NOAA announces the arrival of El Niño

clickable global map of SST anomalies

Contact: Christopher Vaccaro               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

202-536-8911 (cellular)                                   July 9, 2009

El Niño Arrives; Expected to Persist through Winter 2009-10

NOAA scientists today announced the arrival of El Niño, a climate phenomenon with a significant influence on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries. El Niño, the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters, occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months.

NOAA expects this El Niño to continue developing during the next several months, with further strengthening possible. The event is expected to last through winter 2009-10.

“Advanced climate science allows us to alert industries, governments and emergency managers about the weather conditions El Niño may bring so these can be factored into decision-making and ultimately protect life, property and the economy,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

El Niño’s impacts depend on a variety of factors, such as intensity and extent of ocean warming, and the time of year. Contrary to popular belief, not all effects are negative. On the positive side, El Niño can help to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity. In the United States, it typically brings beneficial winter precipitation to the arid Southwest, less wintry weather across the North, and a reduced risk of Florida wildfires.

El Niño’s negative impacts have included damaging winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern United States. Some past El Niño’s have also produced severe flooding and mudslides in Central and South America, and drought in Indonesia.

An El Niño event may significantly diminish ocean productivity off the west coast by limiting weather patterns that cause upwelling, or nutrient circulation in the ocean.  These nutrients are the foundation of a vibrant marine food web and could negatively impact food sources for several types of birds, fish and marine mammals.

In its monthly El Niño diagnostics discussion today, scientists with the NOAA National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center noted weekly eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures were at least 1.0 degree C above average at the end of June. The most recent El Niño occurred in 2006.

El Niño includes weaker trade winds, increased rainfall over the central tropical Pacific, and decreased rainfall in Indonesia. These vast rainfall patterns in the tropics are responsible for many of El Niño’s global effects on weather patterns.

NOAA will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation in the tropical Pacific, and will provide more detailed information on possible Atlantic hurricane impacts in its updated Seasonal Hurricane Outlook scheduled for release on August 6, 2009.

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. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

On the Web:

Forecast: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

NOAA’s El Niño site: http://www.elnino.noaa.gov

###

Advertisements

165 thoughts on “NOAA announces the arrival of El Niño

  1. Oh praise Gaia and the Profit! at long last!
    Sarc. off-this will be a weak one-there are some who
    say it may not make it though the Boreal winter…

  2. ” 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.”
    What an arrogant, ignorant piece of bloviation that is! It enrages me every time I read it (but then I am also enraged by John Lennon’s moronic mewl ‘Imagine’). On the other hand, what would one expect from an outfit that styles itself the Administrator of Ocean and Air? Poseidon and Aeolus wrapped up in one.
    At the name of NOAA, every knee shall bow.

  3. Something to mindful about –
    Per Hansen et al, ***2008 Global Surface Temperature in GISS Analysis”*** last January,
    “Given our expectation of the next El Nino 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.”
    Keep watching, and remember.

  4. The last paragraph kind of says it all…
    “…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.”

  5. “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun”
    Well that is some self-praise.
    At least they don’t claim they do accurate predictions.

  6. Joe Bastardi from Accuweather, who predicted the El Nino back in January, predicts that it will be no more than a moderate one, and that it will fall apart by late fall or winter. That being said, the AGW’ers and the media will no doubt start having a field day as it will be proclaimed that “global warming has resumed just like the models predicted.” I can’t wait (heavy sarcasm).

  7. hmmmm
    The announcement above says –
    “NOAA scientists today announced the arrival of El Niño”
    but
    following the links to the EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO)
    DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION, they say –
    “During June 2009, conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean transitioned from ENSO-neutral to El Niño conditions.”
    and –
    “Current conditions and recent trends favor the continued development of a weak-to-moderate strength El Niño into the Northern Hemisphere Fall 2009, with further strengthening possible thereafter.”
    So apparently we have El Nino “conditions”, with forecast to develop into an El Nino in the near future.
    I couldn’t find the formal definition of ‘x temp for y months’ on the NOAA web site. Am looking forward to that discussion from Bob T or others here.

  8. found it ….
    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, which is part of the National Weather Service, declares the onset of an El Niño episode when the 3-month average sea-surface temperature departure exceeds 0.5oC in the east-central equatorial Pacific [between 5oN-5oS and 170oW-120oW].
    … so in a couple more months, we may have a definitive 3-month average.

  9. UK Sceptic, I fully agree (as a fellow UK BBC sufferer), but won’t it be great if the high temperatures don’t materialize? How will they defend that? El Nino, but cool temps. I can’t wait.

  10. Does anyone ever read Ed Berry’s blog? http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com/
    Ed is not so sure that this El Nino will have staying power. Here is what he wrote recently (some of this is over my head).
    “Like the recent behavior of the financial markets, we have seen an “AAM correction”. However, is this simply a subseasonal variation destructively interfering with El-Nino, or is a process beginning that not only could weaken EL-Nino this upcoming boreal autumn, but perhaps bring a La-Nina situation boreal winter 2009-10? The answer is unclear”
    And most recently: “The bottom line is that the global wind and convective signals continue to lead the SSTs (broken record), and the ENSO situation is unclear (will stochastic forcing have giveth then taketh away?).”

  11. UK Met Office and CRU web site has been down for three days now! Bet they can’t wait to get back online with their dire predictions.

  12. Well, they’ve been predicting it long enough. Remember that while we may be in the negative phase of the PDO, it doesn’t preclude experiencing a few El Niño events. It’ll probably turn out to be a weak event, despite some folks’ hopes for a repeat of ’98. La Niña events, on the other hand, tend to be predominant during the DPO’s negative phase. The good news, I suppose, would be fewer Atlantic hurricanes – haven’t had a named storm yet this season – not even a “Tiny Tim”.

  13. “Flanagan (08:24:55) :
    Yes Brian, predictions that are actually observed should be emphasized.”
    And when those “predictions” are wrong (Like arctic free of sea ice within 5 years) should also be emphasized (Rather than ignored)?

  14. “Advanced climate science allows us to alert industries, governments and emergency managers about the weather conditions El Niño may bring so these can be factored into decision-making and ultimately protect life, property and the economy,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
    Next time they are proven wrong, we’ll know their climate science was not advanced enough… Just as for the Communist planification, they’ll have to find another qualificative to describe their product: Hyper-cerebral, Mighty-weaponed, Multi spatial climate science… LOL

  15. Love Ed Berry and Joe Bastardi I feel that the Winter of ’09/10 will be a memorable one
    but not for the Warmists among us.There is a lot of cold out there. It would have to be a Nino’98 to even budge it…

  16. The next few months are going to be very interesting for anyone who follows the evolution of global temperatures and the whole climate change debate.
    Remember, the UK MetOffice predicted about seven months ago that 2009 is going to be one of the top five warmest years ever recorded. The great La Nina of 2007/08 and the minor one peaked in January 2009 has gone. Then we have this announcement from NOAA about the beginning of a new El Nino. The global temperature anomaly tends to lag short-term ENSO variations by 2-5 months. It seems that the 2009 forecast is going to ‘overshoot’ the real 2009 value, like any other years since 1999. Altough this is not good for the credibility of the MetOffice, the real question is the temperature response to the next El Nino. If the global anomaly can’t exceed the pre-2008 levels during an El Nino, the main assumption of the AGW camp that increasing CO2 is the main driver of global temperatures will get a serious hit.
    According to Dr. Spencer at UAH, the satellite-measured global near-surface temperture anomaly in June was zero (0.001°c) with respect to the 1979-98 reference period. The lack of statisticially significant warming since about 1995, the lack of any warming trend since 1997, and the obvious cooling trend since about 2001 can be seen even in the HadCRUT dataset. Despite of this fact and the systematic bias in the annual global temperature predictions of the MetOffice, Phil Jones just keeps repeating the very same mantra:
    “The fact that 2009, like 2008, will not break records does not mean that global warming has gone away. What matters is the underlying rate of warming – the period 2001-2007, with an average of 14.44 °C, was 0.21 °C warmer than corresponding values for the period 1991-2000.”
    The recent 9-year cooling trend may have not been caused by a single ENSO event, it must be something else – something they weren’t aware of. The effects of the oncoming El Nino, the recovery or non-recovery of global temperatures to pre-2008 levels will be a very important issue.
    This single event can prove the whole CRU and MetOffice wrong (or ressurect their credibility if the outcome will be the opposite).

  17. Suddenly, weather will magically become climate again. Because when it’s hot, it’s climate. When it’s cool, it’s weather.

  18. Follow the weekly updates (out every Monday). The Oceanic Nino Index needs to be +.5 or above (the one posted for July 6th was at .2) and then forecasted to continue at that or above level for 3 months. Not all forecasting models predict this. The statistical models indicate a near equal chance of neutral or El Nino. The dynamical models indicate mostly an El Nino condition. Most predict a weak one at that. It is to be remembered that during a cool PDO flip, El Nino’s will occur. Just not very many and not very strong. The last 3 have all trended down. I still consider the PDO to be in a cool phase and I think that the trend will continue for weaker and weaker El Nino’s. This is probably why NOAA issued an El Nino ADVISORY. If this turns out to be a weaker El Nino, the Northwest could still see very wintery and snowy conditions.

