How Would A Super El Niño Affect RSS in 2014? (Now Includes March Data)

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at source

Image Credit: WoodForTrees.org

Guest Post By Werner Brozek, Edited By Just The Facts

I will attempt to answer the question in the title from two different perspectives. First of all, can a super El Niño cause the present 1998 record in RSS to be broken in 2014? The next question is whether or not the slope of 0 will go under Santer’s 17 years. To answer the first part, we need to note that the average anomaly in 1998 was 0.550. The average anomaly 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(0.550) = 3(0.213) + 9x. Solving for x gives 0.66. Naturally this is above 0.55, but more importantly is how this compares to the highest 9 month average during the 1998 super El Niño. According to the above plot of RSS with a mean of 9 months, that number is 0.63.

Since 0.66 is required, it may initially appear as if we need an El Niño that is stronger than the one in 1998. However the 9 month average before the 1998 El Niño started was around 0, whereas it is around 0.2 now. So the climb to potentially set a record is not as high. So it is possible for an El Niño that is almost as strong as the 1998 El Niño 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 the 0.214 March value 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.

I would be very surprised if 2014 broke the 1998 record. In 1997, the El Niño started in May 1997 and the peak did not come until about March 1998. Right now, we are not above 0.5, so in my opinion, there is just not enough time to break the 1998 mark this year. As well, quoting Bob Tisdale:

“[T]he time lag between the major changes in the sea surface temperatures of the equatorial Pacific (NINO3.4 region) and the response in global surface temperatures is a few (3 to 4) months. For lower troposphere temperature anomalies, it’s about 5 to 6 months.”

Moving on to Santer’s 17 years, if we assume it takes a while for an El Niño to form and for it to affect RSS temperatures, I predict that at least to the end of 2014, RSS will still have over 17 years of pause. To verify this for yourself, note the area BELOW the green line in the top graph of this post between August 1996 and December 1997. If temperatures do spike, the August 1996 date has a bit of room to be moved forward until December 1997 is hit. Then, the new area ABOVE the green line at the far right needs to be more or less equal to the present area below and to the left of the 1997 spike. In light of what was just said in terms of how long it takes for temperatures to change, there just does not seem to be enough time for much to happen. I will concede that November and December could have very high anomalies, however it would not be for a long enough period to cause a huge area above the green line. Keep in mind that I am just talking about the case to the end of 2014. Anything can happen in 2015.

In the parts below, as in the previous posts, we will present you with the latest facts. The information will be presented in three sections and an appendix.
The first section will show for how long there has been no warming on several data sets.
The second section will show for how long there has been no statistically significant warming on several data sets.
The third section will show how 2014 to date compares with 2013 and the warmest years and months on record so far.
The appendix will illustrate sections 1 and 2 in a different way. Graphs and a table will be used to illustrate the data.

(P.S. As of May 1, the Hadcrut3 data was not out. Since the March anomaly for Hadcrut4 was 0.034 above the January anomaly, I made the assumption that the March anomaly for Hadcrut3 would also be 0.034 above its January anomaly. Since March showed a huge spike from February in Hadcrut4, I thought it would be better to estimate the March value in Hadcrut3 rather than just leaving things as they were at the end of February.)

Section 1

This analysis uses the latest month for which data is available on WoodForTrees.com (WFT). All of the data on WFT is also available at the specific sources as outlined below. We start with the present date and go to the furthest month in the past where the slope is a least slightly negative. So if the slope from September is 4 x 10^-4 but it is – 4 x 10^-4 from October, we give the time from October so no one can accuse us of being less than honest if we say the slope is flat from a certain month.
On all data sets below, the different times for a slope that is at least very slightly negative ranges from 9 years and 7 months to 17 years and 8 months.
1. For GISS, the slope is flat since September 2001 or 12 years, 7 months. (goes to March)
2. For Hadcrut3, the slope is flat since June 1997 or 16 years, 10 months. (goes to March)
(This was estimated.)
3. For a combination of GISS, Hadcrut3, UAH and RSS, the slope is flat since December 2000 or 13 years, 4 months. (goes to March)
(This was estimated.)
4. For Hadcrut4, the slope is flat since December 2000 or 13 years, 4 months. (goes to March)
5. For Hadsst3, the slope is flat since November 2000 or 13 years, 5 months. (goes to March)
6. For UAH, the slope is flat since September 2004 or 9 years, 7 months. (goes to March using version 5.5)
7. For RSS, the slope is flat since August 1996 or 17 years, 8 months (goes to March).

The next graph shows just the lines to illustrate the above. Think of it as a sideways bar graph where the lengths of the lines indicate the relative times where the slope is 0. In addition, the upward sloping blue line indicates that CO2 has steadily increased over this period.

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at source

When two things are plotted as I have done, the left only shows a temperature anomaly.

The actual numbers are meaningless since all slopes are essentially zero. As well, I have offset them so they are evenly spaced. No numbers are given for CO2. Some have asked that the log of the concentration of CO2 be plotted. However WFT does not give this option. The upward sloping CO2 line only shows that while CO2 has been going up over the last 17 years, the temperatures have been flat for varying periods on various data sets.

The next graph shows the above, but this time, the actual plotted points are shown along with the slope lines and the CO2 is omitted.

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at source

Section 2

For this analysis, data was retrieved from Nick Stokes’ Trendviewer. This analysis indicates for how long there has not been statistically significant warming according to Nick’s criteria. Data go to their latest update for each set. In every case, note that the lower error bar is negative so a slope of 0 cannot be ruled out from the month indicated.

On several different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 16 and 21 years.

The details for several sets are below.

For UAH: Since February 1996: CI from -0.044 to 2.366
For RSS: Since November 1992: CI from -0.023 to 1.882
For Hadcrut4: Since August 1996: CI from -0.005 to 1.308
For Hadsst3: Since January 1993: CI from -0.016 to 1.812
For GISS: Since July 1997: CI from -0.004 to 1.246

Section 3

This section shows data about 2014 and other information in the form of a table. The table shows the six data sources along the top and other places so they should be visible at all times. The sources are UAH, RSS, Hadcrut4, Hadcrut3, Hadsst3 and GISS.
Down the column, are the following:
1. 13ra: This is the final ranking for 2013 on each data set.
2. 13a: Here I give the average anomaly for 2013.
3. year: This indicates the warmest year on record so far for that particular data set. Note that two of the data sets have 2010 as the warmest year and four have 1998 as the warmest year.
4. ano: This is the average of the monthly anomalies of the warmest year just above.
5.mon: This is the month where that particular data set showed the highest anomaly. The months are identified by the first three letters of the month and the last two numbers of the year.
6. ano: This is the anomaly of the month just above.
7. y/m: This is the longest period of time where the slope is not positive given in years/months. So 16/2 means that for 16 years and 2 months the slope is essentially 0.
8. sig: This the first month for which warming is not statistically significant according to Nick’s criteria. The first three letters of the month are followed by the last two numbers of the year.
9. Jan: This is the January 2014 anomaly for that particular data set.
10.Feb: This is the February 2014 anomaly for that particular data set, etc.
12.ave: This is the average anomaly of all months to date taken by adding all numbers and dividing by the number of months. However if the data set itself gives that average, I may use their number. Sometimes the number in the third decimal place differs slightly, presumably due to all months not having the same number of days.
13.rnk: This is the rank that each particular data set would have if the anomaly above were to remain that way for the rest of the year. It will not, but think of it as an update 15 minutes into a game. Due to different base periods, the rank is more meaningful than the average anomaly.

Source UAH RSS Had4 Had3 Sst3 GISS
1. 13ra 7th 10th 8th 6th 6th 6th
2. 13a 0.197 0.218 0.486 0.459 0.376 0.60
3. year 1998 1998 2010 1998 1998 2010
4. ano 0.419 0.55 0.547 0.548 0.416 0.66
5.mon Apr98 Apr98 Jan07 Feb98 Jul98 Jan07
6. ano 0.662 0.857 0.829 0.756 0.526 0.93
7. y/m 9/7 17/8 13/4 16/10 13/5 12/7
8. sig Feb96 Nov92 Aug96 Jan93 Jul97
Source UAH RSS Had4 Had3 Sst3 GISS
9.Jan 0.236 0.262 0.507 0.472 0.342 0.69
10.Feb 0.127 0.162 0.304 0.263 0.314 0.45
11.Mar 0.139 0.214 0.541 0.506 0.343 0.70
Source UAH RSS Had4 Had3 Sst3 GISS
12.ave 0.167 0.213 0.450 0.414 0.333 0.613
13.rnk 10th 11th 10th 10th 11th 6th

If you wish to verify all of the latest anomalies, go to the following:
For UAH, version 5.5 was used since that is what WFT used, see: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.5.txt
For RSS, see: http://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/monthly_time_series/rss_monthly_msu_amsu_channel_tlt_anomalies_land_and_ocean_v03_3.txt
For Hadcrut4, see: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/time_series/HadCRUT.4.2.0.0.monthly_ns_avg.txt
For Hadcrut3, see: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT3-gl.dat
For Hadsst3, see: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadSST3-gl.dat
For GISS, see: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

To see all points since January 2013 in the form of a graph, see the WFT graph below:

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at source

As you can see, all lines have been offset so they all start at the same place in January 2013. This makes it easy to compare January 2013 with the latest anomaly.

Appendix

In this part, we are summarizing data for each set separately.

RSS
The slope is flat since August 1996 or 17 years, 8 months. (goes to March)
For RSS: There is no statistically significant warming since November 1992: CI from -0.023 to 1.882.
The RSS average anomaly so far for 2014 is 0.213. This would rank it as 11th place 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 2013 was 0.218 and it is ranked 10th.

