NOAA Unveils New Alert System for La Niña and El Niño

Can’t you just see this scrolling across your TV during an EAS alert?”…. If this had been an actual El Niño, you would have been instructed on where to complain to your nearest modeler turned forecaster….” I wonder what kind of graphical icon TWC will come up with for an El Niño Watch? – Anthony

noaa_pr

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 5, 2009

Contact:  Linda Joy

301 713-0622, ext. 127

NOAA Unveils New Alert System for La Niña and El Niño

La Niña Likely to Continue into Spring

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today issued the first La Niña advisory under its new El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert System. Forecasters expect La Niña to influence weather patterns across the United States during the remainder of the winter and into the early spring.

Defined as cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, La Niña impacts the weather globally. La Niña’s opposite is El Niño, or warmer than normal ocean temperatures. These changes in ocean temperatures alter the tropical wind and rainfall patterns with far reaching implications.

“The typical weather patterns associated with La Niña and El Niño affect many industries including agriculture, transportation, energy, shipping and construction,” said Michael S. Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “The ENSO Alert System will succinctly inform industry, government agencies, academia and the public about the onset and status of La Niña and El Niño. This system will also help decision makers plan for the potential effects presented by these conditions.”

La Niña conditions have been present since late December, but it is too early to say exactly how strong the event will be and precisely how long it will last. However, for the next few months La Niña is expected to bring milder and drier than average conditions to the southeastern and southwestern states. It is also expected to bring wetter-than-average conditions to the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, and cooler than average temperatures to the Pacific Northwest.

The new ENSO alert system includes La Niña and El Niño watches and advisories which the Climate Prediction Center will issue when specific conditions exist.

  • La Niña or El Niño Watch: conditions in the equatorial Pacific are favorable for the development of La Niña or El Niño conditions in the next three months.
  • La Niña or El Niño Advisory: La Niña or El Niño conditions have developed and are expected to continue.

These watches and advisories are now part of the ENSO Diagnostic Discussion, which is issued by the Climate Prediction Center on the Thursday falling between the 5th and 11th of every month. It is available online at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

– 30 –

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175 thoughts on “NOAA Unveils New Alert System for La Niña and El Niño

  1. So what do you prepare for with succinct ‘information’ such as “but it is too early to say exactly how strong the event will be and precisely how long it will last”
    Sort of makes a joke of their statement that “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment…”

  2. No matter how bad the economy, idiocy is still thriving in the bureaucracy. How about reminding the fine folk at NOAA that the existence/condition of La Niña or El Niño is the business of NOAA and should be used by them in adjusting their short and long range forecasts. Telling the general populace that La Niña or El Niño conditions exists is a waste of time and tax dollars; or is that how they plan on spending their stimulus dollars?

  3. La Nina continuing into spring – bad news for California farmers needing rain and the state economy.

  4. Well, duh. It was clearly cooler than the year before last year, and it’s even cooler this winter here in No. Ca. And the La Nina is in it’s 3rd year, so where exactly has NOAA been?
    NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources
    Oh, please, spare me.
    We had our El Nino in 2005. After the system wrings out enough water in due course, it ALWAYS turns drier, on account of the precip being overdrawn.
    Did it to us in 1975. Again in 1982. And 1986 . And 1996.
    If you try to stop a hurricane with seeding, they will continue to get bigger until they smash what they are supposed to smash. If you try to suck water out of the system to gain on precip, the storms will avoid the area next month or next year. Mind of it’s own. So what gives with the sudden flash of light in thier heads over El Nino/La Nina?
    3 La Nina’s in a row. That’s what gives.
    You see, a La Nina can do just about anything, and anyone who looks back on the record of La Ninas will discover just how unpredictable they really are when it comes to precipitation.

  5. Did we learn nothing from Katrina ? I blame George W Bush for not having this warning system in place. With this new administration in place (once everyone gets his back taxes paid up, anyway), FEMA will be prepared to spring into action for the next ENSO emergency.

  6. It’s too late to stick out a bulletin warning of something impending when it has already happened. Tell me how many more storms are lined up in the Pacific for the next 3 months, while I sit here listening to Storm #1 in a series of 4 pounding on my tin roof.
    Hint: The 1909 and 1938 La Ninas were severe floods in No. Calif.

  7. Leon Brozyna (23:48:04) :

    Telling the general populace that La Niña or El Niño conditions exists is a waste of time and tax dollars;

    La Nina and El Nino statements are something that they have a better than 50 /50 chance of being correct about. Hence, an occasional ‘correct’ statement enhances their perceived credibility for when they want to make outrageous severe anthropogenic global warming statements.

  8. Slightly off topic
    Im very interested in the deep ocean temperature records, back of the envolope stuff but 90 % of the oceans volume is below the thermocline where the tempersture is somewhere between 0 and 3 degrees c. Does anyone have accurate information on deep ocean temperature changes?
    The area of the World Ocean is 361 million square kilometers (139 million sq mi), its volume is approximately 1.3 billion cubic kilometers (310 million cu mi). Its average depth is 3,790 meters (12,430 ft). Nearly half of the world’s marine waters are over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. The vast expanses of deep ocean (anything below 200m) cover about 66% of the Earth’s surface.
    In terms of the planets thermal balance the surface waters of the oceans represent a small part of the picture, yet we have little knowledge of the deep oceans.

  9. La Niña Likely to Continue into Spring
    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today issued the first La Niña advisory under its new El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert System. Forecasters expect La Niña to influence weather patterns across the United States during the remainder of the winter and into the early spring

    As we discussed last month NOAA’s definition of a La Nina has not been reached or exceeded for one month, let alone the five in their definition. (see this WUWT post from December http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/20/its-official-la-nina-is-back/
    This is the NOAA’s definition Historical Pacific warm (red) and cold (blue) episodes based on a threshold of +/-0.5 oCfor the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) [3 month running mean of ERSST.v3b SST anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region (5N-5S, 120-170W)], calculated with respect to the 1971-2000 base period. For historical purposes El Niño and La Niña episodes are defined when the threshold is met for a minimum of 5 consecutive over-lapping seasons.
    This threshold has not been reached once since late spring/early summer. The value is currently -0.3, still below the threshold. The latest report is here http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf
    I know Anthony was trying to seek clarification from the authors on this discrepancy, presumably they haven’t taken any notice.

  10. Perhaps after a few years of study someone (singular) will be able to inform the world at large the following facts of El Nino-La Nina;
    the time spans
    the extent (area)
    the height
    the depth
    the movement
    the temperatures at various levels
    the species of life contained in
    the effect of the sun and moon
    etc, etc, etc,
    all the above without exaggeration, modeling, AGW or political influence
    Possible ?
    Going by NOAA track records, to answer just one of the above today, truthfully, would seem highly unlikely.

  11. New NOAA alerts just in:
    *** Ursine defecation “very likely” in arboreal locations
    *** Fundamental Catholic beliefs held by old German living in Vatican “with a high degree of probability”
    *** Conference of optometrists confirm hindsight has excellent vision.
    *** Climatic reports involving Dr Michael Mann “very very very likely” to have data quality issues
    *** NOAA confirms “bleeding obvious needs to be stated, electrons must be sacrificed for the sake of the environment”

  12. Lets see… oscillation … constantly changing from one state to the other… and they are issuing ‘watches’ when the condition doesn’t even match their own thresholds… So almost always time for a ‘watch’ or ‘warning’…
    You don’t think it might be because they want to be more in the public eye by constantly issuing one kind of ‘important warning’ or another, right when big buckets of money are to be handed out to ‘important’ weather related agencies?
    So, what am I supposed to do when it’s La Nina? Bomb shelter? Helmut? Gas Mask? Chardonnay? Brei? Business Casual? Enquiring minds want to know!!!

  13. Mary Hinge (02:09:04) :
    I suspect it’s the difference between La Nina conditions and episodes. The current anomaly running mean (ONI) in the report is -0.9, which qualifies as La Nina conditions (<-0.5). However, the last complete 3-month recorded ONI (for Oct-Dec) was -0.3 (not La Nina conditions at all).
    Does anyone know why the NDJ index isn’t included in the report, which is dated 2 Feb? I suspect it will show La Nina conditions, and will then count as #1 in the possible 5-season episode count. Maybe it takes a while to check the data before they publish it.

  14. Mike McMillan:

    Did we learn nothing from Katrina ? I blame George W Bush for not having this warning system in place.

    Bush had another system in place: clicky

  15. The ENSO MEI was listed as -0.695 for january so that makes 5 months in a row for below -0.5.
    Just for grins I extended my four factor best fit model (see website for details) into the future. My predictions are for the UAH numbers, global temperature anomaly. The slow cooling predicted is mostly due to the ENSO numbers and the fact I do not know the sunspot or CO2 numbers yet. The Jan sunspot average was 1.5, up a bit from December.
    Jan 0.27
    Feb 0.22
    Mar 0.17
    Apr 0.15
    May 0.18
    June 0.18
    July 0.19

  16. But wait, WAIT!!! GISS SAID:
    “tropical ocean temperatures suggest that the system is “recharged”, i.e., poised, for the next El Niño, so there is a good chance that one may occur in 2009.”
    Originally posted Dec. 16, 2008, … Updated Jan. 13, 2009
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/
    :p

  17. E.M.Smith (03:03:26) :
    Lets see… oscillation … constantly changing from one state to the other… and they are issuing ‘watches’ when the condition doesn’t even match their own thresholds… So almost always time for a ‘watch’ or ‘warning’…
    You don’t think it might be because they want to be more in the public eye by constantly issuing one kind of ‘important warning’ or another, right when big buckets of money are to be handed out to ‘important’ weather related agencies?
    So, what am I supposed to do when it’s La Nina? Bomb shelter? Helmut? Gas Mask? Chardonnay? Brei? Business Casual? Enquiring minds want to know!!!