  19. Following on what Chuck L wrote, Ed Berry (link below) is cautious about an El Nino “false alarm” and considers the ENSO situation “uncertain.”
    http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com/
    Plus, we have to have five months of consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons with an ONI of +5 or more before officially declaring an “El Nino,” as opposed to “El Nino conditions.” I looked for the latter in the above press release, and didn’t really see a waffle here. The closest is “NOAA expects this El Niño to continue developing during the next several months…” But that treats the El Nino as already “here.”
    Here’s the official distinction:
    —————————
    NOAA Operational Definitions for El Niño and La Niña
    El Niño:characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5°C.
    La Niña:characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C.
    By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode,these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.
    CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 SST departures meet or exceed +/-0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.
    ———————————-
    We do not even have the first month of data in, yet, to qualify for the run of five months needed here. The latest three months of averaged data, April to June, is +0.2.
    But let’s give NOAA some rope here, and see if they do better with this “forecast” than they have with the last two or three official US winter forecasts.
    Basil

  20. I predict there will be no El Nino. What am I basing that off of? Nothing. But my prediction has just as much chance of being correct as NOAA’s. The last La Nina was supposed to be short and weak. It kept staying longer and longer and longer. Every time NOAA said La Nina would end in 3 months, it was still around 3 months later.
    One of the driving factors behind El Nino and La Nina is trade winds. Stronger winds, the warm water stays bottled up near Australia. Weak winds, the warm water is allowed to flow toward South America. Who can forecast what trade winds are going to do? You can look at the trend and go from there. But really, my prediction is as good as anybody else’s.

  21. As an AGWer, I’m actually hoping for a moderate El Nino of +1.5C to +2.0C or so and for SC24 to remain reasonably quiet. This is both because a repeat of 1998 will be damaging to the environment, and because a more moderate event that crushes the 1998 records will be more convincing (and probably we’ll see another low in arctic sea ice as well).
    And for all those anti-AGWers that are suggesting that we “remember” predictions like those I just made… Remember all the predictions that you are making. I’ve heard people make predictions on this blog that El Ninos will never happen again which has pretty convincingly fallen now. What happens when we simply have a substantially normal El Nino that lasts into next spring and doesn’t “collapse” in late fall? What happens when we beat the 1998 record and the whole “cooling for a decade” argument is no longer valid? What happens when solar cycle 24 heats up and that shows up in the ocean temperature measurements and the whole “flat since 2005” argument totally collapses? What happens when we set a new record low in arctic sea ice? If all those happen in the next 5 years, will you all admit that AGW is correct?

  22. I think we should abandon the need for a consecutive 3 month or 5 month period. When the equatorial ocean temps get to +/-0.7C, it is an El Nino or a La Nina.
    The ocean surface in this region doesn’t flip back and forth between warm and cool. It always takes a few months at least for temps to ramp up and/or cool down.
    So, its an El Nino. The questions are how long will it last and will it be a large event?
    Only 1 of the 4 main indicators is saying this will be a long event. Three of the four indicators, the Trade Winds, Atmospheric Angular Momemtum and the Southern Oscillation Index are not pointing to a large El Nino right now so that might indicate it will be short-lived (several months anyway as noted above).
    The only indicator saying a large, long-lasting El Nino is the equatorial upper ocean content. In this case, it seems to be overwhelming the other drivers.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/anim/wkxzteq_anm.gif

  23. Leon Brozyna (08:36:15) :
    The good news, I suppose, would be fewer Atlantic hurricanes – haven’t had a named storm yet this season – not even a “Tiny Tim”.

    Maybe we need a naming convention for El Nino’s too.
    So:
    1983 – Goliath
    1998 – King Kong
    2009 – Pinocchio?

  24. El Nino, hmm. That would explain why it’s been barely 60f here where I live in Western Washington for the last couple days, in July, in the millennium of AGW.
    Pardon me while I go laugh my ass off.

  25. Lamont 9:04:23
    No, Lamont, I’ll admit nothing. I would like to see real understanding of climate, which we don’t have now. Even if those events you mention happen that is still no proof of the CO2=AGW paradigm, just as their corollaries are no real negation of the paradigm. But high sensitivity of climate to CO2 is just not being revealed; wide ranging episodes of weather even argue against it.
    And just how, pray tell, would a more active sun warm the earth? I’m dying for the answer to that question.
    ====================================

  26. Moderately hot summer and autumn; some heat waves and thunderstorms will be happening from the second week in July to the first week in September; dry and mild winter with few cold days for the Northeast of Mexico. Few hurricanes which will not surpass class 3 in SS-scale, at the most. On the other hand, Media scaring machinery has started its campaign; however, without mentioning the effects of El Niño, but attributing it to the “climate change” due to human activities, of course.

  27. Well I’m sure the folks fretting over drought in California will be pleased to know relief may come. But then once La Nina hits again…’Oh noes! Drought!’
    Come on. Why don’t you praise the rain when its in cycle.
    With weather, it’s always feast or famine! Same with life!
    To me, some people just love to whine about everything.
    Because to them, everything is bad. That is the same reason why the wolf ate Peter…er…the people didn’t listen to Peter’s screams.

  28. Lots of other factors makes this El Nino a wild card. Earlier we had two volcanoes erupting in the Northern Hemisphere (Redoubt and Sarychev Peak) and the PDO turning negative and these events will mitigate El Nino. I’m betting NOAA’s prediction for warmer temperatures will be incorrect.

  29. Can someone explain to me-I don’t get how the PDO is in negative phase when EL NINO conditions prevail.

  30. Ok, let’s see… a little warm water made it to the top… in summer time… ok! The with a generally cooler atmosphere it should help cool down that layer and might cool down even faster since we expect cooler temperature for the winter… ok! So? What’s the big deal here except proving that NOAA has a bad prediction record and most likely won’t get that one right either? Obviously, “NOAA DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE TO predict 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.”
    I think the most important temperature that would be useful is the average temperature of the oceans to see if it is going dow… like that of the atmosphere.

  31. This is not an El Nino folks. It is an El Nino condition ADVISORY and only just barely. The month average has to be .5 or above and then predicted to stay that way for 3 months or longer in order for the condition to stay current. If the prediction holds true, after that it can be called an El Nino condition and not just an ADVISORY. And then after 5 months it can be called an El Nino Event. Or something like that. It is expected that temps right now would continue to be cool (no need to laugh) and warm a bit into possibly an Indian Summer. But that’s it folks. The show will be over come November. IMHO.

  32. “”” Flanagan (08:24:55) :
    Yes Brian, predictions that are actually observed should be emphasized. “””
    Let’s face it; you start with a 50:50 shot. Might as well go for it; you’ll wins some and lose some.
    George

  33. Lamont:
    “What happens when we simply have a substantially normal El Nino that lasts into next spring and doesn’t “collapse” in late fall? (1) What happens when we beat the 1998 record and the whole “cooling for a decade” argument is no longer valid? (2) What happens when solar cycle 24 heats up and that shows up in the ocean temperature measurements and the whole “flat since 2005″ argument totally collapses? (3) What happens when we set a new record low in arctic sea ice? (4) If all those happen in the next 5 years, will you all admit that AGW is correct? (5) ”
    Absolutely! The thing about being a skeptic, not a denier, is that you are driven by information, not idealogue. I have very little opinion on question #1, but it 2-4 happen and #5, which is they happen in the next 5 years happens, you will ABSOLUTELY have my vote. It will be hard for 2009 to reverse the 10 year trend at it’s present rate, so the decade thing will probably stand…. I believe that a warmer Earth is a better Earth, which will provide more growing areas, more evaporation and life giving rain and longer growing seasons, but I will bow to the wise AGW theory if these 5 signposts comes to pass.
    Let me turn it around and throw out #1 about the El Nino. If we do NOT surpass 1998, in the next 5 years, if we continue to cool, even as SC24 eventually does start up (and it peaks WELL short of the last 5 cycles), if the Ocean’s temps and levels remain flat to cool (recede) for 5 years – will you leave behind your misguided models?
    I saw a great article from a physicist born in 1945, who lived through 25 years of cooling until 1970. Then 28 years of warming, through 1998. Now he has seen 10 years of cooling again – he asks the question – HOW CAN I BE ALARMED AT THIS NON TREND? I ask how can anyone? The guy’s 53 years old, by my calculation. How many well meaning AGWer’s were born closer to the 1970 mark and simply lack perspective and life experience?
    Lamont, if your bold predictions occur, you win my vote – I say it again. Maybe Anthony will consent to post your comment every year, 1 time on it’s anniversary, for 5 years? It’s the first reasonable post I’ve seen from your side of the equation. You made a prediction, you asked reasonable questions – are you sure you REALLY beliebve in AGW?

  34. Lamont: “If all those happen in the next 5 years, will you all admit that AGW is correct?”
    Actually, no. These things might indicate that the earth is warming again/still, but it would prove nothing about the cause being human activity. Something caused the Earth to warm up to end the last Ice Age, and we know that wasn’t human activity.
    There’s two pieces to the AGW argument: (1) is the Earth warming and (2) did people cause it? Proving (1) does nothing to prove (2).

  35. I sincerely hope we have an El Nino, as those of us in California need the rain to make up for a three year deficit. There have been 3 El Ninos since 2000, and yet global temps. have been drifting lower since then, so it remains to be seen if that trend changes. UAH reported tropical ocean, mid tropo. temperature anomaly of -.05 for June 2009. They reported the same anomaly for June 1979. Evidently the Earth is very good at regulating it’s temperature., IMHO.

