NOAA Mixing Their Niños

Guest post by Paul Homewood

In their attempts to disguise the fact that 2012 will likely turn out to be one of the colder years this century, NOAA have made the ludicrous, and frankly dishonest, claim that this year will be the “hottest La Niña” year on record.

But is it a La Niña year?

NOAA’s own Multivariate ENSO Index is shown below.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

And the monthly numbers:-

image

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/table.html

To November, the index averages +0.160, which would be classified as between neutral and weak El Niño. The monthly rankings below also confirm that the index for the year is above average, coming in at 36th out of 63. (The rankings run from 1950-2012). The July ranking of 57 shows that there were only 6 July’s that had a higher MEI.

image

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/rank.html

And did this ENSO transition from negative (La Niña) to positive (El Niño) have any effect on temperature during the year? You betcha!

Take a look at UAH, for instance.

image

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

UAH anomalies hit a low point of –0.13C in Jan/Feb, and then bounced up to 0.34C in October, before sinking back to 0.28C in November as the El Niño fizzled out.

For NOAA to pretend that 2012 was a La Nina year, and then use temperatures, heavily affected by El Niño conditions throughout the summer, to “prove” that it is the hottest La Nina year is not something real scientists do.

For a more realistic comparison, the last 12 month period, when ENSO was pretty neutral, was April 2001-March 2002, when the MEI averaged minus 0.003. The UAH temperature anomaly was 0.157C for that period, and compares with a current figure for the last 12 months of 0.150C. This, of course, suggests little underlying change in global temperature for the last 10 years.

But, it seems , NOAA are more interested in propaganda than the truth.

About these ads

86 thoughts on “NOAA Mixing Their Niños

  1. Snow storm coming in today. Looks like a duzy. Maybe its another super storm.

  2. Waiting for Bob Tisdale to weigh in here. I hate to ascribe nefarious motives to people until all other explanations have been eliminated.

  3. I have been finding out that the educated Green folks are in denial of anything of logic. There is desperation in their blatant disregard of what’s real.

    As I posted recently, their ilk is can only be compared to religion where mankind’s ecoscientists have reached the pinnacle of their evolution. No longer can they adapt to an ever changing world; Instead they believe they can control the world like gods.

    I perhaps a bit foolish, I think this statement is closer to reality than the summary for policymakers or this claim coming from NOAA… indeed, hottest La Nina!

  4. Those promoting CAA (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Anything) are hell bent on shooting themselves in the foot. Over and over and over. People are noticing, and if they keep on doing it, even more will notice, but does that stop these fools? No. They are desperate to get back to business as usual. How stupid are they going to look with yet another FAIL to show the world, and what are they going to do for next year? Why do I even ask? It’ll be more of the same, as always.

    I wish these “climate scientists” and propagandists would grow up. Will they behave like lemmings right up to and over the cliff edge? All the signs so far lead me to think the answer is most likely “yes”.

  5. Paul, on the NOAA link you provided…

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/11/supplemental/page-2/

    …they define a La Nina year as “…occurring when the first three months of a calendar year are classified under La Niña conditions.” And they also use the Oceanic NINO Index…

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    …as the reference for La Nina conditions.

    Regardless, it’s just a childish effort to keep global warming happening. The first time I can recall seeing this “warmest La Nina year” nonsense was last year, and it was the WMO making the claim.

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

    Tuesday 18 December 2012
    “The tropical Pacific Ocean remains neutral – neither El Niño nor La Niña.”

    Looking through the archive, taking the first report each month, we get:
    Wednesday 4 January
    “La Niña conditions continue over the tropical Pacific Ocean.”
    Wednesday 1 February
    “La Niña showed only small changes over the past fortnight and are expected to maintain an influence upon Australian climate over the coming months.”
    Tuesday 13 March
    “The 2011–12 La Niña event is nearing its end, with most indicators approaching or at neutral values.”
    Tuesday 10 April
    “Following the demise of the 2011–12 La Niña, the state of ENSO across the tropical Pacific remains neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña).”
    Tuesday 8 May
    “Climate indicators across the tropical Pacific Ocean remain neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña).”
    Tuesday 5 June
    Tropical Pacific climate indicators remain at neutral values for this time of the year.”
    Tuesday 3 July
    “Climate indicators continue to show a shift towards El Niño, in line with most model predictions.”
    Tuesday 14 August
    “Climate indicators in the tropical Pacific Ocean remain close to El Niño thresholds.”
    Tuesday 11 September
    “Tropical Pacif ic Ocean sea surf ace temperatures remain at values close to El Niño thresholds.”
    Tuesday 9 October
    The chance of El Niño dev eloping in 2012 has reduced ov er the past fortnight.”
    Wednesday 7 November
    Indicators of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation remain at neutral levels.”
    Tuesday 4 December
    “The tropical Pacif ic remains neutral with respect to ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation), that is, neither El Niño nor La Niña.”

    No-one in their right mind could possibly call that a La Nina year.

  7. Wow… it is hard to believe that NOAA would actually claim the last two years are the “warmest” cold years on record.

    According to the monthly ENSO reports over the last couple years, this last La Nina was quite short and so weak it only briefly barely qualified for La Nina status.

  8. Going by their apparent definitions for El Nino vs La Nina years then according to the NINO3.4 SST Index on the ENSO page http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/monitoring/nino3_4.png 2008 was entirely La Nina except for a little Neutral time in Jul & Aug. 2009 started as La Nina but topped neutral in March and entered a strong El Nino through the end of the year. Arguably the strongest La Nina year by their definition. 2010 started as El Nino (the end of the strong 2009 season) and remained as El Nino until May then entered a Strong La Nina phase till 2011. Should this be listed as the “Coldest El Nino on record”??