UAH
The slope is flat since September 2004 or 9 years, 7 months. (goes to March using version 5.5)
For UAH: There is no statistically significant warming since February 1996: CI from -0.044 to 2.366.
The UAH average anomaly so far for 2014 is 0.167. This would rank it as 10th place if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.419. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in April of 1998 when it reached 0.662. The anomaly in 2013 was 0.197 and it is ranked 7th.

Hadcrut4
The slope is flat since December 2000 or 13 years, 4 months. (goes to March)
For Hadcrut4: There is no statistically significant warming since August 1996: CI from -0.005 to 1.308.
The Hadcrut4 average anomaly so far for 2014 is 0.450. This would rank it as 10th place if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.547. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.829. The anomaly in 2013 was 0.486 and it is ranked 8th.

Hadcrut3
(Since March was not out as of May 1, the numbers below assume Hadcrut3 made the same jump in March from January as Hadcrut4 did.)
The slope is flat since June 1997 or 16 years, 10 months. (goes to March)
The Hadcrut3 average anomaly so far for 2014 is 0.414. This would rank it as 10th place 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 go back to the 1940s to find the previous time that a Hadcrut3 record was not beaten in 10 years or less. The anomaly in 2013 was 0.459 and it is ranked 6th.

Hadsst3
For Hadsst3, the slope is flat since November 2000 or 13 years and 5 months. (goes to March).
For Hadsst3: There is no statistically significant warming since January 1993: CI from -0.016 to 1.812.
The Hadsst3 average anomaly so far for 2014 is 0.333. This would rank it as 11th place if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.416. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in July of 1998 when it reached 0.526. The anomaly in 2013 was 0.376 and it is ranked 6th.

GISS
The slope is flat since September 2001 or 12 years, 7 months. (goes to March)
For GISS: There is no statistically significant warming since July 1997: CI from -0.004 to 1.246.
The GISS average anomaly so far for 2014 is 0.613. This would rank it as 6th place if it stayed this way. 2010 was the warmest at 0.66. The highest ever monthly anomaly was in January of 2007 when it reached 0.93. The anomaly in 2013 was 0.60 and it is ranked 6th.

Conclusion

We do not know if an El Niño will form in 2014, nor do we know how strong it will be if it does form. However, RSS is unlikely to set a new record or fall below Santer’s 17 years in 2014. As for other data sets, it is hard to say what will happen. However GISS has the unique distinction of having its January (0.69) and March (0.70) anomaly above its average record of 2010 (0.66). It could even set a record without an El Niño. Would that be what the doctor ordered? WUWT? ☺

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92 Responses to How Would A Super El Niño Affect RSS in 2014? (Now Includes March Data)

  1. wbrozek says:

    As I said, I estimated Hadcrut3 for March based on Hadcrut4. Does any one know what is going on with Hadcrut3? I hope they are not discontinuing it since the flat slope is on the verge of reaching Santer’s 17 years.

  2. crosspatch says:

    I can’t understand why anyone would be running around yelling “super” El Nino. As far as I can tell so far there is no evidence we would have one any time soon and the conditions aren’t right for one. There is no loading of the western Pacific warm pool and trade wind anomalies aren’t particularly encouraging for the development of one.

  3. wbrozek says:

    crosspatch says:
    May 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I am certainly not in a position to make any prediction regarding an El Nino. But its possibility has been in the news along with talk of records being broken.

  4. “Two points in a row” down trend from 1998/2010 is very nearly parallel with down slope of next highest five points in a row. If the pattern of the lower El Ninos between major spikes that we see between 1998 and 201 is repeated, the 2014 peak will be about 0.27 to 0.28. Of course there is no reason to expect such a pattern, but then there is no reason to expect another major spike either.

  5. Village Idiot says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”. Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters? Or am I getting a whiff of straw men and spin here?

  6. Village Idiot says:
    May 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”.

    See:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/11/the-201415-el-nino-part-2-the-alarmist-misinformation-bs-begins/

    “The 2014/15 El Niño has yet to form and there’s already a well-commented blog post about it that spreads more speculative nonsense than one would think possible. Even the title Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths: Nose of Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific is remarkable.”

  7. pokerguy says:

    “I am certainly not in a position to make any prediction regarding an El Nino. But its possibility has been in the news along with talk of records being broken.”

    All kinds of crap in the news. The alarmist yearning for a super el nino, which the long range mets I trust contend is quite unlikely, is unseemly to say the least. Better we should all fry, then they be proven wrong.

  8. James Strom says:

    Village Idiot says:
    May 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”. Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters? Or am I getting a whiff of straw men and spin here?

    Geez!

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/26/3417812/el-nino-extreme-weather-global-temperature/

    Google “Super El Nino” and you’ll get dozens of hits.

  9. Alan Robertson says:

    Village Idiot says:
    May 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”. Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters? Or am I getting a whiff of straw men and spin here?
    ___________________________
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Idiot, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    Since you haven’t heard the talk, it must not exist, is that it? There are dozens more links out there than the two provided.
    http://theweathercentre.blogspot.com/2014/03/could-next-super-el-nino-be-forming.html

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/26/3417812/el-nino-extreme-weather-global-temperature/

  10. philjourdan says:

    But if the 2014/15 El Nino does turn the trend up, then the major factor affecting the temperature would not be CO2, but the El Nino. And the study should then turn to what causes El Ninos (working back from the trade winds scenario) and why we get big ones every once in a while.

    The ultimate culprit may be CO2. But all the models will have to be tossed out to create new ones. And hopefully ones that are useful.

  11. philjourdan says:
    May 2, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    But if the 2014/15 El Nino does turn the trend up, then the major factor affecting the temperature would not be CO2, but the El Nino. 
    That is true. However being right about warming for the wrong reason is a detail that may get lost in the headlines. And while a strong El Nino could wipe out all slopes of 0 sometime in 2015, it will need a lot more to make the models look good. You may need something like three strong El Ninos in a row with no La Ninas in between to revitalize the models.

  12. Village Idiot says:

    Werner Brozek:
    Usual Brother Bob meandering waffle, overkill carpet bombing graphics, then the sales pitch:
    “I went into much more detail to explain ENSO processes and the aftereffects of El Niño and La Niña events in my ebook Who Turned on the Heat? I’ve lowered the price of Who Turned on the Heat? from U.S.$8.00 to U.S.$5.00…with hope of increasing sales a little bit. A free preview in pdf format is here. The preview includes the Table of Contents, the Introduction, the first half of section 1 (which was provided complete in this post), a discussion of the cover, and the Closing. Take a run through the Table of Contents. It is a very-detailed and well-illustrated book—using data from the real world, not models of a virtual world. Who Turned on the Heat? is only available in pdf format…and will only be available in that format. Click here to purchase a copy. Thanks.”

    Spare me this charlatan.

    Werner Brozek read my lips: “Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters?”
    —————————————————————————————————
    James Strom says: May 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm
    Geez! Geez???
    From your link:
    “To be clear, an El Niño is not a sure thing at this point. Some forecasters put the chances at about 60 percent, but one recent study put the chances at 75 percent”

    James Strom read my lips: “Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters?”
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Alan Robertson says: May 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm
    Regurgitation I think. See above.

    Alan Robertson read my lips: “Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters?”
    ————————————————————————————————
    pokerguy says May 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    “which the long range mets I trust contend is quite unlikely”

    Wow! Guy with his feet on the ground

  13. chuck says:

    philjourdan says:
    May 2, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    “then the major factor affecting the temperature would not be CO2, but the El Nino. ”
    ..
    El Nino does not generate heat energy, all it does is spread it around.

  14. Splice says:

    As WUWT’s claim “Warming stopped in 1997/1998″ gradually changed to “Warming stopped in 2001/2002″ as result of El-Nino of 2010 I’m sure that after next El-Nino it will change to “Warming stopped in 2005/2006″.

  15. Arno Arrak says:

    To my knowledge nobody has yet figured out the warm water source of the 1998 super El Nino. It was substantially more than the ENSO oscillation could deliver at that time, perhaps by a factor of two. Forget those numerical exercises and start thinking about the source of that extra water. There are not many possibilities, one being a temporary blockage of the Indonesian passage, another supplementation from south of the equator. With millions spent on climate research nothing has been done for this important case.

  16. Joe Bastardi says:

    The Super nino rumor has been roundly examined at weatherbell.com and we have not believed this for a second. This is what we call a reactive warm enso.. reacting to the long stretch of overall cold in front of it and is indicative of the overall cold pdo. The fact is that cold pdo with warm spikes for a year, and mei warm spikes,are the most severe set ups for cold snowy winters in the south and east, and we are already out with that idea.. Joe D ALeo and I have a moderate enso event most similar to 02-03, 09-10, and the 50s,60s,70s, and for good reason. Look at the MEI set up for enso events and its very plain. BTW SHOULD WE ACTUALLY HAVE ONE, it would be the first time, OUT OF 5 THAT WERE RUMORED TO BE COMING, including 02-03, 04-05,06-07 and 09-10 to actually occur. The Super nino set up can be easily seen on the MEI chart, where prolonged warmth precedes the enso event, This is much more in line with cold PDO enso events.
    Notice even the 02-03 on the chart at the link had several years of cold enso in front of it

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

    when 80% of the time in the 5 years preceding is cold, one does not see the super nino. While only God knows the future, the rapid rise of the SOI in april we just had has never occurred in a year where there is a super enso event. As I said we have dealt extensively on our site with this SINCE MARCH and while I freely admit to my bias. the fact is that the people pushing this know they can yell about the global temp spike You saw Hansen do that many times ( partly because the nasa model loved to forecast it). the problem in warm enso events in overall colder pdo’s is they are followed by greater drop offs, and you can see that in the 10 years NCEP temps as the el nino spikes are followed by the jagged fall off.

    http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/cfsr_t2m_2005.png

    Finally in warm ENSO years Joe and I have found the JAMSTEC model to be an outstanding model. If you want, the link is here

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

    scroll to the 2 year enso. Our current idea is a blend of 02-03-09-10 with 02-03 appearing to have the closest model forecasted sst across the globe to the actual sst I remind you that the 18-19 enso was occurring in a warmer pdo period overall and was more along the lines of the enso events in the 80s and 90s.. after the severe 17-18 winter which we had this past winter analogged to because of the extreme dn in the ne pacific and the lack of any signal from the tropical pacific. In analogging like this, one must try to keep aware of where they are in the bigger multi decadol picture also.

