Elements of the 1997 Super El Niño seem to be repeating now in the Western Pacific

Could we be in for a Super El Niño this year like the one in 1997/98?

Pools of warm water known as Kelvin waves can be seen traveling eastward along the equator (black line) in this Sept. 17, 2009, image from the NASA/French Space Agency Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite. El Ninos form when trade winds in the equatorial western Pacific relax over a period of months, sending Kelvin waves eastward across the Pacific like a conveyor belt. Image credit: NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team

Pools of warm water known as Kelvin waves can be seen traveling eastward along the equator (black line) in this Sept. 17, 2009, image from the NASA/French Space Agency Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite. El Ninos form when trade winds in the equatorial western Pacific relax over a period of months, sending Kelvin waves eastward across the Pacific like a conveyor belt. Image credit: NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team

Dr. Ryan Maue is seeing hints of a beginning in ocean heat content satellite visualizations.

 

Maue writes on Twitter:

Quick look at 1997 TC Ocean Heat content anomaly for April 4 shows equatorial extreme + anoms … compare to 2014

1997_OHC_WestPacific

And here is April 2014:

Maue writes on Twitter:

Here’s the April 4, 2014 TC Ocean Heat content e.g. depth of 26° isotherm. Like 1997

2014_OHC_westpacific

Certainly, some similarities exist, and it appears the warm pool is just a bit bigger than the one in 1997. If the forecast is to be relied on, we expect to see some sort of ENSO event this year:

nino34Mon[1]

More at the WUWT ENSO page

Of course, there’s no doubt that should this build into a full-blown ENSO event, we’ll hear things like “Trenberth’s missing heat has returned, and it’s angry” and “the global warming pause that we didn’t admit existed before is now over”

 

 

 

About these ads

124 thoughts on “Elements of the 1997 Super El Niño seem to be repeating now in the Western Pacific

  1. If you look at ocean temperature records for 1997 there were two to three waves of temp increases. The first one looks similar to what is happening now, but there was a second (and third) kelvin wave which sent temperatures increasing further in the summer.

    So while I see an inevitable el nino, I still don’t see evidence for a “super el nino” other than they have/are formed in a similar way.

    The oceans are much colder today than they were in 1997 and we are in a cold PDO cycle, not to mention the three successive kelvin waves that hit us in 97 which everyone seems to be missing.

    I guess we’ll see.

  2. For those who are on WxBell professional (I highly recommend the site), you will also see Joe Bastardi’s take on the probable upcoming El Nino event. He is firmly in the camp that this will not be a super El Nino due to the cold phase of the PDO ….. but time will tell.

  3. Remember that they changed how TCHP is calculated and represented in 2008. I dont believe we can compare them directly without reanalysis.

  4. My call, close to Peak of warm is now and will flatten cello by September. TSI is dropping off from Freaky second solar cycle peak.

    My call is off TSI data. I could be wrong [or] right.

  5. There’s a lot more red across the Indian Ocean this time. No idea if it’s relevant!
    It would be nice to see a non-El Nino year for comparison, too.

  6. I am sure the AGWers have been praying to Mother Nature to do Her warming thing so we don’t slip further into the present cooling trend.

  7. Just think of the good things a good El Nino will bring to Earth, a nice burp of CO2 for the world’s plants and trees and more rainfall to enhance their growth further. (1998 saw one of the largest year-to-year CO2 jumps in the past few decades)

    We’re still trying to come out of two years of drought here (save for 15 inches in half a month last Summer), so a rainy year will be very welcome (I’m sure those in Texas and California feel the same way).

  8. If you follow the direction of the heat, an El Nino is actually heat leaving the Earth system: Ocean > Atmosphere > Space

  9. Also has anyone noticed the SOI numbers lately? They collapsed in March to -12.0 which seemed to strongly suggest el nino, but have since risen to +9.9.

    P.S. Hunter, exactly. That also means that 2015-2019 should be pretty cold years since we will be entering the down side of solar cycle 24. The earth won’t really start warming again until the next el nino which won’t happen until around 2019-2020.

  10. It will be interesting to watch the El Nino. It will be interesting to watch the physical aftereffects IF it turns out to be a strong El Nino. Maybe the ARGO buoys will serve their purpose.

    It will also be interesting to listen to and read all of the misinformation that’s presented about it.

    Hopefully, the NODC will update their OHC data for the first quarter of 2014 soon. I’d like to include the ocean heat content for the tropical Pacific in my next ENSO update. Unless they’re was a sudden spike over the last few months, the tropical Pacific ocean heat content now is lower than it was in the 1st quarter of 1997. That doesn’t mean the El Nino will be weaker. It’s just something to throw at the alarmists.

  11. One final thing, what a lot of the “super el nino” advocates miss is that the issue is not whether an el nino is forming, it’s whether it can be sustained at 1997 levels. Those conditions are really where you see the difference.

  12. Could we be in for a Super El Niño this year like the one in 1997/98?
    ===
    Like Os said already….they are not measuring them the same way

  13. There was heavy and extensive flooding in Oklahoma during the 1987 El Nino. At one point, the I-35 bridges across the Cimarron River were damaged and nearly destroyed. Just a bit downstream from there, a huge empty propane tank broke free and hurtled along, taking out several bridges in it’s path. Lots of homes were lost, crops ruined, livestock destroyed and long detours were necessary. Now, parts of the state are in a drought as severe as anything recorded before, so if the rain returns at 1987 levels, “mixed blessing” will be a weak statement.