  9. 2009 started as La Nina but topped neutral in March and entered a strong El Nino through the end of the year. Arguably the strongest La Nina year by their definition.

    Correction

    2009 started as La Nina but topped neutral in March and entered a strong El Nino through the end of the year. Arguably the warmest La Nina year by their definition.

  10. The measured global average temperature value lags ENSO conditions by 5-6 months depending upon whether the data is lower troposphere (satellite) or surface data. So really the values to look at are the last 5/6 from last year and the first 6/7 of this year. If we do that, we get the following MEI values:

    Last 6/first 6 = -0.39
    Last 5/first 7 = -0.29

    So technically this year should reflect weak/mild La Nina conditions.

    -Scott

  11. Don’t forget NOAA is claiming record warmth in it’s data set which covers less than 2% of the earths surface.

  12. And, of course, the apparent recent increase in the frequency of La Niña conditions is weather and not climate. It is early, but if 2010-2030 looks like 1950-1970 (top chart) we may be in for a bit of chillin.

  13. Had a meeting with my bank manger this morning, he just could not grasp the fact that by my being in credit for the first 3 months of the year I would therefore be in credit for the whole of the year irrespective of the debt I had amassed over the following 9 months.

    The man is obviously a fool!

  14. UAH anomalies hit a low point of –0.13C in Jan/Feb, and then bounced up to 0.34C in October, before sinking back to 0.28C in November as the El Niño fizzled out.

    If you are interested, below are the latest monthly numbers for 5 other data sets as well.

    2012 in Perspective so far on Six Data Sets

    Note the bolded numbers for each data set where the lower bolded number is the highest anomaly recorded so far in 2012 and the higher one is the all time record so far. There is no comparison.

    With the UAH anomaly for November at 0.281, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (-0.134 -0.135 + 0.051 + 0.232 + 0.179 + 0.235 + 0.130 + 0.208 + 0.339 + 0.333 + 0.281)/11 = 0.156. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.42. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.66. The anomaly in 2011 was 0.132.

    With the GISS anomaly for November at 0.68, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (0.32 + 0.37 + 0.45 + 0.54 + 0.67 + 0.56 + 0.46 + 0.58 + 0.62 + 0.68 + 0.68)/11 = 0.54. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.63. The highest ever monthly anomalies were in March of 2002 and January of 2007 when it reached 0.89. The anomaly in 2011 was 0.514.

    With the Hadcrut3 anomaly for October at 0.486, the average for the first ten months of the year is (0.217 + 0.193 + 0.305 + 0.481 + 0.475 + 0.477 + 0.448 + 0.512+ 0.515 + 0.486)/10 = 0.411. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.548. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in February of 1998 when it reached 0.756. One has to back to the 1940s to find the previous time that a Hadcrut3 record was not beaten in 10 years or less. The anomaly in 2011 was 0.340.

    With the sea surface anomaly for October at 0.428, the average for the first ten months of the year is (0.203 + 0.230 + 0.241 + 0.292 + 0.339 + 0.351 + 0.385 + 0.440 + 0.449 + 0.428)/10 = 0.336. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.451. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in August of 1998 when it reached 0.555. The anomaly in 2011 was 0.273.

    With the RSS anomaly for November at 0.195, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (-0.060 -0.123 + 0.071 + 0.330 + 0.231 + 0.337 + 0.290 + 0.255 + 0.383 + 0.294 + 0.195)/11 = 0.200. This would rank 11th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.55. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.857. The anomaly in 2011 was 0.147.

    With the Hadcrut4 anomaly for November at 0.512, the average for the first eleven months of the year is (0.288 + 0.208 + 0.339 + 0.525 + 0.531 + 0.506 + 0.470 + 0.532 + 0.515 + 0.524 + 0.512)/11 = 0.45. This would rank 9th if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.54. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.818. The anomaly in 2011 was 0.399.

    On all six of the above data sets, a record is out of reach.

  15. I live next to the Pacific, and my observation had been that we have had two la Nina type years, and the latest had been a fairly weak el nino year. I merely base this on observations of both rain and temps in oz, but I am fairly sensitive (or maybe appreciative) of both, so i think my conclusions are reasonable.

    Right now we are waiting on the late rains yet again in north Queensland. This is, add I understand it, a typical el nino result. Likewise the temps have been somewhat lower these last couple of years, and are still not pulling up to what a strong el nino would give us.

  16. Bob Tisdale

    they define a La Nina year as “…occurring when the first three months of a calendar year are classified under La Niña conditions

    Thanks, Bob. They may just be taking advantage of semantics. However, I was intrigued by their statement

    “A La Niña year is defined here as occurring when the first three months of a calendar year are classified under La Niña conditions.”

    Are they making up their own definition?

  17. Scott

    The measured global average temperature value lags ENSO conditions by 5-6 months depending upon whether the data is lower troposphere (satellite) or surface data.

    UAH numbers went from -0.13C in Feb to +0.23C in April, following the MEI changes about a month later. Similarly they fell from 0.34C in Oct to 0.28C in Nov, suggest lag of about 2 months.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    RSS figures suggest the same.

    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_3.txt

  18. Paul Homewood says:
    Are they making up their own definition?

    Yes, the whole thing is made up. What is ENSO other than an homo sapiens “made up” Index?