    BTW, if TWC can name storms and someone can put a name on an enso event that many of us were aware of ( the 50s-70s were mainly what is now called a Modiki, but we werent smart enough to think of a name to get credit in 02-03) Joe and I have decided to call this a Calamari enso event since we both like Calamari and would like the challenge of trying to forecast the result of all this.
    ciao

  17. The factors that determine when an El Nino event will occur and how strong it will be are very complicated and not easily modelled. Even climatologists recognise the variability and difficulty in forecasting such events even 6 months out.
    One of the factors that can (but does not always) cause a strong event is present now. Whether other variables line up in support of a strong event is not yet certain although it would be a brave betting man now who would back against at some for of EL Nino occurring this year.
    If you really want to criticize anyone for suggesting a strong event is possible or likely this year I would suggest first make sure you have as full an understanding on all the factors in play. There are many sources of information on the net. Bob Tisdale has a lot of information. There are many papers out relating to the development and causes of the 1997/98 event.
    I thought I had a reasonably sound idea of what contributes to an El Nino event until I started looking in detail. Now I think my understanding is stronger but I don’t think there is a scientist on the planet that has a full grasp yet.
    If I had to make a prediction though I would suspect were in for a moderate EL Nino at least but it could be strong if weather events randomly line up in coming months to reinforce the factors currently present that are pushing us towards a moderate event. I think we will transition into a La Nina event in the latter half of 2015 and that once the 2014 to 2016 impact of these 2 events is spliced onto the temp record it will either still be flat or perhaps an insignificant upward trend over 20 years,.

  18. Village Idiot says:
    May 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    “Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters?”

    I am not an expert on any ENSO forecasters, so I have no idea who is reputable. But let me turn your question around. Are you suggesting that any blog that forecasts a super El Nino is not reputable?

  19. Joe Bastardi says:
    May 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm
    Thank you!
    However here:
    http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/cfsr_t2m_2005.png
    I got “access forbidden”.

  20. holts7 says:

    Thanks Joe great summary!
    My ideas follow similar lines also but maybe even shorter duration than JAMSTEC!
    Cheers

  21. Steve from Rockwood says:

    We don’t need an El Nino to explain the effects of CO2 on temperature. We need an El Nino to increase global temperatures in order to continue believing in the effects of CO2 on temperature.

  22. Frank says:

    JTF’s: The real question is whether skeptics should continue to loudly proclaim that there has been NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT WARMING SINCE 19XX. Unless you believe that the greenhouse effect is a total hoax (which is your privilege – so I don’t want to debate the issue), luke-warmers (presumably including Curry, Lindzen and Spenser) must realize that statistically significant warming will be detected at some point in the future, possibly during the upcoming anticipated El Nino and possibly not for a decade or more. Perhaps skeptics have been lucky with natural variability in the past fifteen years; perhaps the alarmists were lucky from 1975 to 1998; perhaps both sides were lucky. However, it doesn’t make sense for luke-warmers to exaggerate confidence in certain phenomena that will end. “Just the Facts” has told us the good news about RSS and deserves our thanks. Unfortunately he provides us with no information about the likelihood that the pause in SURFACE WARMING ending within the next year. The skeptical community needs more information about this subject. I’m concerned to read between these lines:

    “We do not know if an El Niño will form in 2014, nor do we know how strong it will be if it does form. However, RSS is unlikely to set a new record or fall below Santer’s 17 years in 2014. As for other data sets, it is hard to say what will happen.”

    What won’t go away quickly is the past half-century when warming has been less than projected by computer models and only matched expectations during the period of most rapid warming. If luke-warmers bet on the pause continuing, they will lose someday. However, the odds of seeing seeing an overall warming rate of >=0.2 degC/decade anytime in the next decade or two appears negligible. Nic Lewis’s report on the over-estimate of cooling by aerosols in models will increase past discrepancies.

  23. Village Idiot says:

    You’re not an expert? Hey! Everybody’s a climate expert now! Define expert.

    “I have no idea” Yep. Just about sums it up.

    But just let me turn round your question now that you turned around my question. Are you suggesting that I’m suggesting that that not any blog that forecasts a not super El Ninõ is reputable. Or not?

    Reputable. I would suggest:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/
    http://iri.columbia.edu/our-expertise/climate/forecasts/enso/current/
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Outlooks
    http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/wcasp/enso_updates.html

    Let’s all get out our curves and see if we can’t get a fit

  24. Dave in Canmore says:

    Village Idiot your post seems to give the impression that Bob takes hours out of his day to make long posts to make more money off his book. Bob has done more to educate the community for free than you ever have. The rest of us appreciate how much time he has spent answering questions, providing data in readable forms and explaining complex processes. You sound like an unhappy and angry person taking it out on the few good people that take the time to help others understand the world better. In addition, Bob is civil and polite in every exchange I have ever seen. Follow his good example.

    I don’t like feeding trlls but defending a worthy contributor is worth it.

  25. ossqss says:

    Werner and JTF, nice analysis and presentation of such as usual.

    Thank you!

    We don’t say that enough to you guest posters on this site.

    As Mr. B has indicated, historic observations rule, not the modeling substitutes or wishful desperate thinking.

    How many alarmist types, who’s reputations are already badly damaged, are on thier knees praying for a big boy Nino to catch up their temperature deficits? Their bread and butter is in jeopardy!

    They just don’t realize yet that Mother Nature is not digital! LOL enjoy>

  26. Village Idiot says:

    Dave in Canmore May 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Well, Dave. Just put your money where your mouth is, and I hope you will be very happy together. How’s that or civil and polite? ;-)

  27. Bill Illis says:

    The best short-term predictor of the ENSO is this one providing a quite accurate prediction of its timing and size (at least a few months to several months out).

    http://s14.postimg.org/6681cql8h/Nino3_4_Upper_Ocean_Temps_Apr14.png

    There is going to be an El Nino peaking around 1.7C. It will happen in the mid-summer which makes it an unusual one in the 80% of ENSO events peak in November to February.

    This is the most current weekly upper ocean temperature anomalies which provides a better perspective on how things will play out in terms of timing. (in April, 2014, it fell to 1.42C from 1.60C in March 2014).

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/heat-last-year.gif

    The long-term regressions of the impact on RSS temperatures of the ENSO (when other factors are also taken into account which is critical given volcanoes and the AMO/60year cycle also impact RSS) is the following:

    RSS Temp Anom = 0.12 * (Nino 3.4 index of 3 months prior).

    RSS Temp Anom (Oct 2014) = 0.12 * 1.7C JulyPeak) = +0.204C jump from current

    and/or nothing to be concerned about. The Pacific Warm Pool excess heat will then be dissipated after building up for several years and temps will fall back to where they are now once the El Nino is over in November and, by February 2015, temps are back to where they are now.

  28. Jimbo says:

    What is all this talk about El Nino or a Super El Nino? If it’s super then is it our fault? If they come more often is it our fault? Isn’t this just a natural phenomenon? I only ask these simple questions because of the following.

    Paper – June 2004
    Helen V. McGregor
    Western Pacific coral δ18O records of anomalous Holocene variability in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation

    …..Our results show that the ENSO system has the potential for more extreme variability than that observed in the modern instrumental record. The reduced El Niño frequency and amplitude during the mid-Holocene, and a shift to strong El Niño events at 2.5-1.7 ka, is similar to the pattern observed in modeling and paleo-lake studies. However, the coral records for 2.5–1.7 ka show evidence for El Niño events more severe than the 1997-1998 event, and longer than the multi-year 1991–1994 event……
    Geophysical Research Letters Vol 31, L11204,
    doi:10.1029/2004GL019972
    http://business.uow.edu.au/sydney-bschool/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow057057.pdf
    ———————

    Abstract – August 2000
    Thierry Corrège et al
    Evidence for stronger El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Events in a Mid-Holocene massive coral
    We present a 47-year-long record of sea surface temperature (SST) derived from Sr/Ca and U/Ca analysis of a massive Porites coral which grew at ~ 4150 calendar years before present (B.P.) in Vanuatu (southwest tropical Pacific Ocean). Mean SST is similar in both the modern instrumental record and paleorecord, and both exhibit El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) frequency SST oscillations. However, several strong decadal-frequency cooling events and a marked modulation of the seasonal SST cycle, with power at both ENSO and decadal frequencies, are observed in the paleorecord, which are unprecedented in the modern record.
    Paleoceanography – Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 465–470, August 2000
    http://tinyurl.com/ob443sz
    ———————

    Nature Article – March 2003
    Kim M. Cobb et al
    El Niño/Southern Oscillation and tropical Pacific climate during the last millennium
    …..The most intense ENSO activity within the reconstruction occurred during the mid-seventeenth century. Taken together, the coral data imply that the majority of ENSO variability over the last millennium may have arisen from dynamics internal to the ENSO system itself.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v424/n6946/abs/nature01779.html
    ———————

    Abstract – 11 Sep 2004
    Bert Rein et al
    A major Holocene ENSO anomaly during the Medieval period
    Here, we present a high resolution marine El Niño flood record from Peru. A period of extreme drought without strong flooding occurred from A.D. 800–1250. Anomalous precipitation patterns characterized the entire Indo-Pacific ENSO domain, with dry events in the northern Arabian Sea and the mid-latitudes of both Americas, coinciding with wet periods in the Atlantic Cariaco Basin…..
    Geophysical Research Letters – Volume 31, Issue 17, September 2004
    DOI: 10.1029/2004GL020161

  29. Jimbo says:

    El Ninos may become more invariabley variable or frequently infrequent.

