From IRI – Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña)

Yesterday, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) published a post about a number of mistaken beliefs about El Niño and La Niña events.

Misconceptions discussed:

  1. El Niño periods cause more disasters than normal periods.
  2. El Niño and La Niña significantly affect climate in most regions of the globe.
  3. Regions affected by El Niño and La Niña see impacts for the entire 8-12 months that the climate conditions last.
  4. El Niño episodes lead to adverse impacts only.
  5. We should worry more during El Niño episodes than La Niña episodes.
  6. The stronger the El Niño/La Niña, the stronger the impacts, and vice versa.
  7. El Niño and La Niña events are directly responsible for specific storms or other weather events.
  8. El Niño and La Niña are closely related to global warming.

See the IRI post Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña).

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Yesterday I posted the Preliminary June 2014 Sea Surface Temperature Update.

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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19 Responses to From IRI – Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña)

  1. Bob Tisdale says:

    Oops, I forgot to note the author of the IRI blog post. It was Francesco Fiondella. Thanks, Francesco, for the discussion.

  2. Kurt in Switzerland says:

    Worthwhile read – the great global flywheel of the atmosphere and the oceans.
    We are just beginning to understand climate.

  3. Bloke down the pub says:

    It looks like they have most points covered there. Perhaps all journalists should be required to read it before they’re allowed to whinge about enso/climate change connections.

  4. ren says:

    “The main reason these probabilities have not increased is the lack of atmospheric involvement in response to the ocean and in further nudging the ocean toward an El Niño state. Sea surface temperature anomalies are strongly positive in the eastern Pacific, which has already caused El Niño-like weather impacts along the coast of Peru. However, the Niño3.4 anomalies remain closer to normal compared to the warmer western and eastern portions of the Pacific basin.”

    http://iri.columbia.edu/

  5. Jay Dunnell says:

    Is that a current wind map? Looks incredible!

  6. vukcevic says:

    Jay Dunnell,
    If you in the link above, replace number 850 with 250 and zoom out a bit you will see jet streams (Rossby wave) sneaking around the poles, North summer – weak, Southern winter – strong

  7. Resourceguy says:

    Misconception is too nice a word for those that actively plan ahead for any El Nino warming phase to use it as reinforcement to already over the top arguments, scare tactics, bullying, and black listing.

  8. vukcevic says:

    Sorry forgot to add link re jet-stream

  9. Bill Illis says:

    It looks like the threat that the current El Nino will become a large or even moderate event is over now.

    Going back to normal over the next month or two.

    SST change over the last 7 days.

    Upper ocean temp anomaly in the eastern Pacific.

    Cross-section of equatorial ocean temp anomaly animation to June 27.

    Global ocean upper 300M ocean temp anomaly animation to June 27.

  10. wws says:

    But it is absolutely true that El Nino and La Nina cause the Heartbreak of Psoriasis!

    And also the middle east would be completely peaceful and happy if it wasn’t for their pernicious influence.

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    wws says: “But it is absolutely true that El Nino and La Nina cause the Heartbreak of Psoriasis!”

    That explains the patch of scaly skin on my elbow.

  12. evanmjones says:

    That explains the patch of scaly skin on my elbow.

    I must strenuously object. The consensus identifies the eyebrows as the central crisis.

  13. TRM says:

    2. Do El Niño and La Niña significantly affect climate in most regions of the globe?
    They significantly affect only about 25% of the world’s land surface during any particular season, and less than 50% of land surface during the entire time that ENSO conditions persist.

    That is very interesting. I guess south and north america get the lions share of effects in that order. Thanks for the info.

  14. Resourceguy says:

    Regarding the worry factor in number five, the new worry is that it contributes to over reach by over reach-minded policy leaders to pull a fast one on the public and then read the details of the carbon tax bill and its uses of funds for special interests later.

  15. jorgekafkazar says:

    ren says: “Believe me, it’s a good map. http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/850hPa/orthographic=-156.93,-7.90,635

    It’s not good. It’s GREAT. The equatorial asymmetry is fascinating. I wish someone knowledgeable, perhaps a slosher, would grab a frame of that wind video and annotate it. E.g., show the El Nino 3.4 zone, etc., the Western Pacific Warm Pool, and other features relevant to this post.

  16. Mike W says:

    ren, Your right, that is a good map. THANKS! Is there anything similar showing temperature data?

  17. Patrick Adelaide says:

    Thanks Ren. I didn’t realise how close the tip of Sth America (Tierra del Fuego) was to Antarctica but you can see from the map those winds squeezing between at a roaring speed.

  18. kwg1947 says:

    Mike W, click on the word EARTH, that will bring up a list of actions to change the view and some data. Click it after making changes to see the whole Earth again without the change bar.

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