  14. Jeff says:
    April 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Also has anyone noticed the SOI numbers lately? They collapsed in March to -12.0 which seemed to strongly suggest el nino, but have since risen to +9.9.

    “P.S. Hunter, exactly. That also means that 2015-2019 should be pretty cold years since we will be entering the down side of solar cycle 24. The earth won’t really start warming again until the next el nino which won’t happen until around 2019-2020.”
    ________________
    Do you have a link to work showing definitive climate response to TSI? Somewhat random correlation does not equal causation.

  15. Jeff wrote:
    The oceans are much colder today than they were in 1997

    Except that thermal expansion resulting in higher sea levels proves you wrong.
    .

  16. If there is an El Niño, then one thing is for sure: all the man made CO2 in the atmosphere made absolutely no difference whatsoever to the intensity and timing of this event.

    El Ninos are normally associated with a small rise in global temperatures, which in turns means the alarmist community crowing, “I told you so.”

    Hopefully, this will prove to be a false alarm for a Super El Niño.

  17. We might be headed toward an el nino condition but I don’t think it is going to be a “super” el nino. It will likely be a weak one for a couple of reasons. Most significant among them is a lack of warm water in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Secondly, while there is some persistent eastward anomaly in the trades in the far western Pacific, the trades in the eastern Pacific are still nominal and the central Pacific is variable. I’m not seeing any significant trade wind trigger yet.

  18. What would be really interesting is El Niño happens but the pause continues. Plenty of precedent for that in the WMO data from their 2014 summary, despite their verbiage. ENSO is superposed on longer deeper natural variations, whatever they may be. Those have apparently turned negative after 1998.ENDO did not markedly change the ‘cooling’ from about 1945 to about 1975. Could be the case again here if El Niño comes.
    Not an expert at any of the ocean stuff, ‘but if the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit’.

  19. Now contrary to how I view NOAA’s ENSO predictions, I definitely accept Dr. Ryan Maue and Joe Bastardi’s views of weather futures!

    I’m looking forward to hearing their current takes as the seasons move on.

  20. What’s with the first image? Text on the image says 1997. Caption below the image says its 2009.

  21. http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/08/open-thread-8/#comment-479676

    El Nino is just an index of relative temperatures in key regions of the ocean. How it affects atmospheric temperatures is probably more in regard to important trends in weather/climate. Some key attributes of enso processes and conditions during them are likely to tell us a lot more about what we can expect heat to do during different phases.

    1) Windspeed, this will affect both evaporation and pooling of heat during neutral/la nina conditions.
    2) Cloud activity in eastern pacific, particularly during neutral/la nina conditions. (more specifically, amount of DW SW at the surface).
    3) Ocean surface current.
    4) Sea surface level anomaly in the indo-pacific.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/23/more-scientific-mavericks-needed/#comment-500890

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/11/our-new-paper-el-nino-warming-reduces-climate-sensitivity-to-1-3-deg-c/

    Warming during el nino also due to reduced low cloud cover [added, it’s not just a release, there’s a forcing]. If another process mitigates the low cloud decrease (such as cooler air temps, winds moving aerosols to the region…), we’d see much less warming from a strong el nino. How might conditions related to PDO/AMO/SOI affect the atmosphere during el nino?

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/23/more-scientific-mavericks-needed/#comment-502323

    “Other effects, as in changes in cloud cover, are either related to the energy flux from ocean to atmosphere, or are minor– certainly orders of magnitude less than the actual flux of energy from the IPWP to the atmosphere.”

    I don’t buy that (entirely). Without radiation driving evaporation, I don’t think there’d be nearly as much heat flux. What happened with the el Chichon super el Nino?

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/23/more-scientific-mavericks-needed/#comment-503157

    Rob, I think what a lot of people miss is that it is not just exposure of warm water to the atmosphere, it is also exposure to light. Temperatue affects how much water vapor there can be, but radiation is a big driver of how much evaporation happens. If the albedo is high and the cloud response to el nino is muted, I don’t think there will be nearly as much heat flux from the ocean. A few mechanisms could be wind pattern moving more aerosol to the region, cooler atmospheric temps allowing more low cloud formation, weak solar cycle generaring more CCN. (The amount of UV likely plays a role as well as high energy CRF. I also think the sun may modulate high energy CRF rather than the earth magnetic field and polarity of cycle may play a role.).

  22. If this means I don’t have to go through another winter like this one I’m all in favor of it!
    It would also mean more rain for California would it not? Water Mr Watts lawn :)

  23. There should be ENSO activity during the peak of solar activity, it goes like this, La Nina during and after solar minimum and El Nino during and after solar maximum. You have to remember solar activity is weaker now compared to the last few solar cycles, and they packed a punch. maybe ENSO reaches a saturation point (who knows), and begins a natural process of regulation, I cant see how anyone finds these variations alarming. take the usual precautions this summer and stay safe!

  24. http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/30/ipcc-ar5-wg2-report-draft-spm/#comment-510202

    What about the el Chichon super el nino. If the atmosphere is cool over the el nino and aerosols move in, there won’t be as much SW radiation to drive evaporation. There won’t be the usual forcing and heat will pool again in the indo-pacific and bleed off into the deep ocean al la trenberth (and some maybe to rivers to the arctic al la cowtan and way [added, or the tropics]).