    Letters to Nature – October 2002

    Variability of El Niño/Southern Oscillation activity at millennial timescales during the Holocene epoch

    The variability of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during the Holocene epoch, in particular on millennial timescales, is poorly understood. Palaeoclimate studies have documented ENSO variability for selected intervals in the Holocene, but most records are either too short or insufficiently resolved to investigate variability on millennial scales1, 2, 3. Here we present a record of sedimentation in Laguna Pallcacocha, southern Ecuador, which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability, and covers the past 12,000 years continuously. We find that changes on a timescale of 2–8 years, which we attribute to warm ENSO events, become more frequent over the Holocene until about 1,200 years ago, and then decline towards the present. Periods of relatively high and low ENSO activity, alternating at a timescale of about 2,000 years, are superimposed on this long-term trend. We attribute the long-term trend to orbitally induced changes in insolation, and suggest internal ENSO dynamics as a possible cause of the millennial variability. However, the millennial oscillation will need to be confirmed in other ENSO proxy records.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v420/n6912/abs/nature01194.html

    American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #PP51B-05
    Assessing ENSO variability over the past millennium: a western tropical Pacific perspective
    Khider, D. et al

    Our results indicate that ENSO variability during the late 20th century was lower than during any other sampled intervals over the past millennium. There is no systematic difference in variability associated with warmer climatic conditions during the MCA or cooler climatic conditions of the LIA. ENSO variability at the peak of the Northern Hemisphere MCA was similar to that of the early 20th century but intensified between the 13th and 14th century, reaching a maximum at ~1400 A.D. These results agree with a recent reconstruction of El Niño and La Niña frequency from the eastern tropical Pacific. The MCA was also characterized by decades of stronger/more frequent La Niñas, in agreement with the relatively cooler conditions in the eastern and central tropical Pacific during this time period observed in other records. …
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010AGUFMPP51B..05K

  30. Alan Robertson says:

    Village Idiot says:
    May 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    read my lips: “Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters?” Or am I getting a whiff ofstraw men and spin here?”
    ___________________
    Yes, you are stinking up the place with your strawman, insisting the topic is about “reputable” sources, which it isn’t, it’s about shining a light on those who use any conceivable weather event to further their agenda, in this case “Super El Nino”, but you know that, don’t you.

    What you are doing is attempting to divert attention away from the fact that the concept of a forthcoming Super El Nino has been making the rounds in theclimate fearosphere and mainstream media sources.

  31. Gary Pearse says:

    Desperation thy name is CO2 warmist. Hyping and praying the next El Nino will come along to save their non-sizzling bacon is over the top. IT IS A NATURAL VARIATiON! The current cooling period has witnessed the chieftains of hazardous climate grasping at other natural variations that formerly were superciliously brushed aside by a more confident fire and flood next time bunch. The quiet sun: “ha ha ha…” and then, “well a quiet sun could explain the hiatus” and “volcanoes, AMO, PDO, aerosols (they are worse coolants than we thought), clouds are positive forcings….well, could be negative under rare circumstances like now…but when the pent up heat gets loose we are going to resume doom with overdrive. They don’t care how it happens. They would be happy with 500km diameter asteroid strike, preferably an anthropogenic asteroid strike, but any port in a storm. They don’t realize even this is natural variation. If natural variation is now okay to graft on to the narrative, the next ice age- global warmings biggest extreme weather event – would probably be okay.

  32. Frank says: May 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    JTF’s: The real question is whether skeptics should continue to loudly proclaim that there has been NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT WARMING SINCE 19XX.

    It is your interpretation that skeptics “loudly proclaim” there has been “NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT WARMING SINCE”, for the rest of us it it just a simple statistical analysis.

    Unless you believe that the greenhouse effect is a total hoax (which is your privilege – so I don’t want to debate the issue),luke-warmers (presumably including Curry, Lindzen and Spenser) must realize that statistically significant warming will be detected at some point in the future, possibly during the upcoming anticipated El Nino and possibly not for a decade or more.

    Obviously the greenhouse effect exists, however Earth’s temperature varies for many other reasons, thus eventually there will be statistically significant warming. However, the current lack of statistically significant warming, while atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased rapidly, indicates that Earth’s temperature is not particularly sensitive to increases in CO2.

    Perhaps skeptics have been lucky with natural variability in the past fifteen years

    I am not sure where luck is involved, Earth’s temperature did what it did. We have no horse in this race, do you?

    perhaps the alarmists were lucky from 1975 to 1998;

    It seems that way, i.e.

    “The observed global warming of the past century occurred primarily in two distinct 20 year periods, from 1925 to 1944 and from 1978 to the present. While the latter warming is often attributed to a human-induced increase of greenhouse gases, causes of the earlier warming are less clear since this period precedes the time of strongest increases in human-induced greenhouse gas (radiative) forcing.” NASA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory / Delworth et al., 2000

    As Phil Jones noted during a 2010 BBC interview, “As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different.”

    Earth’s temperature goes up, down and stays the same, naturally. The alarmists are lucky that the warming bandwagon they jumped on lasted for as long as it did…

    “Just the Facts” has told us the good news about RSS and deserves our thanks.

    Werner deserves all of the credit, he wrote the article and compiled the data. I simply edited it.

    Unfortunately he provides us with no information about the likelihood that the pause in SURFACE WARMING ending within the next year.

    We don’t know how ENSO will unfold this year, much less next, i.e. “The period from February through May is commonly referred to as the spring barrier. During this time, models generally have the least skill to predict the coming season.”
    http://iri.columbia.edu/news/la-nina-still-hanging-on/

    The skeptical community needs more information about this subject.

    Yes, if only we could predict Earth’s climate system a year into the future…

    What won’t go away quickly is the past half-century when warming has been less than projected by computer models and only matched expectations during the period of most rapid warming.

    I don’t understand. The warming over the past half-century in “not statistically significantly different” from the prior half-century, which occurred naturally. Who cares if a bunch of flimsy “computer models” “matched expectations”?

  33. Matthew R Marler says:

    Village Idiot: This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”. Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters? Or am I getting a whiff of straw men and spin here?

    Is it your contention that everyone who has predicted a super El Niño is not a reputable ENSO forecaster? Or do you have some other reason for thinking this is a straw man? There has certainly been lots of “talk” and “writing”.

  34. Matthew R Marler says:

    Splice: As WUWT’s claim “Warming stopped in 1997/1998″ gradually changed to “Warming stopped in 2001/2002″ as result of El-Nino of 2010 I’m sure that after next El-Nino it will change to “Warming stopped in 2005/2006″.

    You are certain?

  35. noloctd says:

    I don’t see the setup conditions for a supe El Nino. Looks more to me like we’ll get a moderate, short term one, then back to neutral or La Nina. Could be wrong, of course, but most of this super El Nino bleating is wish fulfillment for those who SO want global warming to happen. Of course, they aren’t aware that they are making a case against CO2 by acknowledging the oceans effect on global temperature (to the extent that’s measuable).

  36. Frank says:
    May 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm
    Unfortunately he provides us with no information about the likelihood that the pause in SURFACE WARMING ending within the next year.

    For GISS, if the March anomaly of 0.70 continued all year. GISS would set a new record this year.

    As for Hacrut4, it would take an average of x, where 12(0.547) = 3(0.450) + 9x. So x = 0.577. See:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000.9/mean:9/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000.9/trend

    So it would not take much to set a record there either and also to significantly shorten the time for a slope of 0. It is much easier than for RSS. It should be clearer in 3 months what is likely to happen.

  37. Bill Illis says:
    May 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm
    RSS Temp Anom (Oct 2014) = 0.12 * 1.7C JulyPeak) = +0.204C jump from current

    Applying this to RSS gives 0.418 for RSS in October which is well below the 1998 average of 0.550.

    However applying this to Hadcrut4 gives 0.745 in October which is well above the 2010 average of 0.547. (Although it is below the all time individual monthly record of 0.829 in January 2007.)

  38. gymnosperm says:

    The supaare nino is a figment of the alarmist imagination. If they were anywhere short of blind faith brain-dead they would be arguing that since there has been no significant DECLINE in temperature halfway through the PDO phase, that this may be the measure of human influence. That would be an interesting argument and we obviously have to make it for them.

    Here is what happened the last PDO cold/nina phase from cerca 1945 to 1976:

    http://wp.me/a1uHC3-ip

    We are at the 1962 analogue of that phase. Here is what happened:

    1958 -0.12 1958-59 N
    1959 -0.18 1959-60 N
    1960 0.27 1960-61 N
    1961 -0.12 1961-62 N
    1962 0.38 1962-63 N
    1963 -0.92 1963-64 EN
    1964 0.87 1964-65 LN

    The years are obvious, the numbers are SOI (Southern Ocean/Oscillation Index, of atmospheric pressure), the designations are N=nada, EN=…yeah.

    For perspective, a strong El Niño in the SOI world is considered less than -1 so the 1936-4 barely fell short. The 1997 Nino was -1.67.