    For the here and now actual SSTs in the ENSO are more relevant. The index may foretell, may indicate implications, but for what is happening now look to the SSTs. Which makes the NOAA – the first 3 months makes a year even more nonsensical.

  19. Paul Homewood says:
    December 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    …suggest lag of about 2 months.

    Hi Paul. It has seemed that over the last year or two the lag has been less than the 5-6 months I stated…I’d noticed that earlier this year. I got the 5-6 number from Roy Spencer at one point I believe…and it’s similar to a number Tamino popped out too IIRC. I’ll see if I can dig up references at some point…or maybe someone else could chime in.

    -Scott

  20. I had a similar argument with the UK Met, who claimed that the August temperatures this year still reflected La Nina.

    When I pointed out to them that from Feb to Aug HADCRUT temps had increased by 0.32C, they told me

    Please also note also that there are many factors which impact global temperature, in addition to the state of the ENSO cycle. The natural climate variability dominates any changes in global temperature values over timescales of a few months or years.”

    So apparently 0.32C can be due to “natural variability”, but they are also sure that a similar increase since 1980 is due to CO2!

  21. Bob Tisdale:

    Do we know the El Nino’s and La Nina periods for the interval 1890 through 1970?

    Could these cycles – or changes in these cycles – explains the changes in temperature during that interval?

  22. Paul Homewood says: “Are they making up their own definition?”

    I don’t know the source. But I would expect similar nonsense next year, something to the effect of 2013 is the warmest ENSO-neutral year since blah, blah, blah. And if it’s not, maybe one of the hemispheres will be warmest. As I said, it’s just a game to keep the manmade global warming myth alive. Too bad the sea surface temperature and ocean heat content records contradict the hypothesis.

    Enjoy your holidays.

  23. I’m just glad, even though it was a chilly, and below average, 37ºF, at my house this morning, it was 84ºF warmer than it was in Fairbanks, AK.

  24. RACookPE1978 says: Do we know the El Nino’s and La Nina periods for the interval 1890 through 1970?

    There are 3 sea surface temperature reconstructions that have sufficient data in the eastern equatorial Pacific to determine El Nino and La Nina periods: ERSST.v3b, HADISST, and Kaplan SST:

    Much of that data before the 1950s is reconstructed. And it gets worse before the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. With that in mind, I created an ONI-like index of El Nino and La Nina events a couple of years ago, using HADISST-based NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies, starting in 1900.

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

    RACookPE1978 says: “Could these cycles – or changes in these cycles – explains the changes in temperature during that interval?”

    If we look at ENSO as an uncontrolled and variable source of heat released into the atmosphere and warm water redistributed within the oceans, then the answer is yes. Global temperatures warm during periods when El Nino events dominate and cool during periods when La Nina events are dominant:

    There was a cross post here about that just yesterday:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/20/el-nino-southern-oscillation-myth-3-enso-has-no-trend-and-cannot-contribute-to-long-term-warming/

    Enjoy your holidays.

  25. Let’s check with NOAA’s own data. The URL I use is

    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=

    The reason it looks so ugly is because the lat/long of the NINO3.4 area is encoded in it, along with the start and end dates. The values are weekly. For the first 50 weeks of the year, the average is 0.087539838. The last 2 weeks of the year wouls have to average -2.19 or lower to bring the year into negative territory. Yes, NINO3.4 is *POSITIVE*!!! La Nina year? Taurine excrement!

  26. Global temps follow the formula of 0.2 times Nino 3.4 lagged 3 months.

    So, cool start to the year, warming after, November temps are still being impacted by the August El Niño temps. We are now on the way down since it looks like Nino 3.4 will be about -0.1C in December.

    And this what the temperature trend has been through 2012.

    Overall, it will be a -0.06C La Niña year. Hardly anything to call the warmest La Niña year ever since it is NOT.

    But facts don’t get in the way of a good scary global warming story. We have only heard the same thing for about the 1,000th time so far.

  27. The S.I. Unit of ENSO is what…..?
    How many apples in a barrel of grapes?

    As Paul Homewood alludes to, ENSO is a user-defined index, not a meaningful physical quantity.

    The financial people know that if the Dow-Jones Index doesn’t do what you said or want, then look at another index such as a small-cap index. Or look at NASDAQ instead. There’s plenty of choices. Talk about the price of cabbages.

    In finance, economics and politics, if the audience actually believes numbers with user-defined arbitrary units actually mean something useful, then they actually, probably, possibly, might be useful.

    But not in science.

  28. The hottest November record I have ever found for South East Queensland was in November 1968.

    I sat a grade 10 Tech. Drawing exam in western Brisbane that year and it was over 105 F in the exam room.

    The next hottest I have found occured in November 1980 but was about 38 – 39 C – not as high as 1968 but still pretty damn hot and well above the Spring average for Brisbane.

    Funny how weather varies !

  29. PS this November’s maximum is only the warmest since ~ 2002 – pales into insignificance really.

    Oh – and that is for a different weather station (in an urban area ) which is situated well away from the older bayside location – yes the old station was in a cooler location near Moreton Bay not further inland like the new one.

  30. Once again the exception proves the rule. Because this year is the coldest in a century, it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the earth is not warming. After all there is 3% Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere than last year, so we should see a 3% increase in temperature. The linear relationship between Carbon Dioxide concentrations and temperature is just not established. There must be something else going on.

  31. I wonder just how many crazy extremely fine grained statistics they will have to make up (and just when they will give up on this farce…).

    The ocean doesn’t have a hot spot in it anywhere other than a shrinking dot near Iceland about to be frozen out of existence. Russia and China are having very cold and hard winters. The USA is in the middle of major winter storms and the snow is being delivered all over the place, with vigor. We even had snow down to Anatolia … and winter isn’t even up to speed yet.