    They could just put out a daily “warning” – then we can have a fresh alarm every day – just so that we know that they are doing something useful with the taxpayers money.

  18. PaulHClark (03:06:27) :
    Interesting article on Icecap from Joe D’Aleo see pdf below
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Super_Strong_Stratospheric_Mid.pdf
    I know Piers Corbyn focusses on Sudden Stratospheric Warming as well for his forecasts see also
    http://www.weatheraction.com/
    and
    http://www.lowefo.com/pdf/News090130.pdf
    D’Aleo notes at the end of his post “if the sun stays quiet, La Nina may not disappear. It tends to dominate near solar minima.”

    Is this “Super strong stratosphere” the recent RSS Jump?

  19. Weather report from UK: Snow in Devon said by locals to be the worst they’ve ever experienced. One foot (30cms) fell in two hours. Whole of UK affected. Lots of minor road accidents and we’re running out of road salt.
    In 2006 the useless Met Office told us to replace our garden flowers and roses with cactus plants and drought-tolerant, sun-loving shrubs. Lucky most of us didn’t then!

  20. John A (02:50:52) :

    New NOAA alerts just in:
    [Good stuff deleted]
    *** NOAA confirms “bleeding obvious needs to be stated, electrons must be sacrificed for the sake of the environment”

    Now, now, you know and I know that no electrons were destroyed in spreading this confused information. They were batted back and forth, energized to thousands of EVs, smashed into phosphors, crammed into tiny, suffocating wires, and forced into increasing the entropy of the universe. No, not destroyed, just abused. I predict that this cycle of abuse will continue into the indefinite future.

  21. OT, but that snake story is just snake oil. From:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204112217.htm
    The largest snake the world has ever known — as long as a school bus and as heavy as a small car — ruled tropical ecosystems only 6 million years after the demise of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex, according to a new discovery published in the journal Nature.
    This look like the real reason that snake evolved. The asteroid strike at the KT boundary wiped out all land creatures larger than about 15kg, clearing the way for surviving species to grow their body size and fill the empty ecological niches. T rex wasn’t around to eat it. As for the temperature estimate:
    “If you look at cold-blooded animals and their distribution on the planet today, the large ones are in the tropics, where it’s hottest, and they become smaller the farther away they are from the equator,” he said.
    Based on the snake’s size, the team was able to calculate that the mean annual temperature at equatorial South America 60 million years ago would have been about 91 degrees Fahrenheit, about 10 degrees warmer than today, Bloch said.

    This is just extrapolation (size/temperature) and is naive in the extreme. Ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Do all snakes curl up and die when the temperate steps outside their temperature ‘range’?
    2. How does a snake ever survive from birth to full size without dying?
    3. Is the relationship linear? For baby or adult snakes? Who knows.
    4. Is temperature that only thing that determines snake size? Probably not. How about predation and food supply.
    The only proof here is that a story about scary creatures seasoned with a bit of climate sauce gets you into the newspapers. Works every time.

  22. The January, 2009 Nino 3.4 numbers are out and at -0.99C, this would be considered a mild La Nina event so far.
    Here is the Nino 3.4 index for the past 8 months.
    Jun 2008 -0.32
    Jul 2008 +0.11
    Aug 2008 +0.14
    Sep 2008 -0.20
    Oct 2008 -0.26
    Nov 2008 -0.22
    Dec 2008 -0.73
    Jan 2009 -0.99

  23. What a stupifyingly worthless system – this is a joke – right?
    Tell me I’m having a bad dream

  24. Off tpoic in a way but after congress passes this stimulus ,with all the global warming pork four hundred million to be exact ,there will be not stop global warming adds on t v.What’s going to happen is with in within 2 years there will be a news flash .DUE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ‘S BILLS BEING PASSED GLOBAL WARMING HAS BEEN STOPPED !!Thank you Mr. Obama.But what will really be happened is we will in a cold cycly with low solar activity and a blank sun.Is it ok to turn the heat back to seventy again or do we have to get appproval from congress??

  25. La nina means cooler summertime for us in Lima City, South America, it means also rains to the east side of the andes and predominantly in the southern andes, rains over Bolivia and Brasil and drought for the Argentinian “pampa” and, of course drought in the USA. But this time it seems that we will have several “la Nina” in a row, as used to be in the LIA:
    As Geologist Miguel Gonzales says in his paper:
    “Abstract We present a climatic reconstruction of Holocene lacustrine episodes in the Salinas del Bebedero basin (Argentina), based on geological and diatom information.
    Morphological, sedimentological and diatom evidence between 11600 ± 140 yr BP and 325 ± 95 yr BP, allowed us to interpret the paleoenvironments of the basin. Episodes of high energy (sandy levels) are linked to large inflow of meltwater through the Desaguadero River, related to development of glaciers on the Andes. This inflow is characterized by peaks of relative abundance of the brackish water diatom Cyclotella choctawatcheeana Prasad. The values of C. choctawatcheeana decrease in deposits of low energy (clay levels), where it co-dominates with oligohalobous Fragilaria and Epithemia spp.
    To the last two peaks of large inflow of meltwater, radiocarbon dates corrected to sidereal ages, are AD 1280/1420 and AD 1443/1656. These ages agree with two cold episodes clearly recorded in dendrological studies from the Patagonian Andes and were correlated to the Little Ice Age. Thus, older Holocene episodes of large inflow of water to the basin were correlated with the Neoglacial Advances defined by Mercer (1976) for the Andes.”
    Link: http://www.springerlink.com/content/m11m129238u61484/
    In spanish: http://linux0.unsl.edu.ar/~geo/p-geoambiental/libro-salinas.htm

  26. Mary Hinge (02:09:04)
    This is the NOAA’s definition Historical Pacific warm (red) and cold (blue) episodes based on a threshold of +/-0.5 oCfor the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) [3 month running mean of ERSST.v3b SST anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region (5N-5S, 120-170W)], calculated with respect to the 1971-2000 base period. For historical purposes El Niño and La Niña episodes are defined when the threshold is met for a minimum of 5 consecutive over-lapping seasons.
    What this says to me is For historical purposes El Niño and La Niña episodes are defined when the threshold is met for a minimum of 5 consecutive over-lapping seasons, in other words it would not be considered as a La Nina/El Nino episode in the historic records if It does not meet those conditions.
    However it doesn’t mean that La Nina/El Nino conditions cannot prevail over a shorter period. We are currently in a La Nina but whether it will be recorded as a La Nina episode in the historic records depends on it fore filling the above criteria.

  27. Were are those screaming about that upcoming El nino that was coming? It was just last week mind you. We were shown absolute proof that 3.4 was weakening and that we were headed to warming fast. Unavoidable even. They were telling us how wrong NOAA’s prediction of La Nina conditions through spring were. I remember their arrogant posts..
    Maybe you guys didn’t know what you were talking about? Maybe the rest of us already long figured that out.

  28. Wondering if negative PDO along with La Nina conditions throws new wrinkles into expected behavior. It isn’t like we’ve been thru this since PDO was characterized.

  29. E.M SMITH
    “So, what am I supposed to do when it’s La Nina? Bomb shelter? Helmut? Gas Mask? Chardonnay? Brei? Business Casual? Enquiring minds want to know!!!”
    Who’s Helmut and why do you need him in the shelter?

  30. “NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today issued the first La Niña advisory under its new El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert System.”
    —This was not the first La Niña advisory for 2009, but the first “under its new . . . Alert System.” A fine point to be sure, but a proper distinction. We’ve known about, and have been preparing for, La Niña spring conditions for months now.
    NOAA weather wonks have already met (months ago) with the OES leadership of California counties likely to be impacted by La Niña/El Niño weather events. Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinators are updated regularly and are given warnings and watches should any weather event develop. My county’s OES got a briefing last November of what to expect this spring from a “mild La Niña”. This story is just about a new alert system. It does not mean there hasn’t been a working warning system in the past.
    Also . . . Mike McMillan (00:55:01): “Did we learn nothing from Katrina ? I blame George W Bush for not having this warning system in place.”
    Need some historical perspective here, Mike. The effects of Katrina were anticipated at least a year in advance. The actual event included several warnings a day from the NHC. As the prediction of the time and location of Katrina’s landfall tightened up in the days before, FEMA DMAT teams (Disaster Medical Assistance Teams) moved into New Orleans. The problem with the preparedness for Katrina fell squarely on Ray Nagin’s shoulders for not implementing the disaster response plan that had been on his shelf for many months. All the details about this are available, but off topic. Let’s not drag the former president into 2009 weather events. It’s irrelevant.

  31. A bit OT, but anyway related to the accumulation of heat in the oceans: is it me, or both the arctic and antarctic are not feeling really well now?
    http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png
    http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images//daily_images/S_timeseries.png
    I know temperature anomalies have been high in some parts of the arctic, but anyway… This + the increase in global temperatures… I wouldn’t like to be baby ice…

  32. Bob D: I suspect you are correct. They are reporting La Nina conditions, not a “full-fledged” La Nina event. It’s appears to be similar to providing thunderstorm and tornado watches (conditions are favorable) in advance of warnings (severe weather is occurring). They’re simply giving advanced notice.
    The present NINO3.4 SST anomaly for the week centered on Wednesday Jan 28 is -0.94 deg C, which is a slight rise in SST from the prior week. The rest of the January monthly SST anomaly graphs are here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/january-2009-sst-anomaly-update.html
    NINO3.4 SST anomalies have been lower than the threshold of -0.5 deg C for 8 weeks now. How long they will stay down there is anyone’s guess.

  33. Terry46
    The carbonists would like to get credit for “saving the world” from global worming but if CO2 keeps rising like a moonshot, they’ll never get away with claiming they stopped the problem.
    China’s coal based electrification project guarantees the CO2 rise will continue to be steep. If the temperature doesn’t follow suit, their hypothesis is disproved and no amount of denial and spin can overcome that.

