New excuse for ‘the pause’ – the wrong type of El Niños

I got this press release today Geophysical Research Letters: Different types of El Nino have different effects on global temperature

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is known to influence global surface temperatures, with El Niño conditions leading to warmer temperatures and La Niña conditions leading to colder temperatures. However, a new study in Geophysical Research Letters shows that some types of El Niño do not have this effect, a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming. Spot the bad El Niño in this example (not from the Press release, for illustration only):

Image 2: Departure of surface ocean temperatures from normal (i.e., anomalies) during the peak (December) of two El Niño events: (left) the 1997-1998 event, when warming was greatest in the far eastern Pacific Ocean, as typically observed during historical El Niño events, and (right) the 2009-2010 El Niño, in which most of the warming took place in the central Pacific Ocean.  (Image created from IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library, iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/)

Image supportive of but unrelated to this study: Departure of surface ocean temperatures from normal (i.e., anomalies) during the peak (December) of two El Niño events: (left) the 1997-1998 event, when warming was greatest in the far eastern Pacific Ocean, as typically observed during historical El Niño events, and (right) the 2009-2010 El Niño, in which most of the warming took place in the central Pacific Ocean. (Image created from IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library, iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/)

PRESS RELEASE FROM GRL:

 

Different Types of El Niño Have Different Effects on Global Temperature

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is known to influence global surface temperatures, with El Niño conditions leading to warmer temperatures and La Niña conditions leading to colder temperatures. However, a new study in Geophysical Research Letters shows that some types of El Niño do not have this effect, a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.

The authors examine three historical temperature data sets and classify past El Niño events as traditional or central Pacific. They find that global surface temperatures were anomalously warm during traditional El Niño events but not during the central Pacific El Niño events. They note that in the past few decades, the frequencies of the two types of El Niño events have changed, with the central Pacific type occurring more often than it had in the past, and suggest that this could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.

Source: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-110825.html


 

The paper:

The influence of different El Niño types on global average temperature

Sandra Banholzer and Simon Donner

Article first published online: 28 MAR 2014 DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059520

Abstract

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is known to influence surface temperatures worldwide. El Niño conditions are thought to lead to anomalously warm global average surface temperature, absent other forcings. Recent research has identified distinct possible types of El Niño events based on the location of peak sea surface temperature anomalies. Here we analyze the relationship between the type of El Niño event and the global surface average temperature anomaly, using three historical temperature data sets. Separating El Niño events into types reveals that the global average surface temperatures are anomalously warm during and after traditional eastern Pacific El Niño events, but not central Pacific or mixed events. Historical analysis indicated that slowdowns in the rate of global surface warming since the late 1800s may be related to decadal variability in the frequency of different types of El Niño events.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL059520/abstract

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58 thoughts on “New excuse for ‘the pause’ – the wrong type of El Niños

  1. So, they are basically saying that “global warming” was caused by a sequence of the “right” type of El Ninõs, and not by CO2?

    Good.

  2. “So, they are basically saying that “global warming” was caused by a sequence of the “right” type of El Ninõs, and not by CO2?”

    “So they’re ditching carbon as the prime mover?”

    Lucius, Col, are you serious? That would be the end of their funding

  3. Dave says:
    May 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    “So, they are basically saying that “global warming” was caused by a sequence of the “right” type of El Ninõs, and not by CO2?”

    “So they’re ditching carbon as the prime mover?”

    Lucius, Col, are you serious? That would be the end of their funding

    ===============================================================
    Not if they are fishing for funding to study (and stop?) the CAGW type of El Ninõs.

  4. No, it is very clear…

    Global warming causes the right kind of el Nino.
    AND
    The right kind of el Nino cause the planet to warm.

  5. Are strong El Niños becoming less frequent?

    Using +1.8 as the minimum 3-month-season, and counting from the start year of the El Niño

    1957, +1.8, then 8 years
    1965, +1.9, then 7 years
    1972, +2.1, then 10 years
    1982, +2.2, then 15 years
    1997, +2.4, then 17 and still counting…

  6. these are magic El Ninos that can avoid the powerful catalytic influence of CO2. Amazing!!!

  7. The flailing about of the consensus crew for any explanation for the lack of warming has reached new depths of stupidity.
    As the observed temperatures fail to conform to the modelled projections, reality is increasingly rejected by these Team ™ IPCC members.

  8. Alec aka Daffy Duck, you forgot the 1986/87/88 El Nino. The peak value wasn’t very high, but it lasted from one El Nino season to another.