  25. WE need to be looking below the surface. What’s happening to cross-section of the Pacific at the level of the thermocline?

    When the thermocline drops off the coast Peru/Equator and rises in the wast Pacific, the surface water will start to flow back.

  26. Latest Jason-2 image:

    I’ve seen very large pools of warm water make their way to the Americas before, some times they cause significant changes at the surface, sometimes they don’t. I think its fair to say there is going to be a “pretty good el nino”, but that’s about it .

  27. What does this potential event and the 1998 event tell us about the radiative energy balance between the Sun and Earth? If that balance isn’t involved (no new energy has been cached) leading up to this then the result is a cooling effect as it would be any time you get stored energy to the surface (and to the atmosphere and beyond). These events appear to be Earth taking out the trash.

  28. Also note that the whole picture is fair bit warmer than 1997. There’s a lot red about but probably not as much E-W contrast.

  29. The picture caption reads: “Pools of warm water known as Kelvin waves can be seen traveling eastward along the equator…” This is grossly misleading. Kelvin waves are not masses of water, but long-period waves that put water into oscillatory orbits. Under the restoring force of gravity, they transport only energy–not matter. In the case of internal (baroclinic) waves, there may be a thickening and thinning of the warm layer above the thermocline as the wave progresses eastward (see http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/MET/Faculty/bwang/bw/paper/wang_103.pdf).
    The water of the Pacific warm-pool, however, is no more transported across the equatorial Pacific by these waves than is water from the southern hemisphere brought to the shores of California by summer swell. Such transport is accomplished by the surface equatorial countercurrent and the subsurface Cromwell Current.

  30. Such an event would doubtless be hailed as the “end of the pause” in warmist precincts.

  31. @chuck says:
    April 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    The problem is that slr stats are so compromised by AGW bias. And slr is such a tough topic, with subsidence and coastal erosion, that putting much credence in slr claims is likely a waste of time.
    The important thing to follow is the heat: the pathway seems to [belay] Nina’s gather/store heat up, el Nino’s dissipate heat into the atmosphere. Heat upwelling implies CO2 release as well, by the way, which means less so-called OA.

  32. Hunter, I agree. Since they massively “corrected” Jason and removed the option to get the data without inv. barometer and the GAIA adjustments , I just regard MSL data as a lost cause.

    The amount of propaganda being pushed into the data means it’s pretty much worthless for any science at this point.

  33. 1sky1: “Under the restoring force of gravity, they transport only energy–not matter.”

    Aren’t Kelvin waves a form of soliton wave? Solitons do displace mass.

  34. My eyeball say’s the current months image looks only half as serious as 17 years ago. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Feel better now?

  35. Could a super El Nino cause the 1998 record for RSS to be broken in 2014?

    The average anomaly in 1998 was 0.55. The average for the first three months this year so far is 0.213. So a simple equation can be set up as follows to see what average would be required for the remaining 9 months to set a record.
    12(0.55) = 3(0.213) + 9x. Solving for x gives 0.66. Naturally this is above 0.55, but a more important number now is what is the highest 9 month average during the 1998 super El Nino. According to the following plot of RSS with a mean of 9 months, that number is 0.63.
    See: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996/mean:9
    Of course this is below 0.66, however the 9 month average at the start of the 1998 El Nino was around 0, whereas it is around 0.2 now. So the climb to potentially set a record is not as high.
    It is possible for an El Nino that is almost as strong as the 1998 El Nino to set a record, however things have to move fast. The April anomaly for RSS does not necessarily have to be 0.66, but as a guess, I would say it should jump to at least 0.4 from 0.213 now and then it must make good jumps in the next months. According to the graph above, when the December number for RSS is in, the new 9 month height must be just above the 1998 nine month height in order for a new record to be set.

  36. The terrifying thing about the prospect of a super El Nino is not the weather consequences, but the resumption of super alarmism yabbering by the CAGW Crowd. Particularly fearful would be the spectre of Trenberth’s missing heat being reported as being sighted somewhere again in the Pacific.

  37. There were no lingering effects of the 1999 event. It came, it went. That energy pulse is out there dancing with the stars.

  38. chuck says: Satellite measurements don’t have “bias”

    You apparently know very little of what is involved in satellite altimetry or those who perform it.

  39. Nick Stokes says:
    Robert Scribbler has been talking about a big Kelvin Wave for a while now.

    “Record global temperatures, extraordinarily severe storms for the US West Coast and telegraphing on through the Central and Eastern US, a disruption of the Asian Monsoon and various regional growing seasons, record heat and drought in Northern Australia, severe drought and fires in the Amazon, the same throughout Eurasia and into the Siberian Arctic, another potential blow to Arctic sea ice. These and further extreme impacts are what could unfold if the extraordinarily powerful Kelvin Wave now racing toward the Pacific Ocean surface continues to disgorge its heat.”

    O M G ! It’s worse than I thought.

    Thanks for the tip Nick, certainly one to remember.

  40. Greg says:
    April 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    “Aren’t Kelvin waves a form of soliton wave? Solitons do displace mass.”