  34. After reading about Gavingate at CA, I absolutely felt compelled to leave a tip to Steve McIntyre’s site. In fact it’s a good time to leave a tip to any of these websites. Guess I’m just feeling generous today.
    I urge others to do the same.

  35. I understand La Nina is more prevalent during negative (cooler) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Since the PDO went negative recently then we should expect many more La Nina events over the next two to three decades and a generally cooler global climate. Shouldn’t the NOAA be informing the public and legislators about that likelihood of many more La Nina events during the next 20 to 30 years? Maybe they have, but I haven’t seen any article in the mainstream media discussing the shift to a negative PDO. The evidence is clear: warm PDO = more warming El Nino events and cool PDO = more cooling La Nina events. Combined with a less energetic Solar Cycle 24 we might be in for some downright frigid years or decades. And the AGW alarmists think CO2 drives “climate change” – how idiotic.

  36. No one has to worry about the kooks going out there and claiming they saved the world with their activism.
    – CO2 will continue to rise
    – Temps will most likely fall
    – there’s no way they’re gonna weasle out of this.
    I think a major class action lawsuit ought to be prepared to sue these charlatans for widespread fraud.

  37. Retroproxy,
    You’re expecting a little too much from the “scientists” at NOAA.
    You’re right. They ought to be warning of increased frequency of La Ninas.
    But behold – that would be going against their ideology, and would actually entail science and performing public service on behalf of the citizens. God forbid!

  38. Retroproxy: You wrote, “I understand La Nina is more prevalent during negative (cooler) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)…”
    Or did the PDO turn negative because of the La Nina conditions?
    In “ENSO-Forced Variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation”, Newman et al state in the conclusions, “The PDO is dependent upon ENSO on all timescales.” Refer to:
    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/gilbert.p.compo/Newmanetal2003.pdf
    There really is little difference between the NINO3.4 and the PDO when you look at the monthly data over long terms.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/chicken-or-egg-pdo-or-enso.html
    And since the PDO calculations were originally formulated to bring the ENSO signal from the North Pacific SST data, I’d have to agree that the PDO is a function of ENSO and not vice versa.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

  39. E.M.Smith (03:03:26) :
    “[…] So, what am I supposed to do when it’s La Nina? Bomb shelter? Helmut? Gas Mask? Chardonnay? Brei? Business Casual? Enquiring minds want to know!!!”
    La Nina: Start barbequeing
    El Nino: Stop barbequeing

  40. If Mary is right(an occasion I have yet to determine whether following cause or mere correlation), maybe NOAA isn’t authoritative anyway. IRI certainly isn’t.

  41. Somewhat OT but Anthony have you seen Dr Gray’s Docs on Models etc on ICECAP?
    IMO the best explanation of why the models are failing. Also, some discussion of the AQUOS (SP?) satellite data (where has that disappeared to?). Like to see these papers discussed here.

  42. It’s been very dry and warm here this winter (So Cal Desert) Not a flake of snow below 3000 feet and little rain. I work in a large industrial plant and have seen no broken pipes or other freeze damage. It’s T-Shirt weather today already above 68F before 10:AM
    I wonder (aloud) if Fema will use this prediction tool to raise threat levels thereby allowing my flood insurance rates to be hiked when El Ninyo pokes his head in.
    I live in the High Desert above 2400 Ft elevation with no flood history and FEMA raised the classification of our flood zone this year adding $600+ to my insurance on one acre that’s worth less than $80K.
    A pox on all FEMAs!

  43. I can just imagine when the next el nino emerges. The alerts will go out to the public as if we were being attacked and of course it will be due to AGW.

  44. Peruvians and Australians do not need to read anything about la Nina or el Nino, we just feel it everyday. I would say, as NOAA, this is a mild la nina, but, as many posts in WUWT suggest we are now entering in very interesting times: So check la nina against SIM, Livingston and Penn theory, Svensmark´s CR decrease, charvatova´s trefoils, etc., everything fits.

  45. Hopefully they are better at predicting El Nino’s and La Ninas, than they are at predicting low temps.
    Example, here in Ann Arbor (where I work) the forcast for the overnight low wednesday night/thursday morning, was a bitter cold 3 degrees F (I even have the newspaper as proof). The actual low for Thursday morning was…
    -19 F.
    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/monthly/USMI0028?from=sixten_topnav
    It was just a 1 day forcast, and they blew the forcast by 22 degrees!
    This has been the worst one, but in the past several weeks, they have routinely missed the low temp by at least 5-10 degrees numerous times.

  46. Pierre,
    There’s one other piece to the puzzle that is starting to get really curious — the lack of sunspots. We’ve passed 400 spotless days in this minimum and it’s getting, frankly, a bit creepy. One thing’s for sure; the competing hypotheses are going to get a clear test.
    While it would be amusing to see a big minimum (“the Gore minimum”) lead to another serious cold spell, the consequences for mankind would not be fun. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, including us.
    The coincidence of all this is just amazing though. “The powers that be” just seem to have a way of slapping down big egos. I really feel sorry for big Al.

  47. Bob Tisdale may have better insight, but the outlier appears, IMHO, to be NINO 4. Although NINOs 1,2, and 3 have fluctuated on either side of neutral, for the past year, with very positve temps. last July, NINO 4 barely made it back to neutral(.01), then. Maybe Bob can shed some insight into any historical significance to a persistently cold NINO4.

  48. Mary. I am sorry, but “models” don’t interest me. I am more interested in the here and now. I also watch the AMSU temps. daily. I like the 17 km readings because they incorporate the 20 year average. So far this year, every day is cooler than the same day last year. The temps. at 17 km tend to be very consistent, with little month to month change, so for me, the trend is easier to discern.When temperatures are going down, IMHO, that is cooling.

  49. OT on this thread but it’s worth a look for those who think that the AGW hypothesis is driving us to make daft policy decisions in the energy arena
    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=2738
    I am convinced we have have an energy problem arising in the UK – we have invested a great deal in wind power which produces about the output of one medium sized power station at a grossly elevated economic cost and now have carbon taxes impacting household power bills by as much as 16%
    I seriously doubt we will be able to meet power demand in the medium term in the UK

  50. Frederick Michael (10:42:01) :
    There’s one other piece to the puzzle that is starting to get really curious — the lack of sunspots. We’ve passed 400 spotless days in this minimum and it’s getting, frankly, a bit creepy. One thing’s for sure; the competing hypotheses are going to get a clear test.

    We passed 510 spotless days for this minimum at the end of 2008, we should be be around ~540 spotless days by now.
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Evolution
    This is significantly longer than the average 20th century cycle (16-23), but still less than late 19th century cycles (10-15). The 19th century was cooler…
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html#Main
    2009 will be very interesting indeed.

  51. PaulHClark, that is a very worrisome observation, especially if the possibility exists that there is a cooling trend.
    Perhaps it is part of the NHS plan to combat obesity since shivering in the cold is probably good aerobic exercise.

  52. On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    by Bill Gray
    Professor Emeritus Colorado State University
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/On_The_Hijacking_of_the_American_Meteorological_Society.pdf
    “I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year’s recipient of the AMS’s highest award – the Rossby Research Medal. James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist. His formal education has been in astronomy. His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality. Hansen has exploited the general public’s lack of knowledge of how the globe’s climate system functions for his own benefit. His global warming predictions, going back to 1988 are not being verified. Why have we allowed him go on for all these years with his faulty and alarmist prognostications? And why would the AMS give him its highest award?”

  53. As my wise physics professor said in 1958 (statics and dynamics) “If you know all of the forces acting or that will act on a body of mass, then you can accurately predict the future acceleration, velocity and position of the body of mass. If you don’t know all of these forces, you are only guessing.”
    Earlier on, when I was taking a heavy-duty chemistry course in 1953 (4 year USAF delay) my chemistry professor explained just why mercury thermometers were inaccurate at mid-ranges (between the freezing point and boiling point of water). He also explained, through the laws of probability, why there was no reason at all to assume that these inaccuracies would “balance out”.
    I do absolutely love knowing scientific notation. In days of slide-rules, what a marvelous way of making quick and accurate estimates. Is scientific notation even taught thoroughly nowadays? For sure, the basics of physics and chemistry aren’t.

  54. Ed
    Did you read the Appendix A & B? Now there is some stuff to be discussed as I mentioned at 09:41:25. I wonder what Bob Tisdale thinks of it. I would like to know more about the empirical evidence from the AQ satellite too.

  55. OT
    This has likely been brought up, but the recent stratospheric warming may have serious weather implications in the coming weeks.
    Many are scratching their heads as it is off the charts warm when cooling was forecast.
    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/clisys/STRAT/html_e/pole30_n.html
    If things fall into place, we may be seeing some extreme winter weather after the current warm up takes its course. Who would care to take a stab at what is going on? What is influencing this phenomenon?
    See this discussion:
    http://www.netweather.tv/forum/index.php?showtopic=50299&st=255

  56. Pierre Gosselin (08:54:13) :
    After reading about Gavingate at CA, I absolutely felt compelled to leave a tip to Steve McIntyre’s site. In fact it’s a good time to leave a tip to any of these websites. Guess I’m just feeling generous today.
    I urge others to do the same.
    That’s a great idea. On the other hand, why not subscribe (by leaving a tip regularly). These guys are GOOD — better than any publications I take these days. And we not only get Antthony and Steve, but an entire parade of characters who not only opine and debate, but give us some of the hottest science. What could be more attractive than that?! (I include IceCap, too, and a few others.)

  57. Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts?
    By Timothy Ball
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm
    “Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.”

  58. Bob Tisdale (08:33:02) :
    They are reporting La Nina conditions, not a “full-fledged” La Nina event. It’s appears to be similar to providing thunderstorm and tornado watches (conditions are favorable) in advance of warnings (severe weather is occurring). They’re simply giving advanced notice.