    Data is from Kelly Redmon.

  39. Jeff says:

    You know how I know the whole 2014 super el nino meme is collapsing and not even the true believers believe it anymore? They’re here trolling so hard. The natives growing tired of big time predictions that fizzle out. They’re getting restless. After all, why would there be some super el nino now anyway? It looks to me that it’s just a regular el nino (like 2002). This is just like the other 5 times James Hansen predicted some super el nino. They never happen. They WANT there to be one. There is no evidence there actually is one. April was a big fat zero, nothing happened. This doesn’t happen when you have some super-el nino brewing up. This “monster kelvin wave” has surfaced and it wasn’t so earth shattering. I don’t see how temperature records will be broken.

    This is quickly becoming Harold Camping like for the True Believers.

  40. stephen richards says:

    wbrozek says:
    May 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    As I said, I estimated Hadcrut3 for March based on Hadcrut4. Does any one know what is going on with Hadcrut3? I hope they are not discontinuing it since the flat slope is on the verge of reaching Santer’s 17 years.

    Of course they are going to stop it. Why on earth would they invent a new, much higher trend system and keep a lower trend system when their beloved santer’s 17 year deadline approaches?

  41. stephen richards says:

    Of course the main point here is that the cheats are longing for a super niño to increase temps and not a massive increase in CO². They know, don’t you Nick, that it’s the oceans that control climate and CO². Come on Nick, say it. Go on you can if you try hard enough.

  42. stephen richards says:

    Matthew R Marler says:
    May 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm
    Village Idiot: This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”. Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters? Or am I getting a whiff of straw men and spin here?

    Is it your contention that everyone who has predicted a super El Niño is not a reputable ENSO forecaster? Or do you have some other reason for thinking this is a straw man? There has certainly been lots of “talk” and “writing”.

    YES, that would be my contention. The only people who have, in the past, predicted super niños have been the rent seeking members of the crimatology unit.

  43. stephen richards says:

    Frank says: May 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    JTF’s: The real question is whether skeptics should continue to loudly proclaim that there has been NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT WARMING SINCE 19XX.

    NOT JUST THE SKEPTICS. Prof Jones of the world renowned, IPCC leading CRU, proclaimed it. Who are you to disbelieve him?

  44. Splice says:

    @Matthew R Marler
    In case of some kind of “super El-Nino” claim will have to be changed to “Warming stopped in 2010″, but change to “Warming stopped in 2005/2006″ is most probable.

  45. Jimbo says:

    Village Idiot says:
    May 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard talk of a pending “super El Niño”. Where exactly has this been predicted by any of the reputable ENSO forecasters? Or am I getting a whiff of straw men and spin here?

    Everyday we are bombarded with disreputable, speculative claims from disreputable, self-appointed ‘forecasters’.

    Live Science – May 03, 2014
    Are We Heading for a Worrying Super El Niño?
    We have only just moved into May and despite being seven months away from next summer in the southern hemisphere, climate researchers are seeing the beginnings of what could be the most powerful El Niño event since 1997/98.

    An El Niño is a change in Pacific Ocean and atmosphere that typically causes drought, extreme heat and bushfires in Australia.
    http://www.livescience.com/45333-are-we-heading-for-a-worrying-super-el-nino.html
    —————————————————

    Is A Super El Niño Coming That Will Shatter Extreme Weather And Global Temperature Records?
    Signs are increasingly pointing to the formation of an El Niño in the next few months, possibly a very strong one. When combined with the long-term global warming trend, a strong El Niño would mean 2015 is very likely to become the hottest year on record by far……

    If we do get an El Niño, and it looks anything like the 1997/1998 one, then 2015 in particular should be the hottest year on record by far.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/26/3417812/el-nino-extreme-weather-global-temperature/
    —————————————————-
    Does El Niño Plus Global Warming Equal Global Temperature Records In 2014 And 2015?
    An El Niño appears increasingly likely this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). If it starts relatively quickly, then 2014 could well be the hottest year on record, but if it is a strong El Niño, as many currently expect, then 2015 would likely break all previous global records.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/jan/23/climate-change-global-warming-2013-warmest-years-el-nino

  46. Richard Barraclough says:

    Just as Hadcrut3 has been superseded by Hadcrut4, so UAH V5.5 has been superseded by UAH V5.6, and so surely you should use this dataset in your analysis? It shows a negative slope only as far back as August 2008.

    However, It does have one or two small inconsistencies in recent months, in that the headlines in Dr. Spencer’s blog (and this one) do not match up with the figures in the dataset. Perhaps that is an indication that not too much quality control has gone into producing it?

    For example, the most recent headlines proclaimed that there was no change between February and March (both at 0.17), but if you download the figures you find that February’s anomaly was 0.18

  47. David A says:

    “”…However GISS has the unique distinction of having its January (0.69) and March (0.70) anomaly above its average record of 2010 (0.66). It could even set a record without an El Niño. Would that be what the doctor ordered? WUWT? ☺…”
    =====================================================
    That is the scariest part of the post, They appear determined to get their record, and ther doomsday headlines, and there damm well better not be any climate change deniers working for them.

    If they do this, I am curious as to how great the divergence from RSS will be.

  48. Richard Barraclough says:
    May 3, 2014 at 4:49 am
    Just as Hadcrut3 has been superseded by Hadcrut4, so UAH V5.5 has been superseded by UAH V5.6, and so surely you should use this dataset in your analysis? It shows a negative slope only as far back as August 2008.

    I agree with you. However I am not able to make my own graphs, but rely on WFT. So while I can get the longest period for a slope of 0 for 5.6 on UAH, I cannot show it on graphs. It still uses 5.5. In addition, it uses not only 5.5 for UAH but Hadcrut3 for it combination of 4 data sets for WTI. If we never see Hadcrut3 again, we will never see a new WTI unless they do an update.

  49. John Finn says:

    Just The Facts (May 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm) states the following

    However, the current lack of statistically significant warming, while atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased rapidly, indicates that Earth’s temperature is not particularly sensitive to increases in CO2.

    While I’m inclined to agree with this statement I’m not sure it’s totally true.

    Mainstream climate scientists estimate that the earth’s mean temperature will increase ~3 degrees per CO2 doubling (high sensitivity). It’s pretty well accepted that doubling CO2 will result in a climate forcing of ~3.7 w/m2. Therefore, the ‘mainstream’ scientists estimate ~0.8 degrees increase per w/m2 forcing.

    CO2 is increasing at the rate of 2 ppm per year or about 20 ppm per decade. Current decadal forcings are ~0.27 w/m2 [Myhre et al: 5.35*ln(400/380)]. This should result in a temperature increase of ~0.22 degrees per decade [0.8*0.27].

    Basically, then, if all natural factors were neutral we should be experiencing an increase of around 0.2 degrees per decade. It doesn’t seem totally implausible, therefore, that natural variability could offset or negate the CO2 effect for at least a decade and possibly longer. Remember, we’re not necessarily talking about completely removing the warming trend but reducing it so that it becomes NON-significant. The transition from the last solar maximum to minimum could account for a significant fraction of the ‘anti-warming’ effect. Factor in ocean circulation and it’s not hard to see a sufficient reduction in trend.

    Of course, there is a ‘flip’ side to this, i.e. if natural factors can reduce the CO2 trend they can also amplify the trend as almost certainly happened between 1975 and 2000. I’m inclined, therefore, to think that the ‘true’ CO2 trend is only about half of the ‘mainstream’ estimate.

    We need to be careful, though. Despite all – there has been NO cooling. I also think sceptics should be a bit guarded about relying too heavily on RSS. I suspect RSS has a spurious cooling trend. More (far more) importantly, so does John Christy.

  50. beng says:

    I kept temp records in 1998 in VA. Only thing remarkable was the mild (and wet) winter months. The summer was average.

    Yawn……

  51. John Finn says:
    May 3, 2014 at 6:37 am
    We need to be careful, though. Despite all – there has been NO cooling.

    Are you talking about statistically significant cooling? Since if we plot WTI since 2002, which is an average of 4 data sets for over 12 years, we get a slope of -0.0032/year. See:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2002/plot/wti/from:2002/trend

  52. Jeff says:

    There is no evidence for a super el nino, much less a record breaking one. This el nino has ALREADY fallen behind 1997. It’s now below 2010 too. You get the same predictions from the same idiots (the “think progress” “live science” and “Guardian” crowd). It’s WISHFUL THINKING. There’s an el nino. Someone predicted some record breaking el nino (not sure why). The lemmings, who don’t understand el ninos at all and see them as some sort of magical event, repeat it ad nauseum, even when actual observable indicators say that it isn’t happening.

    They will be predicting a super el nino well into fall, even when it becomes obvious by May and June one isn’t happening. Want to know why? Because they don’t know what causes el ninos, why they happen, what makes them strong, or even what to look for in one.

  53. Sparks says:

    Where is this “super el nino happening? has anyone suggested that CO2 causes it yet? Sorry I haven’t read the comments.

  54. Sparks says:
    May 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm
    Where is this “super el nino happening? has anyone suggested that CO2 causes it yet?

    As far as I know, no reputable scientist says it is happening. However many people who are very unhappy with the pause see signs of an El Nino occurring in the middle of the Pacific since the ENSO meter is getting higher. And they desperately hope it will be big to set new records.
    As far as CO2 is concerned, it is my understanding that Trenberth feels that at least some of the warming that has presumably gone into the ocean due to our CO2 will come back in the form of a stronger El Nino.