    I can see it now: “Hottest cold day in Death Valley”…

  32. E.M.Smith says:
    December 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm
    I can see it now: “Hottest cold day in Death Valley”…
    ==========================================
    Yes indeed, “Record low in the Florida keys…CAGW produces warmest record low EVR in the US.”

  33. The whole problem is one fact: the truth doesn’t matter anymore (well for a lot of people anyway usually green in colour).

  34. Just another variation on the “Warm = warming” theme.

    That’s what, like the 10th way they have come up with to say the same thing? They probably have an office contest to come up with creative ways to rephrase that particular lie. It’s all they can do, given that it is not warming …

  35. This is just follows the normal pattern for ‘climate science’ start with the desired result make the data fit it, no mater what you have to do with it, then claim victory while smearing anyone that challenges you.
    This is not science, and those that wish to counter this need to realise they cannot do so effectively using scientific arguments. You spend all day pointing out the error in the numbers , but the ‘value’ of message is not there in the first place .

  36. We should also note 2012 was a high AMO year.

    Global temps follow the formula of 0.5 times the AMO index by month.

    The AMO peaked at about 0.486C in September so you do the math how the summer and early fall was impacted by both a small El Niño and the AMO at about as high as it gets.

    The NOAA and Foster/Tamino, Skeptical Science don’t like to talk about the AMO (because it explains the 60 year temperature cycle TOO well).

  37. Even based on the first 3 months rule 2012 is not a La Nina year because the -0.5 threshold is not reached in March. (-.41)

    2012 -1.046 -.702 -.41 .059 .706 .903 1.139 .579 .271 .103 .166

    Only 2 months are negative out of the entire year that represents a La Nina (-0.5 or less). Yet 5 months above 0.5 that represent El Nino occur during the same year. 2012 is the year that ENSO couldn’t decide what to do, with the last 4 months (including December) in La Nada threshold.

    More months have reached the El Nino threshold than either La NIna or La Nada months so for. Therefore with only 2 months 2012 does not reach the required threshold at the beginning of the year to be claimed either an El Nino or La NIna. For that reason because there was no trend should be called a La Nada year.

    2010 1.152 1.52 1.39 .863 .577 -.433 -1.166 -1.822 -2.03 -1.946 -1.602 -1.58

    The first 3 months for 2010 are in the El Nino threshold (0.5+) and with the lag with global temperatures creates a peak that represents a typical global temperature spike associated with El Nino. That is why the first 3 months scientifically support whether one year peaks or troughs. For 2012 though only 2 months were reached this threshold so it shouldn’t be called a El Nino or La Nina year. The sudden change from positive to negative MEI values or negative to positive is what creates the peak or troughs during that year.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2009/to:2011

  38. Anyone doubting the importance of this threshold of 0.5 or -0.5 reached for the first 3 months, only need to look at 1997.

    1997 -.487 -.607 -.253 .493 1.119 2.307 2.756 3.001 3 2.358 2.518 2.32

    How many would call 1997 a La NIna year based on the first 3 negative months?

  39. The whole idea of ranking years is something they do just to hide the fact that temperatures have been flat for many years now. They’re conveniently hiding the inconvenient fact that “global warmth” is not at all the same as “global warming”.

    Btw. Nino 3.4 temperatures have gone a long way down from the almost-El-Niño earlier this year, I wonder if it could still turn into a La Niña by January? Would that be unprecedented in modern times?

  40. Espen

    Interestingly the NOAA people who put together the MEI Index (presumably not the same ones who wrote the report on temperature!!) say:-

    Therefore, we are facing our first ENSO-neutral winter since 2003-04 (2005-06 was an ENSO-neutral winter, but much closer to La Niña, and dipped into La Niña rankings during spring March-April)). Furthermore, every ‘double-dip’ La Niña of the last century has been followed by either one more La Niña winter or a switch to El Niño, so this is even more unusual. It will be a few months before a return to either El Niño or La Niña is possible.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

  41. Bob Tisdale says:
    December 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    …they define a La Niña year as “…occurring when the first three months of a calendar year are classified under La Niña conditions.”

    I wonder if that emphasis is based on the “traditional” recognition of El Niños starting around Christmas time.

    With the focus shift from upwelling off South America to the temperature anomaly in middle of nowhere, I suspect a case should be made that the early months of a year are no longer special enough to be included in this sort of classification.

    Also, given the time lag between the ENSO state and temperature, perhaps they should include a few months before the calendar year too. Oct-Dec was nearly -1, so that would help their case.

    OTOH, Bob says La Niñas aren’t cooling events, at least not like El Niños are warming events. So perhaps we should just throw up our hands in exasperation!

  42. knr says:
    December 22, 2012 at 2:23 am

    ….This is not science, and those that wish to counter this need to realise they cannot do so effectively using scientific arguments. You spend all day pointing out the error in the numbers , but the ‘value’ of message is not there in the first place .
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No it is not science it is propaganda and it is working beautifully.

    I kept hoping Mama Gaia will give the lemmings a great big swat and she appears to be doing so. Unfortunately they just changed their shrieking from “Global Warming, Global Warming, Global Warming…” to ‘Climate Change, Climate Change, Climate Change….”

    I just had one very nice church lady at a nativity production trying to explain to me how CO2 can make the temperature go down as well as up. It was all I could do to keep from tearing my hair out. She didn’t begin to have the science or logic background needed to actually understand the logical fallacies in the propaganda she is parroting much less to have a rational discussion.