    No, they’re NOT solitons

  41. Here’s an interesting exercise. take the temp impact from the 97/98 EL Nino and the La Nina that follows and splice it on the end of the current UAH temp record. What you end up with is a flat temp trend for 20 years.
    Even adding +.2C to all the UAH temps in that splice you only end up with a temp trend at 0.1C per decade. Unless this El Nino markedly exceeds the 97/98 event in terms of its strength and impact on global temps then the “pause” will continue.
    One thing I would hope to see here is that before people post on what they think this coming event will or won’t be, at least thoroughly educate on what the drivers of an EL Nino event are and maybe take a look at some of the papers on the 97/98 event.
    Some things to consider.
    1) During the 97/98 event strong equatorial counter currents influenced the strength of the event. Look at what the equatorial counter currents are now doing.
    2) There is evidence that warm anomalies in the central Pacific give rise to conditions more favourable for the generation of kelvin waves.
    3) As you head into the NH spring and summer kelvin waves would normally become less frequent however refer to point 2 above.
    4) Check the progression of the 97/98 event. It was really only later in the year in 1997 that the full strength hit.
    5) The Humboldt current still doesn’t seem to have been significantly disrupted off the coast of South America. Not certain but I believe the equatorial Pacific counter currents may start to exert a greater influence in coming months if they continue to strengthen.
    A lot of factors come into play in determining how strong an El Nino event will be and what impacts it will have. Scientists still seem to have a lot of difficulty predicting them accurately.
    Here is a link to the page that provides a lot of the climatic measurements related to the equatorial Pacific. I would suggest getting to understand them before making predictions.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml#history

  42. This time may different. There is observational evidence that Svensmark’s mechanism (GCR modulation of planetary clouds, high latitude regions, there is now evidence of cooling in high latitude regions due to increase cloud cover) and Tinsley’s mechanism (solar wind burst removal of ions from high latitudes and equatorial regions) has been reactivated.

    P.S.
    Look at ocean temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere. There is a very large region of cold temperature anomalies.

  43. Greg says:
    April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    “You apparently know very little of what is involved in satellite altimetry or those who perform it.”
    ..
    When the satellite altimetry confirms the tidal gauge readings you need a better line of argument to confirm “bias”

  44. What was 1966 like for ENSO? If it was a very strong to Super El Nino, then place early bets on 2030 also having one.

  45. When the satellite altimetry confirms the tidal gauge readings you need a better line of argument to confirm “bias”
    ====
    When the satellites are tuned to convenient tide gauges that happen to be the only ones showing sea level rise….it’s garbage

  46. check: says: When the satellite altimetry confirms the tidal gauge readings you need a better line of argument to confirm “bias”

    My comment was not supposed to confirm bias , it was pointing out that you don’t know what you’re taking about.

    Spend some time reading up on what is involved in calculating “average” sea height in a stormy sea from a few hundred thousand miles away to within a mm or two, then come back and tell me about how they have no possible “bias”, then we can talk about the political bias of those doing it and presenting the data.

  47. What I dread will be the sure-to-come frankenstorms of stupid coming from the Alarmists if we get another super el nino. We could probably kiss the warming halt goodbye.

  48. What is the position of the solarphiles regarding the prospect of an upcoming El Nino. We are supposed to be entering (or have entered) a Dalton-like period yet it’s clear that even a moderate El Nino could threaten the 1998 UAH temperature record.

    I made the point some years ago that those who supported the solar-driven warming hypothesis were painting themselves into a corner. If solar activity declined – but temperatures didn’t they had nowhere else to go. Leif Svalgaard has received a lot of criticism on this blog for suggesting that solar activity has not varied anywhere near enough to explain global temperature fluctuations over the past few centuries, On the other hand, the “warmists” have used the apparent increase in solar activity as shown in Lean et al etc to explain the early 20th century warming.

    Thanks for that, guys.

  49. “Trenberth’s missing heat has returned, and it’s angry”

    My god man! DO you realize what you just did? You just came up with the next SyFy movie thriller! LOL

  50. Alarmists aren’t totally wrong about the possibility of some storm being slightly stronger from global warming, higher atmospheric temps when cold water happens to come up from the depth could make the storms that are created that way a little stronger. Not enough to change planning, and ,the vast majority of time, we would benefit from weakened storms and increases in more modest rainfall and moisture.

  51. I think this possible light at end of the tunnel will be a train of destruction for CAGW.

    It could incite the believers leave their bunkers and mount an assault- and it seem predictable to me, that if they do this, they will running across a open field against machine gun fire.

    And so we should get the refrain, “I thought the turkeys could fly”:

  52. That is not an element of the super El Nino, it is a typical Kelvin wave that carries an El Nino across the ocean.As you should know if you read my book, that is how the warm water that creates an El Nino is carried across the Pacific Ocean. When it reaches South America, it spreads out along the coast and warms the air above it. Warm air rises, interferes with trade winds, mixes with the westerlies, and we notice the start of an El Nino. But any water that runs ashore must also retreat. When this El Nino water retreats the water level behind it drops half a meter, cold water from below fills the vacuum, and a La Nina has started. As much as the El Nino raised global temperature the La Nina will now lower it. If there is no other action in the ocean this temperature see-saw can be rather precise as the eighties and nineties demonstrate. The source of this warm water is the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, a pile of warm water forced up into a dome in the Philippines-New Guinea triangle by the trade winds. When the water level there is high enough gravitational flow along the equatorial counter-current starts and forms the Kelvin wave you noticed. As you know this is periodic and is part of the ENSO oscillation. Periodicity can be thought of as water sloshing back and forth from one side of a large bowl to the other, where the bowl itself is the Pacific ocean. The length of the period is determined by the width of the bowl and is about five years. The super El Nino differs from all other El Ninos by carrying much more water across than any of the others did. It is not possible to get that extra warm water from the regular ENSO oscillation and another source is required to explain it. I have speculated that it could be created if the Indonesian passage between the islands could be temporarily blocked but I cannot think of a mechanism that could do that. It is quite a rare thing because there has been only one super El Nino since the beginning of the twentieth century.