  36. Take a look at where the jet stream is and what it looks like over WA and OR. It has a weak main component from West to East just below Oregon and heading slightly northeast. But there is another piece that has a stronger North-South flow that is bringing us some natural air conditioning. So yes, you be cool in Washington (and here in Oregon as well).
    http://squall.sfsu.edu/gif/jetstream_norhem_00.gif

  37. Lamont (09:04:23) : “…will you all admit that AGW is correct?”
    Say what? Sorry, pal. There was an ice age that ended some 17,000 years ago (date debatable) and Earth has been warming ever since with fits and starts. What has changed?

  38. While I moved to the skeptic camp over a year ago, I would caution, as does AGWer Lamont, that premature and/or rash predictions on our part serve to undermine our case against AGW if they don’t come true.
    Stick to the facts and the science. Senators don’t want to lose their positions of power and the tide is turning in our favor. Don’t make baseless predictions that make skeptics look as loony as the alarmists. Isn’t it much better to continue to let the AGWers undermine their own credibility with alarmist predictions of ice-free arctic, etc? The more loony predictions you make, the less likely you are to be listened to.

  39. lamont: your
    I’ve heard people make predictions on this blog that El Ninos will never happen again which has pretty convincingly fallen now.
    I don’t recall seeing any such predictions. Proof please. But, that said, several studies on paleo-ENSO events, indicate a lessening or even a stoppage of el Nino during warming events.
    During the middle of the Holocene, when it was considerably warmer than it is today, Overpeck and Webb (2000) report that data from corals suggest that “interannual ENSO variability, as we now know it, was substantially reduced, or perhaps even absent.”
    Overpeck, J. and Webb, R.  2000.  Nonglacial rapid climate events: Past and future.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 97: 1335-1338.
    These authors say it appears there are fewer and weaker ENSO events during warm periods, and more and stronger ENSO events during cold periods.
    Riedinger, M.A., Steinitz-Kannan, M., Last, W.M. and Brenner, M.  2002.  A ~6100 14C yr record of El Niño activity from the Galapagos Islands.  Journal of Paleolimnology 27: 1-7.
    The authors compared proxies with their model. In the words of the authors, the model simulations showed “little change in … ENSO, in agreement with proxies.”  They also note that other studies “indicate an ENSO shutdown as recently as ~6000 years ago, a period only slightly warmer than the present.”
    Huber, M. and Caballero, R.  2003.  Eocene El Niño: Evidence for robust tropical dynamics in the “Hothouse.”  Science 299: 877-881.
    What happens when we simply have a substantially normal El Nino that lasts into next spring and doesn’t “collapse” in late fall? What happens when we beat the 1998 record and the whole “cooling for a decade” argument is no longer valid? What happens when solar cycle 24 heats up and that shows up in the ocean temperature measurements and the whole “flat since 2005″ argument totally collapses? What happens when we set a new record low in arctic sea ice? If all those happen in the next 5 years, will you all admit that AGW is correct?
    If all these events occurred, I would, once again, consider AGHG as a primary cause of climate change. I have twice been a doubter, and once a believer, of AGHG as a primary forcing.
    The question, is: Would you become a doubter of AGW, if all the questions you posed, returned as a null event? Yes, or no, please.

  40. Lamont:

    “If all those happen in the next 5 years, will you all admit that AGW is correct?”

    Lamont, me boy, you need to get up to speed on the scientific method.
    It is not the duty or responsibility of scientific skeptics to admit or prove anything. It is the job of those promoting the CO2=AGW hypothesis to show that their new hypothesis better explains reality than the existing theory of natural climate change.
    The AGW hypothesis has been repeatedly falsified. Now, it is only a political question. You need to work on the problem of your failed hypothesis before you start demanding that we accept your belief that a minor trace gas will cause runaway global warming.

  41. Can you say El Nino 14 times? The article does.
    Do I detect competition between NCDC and NOAA?
    NCDC is saying much the opposite, with La Nina making El Nino’s highly improbable.
    Competition is good.

  42. Lets all just not predict anything. On the subject of weather and long temr predictions you wil always have the odds against you to make a right prediction. Just like all those warm and dry summer predictions.

  43. Is this typical of El Nino?
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/cgi-tao/cover.cgi?P1=/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/sst_wind_anom_5day_ps32.gif&P2=900&P3=456&script=jsdisplay/scripts/biggif_startup.csh
    The warm 1.0 and above anomaly areas is being tied off by cooler water to the east to become shaped like a balloon at the right end of the map, the yellow shaded area was the first to drift westward and lose its hold on the eastern edge. It seems to indicate we have some cooler water sneaking into the eastern edge of the Nino region and seems to make it more likely it could be weaker than the ones in 1998 and 2006.

  44. Basil (08:48:36) :
    Following on what Chuck L wrote, Ed Berry (link below) is cautious about an El Nino “false alarm” and considers the ENSO situation “uncertain.”
    http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com/
    Plus, we have to have five months of consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons with an ONI of +5 or more before officially declaring an “El Nino,” as opposed to “El Nino conditions.” I looked for the latter in the above press release, and didn’t really see a waffle here. The closest is “NOAA expects this El Niño to continue developing during the next several months…” But that treats the El Nino as already “here.”
    Here’s the official distinction:
    —————————
    NOAA Operational Definitions for El Niño and La Niña
    El Niño:characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5°C.
    La Niña:characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C.
    By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode,these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.
    CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 SST departures meet or exceed +/-0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.
    ———————————-
    We do not even have the first month of data in, yet, to qualify for the run of five months needed here. The latest three months of averaged data, April to June, is +0.2.
    But let’s give NOAA some rope here, and see if they do better with this “forecast” than they have with the last two or three official US winter forecasts.
    Basil
    Well Basil, they have made the news again with a subject directly related to AGW
    150 days before the Copenhagen Summit.
    This El Ninjo will be vanished before it meets the NOAA Operational Directives which officially make it an EL Ninjo three months from now.
    In the mean time the commercial air traffic passing the ITCZ should be prepared for enhanced turbulence and strong storms as violent convection sucks up the ocean heat into the cold upper atmosphere.
    It will be an early and cold winter.

  45. If we get warming from a strong El Nino and/or an active solar cycle 24 how does that support the theory that the recent observed warming was caused by CO2 ?
    It would just confirm that the two warming periods that occurred during the 20th Century were most likely caused entirely by solar and oceanic behaviour and that any effect from extra CO2 is at a lower, undefined and possibly insignificant level.
    To substantiate AGW theory it needs to be shown that there is indeed a background level of warming independent of much more powerful solar and oceanic influences. Without being able to allocate any warming or cooling trend accurately to individual forcing agents it simply cannot be assumed that CO2 has any effect at all.
    Even if it does have a measurable effect all it will do is make natural warming peaks a tiny bit higher and natural cooling troughs a tiny bit shallower and so will be beneficial overall given that cold is worse than heat for all plant and animal life.
    Bear in mind that the peaks and troughs in the natural cycles are themselves only short lived phenomena and the effect of extra specifically human sourced CO2 if any is truly insignificant.
    One can argue that given enough time and enough emissions the effect could theoretically be significant but that gives us centuries to solve our energy and population problems which means there should be no panicky ill judged responses now.
    But as my regular readers know my view is that the air circulation systems shift latitudinally poleward and equatorward to adjust the rate of energy flow from surface to space and thereby maintain global temperature stability for aeons at a time despite disruptions in the energy flow caused by variable solar input to the oceans and air, variable oceanic energy emissions to the air and indeed swings in the power of the greenhouse effect from changes in global humidity and/or CO2 and other lesser GHGs.
    If we get a strong El Nino then it will indeed warm the air for a while but it will deplete the oceanic energy store in doing so.
    At present solar input is likely to fall short of what is needed for full replacement whereas from 1975 to 2000 the high level of solar input seems to have been enough to continue to increase the oceanic energy store despite the run of strong El Nino events. We are not in that position now.
    The temperature of the air around the globe is ultimately at the mercy of solar power which is then rationed to the air at the whim of the oceans. That combination sets a naturally varying equilibrium temperature with changes in the composition of the air of no significance in the face of those solar and oceanic forcings.
    Tyndall et al made perfectly correct findings about the effect of different gases in the air but those findings do not appear to translate into a climate effect because of the behaviour over time of the entire climate system which involves sun, OCEANS and air, not just sun and air alone.
    Essentially their findings have been misapplied.