    Thanks Bob, that explains it quite well.
    Just one question though regarding your analogy of storms – is it quite the same? If La Nina conditions apply, does the predominant weather change immediately as a consequence? Or is there a lag of some months before the weather conditions follow the La Nina conditions?
    Storm warnings imply a storm event could happen soon, whereas in the La Nina case, the conditions are already physically happening (ie: anomalies are negative), and therefore are potentially already driving weather changes. It’s just that the historical La Nina episode still needs to play out over 5 months. Is that correct – is the episode just a statistical nicety, while the conditions are a physical reality? Or is there physical meaning in the definition of an episode?
    If the La Nina conditions imply an immediate effect on weather, then the NOAA warnings are sensible, I would say. There’s no point in waiting 5 months to find out that an episode has occurred, you need to know that the weather conditions could change now.
    I’m still trying to get my head around all this, and I found your blog very informative, especially regarding the ENSO effect on PDO. Thanks very much.

  59. It is time to speak out against one of the most appalling examples of sex discrimination in history. In all my time as a spokesperson for the feminist cause I have never come across anything so deeply offensive.
    Some man, I bet it was a man, decided that names must be given to cold sea water and warm seawater and he called the cold water The Little Girl and the warm water The Little Boy ! What an affront to my dignity (or it would be if I had any).
    I demand an immediate end to this gratuitous, politically-motivated outrage !

  60. Frank Mosher: You wrote, “Bob Tisdale may have better insight, but the outlier appears, IMHO, to be NINO 4. Although NINOs 1,2, and 3 have fluctuated on either side of neutral, for the past year, with very positve temps. last July, NINO 4 barely made it back to neutral(.01), then. Maybe Bob can shed some insight into any historical significance to a persistently cold NINO4.”
    Frank, there’s a reasonable explanation for the disparity between the SST anomalies in the NINO1, 2, 3 and 4 regions, and to help explain it, the following is a comparative graph of NINO 1&2 (combined), NINO3, and NINO4 SSTs (not anomalies).
    http://i41.tinypic.com/1q3dkw.jpg
    SSTs along the equatorial Pacific are coldest in the East (NINO1&2) and warmest in the West (Pacific Warm Pool, not illustrated). This is a function of the trade winds “piling” the warmer water in the West and allowing more cool water to upwell in the East. The NINO3 area is farther West than NINO1&2 and is therefore warmer, and the NINO4 area being farther West again is still warmer. When the trade winds relax and the warm water in the Pacific Warm Pool “sloshes” East (an El Nino), the temperature difference between the Pacific Warm Pool and the NINO4 region is less than the temperature difference between the Warm Pool and the NINO1&2 region. Therefore, the anomalies in the West (NINO4) are impacted less than the anomalies in the East (NINO1&2). Refer to the comparative graph of the NINO 1&2 (combined), NINO3, and NINO4 SST anomalies.
    http://i44.tinypic.com/zygdup.jpg

  61. Thank you, Ed Scott, for posting my fathers articles. At least Canada Free Press has the marbles to print his stuff. No one else has for fear of retribution. One of the many stabs by critics is that he doesn’t publish. See if you can guess why. We are very humble folks and I dare not risk credibility by posting them myself. Thank you. Our house was not a house of indoctrination. We had to form our own opinions through research, no matter what the subject. Today I am very grateful for this, as I can think for myself, and am not afraid to ask the tough questions. Yet still have the humility to continue learning and growing. To quote Isaac Asimov; ” Since the coming of the atomic bomb, more and more scientists have come down from the ivory towers; more and more feel they cannot, after all, evade the responsibility for the applications others make of their own refined, above-the-world researches. That represents the growth of humility, without which there is the tendency to assume too great a certainty and therefore too small a need to learn more.” This is a perfect description of my father (and Anthony, moderators and posters), but certainly not many others in this field of study.

  62. Carsten,
    Great link. I was using solarcycle24.com, which must use a stricter standard for “no spots.”
    We’ve already had another 30 spotless days since the last update on the j.janssens site so that’s 540 spotless days and counting. Another fun bit is that the most recent spot didn’t look like a member of cycle 24 (see spaceweather.com for January 19th).
    Yikes.

  63. Why would the “Climate Prediction Center” issue alerts about phenomena that influence the “weather”? Is this meant to reduce the likelihood that people will believe their own lying eyes rather than the alarming AGW claims about “climate change”?

  64. Bob D: I don’t really follow the weather impacts of ENSO, but since global temperatures mimic NINO3.4 SST anomalies with a lag of 3 to 6 months regardless of the intensity, then weather should also be impacted. The effects would be less if the NINO3.4 SST anomalies varied less and for a shorter period of time. Those are assumptions, though.

  65. Steve Hempell, you wrote: “Did you read the Appendix A & B? Now there is some stuff to be discussed as I mentioned at 09:41:25. I wonder what Bob Tisdale thinks of it. I would like to know more about the empirical evidence from the AQ satellite too.”
    Steve, I have a limited working knowledge of GCMs and while I enjoyed Dr. Gray’s description of “Global Warming Due To Natural Processes” in his Appendix B, he’s dealing with a number of processes that are outside my areas of interest, so I can’t comment either way. Sorry.

  66. Sorry OT
    Leif sense:
    COMET TAIL: Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3) is approaching Earth and putting on a good show for amateur astronomers. Yesterday, Feb. 4th, observers witnessed a “disconnection event.” A gust of solar wind tore off part of the comet’s tail in plain view of backyard telescopes. Photos of the event are featured on today’s edition of http://spaceweather.com.

  67. David Ball
    David you are welcome. Judi McLeod deserves the utmost credit for her journalistic courage and integrity in publishing the news that the cowardly, sycophant journalists in the USofA will not publish. To paraphrase GWB, “Judy McLeod, doing the journalistic work that American journalists will not do.”

  68. Thanks Ed Scott for those excellent links. (13:22:50) & (14:03:54). Dr. Ball makes the same suggestion that many of us have been making:

    I suggest that the AMS conduct a survey of its members who are actually working with real time weather-climate data to see how many agree that humans have been the main cause of global warming and that there was justification for the AMS’s 2009 Rossby Research Medal going to James Hansen.

    The reason the AMS refuses to ask its dues-paying members’ position on AGW via a secret ballot poll is that the truth would emerge: the rank and file AMS membership does not accept the AGW/CO2 climate catastrophe hypothesis that is fueling the ridiculous taxpayer-funded spending proposals.
    In other words, the AMS leadership is lying for money.
    Thanks also for the kudos to Judi McLeod, who is not only more brave than most of her male colleagues, but she has personally responded when I’ve emailed her.
    And if I’ve publicly shamed most of the male media reporters, good. Grow a pair.

  69. Bob,
    Actually, I was thinking that you might comment on the THC/MOC and whether they tie into your ideas on the PDO/ENSO. The THC/MOC possibly being the grand overall mechanism and the PDO/ENSO adding more complexity?

  70. Frederick Michael (14:58:19) : “We’ve already had another 30 spotless days since the last update on the j.janssens site so that’s 540 spotless days and counting.”
    Yes. Per janssens excellent site, the next milestone is SC17, with 568 spotless days. We may be only a month away from surpassing SC17. That will give more spotless days for the SC24 ramp-up than any cycle since SC15 (1908–1913).
    SC Month 1st Rd=0 Month SC-min Delta Total
    17 September 1930 September 1933 36 568
    http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Spotless/Spotless.html

  71. These constantly changing El Nino/La Nina warnings are strangely reminiscent of the yellow and orange Homeland Security levels.
    Self-defeating, waste of effort.
    Keep it up, beat the crying wolf drum.
    More like Dr. Thule will soon make thier voices heard.
    The public also grows sick & tired of the circus act.

  72. Jorgekafkazar,
    Agreed. And looking at past trends,
    http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-index-graphics/sidc_graphics.php
    blowing by SC17 is a safe bet.
    Catching up to SC15 sure would be a stretch, but who knows. Every time SC24 looks like it’s finally crawled out of its cave, something happens and it goes back into hibernation. All predictions have fallen by the wayside as this minimum just keeps on hangin on.
    So, how long until this trickles down to things like the Artic sea ice extent? I’m guessing the lag could be years but probably not decades.

  73. Dr. Spencer published the UAH number for January at 0.31 pretty close to my models 0.27, probably luck but I’ll take a 0.04 error
    See Wally (04:35:05) : for prediction.
    So if my trend continues this should end the heating for a while.

  74. OT
    Has anyone seen this yet? Met O announces global cooling to 2014; will need to wait for BBC confirmation 🙂
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/4534358/Snow-Britain-Further-snow-and-ice-forecast-for-rest-of-the-winter.html
    “Despite global warming there could be further colder-than-average winters in the years ahead as the climate cools naturally, the Met Office believes. Mr Britton said that the last 10-year assessment – carried out in 2004 – suggested a decade where global warming would be held back by a natural cooling trend. But beyond 2014 the climate will resume its warming trend, he said.”
    If that really came from Met O it is the biggest whopper they’ve come up with yet.
    In August 2007 after a failed “prediction” in January and again in April for the warmest year on record, Met O stated:
    “Climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre will unveil the first decadal climate prediction model in a paper published on 10 August 2007 in the journal Science. The paper includes the Met Office’s prediction for annual global temperature to 2014.
    Over the 10-year period as a whole, climate continues to warm and 2014 is likely to be 0.3 °C warmer than 2004. At least half of the years after 2009 are predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record”
    The emperor has no clothes.

  75. Mary Hinge (10:26:15) :
    Slightly OT but the AMSU values are very interesting at the moment and seem to be following AGW predictions solidly at the moment. There has been a large drop in temperatures at 21km the last week or so. http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+007
    Meanwhile temperature below 7.5km have started increasing again.

