per IPCC donchaknow) when he testilied before Congress. We have more than double that period of dead flat temps now. Funny how your standards are all doubled up like that.

    Do you believe there wouldn’t be any record breaking in the years ahead anymore, if El Nino ceased to occur every few years?

    Heavens no. When sitting on a temp plateau – as we have been for nearly two decades now – one would expect new “record temps” every so often, just from natural variation. What we dont believe is that when such variability driven “record temps” occur, that you guys will describe them as such. No, we are forced to believe that you will instead try to use those variability driven events to further your pretense that warming is still occurring.

    If Hansen wanted such a thing he wouldn’t need El Nino for such record breaking.

    True dat! All Hansen needs to get the result he wants is an “adjustment”.

    The global temperature anomaly would break positive records in the years and decades ahead again and again anyhow, since global warming continues and is going to continue with further increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that is exactly the behaviour that would be expected (statistically speaking) from variability acting on a trend of zero.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

    It is the fact that you guys constantly spin even such small things in that manner that causes us to not trust you. We are tired of hearing about “consistent with” the enormous error bands around the model based (“not exclusively though”) predictions projections prognostications that you guys use to fill your pockets with other people’s hard earned money. Get a real job.

  67. Ric Werme says:
    September 25, 2012 at 5:31 am

    > Is the NCEP data for one day of each week? Clearly the BoM data is averaged over the previous week.

    The site at http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh says it’s for the week, centred on Wednesday.

    > Given the WUWT “gotta have the latest data” sensibility, I could look into using the NCEP.
    > Do you know the day and time when it’s updated?

    It seems to show up Monday by around 11:00 Eastern, maybe a bit earlier.

  68. JJ says:September 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm
    predictions projections prognostications

    perhaps more at ‘prestidigitation’?

  69. Geoff C: Sorry for the delay getting back to you. From the webpage you linked there’s no indication what sea surface temperature dataset they’re using as reference. Since it stops abruptly at 1950, I would assume it’s NOAA’s ONI. NOAA just didn’t bother to extend it back in time. I did using their format and HADISST data. See:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/long-term-oni-like-table-of-el-nino-and-la-nina-events/

    There are a number of sea surface temperature reconstructions. But as you got back in time there are fewer observations and more infilled data. The following graph shows the NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies from 3 different datasets:

    And here’s the average of the 3:

    There are papers that say the strength of the early El Niño events have been underestimated.

  70. Ric Werme says:
    September 25, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Walter Dnes says:
    September 24, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I manually tweaked the URL to [broken up so people can see it]

    http //nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?
    ctlfile=oiv2.ctl&ptype=ts&var=ssta&level=1&op1=none&op2=none&
    day=03&month=jan&year=1990&fday=26&fmonth=dec&fyear=2012&
    lat0=-5&lat1=5&lon0=-170&lon1=-120&plotsize=800×600&title=&dir=

    (I did say it was big). And I change it every year. That URL generates a plot and an ASCII file near the bottom left of the page is a link

    “Download data file for -clm.2+(t-273.15) (Text)”

    Click on that, and you get the ASCII file. Only problem is that it’s just the values, no date column.

    That would be easy enough to scrape.

    Just in case someone actually reads this – I changed my scripts and crontab entry so I’m now getting data from nomad3. That’s why the enso meter dropped to +0.3, or will once caches expire.

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