  53. It’s nonsense, the only connection between red and the new super white is belief. el scorcho!

    Have sympathy for London, this is day 4 of the zombie fog, It’s so severe they have upped it to the highest level of 11, That’s right! this fog is so terrible I’ve seen people turn inside out.

    Fog is now classified as air pollution. Well done London, you’re breaking into new frontiers.

  54. I would put the odds on a strong El Nino as being 50%. A Super-El Nino at 25% and an El Nada at 25%.

    The issue is how much cold water there is in the eastern Pacific. The warm water moving in to form an El Nino, has to fight its way through all this cold water and/or be strong enough to offset the cooling influences that are there.

    Have a look at the cross-section for 110W going from south to north.

    While the most important latitude is right at 0N, there is still a lot of cold water to offset the warmth now moving in the equatorial under-current. Some of this cold water is really circulating back to the east so it might be moving out of range to influence the equator (since the Pacific ocean switches current direction each 8 degrees of latitude and each 150 metres of depth) but there is still lots there.

    It is more than 50% probability that a strong El Nino will develop, but we have to watch closely over time because there are potential off-setting waters.

    The zonal current anomalies, however, are well into the very strong El Nino range.

    In terms of how it will affect global temperatures, the formula is 0.10 times Nino 3.4 anomaly (of 3 months previous). At 2.0C Nino 3.4 index will increase global temperatures by 0.2C lagging 3 months later.

  55. chuck says:
    April 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    “Greg says:
    April 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm
    “You apparently know very little of what is involved in satellite altimetry or those who perform it.”
    .
    When the satellite altimetry confirms the tidal gauge readings you need a better line of argument to confirm “bias””

    Nonsense. Tide gauges are all over the place due to land masses moving vertically.
    Altimetry Failure, TBTF Science, Fundamental!
    Five or More Failed Experiments in Measuring Global Sea Level Change, Willie Soon

    ENVISAT totally re adjusted from 0.4 mm/yr to 2.4 !!!
    55:00 : in 2001 IPCC chap 11 p 641 : from 1920 to 1990
    eustatic sea level rise of about 0.7 mm/yr !!!!! (not 2.4 or anything like that)

  56. There’s a cyclone sitting right over that spot as we speak. The temperature at the top of it is -70 to -80 degrees C.

  57. David Williams (April 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm) “Here’s an interesting exercise. take the temp impact from the 97/98 EL Nino and the La Nina that follows and splice it on the end of the current UAH temp record. What you end up with is a flat temp trend for 20 years. Even adding +.2C to all the UAH temps in that splice you only end up with a temp trend at 0.1C per decade.”

    It’s important to keep in mind there has been no “halt” in temperature rise over the past 17 years. The “pause” mostly means a statistically insignificant rise, but a rise nonetheless. A strong El Nino resulting in a rise to 0.5 or 0.55 in the 13 month moving average in UAH: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_February_2014_v5.png would mean a continuation of a modest 0.1C per decade rise which essentially disproves alarmism.

  58. gbaikie says:
    April 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    “open field against machine gun fire.”

    Please don’t do that, gbaike. Seriously.

  59. Greg says:

    chuck says: Satellite measurements don’t have “bias”

    You apparently know very little of what is involved in satellite altimetry or those who perform it.

    Thanks Greg, I wanted to say something too–but don’t understand the process well enough to refute someone. I just know something is wrong with those readings.

  60. So I was thinking about inviting a few people over for a party, does anyone know where I can buy cheep acrylic sheeting? by the look of things, I’m gonna run out.

  61. John Finn says:
    April 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm
    “What is the position of the solarphiles regarding the prospect of an upcoming El Nino. We are supposed to be entering (or have entered) a Dalton-like period yet it’s clear that even a moderate El Nino could threaten the 1998 UAH temperature record.”

    First, we are not yet there. There are still sunspots. They’ll be gone when the solarmagnetic field drops below a critical threshold. We’ll see what happens then, as we have never experienced it in the modern instrumental age.

    “I made the point some years ago that those who supported the solar-driven warming hypothesis were painting themselves into a corner. If solar activity declined – but temperatures didn’t they had nowhere else to go. ”

    Climate is weather averaged over 30 years. One ENSO peak is a blip on that timescale.

    Also, if the CO2 warmists were right and CO2 were the major influence we would have to see a new temperature record every year. We don’t, so they’re wrong.

  62. Arno Arrak :
    please can you give more details on how the extra-warm water interferes with the trade winds of the equatorial western Pacific and makes them relax for a period of months?