  55. Splice says:

    @John Finn
    mainstream scientists estimate ~0.8 degrees increase per w/m2 forcing
    (…)
    This should result in a temperature increase of ~0.22 degrees per decade
    Nope. It’s (aproximately) 30% true and 70% lie.
    It’s generally true for temperatures on the lands. Oceans’ surface won’t react in 1 decade to increased forcing – their heat capacity is too large, that’s why you can see what you can see below:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/glob/201301-201312.gif

  56. RSS Update:

    RSS for April just came out at 0.251. That makes the 4 month average 0.222 and tied for 9th place. As to whether the length of time for a slope of 0 increases to 17 years and 9 months, it is just too close to call. I will have to wait for the WFT update in 4 hours.
    In terms of my article, I said the average for the remaining 9 months has to be 0.66 to set a new record. With this update, the remaining 8 months must now be 0.714 in order for 1998 to be beaten.

  57. John Finn says:

    Werner Brozek says:
    May 3, 2014 at 7:29 am

    John Finn says:
    May 3, 2014 at 6:37 am
    We need to be careful, though. Despite all – there has been NO cooling.

    Are you talking about statistically significant cooling? Since if we plot WTI since 2002, which is an average of 4 data sets for over 12 years, we get a slope of -0.0032/year.

    Yes – but lets be honest – how many sceptics would consider it was warming if the trend was +0.0032/year.

  58. John Finn says:

    Splice says:
    May 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm
    @John Finn
    mainstream scientists estimate ~0.8 degrees increase per w/m2 forcing
    (…)
    This should result in a temperature increase of ~0.22 degrees per decade
    Nope. It’s (aproximately) 30% true and 70% lie.
    It’s generally true for temperatures on the lands. Oceans’ surface won’t react in 1 decade to increased forcing – their heat capacity is too large, that’s why you can see what you can see below:

    No idea what you’re on about. The temperature response estimate is for Land+Ocean Surface Air Temperature.

  59. John Finn says: May 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

    I’m not sure it’s totally true.

    Why? “The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, ‘the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.’”
    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions

    If Earth’s temperature was particularly sensitive to increases in CO2 we would expect to see warming.

    Mainstream climate scientists estimate that the earth’s mean temperature will increase ~3 degrees per CO2 doubling (high sensitivity). It’s pretty well accepted that doubling CO2 will result in a climate forcing of ~3.7 w/m2. Therefore, the ‘mainstream’ scientists estimate ~0.8 degrees increase per w/m2 forcing.

    CO2 is increasing at the rate of 2 ppm per year or about 20 ppm per decade. Current decadal forcings are ~0.27 w/m2 [Myhre et al: 5.35*ln(400/380)]. This should result in a temperature increase of ~0.22 degrees per decade [0.8*0.27].

    Then why isn’t this increase reflected in the observational record of Earth’s temperature?

    It doesn’t seem totally implausible, therefore, that natural variability could offset or negate the CO2 effect for at least a decade and possibly longer.

    Yes, possibly longer, like forever…

    Remember, we’re not necessarily talking about completely removing the warming trend but reducing it so that it becomes NON-significant. The transition from the last solar maximum to minimum could account for a significant fraction of the ‘anti-warming’ effect. Factor in ocean circulation and it’s not hard to see a sufficient reduction in trend.

    Yes, there are many natural climatic variables that we don’t understand and could have much larger influences on Earth’s temperature.

    Of course, there is a ‘flip’ side to this, i.e. if natural factors can reduce the CO2 trend they can also amplify the trend as almost certainly happened between 1975 and 2000.

    What evidence do you have of this amplifying? Phil Jones noted during a 2010 BBC interview, “As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different.”

    I’m inclined, therefore, to think that the ‘true’ CO2 trend is only about half of the ‘mainstream’ estimate.

    I’m inclined to think that our understanding of Earth’s climate system is rudimentary at best, and these estimates are no better than guesses. Our predictive capacity of Earth’s temperature beyond a year is essentially nil, and our predictions for periods shorter that a year aren’t much better.

    We need to be careful, though. Despite all – there has been NO cooling.

    We don’t need cooling to disprove the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Narrative. It is falsified by the lack of warming.

    I also think sceptics should be a bit guarded about relying too heavily on RSS. I suspect RSS has a spurious cooling trend. More (far more) importantly, so does John Christy.

    I share John and Roy’s concerns about RSS, but all of the temperature sets show long pauses, i.e.:

    GISS, the slope is flat since September 2001 or 12 years, 7 months. (goes to March)
    Hadcrut4, the slope is flat since December 2000 or 13 years, 4 months. (goes to March)
    Hadsst3, the slope is flat since November 2000 or 13 years, 5 months. (goes to March)
    UAH, the slope is flat since September 2004 or 9 years, 7 months. (goes to March using version 5.5)
    RSS, the slope is flat since August 1996 or 17 years, 8 months (goes to March).

    Given the lack of warming, as CO2 emissions have grown rapidly over the last 20, “indicates that Earth’s temperature is not particularly sensitive to increases in CO2.”

  60. RSS further update:
    The slope is 0 for 17 years and 9 months now from August 1996 to April 2014. (The slope was -5.6 x 10^-6.)

  61. angech says:

    Werner, my limited understanding suggests that if the temperature drops a little that the RSS length could extend further back in time eg before August 1996. Has the pause in fact been extending backwards from when first determined that there was a pause?
    How much would the temp have to drop to push the starting point back another month or two?

    If we picked the temp as starting from the highest point after 1996 RSS is there a fall in temp of significance as opposed to a pause?
    i know this is cherry picking and not relevant but it would still be interesting.

  62. angech says:
    May 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    See the following.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.55/trend/plot/rss/from:1997.9/trend

    The blue line is down from December 1997 but the decrease is not statistically significant.
    The line is straight from August, 1996. The July value is 0.116, which is below the flat point which is at 0.233. So if the May value drops to 0.116 or lower, the flat part goes back to July at least.
    On my first post on January 6, 2013, I said:
    “6. RSS Troposphere Temperature: since January 1997 or 16 years (goes to December)”

    So since that time, the start time moved back from January 1997 to August 1996.

    But as for when the pause started, what I recall is an email with regards to climate gate where Phil Jones commented in 2005 that it had been cooling for 7 years which he was not happy about.

  63. goldminor says:

    This current warm enso should peak around the end of this month or in June.By August the enso should have cooled and a La Nina could form in September. Then early next year will be back to a warm enso, with an El Nino possible by March/April. That should break up at the beginning of summer and lead into a prolonged La Nina of around 3 years in duration. If this scenario holds true, then nature will show itself to be firmly in command if the climate.

  64. Splice says:

    @John Finn
    If forcing increased new equilibrium temperature isn’t reached instantly. It’s reached after some time.
    If you put a small metal ball in your hand and close your hand the temperature of the ball will change to 36.6°C, but not instantly assuming the ball was 0°C on the beginning it will take few minuts before this happens.
    Let’s do the same with a small closed bag filled with 0°C water – the temperratue of water in the bag will also change to 36.6°C, but after few tens of minutes – that’s because of its higher heat capacity.
    Let’s do the same with a small closed bag filled with 0°C ice – you will have to hold it in your closed hand for more than hour until its content reaches 36.6°C.

    Now back to the climate:
    1 decade is (roughly) enough time to reach new equilibrium temperature on the land after change of forcing. But it’s not enough time to reach new equilibrium temperature at sea, many decades of increased forcing are required until new equilibrium temperature at sea surface is reached. That’s why you can see what you can see below:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/glob/201301-201312.gif

  65. angech says:

    thanks lots

  66. Alan Robertson says:

    Splice says:
    May 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    “Oceans’ surface won’t react in 1 decade to increased forcing – their heat capacity is too large, that’s why you can see what you can see below:”
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/glob/201301-201312.gif
    ____________________________
    The ocean ate your homework, too?
    Here’s a graph for you:

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/clip_image002.png

  67. Splice says:

    @Alan Robertson
    Are you mentally challanged? RSS (and UAH) are lower troposphere’s temperatures, sea surface temperaturs are present in GISS and HadCRU but not in RSS and UAH.

  68. John Finn says:

    Just The Facts says:
    May 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    John Finn says: May 3, 2014 at 6:37 am
    I’m not sure it’s totally true.

    Why? “The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010.

    Yes – but as I pointed out that addition of CO2 has produced a climate forcing of 0.27 w/m2 which. even, using the warmers higher sensitivity figure of 3 deg per 2xCO2, results in ana increase of 0.22 degrees C.

    Why do you not think natural factors could offset that level of warming? I agree that if the ‘pause’ goes on much longer the high sensitivity values look less likely – but we’re not there yet.

  69. John Finn says:

    Splice says:
    May 4, 2014 at 3:40 am

    @John Finn
    If forcing increased new equilibrium temperature isn’t reached instantly. It’s reached after some time.

    Quite – but all the projections refer to surface-air temperatures. Much of the upper ocean heat is exchanged with the atmosphere anyway. Whatever heat has entered the deeper ocean (I’m sceptical about this being AGW driven) has only produced warming of a few hundredths of a degrees. over several decades.

  70. Splice says:

    @John Finn
    New equilibrium temperature rises by 3°C per CO2 doubling on the surface. It rises by only hundreds of degrees degree in the deep ocean. So the rates of warming expected are aproximately:
    0.22°C per decade on the land
    0.11°C per decade on the sea surface (as 50 years ago we had +1ppm/year not +2ppm and see surface requires more than 50 years to reach equilibrium temperature after forcing change )
    … and some hundreds of degree per decade in the deep ocean

  71. Frank says:

    Just The Facts says: May 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    “Obviously the greenhouse effect exists, however Earth’s temperature varies for many other reasons, thus eventually there will be statistically significant warming. However, the current lack of statistically significant warming, while atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased rapidly, indicates that Earth’s temperature is not particularly sensitive to increases in CO2.”