  46. Bill Illis (09:06:46) :
    Bill,
    I think the traditional definition makes some sense. As climate phenomena, El Nino and La Nina are meaningless unless they represent a persistent state of some kind. Otherwise, we’re just talking about “noise” when SST’s go above or below some number.
    You wrote:
    “When the equatorial ocean temps get to +/-0.7C, it is an El Nino or a La Nina.
    The ocean surface in this region doesn’t flip back and forth between warm and cool. It always takes a few months at least for temps to ramp up and/or cool down. “

    Often, maybe even most of the time, when the monthly average (of three months) gets to ±0.7C, it persists long enough to qualify under the traditional definition.
    But not always.
    Your other points actually support the traditional definition, I think.
    “Only 1 of the 4 main indicators is saying this will be a long event. Three of the four indicators, the Trade Winds, Atmospheric Angular Momemtum and the Southern Oscillation Index are not pointing to a large El Nino right now so that might indicate it will be short-lived (several months anyway as noted above).”
    SST’s in this region are only relevant as climate parameters to the extent that they affect …. climate. Summer time El Nino’s typically have only modest climate effects. The dramatic climate effects we associate with El Nino’s come with winter season El Nino’s. If this turns out to be a “short-lived” phenomenon, and weakens as we get into the winter season, then calling attention to it now only serves to hype it unnecessarily. The fact that other indicators are “mixed,” and that this is a summer season event, for now, further support not calling this an El Nino until the traditional criterion is met. I have no problem with referring to what we’re seeing as “El Nino conditions,” but unless they persist through winter, we’re not going to see the traditional climate impact from them, so why trumpet this non-climatic (so far) event as if it were one?
    In the June IRI report, the monthly three-month average, beginning with JJA, and continuing through FMA of 2010, of the IRI’s spaghetti graph of models, looks like this:
    Average, statistical models 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2
    Average, all models 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.7 0.6 0.5
    If the dynamical models pan out, this will qualify as an El Nino, but it will likely have only a modest climate impact. If the statistical models are right, it will not even qualify as a traditional El Nino, and there will probably be no traditional El Nino winter time climate impact from it.
    Basil

  47. Lamont…
    All the money grabing and Law projects are based on one little trace gas molecule that is the fundation of life on this planet… CO2.
    The concentration of CO2 has been rising constantly since the LIA (it happened to correspond to the industrialisation age). Yet we had regular and cycling cooling and warming cycles during that same period up to today. Nothing seems to show that it is different now. So all of that shows that there is no link between the CO2 concentration and global temperature… even less to that little portion of CO2 from our industrial activities.
    It does not matter what you can say about the cause of global climate change… the science clearly and without any reasonable doubt shows us that we are not the cause and that the CO2 in the atmosphere is not the cause.

  48. It looks like NCDC is only publishing the statistical forecast models, not the dynamical models. I could be wrong but this could be where the NOAA panel gets the statistical models. So no competition. Just a data source within the umbrella organization. NCDC is a part of NOAA.

  49. Frank Mosher (10:14:11) :
    I sincerely hope we have an El Nino, as those of us in California need the rain to make up for a three year deficit.

    And you will not get that rain with a few summer time months of “El Nino conditions.” You need a solid El Nino through the winter time months to get the rain you want.

  50. Lost in some of this discussion is the fact that warming is GOOD. I like warm – more arable land, longer growing seasons, more habitable land. All of this at the price of a little beach erosion. It would be good if the earth could go back to the warmth that let Vikings live comfortably on Greenland several hundred years ago. It is regrettable that such warmth seems to cause alarm among so many, and even worse that it is seen to be caused by man. Bring on the (natural and good) El Nino!!
    I know that many of you agree with me in principle on this, but you just want to stick it to the AGW’ers so bad that you wish for cold. Just remember, cold – bad, warm – good.

  51. Bob Tisdale,
    As you follow SST quite stringently, what does it say about the overall heat content of the oceans? If the oceans are not retaining more heat than is being released, wouldn’t that eventually lead to an overall cooling trend over land regardless of El Nino? Isn’t OHC the real story?

  52. “I think we should abandon the need for a consecutive 3 month or 5 month period. When the equatorial ocean temps get to +/-0.7C, it is an El Nino or a La Nina.
    The ocean surface in this region doesn’t flip back and forth between warm and cool. It always takes a few months at least for temps to ramp up and/or cool down. ”
    That is why NOAA distinguishes between “El Nino/La Nina conditions” and an “El Nino/La Nina Event”
    What you are asking for is simply what NOAA calls “El Nino conditions” which is what they announced exist today. You might argue that they’re a couple of weeks late, maybe, and declaring what has been obvious for a little while now, but they’re not trying to “time the market” perfectly to the day, they’re interested in giving climate forecasts about what is likely to expect in the next 1-6 months.
    When it comes to declaring “Events” they’re interested in climactically significant events, which you can only know after the event is over. They admit that they don’t know if this is going to be a weak, moderate or strong El Nino. They’re pretty damn 100% certain its going to at least be a weak El Nino, but it might fail to be climactically significant, and in this blog you’ve got people calling for the El Nino to “fizzle by this winter”. That could, concievably happen, and certainly the last El Nino conditions were incredibly weak. If NOAA announced an El Nino Event today, that would be predicting something 5+ months out, and this blog would be full of people HOWLING about how NOAA can’t accurate predict the future and that its all unreliable models.
    NOAA is merely announcing what the weather is today. Today it is partially cloudy in Seattle and there’s El Nino *conditions* in the Pacific, which are growing. That is simply a statement of what we know. Since you all beat up models and predictions incessantly on this blog you all should be happy with such a conservative statement about what simply *exists*.

  53. Attention all skeptics:
    Please do not be led down the garden path by arguments that are irrelevant;to illogical conclusions.
    Please remember that there are “sufficient conditions”, and “necessary conditions” and scientists have to be able to discriminate between the two.
    If for the next ten years the temperature drops another 0.5 degrees, that alone is sufficient to discredit CO2 as responsible for global warming (it would also discredit other anthropogenic influences, like black soot, irrigation, etc. etc). BUT it does not mean that if this does not happen, necessarily CO2 or something else anthropogenic creates the warming.
    A condition that is is sufficient does not mean it is also necessary.
    If the temperatures go up by 0.5 degrees in the next ten years, the ballpark is open to see what causes it, by positive proof and not conjectures. In my opinion we have to see what has taken us out of the Little Ice Age, to have any handle in the situation.
    I agree that it would be good if the temperatures keep dropping, because the whole CO2 mess will be reduced to absurdity.

  54. “The question, is: Would you become a doubter of AGW, if all the questions you posed, returned as a null event? Yes, or no, please.”
    Sure.
    Show me a decadal cooling trend which is apples-to-apples.
    I want to see cooling during an El Nino event during a ramp up to a solar maximum. I won’t even complain about SC24 being moderately weak or El Nino events not living up to 1998.
    Show me that ocean heat content declines even as SC24 starts up.
    And during conditions like that show me that sea ice is increasing, show me advancing glaciers, show me permafrost no retreating, etc. But do it over a decadal period. I’m not interested in data since 2005-2006 showing a pause while the solar minimum has removed about 1.5 W/m^2 or so which is roughly equal to the AGW solar forcing. Yes, the sun does matter. Cyclical flattening of GW while the sun is in a minimum does not falsify CO2/GHG AGW.

  55. Chuck L (08:16:53) :
    I will go with JB on this as well. He has been far more accurate on evolution of longer term patterns than NOAA has even dreamed of.

  56. Dave D, good reply to Lamont, but you got the physicist’s age wrong-he would be 63 or 64.

  57. Pamela Gray (09:55:22) :
    This is not an El Nino folks. It is an El Nino condition ADVISORY and only just barely. The month average has to be .5 or above and then predicted to stay that way for 3 months or longer in order for the condition to stay current. If the prediction holds true, after that it can be called an El Nino condition and not just an ADVISORY. And then after 5 months it can be called an El Nino Event. Or something like that. It is expected that temps right now would continue to be cool (no need to laugh) and warm a bit into possibly an Indian Summer. But that’s it folks. The show will be over come November. IMHO.
    —-
    Other than the fact of it being short lived, Why just barely ? The atmosphere was clearly tilting + AAM wise up until recently and the weekly readings were +0.9 which is hardly barely. And this peak is no different then any negative weekly peak during this past winter. And everyone, NOAA included, was calling that a La Nina event. So where is the scientific consistency?
    Mind you I’m all for using the ONI but I have seen people waver back and forth with what to use. And some like to strongly consider Wolter’s MEI, which was tilted El Nino last month also. And stronger than June 2002, and 2006 .
    And can I assume that you feel that this is going to be a no show, or unoffical, since you mentioned that it will be done come November ? If so why ? Because of the models ? I hope not.

  58. Being additive to a negative PDO I would imagine its impact will be weak. I am hoping, however, for a normal to above normal amount of precip here for the 2009 – 2010 rainfall year, that’s all I ask.

  59. OMG the end of the world
    BTW, how is the Met Office’s prediction for the British heatwave coming along? It’s bloody cold and raining all week.

  60. They have a 50/50 chance of being right. It’s like winning the lottery. The odds are 50/50. You either win or you don’t.

  61. Bill Illis:
    My last check showed the Southern Oscillation index is currently very slightly positive. This, in fact, does not point to an El Nino at all, but to neutral conditions. Now, I am perfectly willing to accept that an El Nino -weak or otherwise – is in the offing, but how can NOAA say it has arrived without a very negative SOI? Isn’t the pressure gradient across the South Pacific (and the resulting trade wind fluctuations) the very essence of an El Nino, or has thinking about that feature of ENSO changed in the 10 years I have spent away from global climate science?
    see, e.g.:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

  62. Regarding the up thread discussion of predictions, this quote comes to mind:
    “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
    Niels Bohr
    Danish physicist (1885 – 1962)
    And may I add; especially if it is based on mere conjecture.