    These are the people the NOAA and Hansen are targeting and unfortunately they are the vast majority of people including our politicians. I even read one comment recently in response to the SOD, that it did not matter whether or not CO2 was harmful we still needed to close down coal plants and use Green Energy.

    He will be the first to scream WHEN not IF the rolling blackouts become a normal part of life. Smart Meters are now being installed so utility companies can turn off non-commercial and small business power as needed so the big corporations are not inconvenienced by the lack of adequate power. This is already in the works.

    Every one points to Green energy in Texas:

    Energy InSight FAQs

    ….Rolling outages are systematic, temporary interruptions of electrical service.
    They are the last step in a progressive series of emergency procedures that ERCOT follows when it detects that there is a shortage of power generation within the Texas electric grid. ERCOT will direct electric transmission and distribution utilities, such as CenterPoint Energy, to begin controlled, rolling outages to bring the supply and demand for electricity back into balance.They generally last 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood to spread the effect of the outage among consumers, which would be the case whether outages are coordinated at the circuit level or individual meter level. Without this safety valve, power generating units could overload and begin shutting down and risk causing a domino effect of a statewide, lengthy outage. With smart meters, CenterPoint Energy is proposing to add a process prior to shutting down whole circuits to conduct a mass turn off of individual meters with 200 amps or less (i.e. residential and small commercial consumers) for 15 or 30 minutes, rotating consumers impacted during that outage as well as possible future outages.

    There are several benefits to consumers of this proposed process. By isolating non-critical service accounts (“critical” accounts include hospitals, police stations, water treatment facilities etc.) and spreading “load shed” to a wider distribution, critical accounts that happen to share the same circuit with non-critical accounts will be less affected in the event of an emergency. Curtailment of other important public safety devices and services such as traffic signals, police and fire stations, and water pumps and sewer lifts may also be avoided.

  43. Espen says:
    December 22, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Model predict a La Nada (term for ENSO neutral) for early next year.

    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/SST_table.html

    Last time something similar occurred like this year was back in 1978.

    1978 .779 .895 .953 .18 -.396 -.563 -.412 -.186 -.386 -.019 .198 .398

    The difference though was a El Nino with a failed attempt at an La Nina, with La Nada resuming rest of year.

    Last time a La Nina at the beginning of the year or ending of the previous year, had a failed El Nino attempt was way back in 1976.

    1976 -1.624 -1.396 -1.253 -1.191 -.481 .342 .613 .66 1.027 .952 .482 .556

  44. Jeff Alberts says:
    December 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Or maybe a “Hey noni noni no nino”
    Apologies to the original Elizabethans

  45. Ob-jec-tive (adj)…uninfluenced by emotion, surmise or personal prejudice…

    This is the defination most scientists and public would use as an analysis adjective. However, there is the other defination….’something worked toward or striven for; goal’….

    Obviously….NOAA is “goal” orientied and Truth is just an obstacle….

  46. Do La Nina’s result in both warmer AND cooler stuff?

    La Nina’s come about because of strong trade winds that peel back warm oceanic top layers to mix with and reveal cooler layers of water. The strength and length of such an event means that various sizes of cooled pools of water will begin to migrate to other areas of the ocean, creating changes in weather systems that eventually make their way to shore. Depending on where these systems come ashore, you could experience cooler conditions than when a warm pool of water off-shore interacts with and creates a weather pattern change that is warmer.

    Paradoxically, the same trade wind that peels back warm layers of water, also shoves equatorial clouds out of the way of direct sunlight, allowing the full solar infrared heating lamp to penetrate into those equatorial waters, adding infrared energy to deeper top layers of the ocean. So yes, La Nina’s result in both warmer and cooler “stuff”.

    The weak La Nina referred to in the NOAA spin would reasonably result in less extensive cooler pools of water riding around on the ocean currents resulting in weaker, smaller, not as cold, “cold” weather pattern systems coming on shore.

    The AGWing innuendo they hoped to impart does not have legs when the actual conditions are closely examined.

  47. From the NOAA:

    Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)
    • The ONI is based on SST departures from average in the Niño 3.4 region, and is a principal measure for monitoring, assessing, and predicting ENSO.
    • Defined as the three-month running-mean SST departures in the Niño 3.4 region. Departures are based on a set of improved homogeneous historical SST analyses (Extended Reconstructed SST – ERSST.v3b). The SST reconstruction methodology is described in Smith et al., 2008, J. Climate, vol. 21, 2283-2296.)
    • Used to place current events into a historical perspective
    • NOAA’s operational definitions of El Niño and La Niña are keyed to the ONI index.

    NOAA Operational Definitions for El Niño and La Niña
    El Niño: characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5°C.
    La Niña: characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C.
    By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode, these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.
    CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 OISST departures meet or exceed +/- 0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.