  9. The first type of El Nino is when the PDO was positive, the second when it was turning negative. So maybe it’s not El Nino that’s important but the phase of the PDO…

    Haven’t we heard that before? /sarc

  10. Maybe we had the wrong type of CO2 .Otherwise why should the heat be hiding next to the missing Malaysian plane ?

  11. El Nino Modokis were not known about until satellites made viewing them possible in the late 1970’s. The first example clearly noted was around 1986. In other words, it has been roughly twenty-five years since the phenomenon was “discovered,” (though examining past records hints the El Nino Madoki is not a new phenomenon, but has always been around. Calling it “new” is like the Spanish calling North America, “The New World.”)

  12. Why is everybody saying that this means CO2 is no longer possibly to blame? Haven’t el niño and la Nina always”overrideen” other variables? Isn’t that why we know the exist, because we can detect them?

  13. Well Bob, you mentioned length… since the Supercalifragilistic El Niño of 1997, there has been 4 el ninos, all short, none lasting longer than 10 3month seasons.
    Just a curiosity… Little Boys getting littler

  14. indicated that slowdowns in the rate of global surface warming since the late 1800s may be related to….recovery from the LIA

    Do these dolts realize the rate of change in temperature….depends on what the ambient temp is

  15. In other words, natural variation trumps CO2 warming? It must because there’s “The Pause,” which is actually a stop until and unless the warming picks up from where it left off.

  16. Why do continuing papers like these remind me of the Twilight Zone episone “Five Charaters in Search of an Exit”? Each of them alone and together continuously trying to explain the unexplainable, and never giving up regardless of their futility. Whether their explanations were practical or absurd, their formulated conclusions held fast — right up to the end. Serling was a genius in understanding the human condition.

  17. Bob Tisdale says:
    May 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Central Pacific El Nino events are another name for El Nino Modoki.

    You could say these lame, “rotten” El Niños lead to rotten ice. It takes a real, he man El Niño to do decent job of melting ice thousands of miles away.

  18. Completely unconsidered is the possibility that the anomaly is the relative frequencies in the 80s and 90s. Since we have no historical record beyond that, there is no way to say what the normal frequencies are.

  19. No one should be surprised by this. ENSO is a system of natural regularities. It consists of many sub-regularities. To say that there are different kinds of El Ninos is simply to say that El Ninos can consist of different collections of sub-regularities.

    Yes, what I have just written is true by definition. Which makes it all the more surprising that so-called climate scientists are not out there investigating the empirical world, the sub-regularities.

  20. I haven’t see the actual paper but to claim that there is some “new” type of El Nino is nonsense. The Central Pacific or CP-El Nino, also known as El Nino Modoki, has been well known for years. To understand the difference you must understand how the ENSO oscillation operates. First, the oscillation itself is a harmonic oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific, powered by the trade winds. When you blow across the end of a tube you get its resonant tone whose frequency is determined by the dimensions of the tube. The trade winds are like blowing across the end of a tube and the ocean answers with its resonant tone – about one vibration every five years. What normally happens is that trade winds pile up warm water into a dome known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool. It is confined in the west by New Guinea and the Philippines. Some of it escapes via the Indonesian passage into the Indian Ocean. But once the water level is high enough reverse flow by gravity starts. It takes the form of an El Nino wave that crosses the ocean via the equatorial counter-current, runs ashore in South America, spreads out north and south along the coast, and warms the atmosphere above it. Warm air rises, joins the westerlies, and we notice that an El Nino has arrived. But any wave that runs ashore must also retreat. As the El Nino wave retreats, water level behind it drops by half a meter, cold water from below wells up, and a La Nina has started. As much as the El Nino warmed the atmosphere the La Nina will now cool it. This heat exchange can be rather precise when other things are equal as can be seen in the nineties. That is why the El Nino is normally not a source of global warming. But things are always not normal because of various things like cyclones crossing the ocean. Because of this it is possible for the equatorial countercurrent to be blocked ahead of an advancing El Nino wave. If this happens it will block the progress of the El Nino wave across the ocean and it will simply spread out on the spot instead of hitting South America. As also happens along the coast, spreading out warms the air above it and an El Nino gets started. It warms the air above rhe Central Pacific but the La Nina phase that follows is different because the water did not rise up along the coast. This factor could well unbalance the normal heat exchange with the atmosphere and have a longer term influence on global temperature. There has been no information on that aspect of the El Nino Modoki before and this paper is a step in the right direction. I am willing to wait and see if their observations can be repeated by another team.

  21. The CAGW hysteria was actually a result of having five (count them) FIVE very strong El Niño events between 1982~1998 ( that’s about one every three years for you math majors) including the ’97/’98 Super El Niño, which was the Strongest El Niño ever recorded….

    During this brief 16-yr climate window, the Earth also had the AMO enter its 30-yr warm cycle in 1994, the PDO entered its 30-yr warm cycle in 1980, the 2nd and 3rd strongest back-to-back solar cycles in 1000’s of years occurred (1976~1996), it marked the end of strongest 63-yr string of solar cycles (1933~1996) in 11,400 years, and, oh yeah, CO2 levels happened to have been increasing rapidly….