    “The observed global warming of the past century occurred primarily in two distinct 20 year periods, from 1925 to 1944 and from 1978 to the present. While the latter warming is often attributed to a human-induced increase of greenhouse gases, causes of the earlier warming are less clear …”

    Studies attribute most changes before 1950 to natural variability, and can’t attribute any to GHGs with a reasonable degree of confidence. Unforced natural variability (and to a lesser extent forced natural variability – solar and volcanic) make it difficult to determine how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to CO2. Suppose that unforced variability can cause temperatures to drift upward or downward by 0.3 degC for a few decades. In that case, both the 1978-1998 period of rapid warming and the following pause mean little. High unforced variability can obscure both LOW and HIGH climate sensitivity for decades! The current pause merely increases the LIKELIHOOD that climate sensitivity is lower than models predict (and that unforced variability is higher). That is why I use the word “lucky”.

    Some people assume that cycles like the PDO or AMO may be responsible for most of the unforced decadal variability in the temperature record. However, we have too little information to speculate about amplitude and period of the temperature changes such cycles can produce. Chaotic systems often show periods of regular behavior.

    JTF also said: “The warming over the past half-century in “not statistically significantly different” from the prior half-century, which occurred naturally.”

    Given the chaotic nature of climate, we shouldn’t focus on 10 to 20 year extremes or pauses in the warming RATE. In a few years, those extremes can change. Soon Phil Jones could be crowing that the statistically significant pause has ended and CAGW has returned. However, the warming rate observed over the last half-century won’t be changed appreciably by an El Nino this year or even three El Ninos in the rest of the decade. The excessive warming projected by models with high climate sensitivity will persist far longer than the pause.

  72. John Finn says: May 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Why do you not think natural factors could offset that level of warming?

    In my response to you, I not only acknowledged that “natural variability could offset or negate the CO2 effect”, but also pointed out that natural variability could negate the influence of anthropogenic CO2 forever. Can you present any observational evidence in support of the influence of anthropogenic CO2 on Earth’s temperature?

    I agree that if the ‘pause’ goes on much longer the high sensitivity values look less likely – but we’re not there yet.

    NOAA’s State of the Climate In 2008 report found that “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate”. In 2011, the paper “Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale” by Santer et al. moved the goal posts and found that, “Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.”

    How long without warming or any observational evidence of the influence of anthropogenic CO2 will it take before you are convinced that “Earth’s temperature is not particularly sensitive to increases in CO2”?

  73. Frank says: May 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    both the 1978-1998 period of rapid warming

    What basis do you have for calling the 1978-1998 warming “rapid”?

    High unforced variability can obscure both LOW and HIGH climate sensitivity for decades! The current pause merely increases the LIKELIHOOD that climate sensitivity is lower than models predict (and that unforced variability is higher). That is why I use the word “lucky”.

    According to the NASA Earth Observatory “Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released as people burn fossil fuels.” If there is no ” unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature” then there is no evidence to support the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Narrative.

    Given the chaotic nature of climate, we shouldn’t focus on 10 to 20 year extremes or pauses in the warming RATE.

    I agree, thus we can attribute the warming between 1978-1998 to the “chaotic nature of climate” and call off the CAGW alarm.

    Soon Phil Jones could be crowing that the statistically significant pause has ended and CAGW has returned.

    If he’s lucky…

    The excessive warming projected by models with high climate sensitivity will persist far longer than the pause.

    Either that or the models will be demonstrated to be wrong, CAGW will be falsified and we will all bask in the benefits from the slight warming and increased plant growth likely associated with anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  74. Just The Facts says:
    May 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Soon Phil Jones could be crowing that the statistically significant pause has ended and CAGW has returned.
    If he’s lucky…

    With the spike in March now on Nick’s site, the period of no statistically significant warming for Hadcrut4 jumps to October 1996 from August 1996. See the graph below and note the difference in slope from October 1996 and from July 1997.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1996.75/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1996.75/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997.5/trend

    Note how low the anomalies were in the 9 months from October 1996 to July 1997. This gives some idea how high the anomalies have to be over the next 9 months to merely maintain the period of no statistically significant warming for 17.5 years. Also, keep in mind that NOAA regards 15 years as significant, so I see no way that Phil Jones will be able to claim statistically significant warming for Hadcrut4 for 15 years any time soon.

  75. Frank says:

    Just the Facts asked: What basis do you have for calling the 1978-1998 warming “rapid”?

    Good question. If warming in the 21st century continued at the 1978-1998 rate, total warming would be 2.5 degC. I would call that “rapid warming”. Both 1978-1998 and 1920-1940 were periods of rapid warming, but 1978-1998 change was somewhat larger (0.5-0.6 degC vs 0.3-0.4 degC). The early warming makes it unreasonable to say the later warming was unprecedented, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be termed “rapid”.

    The NASA Earth Observatory’s definition of global warming is inappropriate. Anthropogenic global warming is caused by burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. One can’t look at any period of rapid global warming and conclude that it was caused by human activity without some way of ruling out the possibility that some (or all) of it represents unforced natural variability.

    Just the Facts says: “we can attribute the warming between 1978-1998 to the “chaotic nature of climate” and call off the CAGW alarm.”

    Wrong. You can’t ARBITRARILY attribute anything – including the pause – to chaotic behavior or “unforced variability” (a clearer term). Unforced variability is what one observes when no external factors are perturbing the system. When one is observing a forced chaotic system, one must subtract the forced changes from the observed changes before attributing anything unforced variability. We know that natural variability (solar and volcanic forcing) and human forcing (mostly GHGs and aerosols) alter the radiative balance of our planet and therefore its temperature. However, we can’t convert these forcings (usually expressed in terms of W/m2) to temperature changes without knowing climate sensitivity. This problem dramatically limits our ability to attribute any fraction of any period of rapid OR paused warming to unforced variability. Lorenz wrote a very prophetic short paper on attribution in 1991 (before most of the hysteria) called “Chaos, Spontaneous Climatic Variations and Detection of the Greenhouse Effect”. He makes it clear that 20th-century warming can’t be attributed to GHGs by purely statistical methods. He believed that climate models can be used for attribution (of forced change), but only if they haven’t been tuned to fit the historical record. http://eaps4.mit.edu/research/Lorenz/Chaos_spontaneous_greenhouse_1991.pdf

    Just the Facts said: [Phil Jones will be crowing about the end of the pause only] “If he is lucky”.

    Before you bet on the pause continuing indefinitely, examine the odds of it continuing. Can it be ended by a strong El Nino? How about four years of 1980’s warming (+0.1 degC)? If you don’t like those odds, don’t give Phil Jones a chance to get lucky by focusing all of the attention on 15+ years of pause.

  76. Alan Robertson says:

    Splice says:
    May 4, 2014 at 9:21 am

    @Alan Robertson
    Are you mentally challanged? RSS (and UAH) are lower troposphere’s temperatures, sea surface temperaturs are present in GISS and HadCRU but not in RSS and UAH.
    ________________________
    How funny. It’s a pity that you don’t realize to what extent you betray yourself in public. You launch an ad hominem attack by insulting my intelligence, all while misspelling “challanged” (sic) and “temeraturs” (sic) and totally fumble HadCRUT. Oh yes, about those grammatical errors… Nice.

    Your laughable talking point is that the oceans just haven’t had enough decades to manifest all the warming. Just think how many more decades they will need to indicate warming if the current positive global sea ice anomaly of >900,000 KM2 starts to melt.

    By all means, continue, you anonymous troll. Dazzle us with your brilliance.
    You certainly aren’t baffling us with your BS.

  77. Alan Robertson says:

    Ps to Splice
    About your claim of 3C degrees increase per doubling of CO2… not even NASA claims more than 1.6C. There have been any number of papers which show that the increase can’t be shown to be greater than 1.4- 1.6C. The truth is out there, if you look for it.

  78. Splice says:

    @Alan Robertson
    I assumed you are mentally challanged, as you entered the discussion about surface temperatures and presented something, that have nothing to do with surface temperatures.

    And I see I was right, as you just did it again – we discussed about response to CO2 doubling and time of response (that is > 50 years on see surface) and you’ve entered the discussion and presented some claims about historical temperatures, which is again not related to the discussed topic.

  79. Frank says:
    May 4, 2014 at 10:07 pm
    Both 1978-1998 and 1920-1940 were periods of rapid warming, but 1978-1998 change was somewhat larger (0.5-0.6 degC vs 0.3-0.4 degC).

    Before you bet on the pause continuing indefinitely, examine the odds of it continuing.

    When Phil Jones made those statements here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm
    the changes were based on Hadcrut3 and were virtually identical. It appears as if Hadcrut3 has now been discontinued since March is still not out. And Hadcrut4 does have a slightly larger slope for the later period.
    As for the pause, that can be wiped out totally with a strong El Nino, but the period of time for statistically significant warming will take a long time before that reaches 15 years.

  80. Alan Robertson says:

    Splice says:
    May 5, 2014 at 1:56 am
    _________________________
    You make my points so eloquently. You’ve also just demonstrated your lack of reading comprehension, or veracity (or both.)
    Please, continue.
    We’re all wondering when Trenberth’s missing heat will appear.

  81. Splice says:

    @Alan Robertson
    What you’ve just did what is called “projection” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projection_%28psychology%29
    You see your own lack of reading comprehension in other persons.

    Let me remind you:
    We were talking about surface temperatures – but you were unable to understand that we are talking about surface temeratures, so you entered our disussion and started talking about lower troposphere temperatures
    Then were talking about response to CO2 doubling and time of this response, and again you were unable to understand what we are talking about, so you entered our discussion and started talking about historical temperatures.