    ONI Data:

    2000

    -1.7

    -1.5

    -1.1

    -0.9

    -0.8

    -0.7

    -0.6

    -0.5

    -0.5

    -0.6

    -0.8

    -0.8

    2001

    -0.7

    -0.6

    -0.5

    -0.3

    -0.2

    -0.1

    0.0

    0.0

    -0.1

    -0.2

    -0.2

    -0.3

    2002

    -0.2

    0.0

    0.1

    0.3

    0.5

    0.7

    0.8

    0.8

    0.9

    1.2

    1.3

    1.3

    2003

    1.1

    0.8

    0.4

    0.0

    -0.2

    -0.1

    0.2

    0.4

    0.4

    0.4

    0.4

    0.3

    2004

    0.3

    0.2

    0.1

    0.1

    0.1

    0.3

    0.5

    0.7

    0.7

    0.7

    0.7

    0.7

    2005

    0.6

    0.4

    0.3

    0.3

    0.3

    0.3

    0.2

    0.1

    0.0

    -0.2

    -0.5

    -0.8

    2006

    -0.9

    -0.7

    -0.5

    -0.3

    0.0

    0.1

    0.2

    0.3

    0.5

    0.8

    1.0

    1.0

    2007

    0.7

    0.3

    -0.1

    -0.2

    -0.3

    -0.3

    -0.3

    -0.6

    -0.9

    -1.1

    -1.2

    -1.4

    2008

    -1.5

    -1.5

    -1.2

    -0.9

    -0.7

    -0.5

    -0.3

    -0.2

    -0.1

    -0.2

    -0.4

    -0.7

    2009

    -0.9

    -0.8

    -0.6

    -0.2

    0.1

    0.4

    0.5

    0.6

    0.7

    1.0

    1.4

    1.6

    2010

    1.6

    1.4

    1.1

    0.7

    0.2

    -0.3

    -0.8

    -1.2

    -1.4

    -1.5

    -1.5

    -1.5

    2011

    -1.4

    -1.3

    -1.0

    -0.7

    -0.4

    -0.2

    -0.2

    -0.3

    -0.6

    -0.8

    -1.0

    -1.0

    2012

    -0.9

    -0.7

    -0.5

    -0.3

    -0.1

    0.0

    0.1

    0.3

    0.4

    0.6

     

     

  48. Klaus Wolter,

    “Why do I believe that the MEI is better for monitoring ENSO than the SOI or various SST
    indices? In brief, the MEI integrates more information than other indices, it reflects
    the nature of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system better than either component, and it is
    less vulnerable to occasional data glitches in the monthly update cycles. Now, if you are
    interested in ENSO impacts in a very specific part of the world, I would suggest that you
    obtain other ENSO indices as well and establish which one best fits your needs.
    For instance, in Australia, Darwin sea level pressure and/or the SOI may be more appropriate
    than the MEI. My claim here is that the MEI does a better job than other indices for the
    overall monitoring of the ENSO phenomenon, including, for instance, world-wide correlations
    with surface temperatures and rainfall.”

    For March 2012 we have MEI -0.41 and ONI at -0.5 so it seems a tough call. Based on MEI not an La NIna for the start of the year and ONI it is only just. Although the first 3 months do seem not an ideal situation when the rest of the year suddenly changes very quickly.

    Reminder below how close the first 3 months were to La NIna threshold with a massive change very quick later during the year.

    1997 -.487 -.607 -.253 .493 1.119 2.307 2.756 3.001 3 2.358 2.518 2.32

    Illustrates that the first 3 months sometimes have little bearing on the remainder of the year.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1996/to:1998

  49. Thanks to Bob Tisdale Dec 21, 2:10 pm for confirming that according to NOAA’s established definition this will be the warmest La Nina year on record.

  50. Can someone please replace the above scrolling nightmare with:

    2000= -1.7, -1.5, -1.1, -0.9, -0.8, -0.7, -0.6, -0.5, -0.5, -0.6, -0.8, -0.8
    2001= -0.7, -0.6, -0.5, -0.3, -0.2, -0.1, 0.0, 0.0, -0.1, -0.2, -0.2, -0.3
    2002= -0.2, 0.0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.8, 0.8, 0.9, 1.2, 1.3, 1.3
    2003= 1.1, 0.8, 0.4, 0.0, -0.2, -0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.4, 0.4, 0.4, 0.3
    2004= 0.3, 0.2, 0.1, 0.1, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7 0.7
    2005= 0.6, 0.4, 0.3, 0.3, 0.3, 0.3, 0.2, 0.1, 0.0, -0.2, -0.5, -0.8
    2006= -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, 1.0
    2007= 0.7, 0.3, -0.1, -0.2, -0.3, -0.3, -0.3, -0.6, -0.9, -1.1, -1.2, -1.4
    2008= -1.5, -1.5, -1.2, -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, -0.2, -0.1, -0.2, -0.4, -0.7
    2009= -0.9, -0.8, -0.6, -0.2, 0.1, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 1.0, 1.4, 1.6,
    2010= 1.6, 1.4, 1.1, 0.7, 0.2, -0.3, -0.8, -1.2, -1.4, -1.5, -1.5, -1.5,
    2011= -1.4, -1.3, -1.0, -0.7, -0.4, -0.2, -0.2, -0.3, -0.6, -0.8, -1.0, -1.0
    2012= -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, -0.1, 0.0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.4, 0.6,

  51. Mac the Knife says:
    December 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Count your blessing, Y’All !!
    Russia is gripped in truly brutal winter conditions….
    ____________________________
    That is why my husband and I moved from NH/MA to NC. I got sick of the -35C (-30F) when Mother Nature decided to flex her muscles.

  52. michael sweet says:
    December 22, 2012 at 11:26 am

    “Thanks to Bob Tisdale Dec 21, 2:10 pm for confirming that according to NOAA’s established definition this will be the warmest La Nina year on record.”

    If your going to use ONI it is still not the warmest on record, 2006 La Nina was warmer so far.

    2006 and La NIna sounds weird done it?

    Based on first 3 months 2006 was a La NIna year then and 2006 was warmer than 2012 so far. (RSS 2006, 0.23 / 2012, 0.2 (1 to go)

    2006 -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, 1.0

    2006 v 2012 so far

    GISS (0.56 v 0.54)
    HADCRUT3 (0.43 v 0.41)
    HADCRUT4 (0.49 v 0.45)
    UAH (0.19 v 0.16)

    All 2012 data doesn’t have December included yet.