  63. Looking at the TAO there may be other signs that do not bode well for even a moderate El Nino event
    The eastern subsurface warm pocket is not as warm this year as this date last year, and last year was not an El Nino year
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/Dep_Sec_EQ_5d_anom_comp.gif
    The warm pocket in the 20C Depth is also not quite as strong, 2009 shows a smaller and cooler warm pocket that’s farther from the edge.
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/iso20_iso20_anom_5day_comp.gif
    There’s plenty other plots on that site too but these relating to SST’s stick out as they compare against last year. Look at them and see if you can guess where things are going to go.

  64. Lamont 11:21:01
    Well, you are getting better. But don’t you see how your points argue against the kind of climate sensitivity to CO2 that we’re being sold?
    ============================================

  65. “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun”
    Well, well I learn something new everyday. I didn’t know that everything “from depths of the ocean TO THE SURFACE OF THE SUN” was part of the Earth’s environment. I stand corrected.

  66. Continuing my last train of thought. If I may be so bold, I suggest a new acronym that is more descriptive of what the debate over climate really is. AC3 (Anthropogenic Climate Change Conjecture ). I feel this is a more accurate description since there is presently no proof, which puts it firmly in the “Conjecture” category.
    I’m sure everyone is acquainted with the generally recognized definition of conjecture, but to make it easy:
    From Webster – 2 a: inference from defective or presumptive evidence;
    b: a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork;
    c: a proposition (as in mathematics) before it has been proved or disproved.

  67. By the way, Lamont, I think you’ll get to see all those things; continued cooling while the sun gets more active and all. Tsonis et al showed that the coupling and uncoupling of natural cycles, particularly the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, best explain the temperature graph for the last century. And we’ve just entered the cooling phase of the PDO. So, yes, I expect you’ll see continued cooling for the next few years, no matter what the sun does, and despite the interjection of some Los Ninos. This natural cycle theory makes far more sense than the great climate models, based on the incorrrect assumption that water vapor is a large positive feedback to minimal CO2 forcing.
    And please clue me in to how the sun directs climate; I’m dying for the answer.
    ========================================

  68. By another way, Lamont, I think you’ll find your conditions satisfied sometime in the 1940-1970 period, a decadal long cooling trend with increasing polar ice, a sun actively peaking in its cycle, and episodic El Nino conditions. We are there again in that cooling phase of the PDO. But, why wait so long to be convinced? Observe the historical record.
    ============================

  69. Lamont (11:21:01):

    Show me a decadal cooling trend… Show me that ocean heat content declines… show me that sea ice is increasing… show me advancing glaciers…

    Lamont, you still don’t get it. [Or you do get it, so you constantly move the goal posts and re-frame the argument.]
    Once again: it is not the job of scientific skeptics to prove anything. Believers in the CO2=AGW hypothesis have the burden of showing that their hypothesis explains reality better than the long-accepted theory of natural climate change — which posits a gradual trend of global warming, with decadal oscillations above and below trend.
    No one has falsified the theory that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability. If you can falsify that theory, you will be the first — and in line for a Nobel prize. The AGW contingent would love to have anyone be able to falsify the theory of natural climate variability.
    The conjecture that CO2 will cause runaway global warming once a mysterious “tipping point” is reached, resulting in climate catastrophe, is the alarming AGW hypothesis. Those believing in that hypothesis have the job of showing that it explains reality better than the theory of natural climate variability.
    By demanding that scientific skeptics must disprove AGW, you are turning the scientific method on its head in favor of an assumption that can be found only in always-inaccurate computer models.
    This may surprise you, but there is no real world, empirical evidence that CO2 causes global warming. The “evidence” comes from GCMs. Of course, that is not evidence, but the result of programming. It may or may not be true. But it is not evidence.
    Do the scientific method the right way, and you will see why the CO2=AGW hypothesis fails.

  70. I realize, Lamont, that hope springs eternal in the human beast, and that faith dies painfully. But why hang your faith, and pin your hopes upon man nearly inevitably destroying the earth’s climate. Far better for your spirit that you just open your mind and observe the phenomena than crouching in the corner, mumbling the catechism that CO2=AGW.
    ====================================

  71. Does anyone remember last Fall, under similar conditions, when Mary was arguing that we weren’t in a La Nina yet, and I kept flinging the predictions of a La Nina through midsummer ’09 in her face, from the aggregate consensus of a number of model runs. Does anyone have that prediction for the next six-twelve months? It was dead right last time.
    =====================================

  72. Out of my element here, but does not the declaration of El Nino
    mean any trend in temperature is rendered as an exception?
    Kind of a AGW mulligan.

  73. Lamont: If all those happen in the next 5 years, will you all admit that AGW is correct?
    No, Lamont, I will simply observe that the climate has had another unremarkable short term change. Why should I assume that this is ‘proof’ of any particular theoretical cause?

  74. Kim:
    It’s “breast”, not “beast” – unless you were making a further point :>).
    A perspective on belief in the afterlife from “An Essay on Man” by Alexander Pope (1688-1744):
    “Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
    Man never is, but always to be blest.
    The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”
    For some, perhaps the afterlife may be “hotter”.

  75. Lamont…
    It can be very scary to face reality and realise that the vision of the world imposed by politiciens is a fantasy. You see, politiciens (like Al Gore) live in their own world, with their own truths. Their goal is to change to world to fit their universe. The problem is, it seems, we lack that fantasy island vision… we are mear mortals living in reality. This reality tells me that CO2 is good and indispensable to life.

  76. What do they mean?…Did a nino (child) spill red/orange inkjet over their graph?
    I think they are applying the “positive thinking” method: Convince yourself and it will become true….but that´s wishful thinking…Oh!, I see, no, no, it´s sympathetic sorcery…you paint a deer on the cave´s wall and then you´ll be lucky when hunting…

  77. With respect to todays ‘pinata,’ I suggest we apply the time-honored KISS principle thus: “Hey, Lamont. Thought ‘all those things’ were supposed to have happened in the last five years?”

  78. Folks, we’re at the “hinge-point” between Positive, and Negative PDOs. Anything can happen. To bet your theory on next year’s weather is nuts.
    Wheat is selling in Chicago for $4.94, at the moment. This is down 50% (from $10.00/bu) from this time last year.
    Nobody, absolutely, NObody, pays any attention to what Argentina might, or might not, do (as relates to ag exports.) Their ag market actions are, basically, of the “loose cannon” variety.

  79. DR: You asked, “As you follow SST quite stringently, what does it say about the overall heat content of the oceans?”
    Though SST is a component of OHC, they are two entirely different beasts. A significant El Nino will cause a major rise in SST, even cause a lingering upward step change in some oceans, but for that same El Nino, the drop on OHC appears to be minor. But it’s tough to tell since no two OHC datasets are similar.
    You asked, “If the oceans are not retaining more heat than is being released, wouldn’t that eventually lead to an overall cooling trend over land regardless of El Nino?”
    Let me ask a question in return. Why aren’t the oceans retaining more heat than is being released? A change in cloud cover? A change in aerosols, dust from the Sahara? So, whatever is causing the plateau in OHC should also be impacting land surface temperature. And with respect to El Ninos, regardless of the direction of the trend in global surface temperature, or land surface temperature, or TLT, an El Nino will cause a temporary rise in those variables. If enough subsurface heat from the Pacific Warm Pool was released during the El Nino, then global SST, LST, and TLT would remain elevated while it’s being radiated into space.
    You asked, “Isn’t OHC the real story?”
    The real story in what terms? The four most recent OHC reconstructions (Ishii and Kimoto, Domingues et al, Levitus et al, Wijffels et al) are extremely different in terms of year-to-year variations. The only things even remotely similar are the direction of decadal trends. That is, they all have negative trends from 1955 to ~1969, then increasing trends from ~1969 to present. IMO, OHC has little value as a dataset because of the differences. In other words, there is no OHC real story.

  80. Freezing here in the Canadian West, IN JULY.
    Beer freezing on outdoor patios. Gas heaters ON.
    Crops failing due to cold and drought.
    Would welcome El Nino and any associated global warming.

  81. Note to Brian Flynn:
    Given the current global cooling, and the economic meltdown, exacerbated by false global warming hysteria, perhaps this is the poem of the moment:
    W. B. Yeats “The Second Coming” (excerpt)
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  82. Brian 12:46:46
    Heh, you got my little joke. Apologies to Sasha Pope.
    ===============================

  83. Ray (13:09:26) :
    Maybe we should call it “Enano Nino”
    Thanks Ray!!!
    Get it out of my head!

  84. John Galt (11:37:24) :” It’s like winning the lottery. The odds are 50/50.”
    Say what?

  85. Bob Tisdale (13:00:31) :
    IMO, OHC has little value as a dataset because of the differences. In other words, there is no OHC real story.

    Frustrating isn’t it?
    🙁

  86. Jeff Id (09:47:00) : “It’s been a strangely cool summer so far in Chicago area. I for one will welcome the warm weather – winter sucks.”
    NW Indiana here, and I can vouch for that statement. I’ve only had my AC on maybe five times this year so far. And last winter, I could store food on my enclosed front porch instead of running the freezer. Been pretty good to my energy bills, I’d say. And I didn’t adopt a single green change in my life. It wasn’t quite as pronounced, but last spring was a bit slow in coming. A very rainy and muggy summer, though!
    Anyway, I rather like the cooler summer season, myself.