  63. John Finn says:
    April 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm
    We are supposed to be entering (or have entered) a Dalton-like period yet it’s clear that even a moderate El Nino could threaten the 1998 UAH temperature record.

    I would be very surprised if it happened in 2014 though. The 13 month average would have to peak in July for the maximum effect of an El Nino. In 1997, the El Nino started in May 1997 and the peak did not come until about March 1998.
    Right now, we are still in neutral so there is just not enough time in my opinion to break the 1998 mark this year. As for 2015, who knows?

  64. Eastern Australia often experiences drought during an El Nino, but this time it looks different with a warmer looking Indian Ocean. The first of this years (early) Northwest cloudbands is about to dump billions of dollars of global warming moisture from the Indian Ocean onto Australian farmland, cattle stations and deserts, as it spreads the rain from the N West to the S East. Or so the Weather Channel tells us!
    More carbon please!

  65. chuck says:
    April 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    Jeff wrote:
    The oceans are much colder today than they were in 1997
    Except that thermal expansion resulting in higher sea levels proves you wrong.
    .http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/uc_seallevel_2009r2.png
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    EXCEPT, just eyeballing the PNG chart, it would appear that there has been little to no rise from about 2005 to 2009.

  66. Greg says:

    April 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    “Spend some time reading up on what is involved in calculating “average” sea height in a stormy sea from a few hundred thousand miles away to within a mm or two, then come back and tell me about how they have no possible “bias”, then we can talk about the political bias of those doing it and presenting the data.”

    Along these same lines about accuracy in measuring sea level by satellite. I was just reading up on the Yellowstone Supervolcano again today as it is back in the news. Why is it they can only measure its rate of rise to an accuracy of only 2.5cm per year, but yet can measure the rise of the oceans to 0.1mm/yr ?

  67. chuck says

    ‘When the satellite altimetry confirms the tidal gauge readings you need a better line of argument to confirm “bias” ‘

    However the site says –
    ‘These measurements are continuously calibrated against a network of tide gauges’

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    Not “confirmed” but “calibrated against”. So that errors in tidal gauges from subsidence, etc throw out any sort confirmation.

  68. Uncertainty Monster (or is it Uncertain TAO)?
    Kim Cobb writes:
    “[…] the TAO array – the only source of direct observations of the tropical Pacific atmospheric winds and subsurface ocean temperature so critical to El Niño’s evolution – is losing buoys at an alarming rate because the ship that serviced them has been sidelined by NOAA’s funding gaps. Data return has dropped to 36% (M. McPhaden, pers. comm.) – the plots you see above are heavily infilled using the few buoys that remain. Just today, the TAO homepage posted a disclaimer warning of poor data quality. This depressing moment in the history of US ocean science is discussed in a recent Nature News piece.”

  69. Main drives to El-Niños are kelvin waves. We have a much more potential kelvin wave, just poking out through the surface. We need more WWB’s to continue pushing the extremely warm body of water to the surface so an El-Niño can materialize. By Summer, El-Niños tend to maximize their heat level, thus, fully “revealing” their selves and what we’re really looking at. Right now, this kelvin wave is the strongest we have had in modern history. In addition, we are in a PDO+ regime, if you haven’t noticed!

  70. Record-breaking Kelvin wave + developing +PDO = Super El-Niño. We have developing WWB’s to keep a healthy flow for the warm basin propagation.

  71. DirkH says:
    April 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    First, we are not yet there. There are still sunspots. They’ll be gone when the solarmagnetic field drops below a critical threshold. We’ll see what happens then, as we have never experienced it in the modern instrumental age.

    Typical wishy-washy nonsense. Why have we got to wait for sunspots to disappear before there is any solar effect. They didn’t disappear for the entirety of the Dalton Minimum period. They do, however, disappear during each solar minima and were particularly scarce for a long period during the most recent minimum. Solar activity over the past 5 years or so has been at the level it was more than a century ago – global temperatures are not. Solar activity has been in decline for more than 20 years.

    Also, if the CO2 warmists were right and CO2 were the major influence we would have to see a new temperature record every year. We don’t, so they’re wrong.

    Not correct. CO2 has been accumulating at around 2ppm per year. Over a decade this is ~20 ppm which increases the climate forcing ~0.28 w/m2. Natural variability can easily offset that level of forcing. The recent ‘pause’ does not mean a lack of influence from CO2 . However, it does offer support for those who believe sensitivity is lower than 3 deg per CO2 doubling.

    I’d settle for that if I were you and forget any notion that the sun is about to deliver a killer blow to AGW theory. It’s not going to happen. The earth is in a long term warming trend (not necessarily a bad thing). It will continue to warm over the decades to come. However, it may not warm as much as the AGW crowd think.

  72. John Finn
    The temperature will go down as a result of the weakening of the polar vortex both the north and south. Clouds will increase over the oceans. Polar low-pressure systems will move in the direction of the tropics.

    You can already see the asymmetry in the level of ozone over the South Pole.

  73. Werner Brozek says:
    April 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Could a super El Nino cause the 1998 record for RSS to be broken in 2014?
    ………….
    It is possible for an El Nino that is almost as strong as the 1998 El Nino to set a record, however things have to move fast. The April anomaly for RSS does not necessarily have to be 0.66, but as a guess, I would say it should jump to at least 0.4 from 0.213 now and then it must make good jumps in the next months. According to the graph above, when the December number for RSS is in, the new 9 month height must be just above the 1998 nine month height in order for a new record to be set.