  53. michael sweet says:
    December 22, 2012 at 11:26 am

    “Thanks to Bob Tisdale Dec 21, 2:10 pm for confirming that according to NOAA’s established definition this will be the warmest La Nina year on record.”

    Funnily enough, NOAA made a big point in 2010 of stressing

    “In 2010 there was a dramatic shift in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which influences global temperature and precipitation patterns — when a moderate-to-strong El Niño transitioned to La Niña conditions by July. At the end of November, La Niña was moderate-to-strong. “<i/I

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110112_globalstats.html

    Funny how they don't seem keen to mention this year's changeover!

  54. Michael Sweet

    Or that Jim Hansen told us at the end of 2010

    “Even for a near record-breaking year like 2010 the broader context is more important than a single year. “Certainly, it is interesting that 2010 was so warm despite the presence of a La Niña ”

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20110113/

    He actually could have said the same about 1998, but did not.
    I wonder why?

    This whole post is about honesty and transparency from our publically funded scientists. We clearly are not getting it!

  55. michael sweet says:
    December 22, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Thanks to Bob Tisdale Dec 21, 2:10 pm for confirming that according to NOAA’s established definition this will be the warmest La Nina year on record.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And this is a surprise?

    I would pay a lot more attention to the cold records being set. That is where the game changer will show since it is warm (not warming)

  56. I think it’s time for a reminder about the nav bar link to Ric Werme’s guide to WUWT where I note how to write HTML that even WordPress can recognize…

    G. Karst says:
    December 22, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Can someone please replace the above scrolling nightmare with:

    Can someone please replace the above columning nightmare with preformatted text? :-)

    2000= -1.7, -1.5, -1.1, -0.9, -0.8, -0.7, -0.6, -0.5, -0.5, -0.6, -0.8, -0.8
    2001= -0.7, -0.6, -0.5, -0.3, -0.2, -0.1,  0.0,  0.0, -0.1, -0.2, -0.2, -0.3
    2002= -0.2,  0.0,  0.1,  0.3,  0.5,  0.7,  0.8,  0.8,  0.9,  1.2,  1.3,  1.3
    2003=  1.1,  0.8,  0.4,  0.0, -0.2, -0.1,  0.2,  0.4,  0.4,  0.4,  0.4,  0.3
    2004=  0.3,  0.2,  0.1,  0.1,  0.1,  0.3,  0.5,  0.7,  0.7,  0.7,  0.7,  0.7
    2005=  0.6,  0.4,  0.3,  0.3,  0.3,  0.3,  0.2,  0.1,  0.0, -0.2, -0.5, -0.8
    2006= -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3,  0.0,  0.1,  0.2,  0.3,  0.5,  0.8,  1.0,  1.0
    2007=  0.7,  0.3, -0.1, -0.2, -0.3, -0.3, -0.3, -0.6, -0.9, -1.1, -1.2, -1.4
    2008= -1.5, -1.5, -1.2, -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, -0.2, -0.1, -0.2, -0.4, -0.7
    2009= -0.9, -0.8, -0.6, -0.2,  0.1,  0.4,  0.5,  0.6,  0.7,  1.0,  1.4,  1.6
    2010=  1.6,  1.4,  1.1,  0.7,  0.2, -0.3, -0.8, -1.2, -1.4, -1.5, -1.5, -1.5
    2011= -1.4, -1.3, -1.0, -0.7, -0.4, -0.2, -0.2, -0.3, -0.6, -0.8, -1.0, -1.0
    2012= -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, -0.1,  0.0,  0.1,  0.3,  0.4,  0.6,
    
  57. michael sweet says: “Thanks to Bob Tisdale Dec 21, 2:10 pm for confirming that according to NOAA’s established definition this will be the warmest La Nina year on record.”

    michael, I believe you’re reading too much into my December 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm comment. First, I provided links to how NOAA was defining a La Nina year. And I later noted that it was part of a childish effort. Second, I have no knowledge of NOAA’s December 2012 global temperature anomaly value so I have no way of claiming to know the year-end value. In fact, I didn’t. That’s an assumption you’re making, not me. Third, the key word in your comment is “established”. Many might think a more appropriate word is “contrived”, especially when one considers this would not have been a La Nina year based on the earlier version of ONI:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears_1971-2000_climo.shtml

    A March 2012 ONI value of -0.4 would not have been considered La Nina conditions using the period of 1971-2000 as base years, as NOAA had used until earlier this year: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/ersst3b.nino.mth.ascii
    So I don’t think “established” is appropriate in this case.

    Yup, “contrived” is a much better word.

  58. Bob,
    Your link shows clearly that NOAA defined a La Nina year as one where the first three months are in the threshold for La Nina. Since the temperature usually lags the La Nina/Nino switch by about 6 months that seems reasonable. In this thread the opening post attempts to redefine what it means to be a La Nina year. Your link shows the OP is incorrect. Your attempt to spin the established definition is interesting, but does to stand up to close examination. NOAA defined a La Nina year long ago. You cannot change the goalpost set by NOAA years ago.

  59. michael sweet says:
    December 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    The changed version has now created a La Nina in 2006 when there wasn’t one previously. Is it reasonable when the lag between ENSO and global temperatures are about 3 months.

    2006 -0.9, -0.7, -0.5, -0.3, 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, 1.0

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2006/to:2007

    The ENSO peak minimum in January 2006 didn’t reach global temperatures until April 2006 and that is 3 months.