  87. While it may be cold in some Canadian regions, it’s plenty warm here, up to the mid 100’s in extreme southwestern Kansas, however despite getting forecasts of 100 degrees here in Wichita today, the temps. stopped dead at 90-91 around noon and only managed 2-3 degrees since then with little cloud cover, the heatwave has had a little trouble getting started in my part of the state and still looking that way.
    Just to note, western Kansas gets a wider variety of temperatures during the Summer than here in Wichita from my observations, they’ve been known to have their highest highs being several degrees higher than Wichita and also their lowest highs being a bit lower.
    Intellicast’s forecast maps is showing cold air regions moving around in various locations in Canada and the American Northwest over the next 5 days, including what seems to be a fairly cool’ish air mass for summer over Eastern Canada, definately colder than Alaska and many areas in Russia.

  88. If this is the El Nino, can you imagine what the next La Nina is going to be like? Keep in mind folks, they’re not predicting an El Nino, they’re saying we’ve been in one. And yet the June sattelite temperature anomaly ~ 0!

  89. Obviously we are well aware of the possibilites with climate.
    It could warm. It could cool. It could remain stagnant.
    AGW thought: humans are at fault. we must stop warming.
    AGW skeptic thought: humans are not at fault. we hope it cools.
    In the end, we’re essentially in want of the same thing. We want cooling?
    Perhaps it’s too warm for some of us!
    Wishing for an ice ige would be a bit overkill…to prove the AGW side wrong that is. But only if the saying ‘because what you wish for’…came true.
    I do say though, the AGW side comes from a good place. They have genuine concern for something they are convinced of 100%. Better to side on the precautionary measures than to not. It is a frame of motivation from fear.
    Many skeptics are 100% convinced that AGW theory is wrong. Probably because of the tendency for humans to get caught up in worry and thought…not to mention hubris. They are not intimidated by warming, for they know they can and will adjust to natures bidding. It is a frame of motivation from curiousity.
    In the long run…5 billion years…humans are doomed, but in ’til then or to whatever comes before, we’ll have to keep arguing to see who’s more right.
    Suppose that’s the moral of the story. Humans like to fight over who’s superior. Thought, behavior, you name it. This is just another example.

  90. Have you noticed that the PDO is also RED ?…I think that´s too much…no joke.

  91. KW (13:53:08) : The moral of the story… is that there are some of us who can not “sell our soul to the devil” and unable to tolerate lies. The trouble is that the world is upside down.

  92. The most recent similar period that had an El Nino during a cool PDO and cool AMO was the 1965-1966 event.[ also just after a 1964 solar minimum]. The El Nino was a moderate one that lasted for about 11months[june -april . The annual PDO continued cool and declined from [-0.31] in 1965 to [-0.46] in 1966. It warmed the winters slightly but US ANNUAL CONTIGUOUS TEMPERATURE ANOAMALY[GISS] actually went down from [-0.11C] in 1965 to [-0.25C ] in 1966 .Global temperature anomaly [Crutem3] basically was the same [1965 was[- 0.216 C] and 1966 was [-0.147 C] The annual AMO had just gone negative in 1964 [ just like now in 2009] . IT went up from [-0.145 ] to [+0.018] and then continued negative in 1967. Canadian Annual temperature anomalies warmed slightly from [-0.6C ] to [-0.2C]. Canadian winters had below normal temperatures both years but 1966 was slightly warmer than 1966 [but still quite cold .] If things develop similar as then , this El Nino may not be a significant event and the cool pattern may continue since it seems to be the prevailing natural cycle.

  93. matt v. (14:41:47) :
    So, what you’re saying that it is cycling and that has been seen before… I agree. In fact, all the “old” people I know all see this as a natural and repeating cycles. Nothing to get excited over. Deja Vu.

  94. Aside from their utterly arrogant statement:
    “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”
    and their hype about dastardly destructive El Ninos, NOAA is simply announcing that the beginning of El Nino Conditions has arrived. We should be able to differentiate among:
    -El Nino Conditions advisory with less than 3 consecutive months with ONI greater than or equal to +0.5 C;
    -El Nino Episode with 5 or more consecutive months the same; and
    -El Nino Event with 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons, e.g., 15 months or longer. (Defs from Basil and Pamela Gray, the latter with a little different definition).
    And, of course, whether we have an Episode or not tells us nothing about the effects of human-created CO2. (The statement is rather god-like, isn’t it?)
    I like Anna V’s question: What EXACTLY, with as much scientific precision as possible, brought us out of the Little Ice Age and continues to permit us to warm, even if we turn a little cooler in our warmth. It was not CO2!
    Lastly, since California ALWAYS seems to have trouble with droughts, and since we developed our water system for our magnificent agriculture, not for our subsequent urban population increase, shouldn’t we be thinking about developing additional sources of water? Roger Sowell, E.M. Smith have provided ideas. It seems we (NOAA?) should stop whining about Little Boy/Little Girl-caused droughts and use some of that stimulus money to begin desalination of ocean water and transport of water from the north (partnership with Canada?) to the south, and not only in the West. Let’s do something productive with all our requisitioned tax dollars.

  95. Since the La Nina regional climate impact climatology appears to have been pretty close for the recent La Nina (the South American drought conditions seem to have been missed) …
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/La_Nina_regional_impacts.gif
    … We might as well have a look at the regional climate impacts from an El Nino (it will take a few months before these effects will start to be felt assuming the El Nino continues).
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/El_Nino_regional_impacts.gif

  96. pyromancer76 (14:53:09) :
    “… transport of water from the north (partnership with Canada?) to the south…”
    This is already happening. We send good water at a very low price to south of the boarder and the south sells it back to us in bottles but at a much higher price… very profitable operations.

  97. I agree that the situation is assymetric. If things cool down for the next 10 years, AGW is done. If things warm up for the next 10 years, AGW becomes more likely but is not established.
    What would convince me is if the warmists made bona fide “fingerprint” predictions. For example if they predict drought in Australia; increased rainfall in California; and so forth. And then all of those predictions came true.
    They would have to be bona fide predictions though. It doesn’t count if they make predictions after the fact. It doesn’t count either if different warmists make conflicting predictions. The predictions should be “consensus” predictions.
    But I doubt that the warmists will ever lock themselves in to a position like that. It’s telling that they act just like TV psychics by limiting themselves to vague, difficult-to-falsify predictions full of weasel words.

  98. Will an El Nino lead to a record temperature?
    For GISS the record was in 2005. If the El Nino develops, it will influence temperatures most in 2010, which is 5 years on, so we should be about 0.1 degrees warmer. A typical El Nino seems to cause an increase in temperature of about 0.1 to 0.2 degrees, so this suggests a quite high chance, but not certainty that 2010 will be a record if the el nino does develop.
    For RSS and Uah, 1998 is the record. 12 years of warming is about 0.24 degrees warmer. however for each of these series, the response to the 1998 el nino was a warming of about 0.5 degrees. To beat this, even with 0.24 degrees of warming we need an El Nino response of 0.26 which is much harder then the requirement for GISS to be a record.
    For HADCRUT 1998 was the record, and was about 0.25 degrees warmer than trend. THe HADCRUT trend should be about at record level in 2010, so any El Nino should beat HADCRUT fairly easily.
    What could go wrong with these predictions? Solar, aerosols and PDO/other multi decade variations have not been considered, so could cause errors in these predictions.
    In summary I predict that if we get an El Nino, 2010 will be a record for some temperature records, but not for others. We will have headlines about the warmest year ever based on whichever temp series does beat the record, and counter claims on certain blogs that the record was not beaten based on whichever temperature series does not beat the record.

  99. Allan MacRae,
    Thank you for sharing the Yeats poem.
    My condolences on your frozen beer. While it might be hyperbole to say that it might boil where I am (Dallas), believe me, it’s Africa hot here. I don’t care about global cooling, I want Texas cooling.
    There must be some Panglossian perfect climate somewhere between Canada and Texas where the beer doesn’t freeze on the porch and you don’t burn the soles of your feet running to the pool to jump into bath water.

  100. This sounds very similar tot he breathless announcement of the arrival of a strong solar cycle a few weeks ago.
    This el Nino, at this point, seems not very robust.
    And let us not foget how Hansen was predicting a strong El Nino this year.

  101. I predict that in a years time it’ll be NH summer 2010 and RealClimate will still have dozens of visitors every week.

  102. brazil84 (16:12:06) :
    I agree that the situation is assymetric. If things cool down for the next 10 years, AGW is done. If things warm up for the next 10 years, AGW becomes more likely but is not established.
    ——————–
    No, I think the AGWiers will say that if things cool down for the next 10 years, its climate variability, but if things warm up in the next 10 months, its definitely Anthropogenic Global Warming and the Human Race is fully responsible.

  103. RAY,KIM, Allan Macrae
    I agree with several previous bloggers that we should continue to highlight to the public the potential risks of possible upcoming the natural cycle of cooler weather that may be ahead[ despite the short term El Nino that may come], like serious loss of crops, need for more fuel for winters [potential shortage of heating oil] , bigger spring floods , greater risk of f3-f5 tornadoes , more ice storms ,etc. ]One season does not make a climate , but 10 years of declining least square trend slopes of global temperatures, ocean SST, and [AMO, PDO/ENSO CYCLES] does indicate more than just short term weather ahead. The real global warming only lasted for 14 years [1994-2008] when AMO and PDO were both warm . Both now seem to be heading for a period when both may be cool like 1964-1974 and again 1902-1917. Having said that I am also aware that Nature is full of surprises and the future is not always as the past.