    Are you talking of the famous tropical troposphere trends that AGW predicts?
    1) it would have to warm faster in the TT than on the surface, which it is not doing at the moment ( though these measurements are “weather” and not “climate” at the moment)
    2) there have been long drawn out arguments from AGW that any warming will have the same signature in the TT.
    3) the cooling stratosphere has always been consistent. ( though this recent heating pulse is not seen in the amsu data. It possibly is much higher up than the reported heights.)

  76. Maybe the sun is being lax about making it’s baby sunspots sleep in the proper position and they are all dying of SIDS

  77. anna v,
    warmers can argue all they want, it is written in stone that the TT should see maximum warming. What they’ve tried, and failed, is to attempt to find errors in the satellite data. Upon that failure, they tried to show wind patterns were correlated to a warming TT. Oops, that failed too. Their latest debacle is the Santer et al 2008 polished turd for which Steve McIntyre has submitted a paper for publication.
    Actually, the stratosphere has not cooled since 1994 which prior to that just happened to coincide with two large volcano events. This is why relying on long term linear regression trends can be deceptive.

  78. So, how long until this trickles down to things like the Artic sea ice extent? I’m guessing the lag could be years but probably not decades.
    Looking over the records for my town in No. West Ca which is Pacific Ocean moderated and has records back to 1897, the snowfalls followed the solar cycle minimum years of 1911-13 as records, but the coldest years of the time were 1915-1917, a 4 year lag.
    Currently, our snowfalls are picking back up as regular events as opposed to rare dumps the last 2 years, something not seen in more than 50 years.

  79. OT “Cosmic ray detector reveals sudden atmospheric warming”
    http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=300
    “Cosmic rays are high-energy particles that stream into Earth’s atmosphere from space. One type of particle, the meson, is unstable and quickly decays into another, the muon. When the atmosphere heats up, it expands, and this means fewer mesons are destroyed by hitting air molecules. This in turn means more mesons are available to decay naturally into muons”
    As I remember “The Chilling Stars” suggests that it’s muons that are the particles that cause the seeding of clouds.
    “Solar cycle changes to planetary wave propagation and their influence on the middle atmosphere circulation ”
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/p433255624401r32/

  80. Holy Toledo! Looks like they got so much snow yesterday *in Morocco* that at least one house collapsed from so much snow.

    Six brothers and sisters have died when their house fell down following heavy snowfalls in Morocco, state media says.
    The mother of the four girls and two boys reportedly survived the collapse in Azilal, in the Atlas mountains.

    Saw it noted on an article update at Icecap.
    Maybe we need an alert for heavy winter weather in places that aren’t used to it.

  81. crosspatch
    Morocco is a very mountainous country, and so I don’t believe somw there would be all that unusual. It’s also very poor, and hence the roof may not have been very well constructed.

  82. DR
    Thanks for the Met link and great heads up!
    Wow! Look at what they are admitting!
    1) Their models are crap (yet continue to have faith in climate models!)
    2) Natural cooling actually does exist
    3) The natural cooling is dominating AGW
    4. Ocean cycles do matter!
    Talk about a 180!

  83. We have a history of global cooling & ice in concert with grand solar minima.
    We have a history of long productive times in concert with grand solar maxima.
    What we don’t have is any history of rapid sea-level rises in a century that drown whole cities and coastlines.
    Makes the 3rd case sound like Sci-Fi doomsday flicks.
    Is this what we are being preached at for, Sci-Fi nightmare hallucinations?
    I’d say there are little boys in high places who are still afraid of the dark.

  84. On the basis of observations and basic physical principles I’ve tried to apply logic to the whole global energy budget to see what comes out.
    Essentially the air seems to be a buffer for ocean induced variations in the background energy flow and I would guess that somehow the varying temperatures at different levels in the air are a reflection of that buffer in operation.
    See here:
    http://co2sceptics.com/attachments/database/Balancing%20the%20Earths%20Energy%20Budget__0__0__1233774754.pdf
    I doubt that I’ve got very aspect right but it certainly presents a new way of looking at it all which might help to break the current lack of progress in determining how the whole climate syatem works as a single process.
    The suggestion that the internal systems of the air and ocean go in opposite thermal directions is noteworthy.

  85. Phil’s Dad
    re the Daily Mail article, these polemics are becoming more common by the week in the UK MSM, exempt BBC. Christopher Booker has been banging on about the AGM voodoo for years and, one by one, other commentators are catching on too. It’s probably all too late to stop the taxation/control that the AGM scare was designed to usher in, but then again, maybe not, especially with the recession, and all.

  86. DR
    I saw that article in the Telegraph at breakfast and nearly choked on my bacon sandwich. From soup to nuts it is the most unutterable drivel I’ve seen in a long time, and I read RealClimate!

  87. ‘New Alert System for La Niña and El Niño’
    Makes sense to me. It brings into the public perception ‘scientific’ terms that can be employed whenever ‘weather-events’ appear to buck climate predictions. We’re already getting the message, loud and clear, that Global Warming is being masked, albeit temporarily, by the natural fluctuations that ‘All good Scientists know have happened throughout the History of Gaia!’
    Once people have been ‘properly propogandacated’, weather will be seen as something that the Earth does today while climate will be what will happen tomorrow- or the day after tomorrow!
    Climate Chaos will cease to exist- Weather Chaos will supplant it- as the younger and less smart sibling of AGW Climate!
    ‘New Alert System for La Niña and El Niño’ – Malignant maybe- Genius certainly!

  88. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/4534358/Snow-Britain-Further-snow-and-ice-forecast-for-rest-of-the-winter.html
    and see my forecast issued in October:
    “On balance I think the coming winter will be colder and drier than the long term average, possibly by a surprising margin but too much depends on the winter jet stream which can be very unpredictable in Western Europe.
    Last winter was, as they say, warmer than the average here and in W Europe. However that was during a colder than average N Hemisphere winter overall.
    What happened was that the plunges of cold air over N America distorted the jet stream which then approached us persistently from the South West bringing frequent flows of mild air.
    Since the recent global cooling trend has intensified since last winter I suspect that the jet stream will this year push more often into the Mediterranean thus cutting off the supply of warm air to us. IF that happens (no guarantee) then the Greenland and Scandinavian high pressure cells will affect us more than for many years past and give us persistent cold.”
    I suppose it could be luck but since I included my reasoning I believe skill is more likely.
    In the Met Office article it is interesting to see an admission that they already build the anticipated background warming from AGW into the seasonal forecasts. I suspect that that may be a bad idea.
    I see that they are now suggesting a resumption of warming in 2014. I assume they now disown the Hadley expectation of resumed warming in 2010.
    Can we believe them ?

  89. Bob Tisdale has observed that PDO is driven by ENSO 3.4 . It appears that for now, ENSO 3.4 is driven by NINO 4. PDO drives climate to some extent. Hence to this simple minded observer, it boils down to NINO4.

  90. I see that they are now suggesting a resumption of warming in 2014. I assume they now disown the Hadley expectation of resumed warming in 2010.
    Re: the Telegraph article.
    I think the Met Office spokesman may have got things wrong. The Met Office have released nothig which suggests cooling or flatlining until 2014. I believe whoever did the press release is mixing up 2 separate studies, i.e the Keenlyside et al study and the Smith et al (??) study.

  91. Stephen Wilde,
    You’ve pretty much hit it right on the money.
    Care to tell us what your forecast is for the spring and summer 2009?

  92. lichanos (09:33:13) :
    The McKitrock, Andresen, Essex paper makes sense to me.
    It certainly seems to make a nonsense of the very concept of a global ‘temperature’ having any relevance.
    DaveE.

  93. Adolfo Giurfa (13:49:05) :
    It seems that big ninos happen during wider orbits of the sun around barycenter.

    That’s an interesting fit. It implies we may face another one around 2022-23. Also, if one extrapolates back from 1960 where the graph ends, one would have expected one around 1957. From the NOAA report we see there was in fact a reasonable El Nino in 1957/58, although not as large.
    JAS 1951 -NDJ 1951/52 0.8
    MAM 1957 –MJJ 1958 1.7
    JJA 1963 –DJF 1963/64 1.0
    MJJ 1965 –MAM 1966 1.6
    OND 1968 –MJJ 1969 1.0
    ASO 1969 –DJF 1969/70 0.8
    AMJ 1972 –FMA 1973 2.1
    ASO 1976 –JFM 1977 0.8
    ASO 1977 -DJF 1977/78 0.8
    AMJ 1982 –MJJ 1983 2.3
    JAS 1986 –JFM 1988 1.6
    AMJ 1991 –JJA 1992 1.8
    AMJ 1994 –FMA 1995 1.3
    AMJ 1997 –AMJ 1998 2.5
    MJJ 2004 –JFM 2005 0.9
    However, the 1972/73 one is hard to explain, as it coincides with a very close orbit indeed. Something to think about though.

  94. Fernando (16:02:20) :Photos of the event are featured on today’s edition of http://spaceweather.com.
    Nice site. Thanks! The present top page mentions an ice crystal moon halo with 10 to 20 micron ice particles. About a week ago we had a similar (though very feint) halo in near-coastal California. It is possible we are getting more micron sized ice crystals at altitude? How are such high altitude ice crystals handled in the models?
    Ed Scott (16:20:22) :
    David Ball
    David you are welcome. Judi McLeod deserves the utmost credit for her journalistic courage and integrity in publishing the news that the cowardly, sycophant journalists in the USofA will not publish. To paraphrase GWB, “Judy McLeod, doing the journalistic work that American journalists will not do.”