  60. Ric Werme says:
    December 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I think it’s time for a reminder about the nav bar link to Ric Werme’s guide to WUWT where I note how to write HTML that even WordPress can recognize…

    Thanks for the instructional reference and the work you put into it. I had forgotten. Your reminder was timely. I will try harder!

    Now can you get rid of the multi-page, wheel busting scroll that is in “Information’s” post. GK

  61. G. Karst says:
    December 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Now can you get rid of the multi-page, wheel busting scroll that is in “Information’s” post. GK

    That is beyond my WUWT-fu. If you have a Page Down key, that’s faster than a scroll wheel.

  62. Can someone please tell me what the latest ENSO number is? The reason I ask is that the meter shows 0.0, but the number shows +0.14, while the latest NINO 3.4 SST Anomalies Forecast seems to indicate it is -0.20 now and all forecasts start from there. Thanks!

  63. Werner Brozek says:
    December 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Can someone please tell me what the latest ENSO number is? The reason I ask is that the meter shows 0.0, but the number shows +0.14, while the latest NINO 3.4 SST Anomalies Forecast seems to indicate it is -0.20 now and all forecasts start from there. Thanks!

    The latest ENSO anomaly is a continuously changing value. Various institutions put out values for particular times or average value over some time period.

    From what I can glean, the value I obtain for WUWT is an average centered on Wednesday (or ending on Wednesday, and reported the next Monday. I start with a URL like http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?ctlfile=oiv2.ctl&ptype=ts&var=ssta&level=1&op1=none&op2=none&day=22&month=sep&year=2012&fday=22&fmonth=dec&fyear=2012&lat0=-5&lat1=5&lon0=-170&lon1=-120&plotsize=800×600&title=&dir= which provides a graph and a link to a text file that looks like:

    data from 00Z22SEP2012 to 00Z22DEC2012
    "----------"
    0.364851
    0.266848
    0.214593
    0.221214
    0.38753
    0.633406
    0.500188
    0.493784
    0.656908
    0.406625
    0.276114
    0.0417955
    0.0246506
    9.999e+20

    The data for the last two weeks rounds to 0, and that’s what’s displayed. I think this is the source Bob Tisdale uses.

    Another source is http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/nino_3.4.txt, which reports:

    20121119,20121125,0.46
    20121126,20121202,0.30
    20121203,20121209,0.37
    20121210,20121216,0.14

    So that’s likely a match for your 0.14.

  64. mbw says:
    December 23, 2012 at 8:45 am
    Since you are so interested in NOAA you might find this of interest:

    Independent Evidence Confirms Global Warming in Instrument Record

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/independent-evidence-confirms-global-warming-instrument-record

    First sentences:

    A new compilation of temperature records etched into ice cores, old corals, and lake sediment layers reveals a pattern of global warming from 1880 to 1995 [note--not since then] comparable to the global warming trend recorded by thermometers. … [This] “resolves some of the uncertainty associated with thermometers.”

    No one disputes that there is a rough match–which is all those proxies can confirm.

  65. It’s an admittedly small data point, but as a surfer I’m acutely aware of ocean temperatures off the coast of California, and this is the first year in about the last four or five that we got a few months in late summer and early fall of warm water. If it was a La Nina, it was very weak indeed.

  66. michael sweet says: “Your link shows clearly that NOAA defined a La Nina year as one where the first three months are in the threshold for La Nina.”

    Which link is that, michael? I’ve provided numerous links on this thread.

    michael sweet says: “Your attempt to spin the established definition is interesting, but does to stand up to close examination.”

    Spin the established definition? I presented reality. Your examination skills are obviously lacking. Then again, denizens of SkepticalScience like you clearly have difficulty grasping reality.

    michael sweet says: “NOAA defined a La Nina year long ago. You cannot change the goalpost set by NOAA years ago.”

    As noted in my last reply to you, NOAA redefined La Nina this year by monkeying with the base years of their Oceanic NINO Index. It is a revised definition, michael, not the one set “years ago.”

    Have a nice day.

  67. michael sweet: Further to my December 24, 2012 at 1:13 am reply, are you aware that the sea surface temperature dataset (ERSST.v3b) upon which the ONI is derived is not associated with a peer-reviewed paper? Just figured I’d let you know, since peer review is so critical to proponents of manmade global warming. The paper that was originally written for that dataset was for satellite-based sea surface temperature data…

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ersst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf

    …but NOAA removed the satellite data within a year of its release—for political reasons.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/merged-product-v3.pdf

    Therefore, there’s no paper associated with the revised dataset.

  68. With an index as chaotic as ENSO, this “hottest La Nina” claim is cherry-picking of the highest order. One has to look over much longer periods for meaningful analysis. (Just imagine Tamino’s reaction is skeptics made an equivalent claim e.g. “coldest el Nino”.) No two el Ninos or La Ninas are ever the same.

    Still – I cant help thinking NOAA’s own Multivariate ENSO Index is a very nice example of a Lorenz attractor of a nonlinear oscillator. Alternating periods of predominance blue La Ninas and red el Ninos, with a bit of chaotic fluctuation mixed in. This interpretation would predict that we are just starting a period of La Nina dominance – the other wing of the Lorenz butterfly. We can wait an see…

  69. The latest ENSO 3.4 value is -0.1:

    0.656908
    0.406625
    0.276114
    0.0417955
    0.0246506
    -0.119068

    If this keeps up we’ll be back to a La Niña by summer!

Comments are closed.