  104. matt v. 17:04:52
    Yup, I very much agree. Another 20-30 years of cooling from this phase of the PDO will produce crop failures and starvation among the poorest of this earth. If the sun is getting into the act with a new Grand Minimum, the cooling will be holocaustic. We far more likely face a climate catastrophe from not adapting to the cooling that is happening than from not mitigating a global warming that isn’t happening.
    ===================================

  105. This evening, while distracted by food, I thought I heard Brian Williams and a woman on NBC say that the cool and unusual weather of the last few months was due to EL Nino, which NOAA predicted would continue to 2010.
    Did anyone else watch that? Did I hear that correctly?

  106. Now why is this an El Nino, and not a PDO shift; what happened to all the Eastern Pacific Blue of the cool PDO ?
    What is it that kicks in at 0.5 degrees change; why not 0.45, or 0.55; what is the physical significance that makes it an El Nino at + 0.5, but not at + 0.499
    And how does the moon affect it through the three month persistence.
    And what means this piece of gobbledegook; “””By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode,these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons. “””
    What exactly is “at least 5 consecutive overlapping three month seasons ” ? Does that mean that it ain’t El Nino if it only last a year; I thought the 1998 El Nino only lasted 8 months.
    Well now I’m confused; but is PDO still in cooling phase; so where has all the lbue gone ?

  107. George E. Smith (18:31:16) :
    What you are seeing is a typical El Nino condition. Warm water suppresses the upwelling of cool water off the Peruvian coast which occurs during a neutral condition (with even greater upwelling during a La Nina.
    Ninos and Ninas both occur during either positive or negative PDOs. During a negative PDO, it is more likely that there will be “unanswered” La Ninas and El Ninos will be less likely to be intense. But both will occur.

  108. Since 1950 (according to my “file card”)
    El Nino
    8/51-12/51
    4/57-7/58
    7/63-1/64
    6/65-4/66
    11/68-6/69
    9/69-1/71
    5/72-3/73
    9/76-2/77
    9/77-2/78
    5/82-6/83
    9/86-2/88
    5/91-7/92
    7/94-3/95
    5/97-4/98
    5/02-3/03
    7/04-2/05
    8/06-1/07
    La Nina
    (pre)1/50-3/51
    3/54-1/57
    4/64-2/65
    7/70-1/72
    5/73-5/76
    10/84-9/85
    5/88-5/89
    9/95-3/96
    7/98-2/01
    8/07- (disputed)

  109. Few points….
    1. If the Anchovy catch is reduced off the coast of Equador,this may be a good as indicator as any of El Nino intensity. Is this recorded somewhere?
    2. I would like to see temp measurements extend eastward to 80 degrees.
    3. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/sub-surf_anim.gif
    Check the anomalies approaching the last date recorded, at this stage it looks weak.

  110. evanmjones (18:47:33) :
    Those Nino years -particularly in the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s were some of the nastiest winters I’ve experienced in the Pac NW. 63-64 was a heck of snow followed by
    flooding. 69-74 were all nasty winters wet summers, with some dry. PDO cool then
    too ..Hmmm…
    However so were some of Nina years too…

  111. I just announced the arrival of one billion dollars to my bank account.
    While I was at it, my barber, the guy at the gas station, and I all agreed that we should keep the skies blue and sunny everyday.

  112. However so were some of Nina years too…
    Actually, Ninos seem to outnumber Ninas. But Ninas seem to last longer.

  113. “No, I think the AGWiers will say that if things cool down for the next 10 years, its climate variability, but if things warm up in the next 10 months, its definitely Anthropogenic Global Warming and the Human Race is fully responsible.”
    I’m not talking about what the AGWers will say. I’m talking about what a reasonable inference would be. Obviously the two things aren’t not necessarily the same.

  114. is it possible that because it is cooler that theirs lest ice melt thus lest cold water going into the sea ,thus letting the sea in the tropics warm up more??.

  115. frank (00:25:09) :
    is it possible that because it is cooler that theirs lest ice melt thus lest cold water going into the sea ,thus letting the sea in the tropics warm up more??.

    At the height of the warming last century, Greenland was losing 265cubic kilometers of ice per year. Since 2004 it’s been losing 240 cubic kilometers per year. That’s a difference of 20 cubic kilometers per year.
    The worlds oceans have a volume of approximately 1.3 billion cubic kilometers.
    So the change in melt of greenland’s icecap is about 0.000000015% of the volume of the oceans. The Antarctic has been getting colder not warmer, so we can forget that for now.
    In fact, just forget the whole idea. 😉

  116. brazil84 (00:16:34) :
    I’m not talking about what the AGWers will say. I’m talking about what a reasonable inference would be. Obviously the two things aren’t not necessarily the same.

    A reasonable inference would be that since El Nino’s occur roughly every five years and the last one was a few years ago, there’s nothing very surprising about getting another one.
    The ocean oscillates.

  117. George E. Smith (18:31:16) :
    to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode,these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons. “””
    What exactly is “at least 5 consecutive overlapping three month seasons ” ? Does that mean that it ain’t El Nino if it only last a year; I thought the 1998 El Nino only lasted 8 months.

    It poorly expressed. What it means is
    July, Aug, Sept – Aug, Sept, Oct – Sept, Oct, Nov – Oct, Nov, Dec – Nov, Dec, Jan
    The average temp has to remain above the threshold taken as an average for each of the three month periods, for the sequence of five three months periods.

  118. From NOAA Weekly Enso Update: 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
    Now given that the current reading for the AprilmayJune (amj) is +2 .. they are calling El Nino a bit early arent they? It just seems a little desperate to MAKE mother nature conform.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  119. >>there is no link between the CO2 concentration and
    >>global temperature
    Indeed, they have been looking at the wrong forcing agent for AGW. It is clear from the rising trends in these graphs …
    http://www.umass.edu/agcenter/census/charts/f_17-total-milk-production-in-MA,NM,AZ.gif
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/offset:-0.1/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/offset:-.2/trend
    …. that a warming climate is driven by milk production. You can clearly see the correlation.
    If we could only close down some milk parlours….

  120. brazil84 (00:16:34) :
    “No, I think the AGWiers will say that if things cool down for the next 10 years, its climate variability, but if things warm up in the next 10 months, its definitely Anthropogenic Global Warming and the Human Race is fully responsible.”
    I’m not talking about what the AGWers will say. I’m talking about what a reasonable inference would be. Obviously the two things aren’t not necessarily the same.

    What can we infer from the solar/climate link if things continue to warm?

  121. And looking at SSTs in the Atlantic right where most hurricanes are generated, the water at this spot looks cooler than normal.

  122. One shouldn’t forget the years 1976-1978. Two very hot summers (77 and 78) for North America, and 3 very nasty winters as well. The beginning of the warm phase of the PDO (1976) didn’t initially mitigate North American winters. But one wonders exactly how strong this El Nino will be, and if it will mitigate the formation of deep artic air masses in northern Canada. And if it doesn’t, will this El Nino keep the northern branch of the Polar Jet north of the border?
    What is fascinating is the continued formation of very cold air masses in central Canada. June blizzards, heavy rains, and temperatures in the 50s and 60s in July are rather startling. One would have to go back to 1816 in New England, where snow still fell in June and frosts occured in September to find such a cool summer over such a large area of the globe. Mt Tembora explains the 1816 cold summer. But what about today?

  123. Bob Tisdale
    Thanks for your reply. My query is related to this paper, which I could not recall in my previous post:
    Oceanic Influences on Recent Continental Warming
    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/gilbert.p.compo/CompoSardeshmukh2007a.pdf
    As the oceans contain more heat in the first few meters than the entire atmosphere, it would seem it is the oceans that regulate surface temperature. A change in cloud cover can account for virtually all changes in OHC regardless of what the sun does. That said, I fail to see how anything but the sun’s direct radiation can account for ocean warming.
    I have yet to see a mathematical relationship given to explain how small increases in atmospheric CO2 can raise OHC to even a measurable degree. Where are the thermodynamical physics that explain how a few PPM increase in CO2 can cause oceans to gain heat?
    Don’t take the above as a lecture. I’m merely asking questions because as El Nino is related to SST increases, is that heat coming from above or below the surface? If it is welling up from the deep, and the sun is not replenishing that heat, logic dictates land surface temperatures must fall (on average) at some point in the future. If OHC continues to rise, so will surface temperatures.
    In other words, as I see it, OHC is the most important metric. Both SST and to a lesser more variable extent, surface temperatures are merely a reflection of deep ocean processes. As is the case with any data set, accuracy and precision are the key. With the ARGO system in place, we should be able to get a better picture of things now that is fully operational. Personally, I don’t have much confidence in the XBT data or SST for that matter. It has been massaged and reanalyzed too many times to be credible IMO.