    Just a ‘pile on’ here here! I enjoy the occasional mental jaunt north of the border and find it pleasant to be reminded that Canada has more diversity in it than the MSM shows. Keep it up!
    I wonder how long it will be before the gatekeepers at ‘journals’ realize that in the internet age they are now gatekeepers on the sidewalks next to the freeway…

  95. Frank Mosher: you wrote, “Bob Tisdale has observed that PDO is driven by ENSO 3.4 . It appears that for now, ENSO 3.4 is driven by NINO 4. PDO drives climate to some extent. Hence to this simple minded observer, it boils down to NINO4.”
    Frank: The NINO3.4 region includes the eastern portion of the NINO4 region. The other half of the NINO3.4 region is the western portion of the NINO3 region. So I fail to see how one could drive the other. During an El Nino event, as the water from the Pacific Warm Pool comes “sloshing” eastward (sloshing is a technical term), the NINO4 region would warm before the NINO3.4; I’ll grant you that; but it’s a weakening of the trade winds in the western Pacific that causes the water to move eastward.
    If you’re interested, William Kessler of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory has a great description of El Nino events here:
    http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/occasionally-asked-questions.html#q1
    And here’s a NASA video (~25MB) that shows the 1997/98 El Nino from different perspectives:
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a000200/a000287/a000287.mpg
    Refer also to comparisons of NINO1&2, NINO3, and NINO4 I provided yesterday at 14:33:18.

  96. Adolfo Giurfa you wrote, “It seems that big ninos happen during wider orbits of the sun around barycenter.”
    Adolfo, if annual NINO3.4 data is smoothed with a 2-year filter or monthly NINO3.4 data is smoothed with a 24-month filter, it changes the perspective of El Nino event size. It reduces the apparent size of the El Ninos that are immediately followed by a La Nina, and increases the apparent size of the multiyear El Ninos that don’t reach the same temperatures (but don’t have a La Nina between them). It’s just a different way to look at the data. Refer to:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2cmp7ck.jpg
    I discussed it here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/different-way-to-look-at-nino34-data.html
    Does that help or hurt your analysis?

  97. Fernando (16:02:20) :
    Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3) is approaching Earth and putting on a good show for amateur astronomers. Yesterday, Feb. 4th, observers witnessed a “disconnection event.”
    This happens regularly when the heliospheric current sheet sweeps over the comet, and has been observed for centuries.

  98. Adolfo Giurfa (13:49:05) : It seems that big ninos happen during wider orbits of the sun around barycenter.
    Fascinating… I would also note the anecdotal point that in the early ’70s it snowed in the Central Valley of California (a very very rare event. 3 x in 50 years that I know of on 70 mile line from Sacramento north). IIRC it was about 73-74 which is right in the middle of a ‘small orbit’ … In ~1989-90 it snowed freakishly near San Jose (lots of news coverage, including front page San Jose Mercury Murky News) again right in the middle of a ‘small orbit’ …
    So we have a history of warm events in wide / large orbits and cold events in tight / small orbits. Hmmm…. How to plot formal data and statistically test??…

  99. DaveE (13:45:53) : It certainly seems to make a nonsense of the very concept of a global ‘temperature’ having any relevance.
    My take on it is this:
    The Global Average Temperature is about as meaningful as the average illumination of pixels on your screen. You can tell something happens as the average pixel changes hue and brightness, but it doesn’t mean anything… All the information has been ‘averaged out’.

  100. E.M.Smith (23:19:43) :
    ‘My take on it is this:
    The Global Average Temperature is about as meaningful as the average illumination of pixels on your screen. You can tell something happens as the average pixel changes hue and brightness, but it doesn’t mean anything… All the information has been ‘averaged out’.’
    As you’re looking into GISSTemp code, is there any reference to pressure or humidity in the code?
    If the answer is no to either or both, then GISSTemp is totally meaningless anyway as it bears no relationship to heat content at all. I’m sure their are other things that should be included too but they’re the two most obvious.
    DaveE.

  101. DaveE (03:29:25) :
    The Global Average Temperature is about as meaningful as the average illumination of pixels on your screen.

    If you don’t find it meaningful why are you bothering to take time to discuss it?

  102. Mary Hinge.
    [Strange, addressing a man called Mary], “If you don’t find it meaningful why are you bothering to take time to discuss it?”
    It’s an analogy; a comparison. Get it? It makes a valid point: what is the global average temperature supposed to be?
    Got an answer to that?

  103. Mary Hinge is right and probably knows why.
    We all know GISSTemp is a crock of s**t. That’s the whole point of it!
    So is HadCRUT, so is UAH and so is RSS!
    Even if it were possible to measure global temp it’s an irrelevance.
    Non of them take in specific heat or heat density.
    They’re all a distraction from the REAL issue of the heat or energy content of the planet.
    Humidity isn’t increasing so it’s unlikely that overall heat content is.
    DaveE.

  104. VG (00:35:30) :
    I wonder if Leif has any comments on this
    http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2009-forecasting-jastp-71-239.pdf

    Kees de Jager is a good, solid scientists. Even so, such people can go off the rails occasionally. The paper has two parts: introduction of cycles, phase shifts, and ‘transitions’, and a prediction of solar cycle 24. The first part is way too much speculation for my taste [what Ken Schatten calls cyclomania]. Their Figure 4 is supposed to be supporting evidence. To me, the Figure does not support their thesis at all. But, beauty must be in the eyes of the beholder, it seems. The second part is a rather traditional analysis leading to prediction of a small solar cycle, partly based on some of my work and data [and therefore good 🙂 ]. The actual numbers predicted suffer a bit from use of the official aa-index and sunspot number, both of which are not quite correct, but any correction would just change the numbers somewhat, not change the qualitative [and important] aspects: a small, slow cycle 24.

  105. Bob Tisdale. I understand that NINO 3.4 encompasses parts of 3 and 4. My point is that i.e. on the week ending 8/17/08 NINOS 1,2,and 3 were strongly positive at 1.46,.86 and .93. But NINO 4 did not turn positive. The value for NINO 3.4 was .17, and by 8/31 was back negative. IMHO to get an overall negative value for NINO 3.4, on 8/31, with NINO 3 at positve .59, tells me that the primary driver was NINO 4.

  106. E.M.Smith (23:19:43) :The Global Average Temperature is about as meaningful as the average illumination of pixels on your screen. You can tell something happens as the average pixel changes hue and brightness, but it doesn’t mean anything… All the information has been ‘averaged out’.
    Does that mean Automatic Gain Control (AGC) circuits to control the average brightness (or loudness or whatever) are useless because they operate with no information? Wouldn’t the necessary information content depend upon the goal?

  107. Fernando (06:36:59) :
    (an increase in the density of solar wind…????)
    Since when? Over the last five years the overall density has been steady at 3.5 protons per cubic centimeter. People might want to contemplate how little that actually is. The total mass of the solar wind in a Volume as big as the Earth is a big as a normal Thanksgiving Turkey

  108. DaveE (06:04:06) : Even if it were possible to measure global temp it’s an irrelevance. None of them {GISS, HadCRUT, etc.] take in specific heat or heat density. They’re all a distraction from the REAL issue of the heat or energy content of the planet. Humidity isn’t increasing so it’s unlikely that overall heat content is
    So just how would you go about measuring heat content? Temperature is a good proxy, don’t you think?

  109. I agree with global averaged temperature, global sea ice, global glacier melt, etc. If we were to average global wind speed, of what use is that? We automatically know that this kind of pressure variant dependent, address dependent, and jet stream dependent measure (wind speed) would be ridiculous and useless as a global average, for several well known reasons. So why the hand wringing of global average temperature? Is there an essential difference between wind (which is not reported as an average global wind speed data point) and these other weather pattern variables that are equally highly dependent on several local factors? Is it not of scientific importance to know that temperatures in the NH are different than temperatures in the SH? Or that temperatures over land are essentially different than temperatures over oceans? The important information for civilization and the environment is not found in global averaged data. It is found in the unsmoothed, unadjusted weather noise out your back door, and the causes of such noisy weather.

  110. DAV (08:34:23) :
    ‘So just how would you go about measuring heat content? Temperature is a good proxy, don’t you think?’
    No, temperature tells you nothing of the heat content. Humid air contains more heat than dry air at a given temperature for instance.
    DaveE.

  111. Pamela Gray (09:05:49) :
    I agree with global averaged temperature, global sea ice, global glacier melt, etc.
    If 2009 should turn out to have a global temperature a whole degree less than 2008 and 2010 in turn a whole degree less than 2009, I look forward to read all the comments that say that global temperature is meaningless, all the hand-wringing over the use of useless data, all the disparaging of people who based on a 2-degree drop in temperature falsely believe that the globe is cooling [this is only weather, and global temps are meaningless, etc] …

  112. Pamela Gray (09:05:49) :
    ‘The important information for civilization and the environment is not found in global averaged data. It is found in the unsmoothed, unadjusted weather noise out your back door, and the causes of such noisy weather.’
    I agree but that is not what they are trying to do with meaningless, globally averaged temperature data. They are trying to dictate a world policy with this misinformation.
    DaveE.

  113. Leif Svalgaard (09:15:23) :
    ‘If 2009 should turn out to have a global temperature a whole degree less than 2008 and 2010 in turn a whole degree less than 2009, I look forward to read all the comments that say that global temperature is meaningless, all the hand-wringing over the use of useless data, all the disparaging of people who based on a 2-degree drop in temperature falsely believe that the globe is cooling [this is only weather, and global temps are meaningless, etc] …’
    I will still say that Leif. Heat will be redistributed, I don’t actually think that the total energy changes as much as we’re led to believe.
    DaveE.

  114. DaveE (09:37:58) :
    I will still say that Leif. Heat will be redistributed, I don’t actually think that the total energy changes as much as we’re led to believe.
    To make that statement you must have an idea or definition of the ‘total energy’. Tell me what it is.

  115. Leif Svalgaard (09:52:57) :
    ‘To make that statement you must have an idea or definition of the ‘total energy’. Tell me what it is.’
    Ouch, you really stuck that one to me.
    I can’t quantify it, but I suppose there’s someone who can.
    I’m sure you’ll tell me if I miss a few.
    There’s the angular momentum of the Earths rotation, motion through space, potential energy held in the heat of the atmosphere, oceans & land mass.
    There’s quite a bit of heat energy in the molten core, kinetic energy of wind & oceanic flows, the only flow inwards of energy that I know of is from the Sun & the only flow out from radiation of the upper atmosphere to space.
    I’m sure I’ve missed a few.
    Now I’ll wait to get jumped on.
    Dave.