    If a lot of the effect of the el nino is split across years, neither of them will set a record, even if the el nino is very strong.

  74. Adam from Kansas said an interesting thing…CO2 levels jumped at the 1997 El Nino. The oceans store CO2 and when water warms its gas dissolving capacity decreases. It seems that warming might cause CO2 to increase ,not the other way around.

  75. IF such an event is more likely than unlikely, then data must be collected all over that area by all means no matter what the costs may be. But some fearful warmists may sabotage such an operation because the results might endanger their sinecures.

  76. I think we need to look at the longer view. One thing I have noticed is that the La Niña events that follow El Niño events during a -PDO seem to be longer and stronger. So, while the El Niño will most certainly increase the global temperature trend initially, the overall affect after 2-3 years could actually be cooling.

    When computing global temperature trends they are usually only considered valid when starting and ending the trends with ENSO consistent points. You can be sure that some alarmists will start showing trends starting at the 1999 La Niña to show serious warming. Once an El Niño starts then the only proper place to start a trend would be a similar spot in the 1997/98 El Niño.

  77. It would be a rare event to have another strong El Nino like the 1997/1998 one so soon after 1998 and during a period when ocean cycles are pointing to a cooling period for the ocean sst . HADSST2 and HADSST3 for the Northern Hemisphere show a decline during the past 10 years .

  78. If true, Californy & the Amer southwest would benefit, at least next winter. And here in the east US we would get rid of these nasty arctic-dominated winters. So go for it, El Nino.

  79. John FInn,

    There is no Dalton or Maunder minimum going on right now. Some people speculate that is the era we are about to enter into, but it doesn’t mean it’s happening. There is nothing to be wishy washy about. This was a very low solar maximum, but it’s still a solar maximum. We just hit the second peak of that maximum (which has corresponded almost perfectly with this latest el nino and all the events which drove it). The sun is only NOW starting to calm down a bit from that.

    It’s ridiculous to think that the sun DOESN’T control the temperatures of the earth (at least its energy). But most people understand that there isn’t a direct connection between sun and temperatures. Rather it’s the relationship between solar rays, the heat which builds (and stores) in the oceans and the release of that heat during ENSO events. If the sun isn’t producing as much energy, and it isn’t getting stored in the ocean, the temperatures will respond by falling. The weak solar cycle is only 5 and a half years old. The process takes time. The earth still has to expel all the stored energy from previous cycles. But el ninos are becoming fewer now, which indicates that the falling temperatures are not that far off.

    The Earth temperatures first “paused” and then they will fall.

    El ninos are natural, they happen every 4 or 5 years or so, they don’t disprove that the sun drives the climate on Earth.

  80. utrex,

    1. We only have kelvin wave information going back to what? The late 1990s? It’s similar to 1997 and 2010.

    2. Kelvin waves are not the main drivers of el ninos, winds are.

    3. We are in a negative PDO and the positive phase will be temporary due to the el nino itself, like 2010.

  81. Jeff
    You are wrong, change in the solar magnetic field cause a changes in the behavior of the polar vortex. They will be even stronger when the Sun blows over. The second peak does not change the trend.

  82. ren,

    All i’m saying is the reason the pacific warmed up so quickly (first in 2012, then at the end of 2013) was because of the spikes due to the solar maximum. Because the ocean has warmed, and there had been strong trades going on for a while now, it pushed all the warm water over to west and, thus, caused this very el nino.

    ps (not to ren),

    Alarmists are always most annoying when they are PREDICTING something will be “worst _____ ever.” We haven’t even had an el nino yet, much less a super el nino. They base this “super el nino” prediction on very narrow data and ignore other data which contradicts it.

  83. And if it does turn out to be a super El Nino let’s hope the warmists agree that the earth has let off some steam, that the oceans have cooled and the surface warming is nothing to be alarmed about.

    Of course they won’t.

  84. During 1997 , the global SST was dramatically rising starting already at the beginning of the year and it rose by 0.35 C by year end . The oceans were in warming cycle .Currently global SST is flat with the slight rise in Southern hemisphere sst being off set by the cooling of the Northern Hemisphere SST. The oceans seem to be heading for a cooling mode led by the dropping Northern hemisphere sst . I see little similarity in sst patterns between the two periods . In my judgement a weak El Nino is more probable .

  85. For those who have not noticed , PDO has gone positive the first two months of 2014 and AMO has gone negative during the same two month period .

  86. If an el niño is born won’t that give us a handle on just how much the Pacific influences the weather ?

  87. I agree with 1Sky1 re Kelvin Waves. A major point to consider is that no one has ever forecast an ENSO cycle in a satisfactory manner and one thing is for sure, no one should attempt to do so at this time of the year. There are too many variables to contend with in and around the equinox as mentioned in numerous papers. Many in this post are quite right in weighing in with the PDO but most everyone is missing the MJO; in my view this pulse can be a major driver. Combine the current pulse approaching northern Australia and the vestiges of the westerly monsoon winds and its no wonder we see the warm pool straining a bit to go east. It’s painful, but we have to wait, have a little patience, and in a month or so things will be clearer.