    Since 1998, El Niño events have become weaker and less frequent, the PDO entered its 30-yr cool cycle in 2005, the 30-yr AMO warm cycle is winding down, solar cycles have weakened considerably, there hasn’t been a global warming trend in 18 years and, oh yeah, CO2 emissions are at historic levels…

    News Flash: Since the PDO entered its 30-yr cool cycle in 2005, the warmunists won’t be getting many of “the right kind of El Niño events” for the next 20 years. Moreover, the AMO will enter its 30-yr cool cycle around 2020 and there is a growing probability of a Grand Solar Minimum starting from the next solar cycle, which will start around 2022…

    The warmunists won’t be getting the “right kind of” anything for the next 30 years or perhaps even the next 80 years, if the Sun does, in fact, enter a Grand Solar Minimum.

  22. Well Donner has been promoting the advent of this paper’s appearance for some while ,,,,

    http://blogs.ubc.ca/maribo/2014/04/17/will-the-next-el-nino-break-a-global-temperature-record/

    many other examples, but why if such research is genuine does the authors hide behind paywalls at the so called learned journals. many genuine scientists do publish their research papers on their own webpages at their own institutions also. Simon Donner has published past papers at his own research group[ website, so why not this paper ?

    Check out his other “research” and is it up to the mark ?

    http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~sdonner/index.php?id=publications

  23. …”a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.”

    Every one of these new observation speculations is an admission they have very little understanding of how earth’s climate produces either warming or cooling.

    Which makes the alarmist’s pretense of any certainty foolish beyond stupid.

    Dumber still is the “can’t be natural” claim.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-9-2.html

    Frequently Asked Question 9.2
    Can the Warming of the 20th Century be Explained by Natural Variability?
    ….”the warming is inconsistent with the scientific understanding of how the climate should respond to natural external factors…”

    Well, since they keep revealing how little they understand shouldn’t they amend their claims that were based upon a higher level of understanding that was not real?

    If they are learning more every day about how little they know why aren’t they making some adjustments to the claims they made when they thought they knew everything.

  24. chicken or the egg?
    tradional EN—> warming
    warming —> traditional EN.

    And also, so will there be 2 flavors of (tradional and nontraditional) La Ninas if/when Global cooling occurs?

  25. Alec aka Daffy Duck says:
    May 19, 2014 at 3:24 pm
    Are strong El Niños becoming less frequent?

    Using +1.8 as the minimum 3-month-season, and counting from the start year of the El Niño

    1957, +1.8, then 8 years
    1965, +1.9, then 7 years
    1972, +2.1, then 10 years
    1982, +2.2, then 15 years
    1997, +2.4, then 17 and still counting…

    If the trend continues and if we’re destined for a strong El Niño, then the next line is:

    2014, +2.5, then …

  26. And what determines or chooses the “type” of EN? We have a causality regression problem here.

  27. The population on the West Coast should be far more interested in the increased amount of precipitation that an El Niño transmits than an inconsequential change of temperature.

  28. Chad Jessup says:
    May 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    The population on the West Coast should be far more interested in the increased amount of precipitation that an El Niño transmits than an inconsequential change of temperature.

    ———————————————————-

    Exactly, Chad, El Nino events create an excellent opportunity for America’s arid West/Mid-West states to store all this increased precipitation during El Nino years in reservoirs to be used during years when there is less precipitation.

    Unfortunately, the US EPA has made it very difficult for arid states to build more dams and reservoirs to store this much needed rainwater. What’s even worse, is that during times of drought/limited rainfall, the EPA forces states to dump much these insufficient water reserves into rivers and streams to help “save the snail darter, river smelt, salmon, etc.” rather than using this valuable and very restricted commodity for farm irrigation, drinking water and other general human uses.

    In perfect leftist logic, they then blame the failed crops and lack of water reserves (which the EPA created) on CAGW…

    The stupidity hurts…

  29. “… a finding that could explain recent decade-scale slowdowns in global warming.”

    Again they want have their cake and eat.

    If they want to say the “slowdown” is due to less “traditional” El Ninos that equally implies that the “catastrophic warming” of the late 20th was , to an equal measure CAUSED by “traditional El Ninos”.

    So after the sun did not cause the warming … but it did contribute to the “haitus”. we now have El Ninos are a neutral “internal oscillation” … but changes in El Ninos contributes to the “slowdown”.

    Odd the way all the things that have been categorically proven not to be responsible for global warming are now wheeled out to explain the “slowdown” in warming.

    Well if they did not cause the warming, their absence can not be responsible for the lack of warming , can it guys?