  116. DaveE (09:14:35) : No, temperature tells you nothing of the heat content. Humid air contains more heat than dry air at a given temperature for instance
    Are you saying that dry air and humid air with the same heat content will be and same pressure will have the same temperatures? Last time I looked, temperature and heat content are related on the macro level.
    Specific Heat of Water: 4186 J/(kg*K)
    Specific Heat of Air(stp): 1000 J/(kg*K)
    Note that H = specific heat * density * volume
    But OTOH, humid air is less dense that dry air.
    ρa = 0.0035 pa / T
    ρw = 0.0022 pw / T
    ρaw = ρa (1 + x) / (1 + 1.609 x )
    ρa = dry air density (kg/m3)
    pa = partial pressure of air (Pa, N/m2)
    ρw= density of water vapor (kg/m3)
    pw = partial pressure of water(Pa, N/m2)
    ρaw= density air + water vapor
    x = specific humidity or humidity ratio (kg/kg)
    T = absolute dry bulb temperature (K)
    Note how density goes down as humidity rises. What does that do to the heat content?

    Is average heat content a meaningless term? How about average humidity? Growing seasons are determined by temperature ranges vs. heat ranges. If I want to estimate aircraft performance, I only need air density which is calculated from temperature and pressure. Heat content is not directly used at all. Need I go on?

    You still didn’t mention how you would go about measuring heat content. Nor have you bothered to mention how you would use it.

  117. I also think that both sides of the argument try to dissect the comings and goings of a knat’s ass while ignoring the elephant’s. If it is cooler, I want to know where and why a weather pattern variation showed up. Partly because of curiosity but also because I have been trained since a little girl to plant what will grow. In our temperate climate, weather patterns can vary quite a bit! Zones can go from one number to another with the result being destroyed crops and no income for the year. It doesn’t take but one or two years for a new farmer to call it quits and go bankrupt if they don’t have a good handle on weather pattern trends and causes. I actually appreciate the NOAA issuing these “el” and “la” alerts since what happens out there affects what happens in Wallowa County, along with other weather pattern variables.
    Given this above SST pattern that we now have been alerted to, if I had the means, I would be planting red winter wheat on dry ground and hay on irrigated ground in every plot of ground I had, and get rid of spring wheat, along with some of the other “designer” crops that have been pushed our way. However, if Hansan told me that CO2 will also raise temps globally by .002 degrees during this la nina period, I would still make those same changes in my crops to more freeze hardy production.
    To be succinct, I need the noise to show me the range. Without the noise how in the heck to I pick what trees to plant to replace the old willow I cut down? There are so many other crops that depend on rather specific temperature ranges and growing days to produce that the list would thread kill this blog. The global temperature doesn’t give me that information and never will. I need the predicted noisy range of temperature variation, and first/last killer frost, based on trends in known variables such as the SST near the pacific equator. NOAA has managed to produce something they used to do all the time, predict weather patterns for agriculture.

  118. Which leads me to my main gripe about NOAA. Wallowa County has a very specific weather pattern variation that is not shared by surrounding counties because we are nearly surrounded by mountain ranges with an opening primarily to the east and north of the main crop production areas. It would behoove NOAA to report noisy weather trends over the past decades with a moving 5 year or less average specific to our county. Not the anomaly mind you, but the range of actual temps by month. It would also be great if they would provide a prediction of range and growing season 5 years out, based on known variables (IE PDO, jet stream, Arctic behavior, etc). Forget CO2. It will not change a decision between cold and warm weather production not one iota. Let’s ask for a useful NOAA instead of a whatever is popular to believe at the moment NOAA.

  119. Leif Svalgaard (08:28:59) :
    Fernando (06:36:59) :
    (an increase in the density of solar wind…????)
    The total mass of the solar wind in a Volume as big as the Earth is a big as a normal Thanksgiving Turkey. Now, the suns hurls these turkeys at us all the time, so how much solar wind hits the Earth every second? Do the math and you’ll find that it amount to a Big Mac with Fries. The magnetosphere cross section is more than a 100 times bigger, so 100 Happy Meals are coming our way every second.

  120. Anthony, maybe that might become an area of income: Weather pattern prediction and 5 year previous trend analysis/causes for locally derived agricultural areas.

  121. I really meant really big “el nino” events, when the sun was like this click
    A sun like this one erased Mochica culture (about 500 A.D.)
    Perhaps other small nino or nina phenomena in between big ones could be explained as sea returning to equilibrium (be it cooling or heating up).
    By the way, they knew cycles click
    This fresco painted by this culture, clearly shows sea waves (below) and a kind of a “gnomon” (above) indicating several positions of the bird head on a four step stair (which they used to build to observe sun´s position). Presumably the figures in the fresco represent the sun and planets.

  122. DAV
    Sorry, been afk.
    Yes, heat & temperature are related & proportional in a given atmosphere & pressure.
    Change the pressure or humidity & the heat constant will change.
    I can’t throw formulae around like you do, it’s far too long ago.
    Take a day at Nellis afb in the Nevada desert, wait ’til Sunset & see how quickly it gets cold.
    Then take roughly the same temps at Decimomannu on Sardinia about 10 miles from the coast. even on a clear night, it will take all night to cool. Of course it may be the tempering influence of the Med but that also indicates a difference in heat for the same temperature.
    Of course I could have it all wrong but if one says nothing, one goes on believing something wrong instead of (re)learning.
    DaveE

  123. DaveE (12:40:06) :Then take roughly the same temps at Decimomannu on Sardinia about 10 miles from the coast. even on a clear night, it will take all night to cool. Of course it may be the tempering influence of the Med but that also indicates a difference in heat for the same temperature.
    Yes the diurnal temperature will have greater variability in non-humid air but I think you’ll find that the daily average between humid and non humid is relatively close.
    When you measure the temperature of any liquid you are measuring its average temperature regardless of whether or not it is a mixture. At worst, the variability in humidity only widens the confidence interval but is, of itself, not a show stopper.
    In any case, temperature is a reasonable proxy for heat content provided the mixture is more or less unvarying. For all practical purposes, the Earth’s atmosphere content is stable enough. Extra heat increases the overall humidity wher possible, which is most places outside of the deserts.
    Then there’s the problem of directly measuring the heat content. It’s something spacecraft probably wouldn’t be able to do. Even if it were feasible, what would you compare it to and what should be done with the long term temperature record? If the answer is “convert the temp record to heat content” then the implication is that temperature is a proxy for heat content. Yes?

  124. Frank Mosher: You wrote, “My point is that i.e. on the week ending 8/17/08 NINOS 1,2,and 3 were strongly positive at 1.46,.86 and .93. But NINO 4 did not turn positive. The value for NINO 3.4 was .17, and by 8/31 was back negative. IMHO to get an overall negative value for NINO 3.4, on 8/31, with NINO 3 at positve .59, tells me that the primary driver was NINO 4.”
    In an earlier reply, I illustrated and discussed why NINO4 does not vary as much as NINO3.4. Three questions with respect to your most recent comment:
    1. Through what physical process does the SST anomaly in the NINO4 region “drive” the SST anomaly in the NINO3.4 region?
    2. Did NINO4 only drive the SST anomalies of NINO3.4 between the dates you mentioned?
    3. Or does NINO4 SST anomaly drive NINO3.4 SST anomaly all the time?

  125. DAV
    I don’t even know if it’s possible to measure the heat content, we have enough problems just trying to get temps right.
    I don’t have an answer for history. I don’t believe that temperature is a good proxy. If I’m wrong, I’d like to know how.
    DaveE.

  126. Fernando (13:54:21) :
    (This justifies the breaking of the tail of the comet.)?????
    The ‘disconnection event’ [comet losing its tail] is not by solar wind ‘blasts’ or pressure, but by the solar wind magnetic field abruptly changing direction as the heliospheric current sheet sweeps over the comet.

  127. In their 2008 ANNUAL SUMMATION GISS noted
    Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.
    I wonder if any one else has noted that a strong to moderate El Nino event took place after each of the last four solar minimums , namely 1964.1976, 1986, and 1996. These events happened anywhere from 0-12 months after the solar minimum and after the sunspot number had reached 18-35 range. It did not happen that soon in 1954 and again 1944 [2-3 years after].Could these events be in anyway related? If the last solar minimum was the latter part of 2008, an El Nino event may possible in 2009 or 2010 if the solar activity also picks up during the latter part of 2009 according to this past pattern?

  128. Bob Tisdale. ” Drive” may not be accurate. In July of 2008, temps in NINOs 1,2, and 3 were well above the .5 degree threshold. It appeared, at that time, that baesed upon those values, that an El Nino could be forming. Possibly in response to the recently ended La Nina. But NINO 4 just wouldn’t cooperate. And indeed returned from a neutral position to significantly cooler anomalies. After which NINO 3 cooled to below average and NINOs 1 and 2 toward neutral. In a sense, NINO 4 just wouldn’t ” get with the program. ” From my observation, this is unusual, over the last 5 years, that the graphs are presented on the Aussie web site. I will have to do some more digging to see if this could be classified as ” not very unusual”. I have noticed that the anomalous depth of the 20C isotherm seems to show that heat has been released from the Western Equatorial Pacicic warm pool. BTW, i visit your blog daily, as i believe, as i am sure that you do, that SSTs are interesting, but also informative as to climate and weather.

  129. matt v. Good hypothesis. I have seen somewhere an analysis that showed just that. I.E. temps are most likely to respond to an increase in solar activity, right after the change in direction, from a solar minimum. ISTM the analysis went back for several centuries. But i don’t recall where i saw the analysis.