  82. Alan Robertson says:

    @ Splice
    Do go on.

  83. philjourdan says:

    @Werner Brozek – Very true. Most people never look beyond the headline. Scientists are suppose to, but as we see, too many are just like most of the uninformed populace.

  84. philjourdan says:

    @Chuck – it is like an Onion. You have to peel a layer back to get to the next layer. The Alarmist want to jump on the surface and declare the ‘science is settled’. However what El Nino is proving is that the causes are a lot more complex. And that what we do not know far outstrips what we do know.

    I read Bob Tisdale’s 6 part series, so I should have worded my response better. But the point is, a strong El Nino will show that CO2 is not a “trigger” for temperature. It is a factor. But the intervening mechanisms are not well known, if at all.

  85. Frank says: May 4, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Good question. If warming in the 21st century continued at the 1978-1998 rate, total warming would be 2.5 degC. I would call that “rapid warming”.

    So what you are saying is that the term “rapid” is arbitrary and you have no comparative basis to support its use?

    Both 1978-1998 and 1920-1940 were periods of rapid warming, but 1978-1998 change was somewhat larger (0.5-0.6 degC vs 0.3-0.4 degC). The early warming makes it unreasonable to say the later warming was unprecedented, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be termed “rapid”.

    If it wasn’t for the bucket model adjustments;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/the-bucket-model/

    then the warming in the first half of the century would exceed the warming in the second half of the century. Can you identify a period of warming that wasn’t “rapid”?

    The NASA Earth Observatory’s definition of global warming is inappropriate. Anthropogenic global warming is caused by burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. One can’t look at any period of rapid global warming and conclude that it was caused by human activity without some way of ruling out the possibility that some (or all) of it represents unforced natural variability.

    Aside from the “rapid” part, I completely agree.

    Wrong. You can’t ARBITRARILY attribute anything – including the pause – to chaotic behavior or “unforced variability” (a clearer term).

    If the variation is less than the natural noise within the system, then the variation could be attributable to a multitude of variables. The point is that such variation cannot form a rational basis for alarm.

    When one is observing a forced chaotic system, one must subtract the forced changes from the observed changes before attributing anything unforced variability.

    But we aren’t even sure what all of the forcings are, our measurements of the known ones is poor and our historical record is laughably brief. We should be spending our resources measuring and studying the climate system, not on misguided efforts to “prevent climate change”:
    http://en.cihan.com.tr/news/Concrete-action-should-be-taken-to-prevent-climate-change-UN-urges_3311-CHMTQxMzMxMS80

    Before you bet on the pause continuing indefinitely, examine the odds of it continuing.

    I am not betting on anything, again, I have no horse in this race. Earth’s temperature may go up, it my go down or it may stay the same. Regardless, I don’t see any evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Do you?

    Can it be ended by a strong El Nino? How about four years of 1980′s warming (+0.1 degC)? If you don’t like those odds, don’t give Phil Jones a chance to get lucky by focusing all of the attention on 15+ years of pause.

    Earth’s climate will do what it will do and we will report on it. If Earth enters another period of warming, then we will try to understand the reasons for this warming. But for now, we are in an extended period of flat temperatures, while CO2 emissions are growing rapidly, thus the CAGW narrative is close to being falsified.

  86. Frank says:

    Just The Fact: Most of your answers seem quite reasonable.

    It seems to me that others at WUWT (Lord Monckton, for example), but not you, may be over-invested in the length of the pause (a temporary phenomena). My original comment was meant as a “wake-up call”.

    You may be overestimating the uncertainty in forcing for the satellite era or since 1950. Otto, Lewis and others gotten fairly tight estimates of TCR by dividing (warming +/- warming uncertainty) by (forcing +/- forcing uncertainty). Perhaps you are referring to carbon black of the indirect aerosol effect. (I don’t know much about them.)

    I certainty don’t see CAGW now or for the next half century. In the center of the US, the mean annual temperature rises about 1 degC for every 100 miles you move south, so I like to convert warming to miles moved south. It’s hard to get too excited about climate change gradually moving me a few hundred miles south. I get a little more worried when I look at a polar projection showing Greenland. Why is the GIS still hanging around when everything else at a similar latitude melted long ago? The GIS survived the Holocene Climate Optimum, which was warmer than today. How much more warming can it take and how long will it take to go away? A good chunk of the GIS melted in the Eemian. If I lived in the Western US where most of the rainfall is already being used and a winter snowpack is helpful, I would be more worried. Hopefully some of the overall increased rainfall will fall there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iceage_north-intergl_glac_hg.png

  87. Frank says:
    May 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    It seems to me that others at WUWT (Lord Monckton, for example), but not you, may be over-invested in the length of the pause (a temporary phenomena).

    I would not say it that way regarding Lord Monckton. Going by my memory now, a few months ago, he said something to the effect that a strong El Nino could wipe out the pause but at the same time, this would not mean the warming became catastrophic.
    I could say, for example that Hadcrut4 shows no warming at all for 13 years and 4 months. Or I could say the warming is not significant at the 95% level for 17 years and 6 months. Both are true and both show warming is not catastrophic.
    However if we have a strong El Nino, it could be the case in a year from now that the pause will have a length of zero, however the lack of warming at the 95% level could still be for a period of 17 years and 6 months.
    Both Lord Monckton and I are aware of this possibility, but we talk about the period of the pause with 0 slope because it is an easy concept to understand so why not use this particular argument as long as it applies?
    I also know about others who will proclaim “no warming for 16 years” even if the warming is still slightly positive at 0.004/year, but that is another matter.

  88. Frank says:

    Werner: Thanks. Some people understand my point.

    Personally I prefer to say there has been no statistically significant warming if a warming rate of 0 degC/decade is within the 95% confidence interval for the warming rate (slope of the least squares fit). (If you work with annual mean temperature anomalies, autocorrelation isn’t a big problem.) If the central estimate for warming is +0.05 degC/decade, you need a long interval for the 95% ci to not include zero. However, a long-term warming rate of 0.05 degC/decade isn’t going to cause much climate change. When expressed in these terms, lack of statistically significant warming is equivalent lack of meaningful warming. Other approaches are simpler and perhaps easier to understand.

  89. I would like to thank all for their contributions.

    UAH just came in for April. It was version5.6 and it went up from 0.170 in March to 0.190 in April. If I assume version5.5 will also go up by 0.02, then the 4 month average becomes 0.165. If it were to stay at 0.165, 2014 would rank 10th. The time for a slope of 0 would be at least 9 years and 8 months, but it could go back further.

    (Hadcrut3 for March is still not out!)

  90. Frank says: May 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    You may be overestimating the uncertainty in forcing for the satellite era or since 1950. Otto, Lewis and others gotten fairly tight estimates of TCR by dividing (warming +/- warming uncertainty) by (forcing +/- forcing uncertainty). Perhaps you are referring to carbon black of the indirect aerosol effect. (I don’t know much about them.)

    Or you may be overestimating the certainty. The potential forcings associated with volcanic eruptions, cosmic rays and anthropogenic aerosols are highly uncertain, and variables such as clouds, ENSO and polar vorticity are poorly understood. Climate models are currently awful and we shouldn’t put any confidence in their predictions/guesses, e.g.:

    “Many atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) and chemistry–climate models (CCMs) are not able to reproduce the observed polar stratospheric winds in simulations of the late 20th century. Specifically, the polar vortices break down too late and peak wind speeds are higher than in the ERA-40 reanalysis. Insufficient planetary wave driving during the October–November period delays the breakup of the southern hemisphere (SH) polar vortex in versions 1 (V1) and 2 (V2) of the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) chemistry–climate model, and is likely the cause of the delayed breakup in other CCMs with similarly weak October-November wave driving.”

    “In the V1 model, the delayed breakup of the Antarctic vortex biases temperature, circulation and trace gas concentrations in the polar stratosphere in spring. The V2 model behaves similarly (despite major model upgrades from V1), though the magnitudes of the anomalous effects on springtime dynamics are smaller.”

    “Clearly, if CCMs cannot duplicate the observed response of the polar stratosphere to late 20th century climate forcings, their ability to simulate the polar vortices in future may be poor.”
    http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2009/EGU2009-651.pdf
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010JGRD..11507105H

    “It is unclear how much confidence can be put into the model projections of the vortices given that the models typically only have moderate resolution and that the climatological structure of the vortices in the models depends on the tuning of gravity wave parameterizations.

    Given the above outstanding issues, there is need for continued research in the dynamics of the vortices and their representation in global models.”
    http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/waugh+polvani-PlumbFestVolume-2010.pdf

    I certainty don’t see CAGW now or for the next half century. In the center of the US, the mean annual temperature rises about 1 degC for every 100 miles you move south, so I like to convert warming to miles moved south. It’s hard to get too excited about climate change gradually moving me a few hundred miles south. I get a little more worried when I look at a polar projection showing Greenland. Why is the GIS still hanging around when everything else at a similar latitude melted long ago? The GIS survived the Holocene Climate Optimum, which was warmer than today. How much more warming can it take and how long will it take to go away?

    I think the simple answer is a lot warmer than today and a lot longer than you think, i.e. it was much warmer during the prior interglacial;

    Bill Illis – S12.postimg.org – Click the pic to view at source

    and recently “scientists were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice.

    “We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years,” said University of Vermont geologist Paul Bierman — providing strong evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet has persisted much longer than previously known, enduring through many past periods of global warming.

    He led an international team of scientists that reported their discovery on April 17 in the journal Science.”
    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/study-greenland-ice-sheet-much-older-than-thought.html

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