    So what all these new studies are actually proving is that the sun and changes in El Nino patterns DO affect inter-decadal climate. You can’t have it both ways. They just can’t bring themselves to say it clearly and honestly.

  30. Bob Tisdale says, “I didn’t notice any hype”.

    I dunno, Bob. This seems a bit hypish to me:

    “Excitement is building as a third weakening of the Pacific trade winds happened in mid-April.”

    They might have meant, “‘Excrement’ is building…..”

  31. The abstract of the paper looks well written, its the press release from GRL that has the hype about AGW, I guess they have to make a living.

    The ideal (scientific) press release would have been: “This is a study of the natural variability of ENSO, which will have some impact on our understanding of global climate variability”.

    I offer GRL my services FOR FREE to help them write their press releases.

  32. The second half of last century was marked by a series of very high solar peaks.

    Of course there was warming and of course the oceans tried to get rid of that warming by releasing it in ElNino events.

    But we are now in a solar slump. The small ElNino in 2010ish did not add any significant even short term temperature to the atmosphere, nor will the next one… because they are ocean cooling events as they try to balance with the cooling atmosphere.

  33. I have to say I am totally puzzled by the warmist approach..

    They SAY they don’t want warming…..

    …. but they PRAY that it will actually happen soon.

  34. If paleo records are any indication, we should be much more concerned about La Nina’s than El Nino’s. La Nina’s and weak El Nino’s bring drought. But we live in a CO2 obsessed world. Leading climate scientists tell us CO2 is *the* control knob, and any warming trend is proof of a coming climate catastrophe. Paleo records show harsh drought periods lasting decades. There are reasons California was mostly desert prior to human intervention. There was a reason the Great Plains were originally called the “Great American Desert”.
    When leading scientists censor those who dare to disagree about the CO2 consensus, we end up with distorted science and bad public policy.
    Like we are experiencing now.

  35. I’ve looked at this extensively before – which Nino index is the most correlated with global temperatures. It was simply Nino 3.4 hands down.

    So, I don’t think it matters whether there are different spatial differences in various ENSO events. Nino 3.4 is all you have to use.

  36. The more papers they produce to explain WHY global warming is or is not occurring, the more they show that natural forcings have more to do with climate than CO2. It’s an implosion from multiple sides. :-)

  37. This looks like more plagiarism of Bob Tisdale – the “different” el Nino is simply what he has long described as the el Nino Modoki (different yet the same).

    Update on ENSO: for the second month I have seen a “double take” on the published equatorial anomaly transect down to 450 meters:

    This morning I looked at it and it showed that the Kelvin wave was almost gone – the inclined warm tongue had declined dramatically. But now, a few hours later – it’s back again to how it was before, with the warm tongue with unchanged intensity. Exactly the same thing happened last month – for a few minutes, a 450 m transect showed a sharply reduced Kelvin wave warm tongue, then it was replaced with a “business as usual” Kelvin wave. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Is some activist manager at NOAA doctoring the 450m transects to hide a horrifyingly disappointing fizzle of the great 2014 el Nino? Or is there an innocent technical explanation? I smell a rat.

    TAO / Triton 5 is showing a fairly wimpish Kelvin wave. (That’s the buoy array if I remember correctly which is being allowed to decay.)

    More generally on ENSO, the trade winds show no sign of weakening. Maybe they are being sustained by the persistent cold SSTs north and south of the east Pacific equator. Nor any obvious sign of westerly wind bursts, that would signify evolution toward el Nino.

    But I guess these will happen any day, right?

    Still waiting for el Ninot… (nothing to be done)

    p.s. is it just me or does the upper panel here …

    …look like an infrared image of a chap’s “meat and two veg” trying to get .. lets say, in the mood … but only making it half way??

  38. I don’t quite understand a different type of El Nino. If it’s an El Nino then the surface water should be warmer. If the water is warmer it affects the heat transfer between the ocean and atmosphere. If this is not the case then it’s not an El Nino but something else entirely.

  39. Ralph Kramden: The location of the warmest pool of water is important on where atmospheric troughs and ridges set up. A central Pacific El Nino produces an atmospheric pattern more conducive to a ridge-trough pattern that delivers cold air into the eastern United States during the winter.

  40. My thought: El Nino’s depend on stored heat to be El Nino’s and not your run of the mill Kelvin wave. If that stored heat is not being fully recharged they will gradually step down in their ability to affect global land temperatures.

  41. BrianJay that is disgusting!!!!! But entirely predictable. I love Ed’s quote. Hollywood and Washington are one and the same.

  42. “Pamela Gray says: I love Ed’s quote. Hollywood and Washington are one and the same.”

    Hmmm…..

    They’re not climate scientists, they are Climate-Hollywood Stars!
    Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth both play Miley Cryrus as they both love twerking data.

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