  130. Bob Tisdale. Looking at the data for the 2007/2008 La NINA, it behave somewhat as expected, i.e. very cold anomalies started in NINOs 1+2, with 3, 3.4, and 4 in warm mode. Then gradually spread west over time. Then NINOs 1+2 warmed, and the La Nina dispersed from east to west, as expected. The data may be viewed here.http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for . When i have a chance i will look back at 1998 through 2001 for similar progression. It seems to me that after a La Nin a, i would expect NINO 4 region to warm, as the W. Pacific warm pool returns.

  131. looking at the La Nina the began in July 1998 and extended effectively through Feb. 2001, it also began in NINOs 3 and 4 , and spread east, over time to include NINOs 1+2. This seems counter intuitive, as i thought it was the prevailing winds that pushed colder water from east to west. My basic point is that what is happening in the central Pacific seems a little extraordinary.

  132. Mary Hinge:
    EvolutionThe latest weekly SST departures are: NOAA 02/09/2009
    Niño 4……. -0.8ºC
    Niño 3.4…. -0.9ºC
    Niño 3……..-0.7ºC
    Niño1+2…. -0.3ºC
    The most recent ONI value (November 2008–January 2009) is −0.6ºC.
    salute

  133. Fernando (12:44:35) :
    The latest BOM graphs are in, all except NINO 1 showing signs of cooling.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/indices.shtml
    Be intersting to see if this is a dead cat bounce or a more prolonged spell of late season cooling. SOI is also increasing but again that may start decreasing soon. Still very interesting in the equatorial pacific!

  134. ‘“NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment…”
    The worst form of ignorance is thinking you know or understand when you don’t. An amendment of that mission statement to ‘strives to understand and predict’ would surely be less vain and more realistic. But what would you expect from a bureaucracy that has arrogated to itself the ‘administration’ of the oceans and the atmosphere?

  135. Frank Mosher
    Based on your comments I went back all the way to 1901 and found that after 8 out of the last 10 solar minimums, a moderate to a strong El Nino event followed about 0 -12 months later. Pretty good odds for one in 2009 or 2010. It all depends on the sun and cycle #24 which seems to defy prediction. My own take currently is that #24 will not pick up in any meaningful way until late 2009 and thus any EL Nino is likely to be in 2010. The year 2009 will be mostly an ENSO neutral type or a weak La Nina in my opinion.This straight intution only.

  136. Matt V. I understand your curiosity regarding the timing you see in solar minimums and El Nino events. You even make a prediction regarding an El Nino in 2010 and indicate it is straight intuition only. Are there triggers to an El Nino other than the Sun that would be based on something more testable than intuition? You can actually read about those by typing “El Nino and triggers” in google.

  137. Matt V. Thanks for the info. I too am wondering if an El Nino is in the near future. I am currently looking at the Indian Ocean Dipole, and looking for a connection with the NINO 4 region. The 20C thermocline anomaly seems to preclude an El Nino in the near future, as it looks like the Western Pacific Warm Pool will need to ramp up first.

  138. Frank Mosher: Based on the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool Index…
    http://i40.tinypic.com/2qdsow5.jpg
    Discussed here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/indo-pacific-warm-pool-index.html
    …and based on the Western Equatorial Pacific Warm Water Volume…
    http://i37.tinypic.com/28sxc8m.jpg
    Discussed here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/equatorial-pacific-warm-water-volume.html
    …the next El Nino is cocked and ready to go. And it has been for a while.
    But based on the Equatorial Pacific Average Subsurface Temperature…
    http://i35.tinypic.com/sbu52c.jpg
    Discussed here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/average-subsurface-temperature-of.html
    …the top 300 meters of the equatorial Pacific have decreased in temperature, though slightly, since 1979.
    I wonder if Hansen’s predictions a few years ago of another significant El Nino were based on the Warm Water Volume and Warm Pool Index being so high. In some respects, they look like they simply acquired new temporary “setpoints”, but with only 30 years of those datasets, who knows what’s “normal”.
    Regards

  139. Bob Tisdale. Thanks for the excellent info. I have observed, by looking at the vertical temperature anomaly sections, is that every El Nino, since the data began( 1980), has an anomalous cold pool, at the 150m depth, in the 150e-180e region. The size, strength, and duration of the El Nino depends on the respective action of the subsurface cold pool. IMHO, the 1997-1998 El Nino was driven by the eastward migration of that enormous cold pool. As it moved, it pushed less dense warmer water to the surface, sort of like an artesian well.The El Nino ended when the cold pool had reached the S. American coast, and was at the surface , because there was no longer any anomalous warm water remaining. Every El Nino since 1980 has the anomalous cold pool at 150m depth, at 160e-180e. IMHO warm water cannot displace cold water, due to density. Hence the current large cold pool that covers most of the central and eastern pacific is unlike to change much in the near future. Currently the 150m depthat 160e-180e shows a slightly warm anomaly, so it seems to me that an El Nino is very unlikely for the near future. So it is my opinion that the Super El Nino of 97-98 was driven by the Super La Nina that followed. It just wasn’t apparent as it was at depth. Thanks for your tireless thought and excellent analysis regards

  140. “…the next El Nino is cocked and ready to go. And it has been for a while.”
    This stuff is evidently above my pay grade but looking at the graphs I would guess neutral conditions are next in store, ff. Mr. Mosher.

  141. DaveE (03:29:25) : As you’re looking into GISSTemp code, is there any reference to pressure or humidity in the code?
    Nope. Take in raw temperature and station data and munges it. No physics need apply… Certainly none having to do with heat content or precipitation.
    It is substantially a ‘one trick pony’ with some minor variations. It repeatedly applies ‘the reference station method’ to adjust real temperatures to be something else.
    It has a couple of minor tricks, like tossing out chunks of data, but these are just, IMHO, setups for the RSM gig. Toss data, then use RSM to re-create it from ‘nearby’ stations (that are 1000 km to 1500 km away…). Average data into zones, then use RSM to modify them too. Take a ‘light’ number from the station data, use that to choose what to fudge using, yes, the RSM to change real temperatures based on other far away stations that are ‘nearby’ in a different climate type.
    By a rough count, it applies the RSM at least 4 times, and maybe as high as 6. To the best of my knowledge there is no peer reviewed basis for recursive applications of RSM. (I think there was one paper that showed a ‘nearby’ station ‘correlated’ and could be used, but the code does ‘linear offset’ not ‘correlation’ and the paper did not support doing it again, and again, and again, and… since the modified data from step one are no longer raw station data, thus not the basis of the paper…)

  142. Mary Hinge (04:44:54) : If you don’t find it meaningful why are you bothering to take time to discuss it?
    I discuss it because it is the fraud at the heart of this fiasco of GIStemp doublespeak.
    As an analogy:
    How can one talk about Maddoff and not mention lying?

  143. Mary Hinge (04:44:54) : you don’t find it meaningful why are you bothering to take time to discuss it?
    To put a more specific example to it:
    Most people live in coastal areas. Most thermometer stations are near people. The coverage on both coast is much higher than in ‘fly over country’. When the jet stream makes big deep loops, as it just did a month or two ago, they often dip down in ‘fly over country’ and freeze it hard. At those time, the jet pulls warm air up both coasts.
    Because there are more thermometers on the coasts, they dominate the average. It “gets real warm” even though most of the country is frozen.
    That is not a very useful behaviour.
    Now a month later, the lobe of arctic are is shifted and more thermometers are under it (over a coast or both) and the heartland is getting a nice gulf warm spell. The averages report it “gets real cold” even though it isn’t.
    The reality that “the polar lobe of cold air is just wobbling back and forth” is lost, hidden in the error band from a non-equal distribution of thermometers. Thus the analogy: “LOOK! The pixel is pinker!!! Run for the hills!!!!”
    Now a full picture would show some pixel pinker, and some bluer, and a wobble of the jet stream back and forth with no net heat change. A full picture would have an equal geographic distribution of pixels…

  144. Leif Svalgaard (09:15:23) : If 2009 should turn out to have a global temperature a whole degree less than 2008 and 2010 in turn a whole degree less than 2009, I look forward to read all the comments that say that global temperature is meaningless,
    One can disparage the ‘two line pass’ rule in hockey, and assert that the referee is half blind, and still take joy if your side scores a goal even under those circumstances (but the ref is still half blind… and the two line pass rule is still wrong…)
    IF we had an even geographical distribution of thermometers and IF we were using trends in high, low, and average as individual series, I would be saying much less about it. The unequal physical sampling of the surface and the mixing of high and low, hides too much of interest and compromises the utility. That different points in time are based on different sets of thermometers (often drastically different – loss of USSR Siberia stations) makes the ref half blind when a straight average is used over all time periods. (i.e. if we had an even temporal distribution of thermometers…)
    Can these defects be corrected? Maybe so. Are they? Certainly not in GIStemp. Should we buy the ref glasses, or just get a new ref?

  145. Leif Svalgaard (10:49:58) : The total mass of the solar wind in a Volume as big as the Earth is a big as a normal Thanksgiving Turkey. Now, the suns hurls these turkeys at us all the time, so how much solar wind hits the Earth every second? Do the math and you’ll find that it amount to a Big Mac with Fries. The magnetosphere cross section is more than a 100 times bigger, so 100 Happy Meals are coming our way every second.
    But a turkey at Mach 1 …. or a Happy Meal at Mach 14 …. Don’t try to catch!
    So how much energy is in these, er, turkeys? 😉

  146. Maybe we should look more to the Atlantic:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126955.400-north-atlantic-is-worlds-climate-superpower.html
    “In past studies, Anastasios Tsonis and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have shown statistically that climate features like El Niño and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which drives weather across Europe, become synchronised for a few decades, before the links abruptly break down and a new pattern emerges. They call it “synchronised chaos”.
    Now their modelling studies have shown the action is always driven from the North Atlantic. Tsonis says the NAO is “without exception the common ingredient… the pacemaker of major climate shifts”

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