  88. Jeff says:
    April 5, 2014 at 7:09 am
    John FInn,

    It’s ridiculous to think that the sun DOESN’T control the temperatures of the earth (at least its energy).

    The sun determines how much energy enters the system. This varies by ~0.1% over a solar cycle. Greenhouse gases control the rate at which energy leaves the system. If the rate of emission slows due to an increase in atmospheric ghgs then energy will be stored in the system and the earth will warm.

    If the sun isn’t producing as much energy, and it isn’t getting stored in the ocean, the temperatures will respond by falling.

    But the sun clearly is “producing as much energy” since energy is still building up in the oceans. Temperatures are not going to fall because we still have more energy entering the system than leaving it.

    The weak solar cycle is only 5 and a half years old. The process takes time.

    How long? What about solar cycle 23? SC23 is part of the decline in solar activity.

  89. Thanks, A., Dr. Maue, Mr. Tisdale, contributors. Good information this is an excellent WUWT post.
    It would seem most people who know agree an El Niño is the next move in the ocean.
    ENSO – Diagnostic Discussion: (NOAA-NWS Climate Prediction Center):
    “ENSO-neutral is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, with about a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the summer or fall.”

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_disc_mar2014/ensodisc.html

    How strong? How long would it last? These seem to be the questions.

  90. Jeff says:


    “2. Kelvin waves are not the main drivers of el ninos, winds are.”

    Well speaking about a possibility of an extreme El-Niño itself, the extreme kelvin wave propagation process is more important IMO, but I can see how zonal winds are overall more important for all El-Niños in general.

    “3. We are in a negative PDO and the positive phase will be temporary due to the el nino itself, like 2010.”

    My apologies for being too broad, but I was referring to the positive PDO pulse which is occurring right now. There is as we speak a cooler pocket of water sitting in the Northern Pacific encased by warm water.

    +PDO regime___

  91. Well then I guess we will stop hearing about the drought in the southwestern states, if I remember right wouldn’t a nino bring them much needed rain? Of course that will be a disaster too somehow. I suspect though that the warming they desperately want, won’t be in the near future and hopefully the next time our sine wave swings to warm the mere mention of global warming will cause ridicule and shame. However there will always be a younger generation who has not yet experienced a cycle of warmer, cooler to base disbelief on.. that is our generations downfall, hopefully our kids will be smarter but we have to give them the tools. They are still showing an inconvenient truth in schools folks.. ps I am sick to death of super size. If it is an extended or intense event then be accurate in your name, I’m tired of super, it means nothing.

  92. If this does turn out to be a major El Nino, on par with 1997-1998 then we will see something that hasn’t happened in the history of human civilization, a globally averaged surface temperature higher than that of the Holocene optimum. Highest than it has been since Marine Isotope Stage 5.5. over 130,000 years ago.

    Then your entire world view will be seen as a self-deception. Hopefully we still have time to fix it together.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/to:1998.4/mean:3/plot/uah/from:1997/to:1998.4/trend/plot/rss/from:1997/to:1998.4/trend/plot/uah/from:1997/to:1998.4/mean:3

  93. jai mitchell is still trying to proselytize his religious fanaticism.

    OK, to deconstruct jai’s current silliness:

    The link mitchell fabricated is the ultimate cherry-pick. Just look at the start and end dates. Of course there is a sharp upward curve in that very short time. That’s because he cherry-picked the time frame.

    But viewing a normal time frame shows what is really happening. For the past 17+ years, the trend line clearly shows global cooling. Only a religious True Believer cannot see that.

    And the projection!! : “…your entire world view will be seen as a self-deception.” The self-deception is entirely on the side of the religious fanatics.

    Finally, the “history of human civilization” is a blink of the eye geologically. Even “130,000 years” is the blink of an eye. So is the Holocene Optimum. The planet is now in one of it’s cooler phases. It has been much, much warmer in the past, with no ill effects. Anyone looking at a chart of the past 8 – 10 millennia can see that the current temperature is nothing to worry about. Hockey sticks are a normal and natural occurrence.

    Well, that was easy. Throw me another slow pitch, jai.

  94. Well with the choice available i.e., El Nino or Nina, you have a 50/50 chance of being right. And 50/50 chance of being wrong!

  95. @jai mitchell

    Wow – a 3-4 C warming excursion to make this “el Nino” reach the highest temperature of the Hocene? This really is desperation. Years of pent-up disappointment from the long “pause” years now focussed on fantastic hopes for a warming event of mythical proportions. This is reminiscent of Hitler’s hopes in a super-weapon in 1945 (sorry Godwin) as the wehrmacht crumbled.

    This proto el Nino will fizzle out by the end of the year, and with it the hopes of the wretched warmists.

  96. You would do well, jai, to remember the Spartan response to Philip of Macedon’s threat.

  97. Well what about La Nina, this results in cooling and harsher winters. It’s all to do with ocean currents. Anyway, there is nothing we can do about it.

  98. Jai, what do you suggest we do should an El Nino develop. We have been through this before, and predictions are not fact. El Nino’s have different effects on parts of the world. Same as La Nina. But neither are caused by CO2 or greenhouse gases, well one, water vapor. Just don’t throw away your gum boots, folks. Rain is on the way.

  99. If a super El Niño is in the works, would be a good year for a northern winter vacation in Ecuador.

Comments are closed.