  124. So what’s the bottom line? Should I book two weeks in Majorca in September or can I stay here in Britain and still enjoy the late summer?
    Feel the burn

  125. “”” DR (06:38:09) :
    As the oceans contain more heat in the first few meters than the entire atmosphere, it would seem it is the oceans that regulate surface temperature. A change in cloud cover can account for virtually all changes in OHC regardless of what the sun does. That said, I fail to see how anything but the sun’s direct radiation can account for ocean warming.
    I have yet to see a mathematical relationship given to explain how small increases in atmospheric CO2 can raise OHC to even a measurable degree. Where are the thermodynamical physics that explain how a few PPM increase in CO2 can cause oceans to gain heat? “””
    I can’t say I disagree with you DR; I have been harping on aspects of that relationship, since I started posting at WUWT. There’s a bit more to it. The energy content of the atmosphere is of course peanuts compared to that of the oceans, as you say; but, the mass of the atmosphere is also much less than the mass of the atmosphere; about equal to 10 metres of water in fact, and as a result, small changes in the energy content of the atmosphere can cause a significant change in the temperature of the atmosphere; which is more accurately where we live; but as you say, the effect of that energy change in the atmosphere can have but little change in the ocean energy content, or temperature.
    By anybody’s standards, thermal conduction from the atmosphere to the surface, whether land or ocean, has to be a rather minor effect, since the convective transport of warmed air tends to move energy away from the surface to higher altitudes.
    The principal remaining influence is the effect of downward long wave infra-red radiation that strikes the surface. This is in addition to the essentially solar spectrum energy that reaches the surface from the sun.
    Unl;ike the solar energy, the long wave IR is absorbed in the top ten microns of the ocean, which is 73% of the total surface area; but considerably more of the surface area where the bulk of the solar energy impinges. The prompt result of this surface absorption, is evaporation of these more energetic IR heated surface molecules; and that in turn immediately removes much of the energy contained in that downward IR, which becoems latent heat of evaporation of the surface waters.
    So only a fraction of that downward IR radiation is even available to try and influence the temperature of that more massive ocean water body.
    Solar energy, on the other hand penetrates deeply into the oceans (tens to hundreds of metres); where it is eventually absorbed by something. Some of it enters the biological food chain; but the majority is eventually thermalized as increased local water temperature. Salt water (>2.47 % salinity) always has a positive temperature coefficient of expansion, and that expansion of warmer water sets up a vertical convection, which eventually brings much of that captured solar energy back to the surface; where it too can be transferred to the atmosphere, by the assortment of surface thermal processes. Of course, turbulence and circulations disturb this one-d image of convection; but they don’t stop its inexorable influence.
    It is also instructive to consider the properties of thermal continuum radiation from the atmosphere; as everybody knows gases don’t emit thermal radiation of the black body spectrum type, like solids do. The sun being the center of the Universe has special dispensation from the Pope to emit nearly black body thermal continuum radiation; otherwise we would have no free clean green renewable energy; but that’s another story.
    We still believe (some of us) that greenhouse like processes do go on in the atmosphere,and delay the loss of long wave IR emissions from the surface, which results in the surface remaining a tad warmer than it otherwise would be; but the notion that the ephemeral atmsophere can heat the massive oceans, or land masses is a pretty hard story to sell.
    George

  126. “”” tallbloke (01:12:16) :
    George E. Smith (18:31:16) : “””
    Thanks bloke; I knew it wasn’t as simple as it sounds; your explanation does the trick.
    George

  127. “”” evanmjones (18:38:08) :
    George E. Smith (18:31:16) :
    What you are seeing is a typical El Nino condition. Warm water suppresses the upwelling of cool water off the Peruvian coast which occurs during a neutral condition (with even greater upwelling during a La Nina.
    Ninos and Ninas both occur during either positive or negative PDOs. During a negative PDO, it is more likely that there will be “unanswered” La Ninas and El Ninos will be less likely to be intense. But both will occur. “””
    Thank you Evan; somehow, I got the impressions, that ninos/ninas affected the ocean temps to the south west of Hawaii, in the Western Pacific; I though that was where the nina that preceeded the most recent switch to cool PDO was located. I always knew that ninos affected the anchovy catch off the coast of Peru though. Got any good science theories as to why the west coast salmon even up to Alaska have gone to hell in a handbasket in the last coupla years; other than human overgrazing, and water thefts from NorCal ?

  128. George, that was a good explanation and I suspect that maybe one of the least understood processes is how all the high energy spectrum from the sun gets dealt with by the Earth. The Earth radiates heat away at much lower frequencies than what it gets but what is the conversion factor and what filters it. What kinds of oscillations and interactions get set up. (There’s a good movie about solar effects on Euronews/Space BTW)
    Lamont, you first post about AGW. IN 5 years if we have more data then hopefully we’ll have better models and understanding. And if the story is still pro-CO2 then i’ll feel a bit more confident in saying this could be the cause. However I would also be sad that a beautiful natural non-linear oscillating energy distribution process like ENSO could be reduced to just ‘noise’ over a linear trend, which will be one outcome. Somehow though I think the answer is already staring us in the face, right now. Nature and Earth’s climate is much deeper and elegant than that proposed by the relatively simple CO2 theory. So I’m not a denier, I’m like Pythagoras. I believe numbers rule the universe and that in the deep complexity of numbers you find the truth. CO2 theory is to be blunt, naive and clumsy. Too linear. But then I’ve got five years to gear up for a broken heart if that is the outcome.

  129. anna v (11:13:02) :
    Attention all skeptics:
    Please do not be led down the garden path by arguments that are irrelevant;to illogical conclusions.
    Please remember that there are “sufficient conditions”, and “necessary conditions” and scientists have to be able to discriminate between the two.
    If for the next ten years the temperature drops another 0.5 degrees, that alone is sufficient to discredit CO2 as responsible for global warming (it would also discredit other anthropogenic influences, like black soot, irrigation, etc. etc). BUT it does not mean that if this does not happen, necessarily CO2 or something else anthropogenic creates the warming.
    A condition that is is sufficient does not mean it is also necessary.
    If the temperatures go up by 0.5 degrees in the next ten years, the ballpark is open to see what causes it, by positive proof and not conjectures. In my opinion we have to see what has taken us out of the Little Ice Age, to have any handle in the situation.
    I agree that it would be good if the temperatures keep dropping, because the whole CO2 mess will be reduced to absurdity.
    Anna V,
    Agreed 100%.
    Fortunately our world leaders help a lot to bring “absurdity” to a new level stating they intend to control earth’s temperature within a limit of 2 degree Celsius above pre industrial temperature levels.
    Every person with two years elementary school will see the absurdity of that statement.

  130. George E. Smith (13:52:19) :
    George, thanks for the explanation of ocean heat content.
    One remark, also discussed many times before but in my opinion worth mentioning.
    Last week I watched a documentary about black smokers.
    Industry is interested in black smokers because they flush out precious metals and methods are researched to exploit them.
    The documentary followed a research team and they stated that they find those smokers in high numbers, especially in those area’s where the continental plates collide. Those smokers release hot water and gases with temperatures of about 400 degree Celsius.
    I know the overall effect is limited but it would be interesting to have an idea about the scale the volume and the effect of undersea volcanic activity.
    Don’t you think so?

  131. Kum Dollison (12:56:51) :
    Folks, we’re at the “hinge-point” between Positive, and Negative PDOs. Anything can happen. To bet your theory on next year’s weather is nuts.
    Wheat is selling in Chicago for $4.94, at the moment. This is down 50% (from $10.00/bu) from this time last year.
    Nobody, absolutely, NObody, pays any attention to what Argentina might, or might not, do (as relates to ag exports.) Their ag market actions are, basically, of the “loose cannon” variety.
    Kum,
    I read an article a few days ago that Argentine will stop all exports this year because of reduced crops.
    I try to find it again and publish the link.

  132. Ron,
    I’ve seen the film footage of those spectacular smokers; but I don’t have even a vague idea how significant they are in therms of ocean warming. Just think how hot the earth’s central core is; supposedly hotter than the sun’s surface. You would think that with all that temperature, that the continuous outflow of energy from the earth’s core muast be huge. People have done those calculations and measurements, and evidently, averaged over the earth’s surface, the Watts per square meter numbers are pretty tame; so it is not a big effect. So taking into account how small a region a black smoker covers, I have to assume, that in the general scheme of things, they aren’t a major energy source, so don’t change ocean temperatures in any noticeable way, unless you are down there with them.
    The spectral absorption coefficient of clean ocean water, is almost a mirror image of the solar spectrum black body shape; so the deepest penetrating parts of the solar spectrum, happen to be those wavelengths at the peak of the spectral graph, with the high and low wavelength ends being more strongly absorbed so lower penetration (I have the graph, but no way to post it). The top of the ocean has of course a well known temperature gradient, down to the thermocline, and this tends to mislead people into believing that most of the energy gets absorbed in the upper layers.
    I don’t think that is true, because the highest irradiance wavelengths are in fact penetrating deepest, so that energy is distributed over a larger volume of water, so it is heating a bigger water mass to a lesser temperature rise.
    To some extent, the expansion is the same percentage wise, because if you heat a lot of water a little you tend to get the same sea level rise, as if you heat less water but by a higher temperature shift; so the fractional volume expansion tends to depend on the total heat content, and not on the temperature rise itself. either way, a significant upward buoyancy is established, but in a one dimensional model it wouldn’t affect anything. Because of circulations those expanding layers can force their way to the top, with cooler surface waters (somewhere else) descending to replace the rising warmer waters. In any case, theres’s an escalator pumping that heat energy back to the surface, rather than inexorably downward to the ocean depths.
    So I’m not a believer in the idea of solar energy being pumped into the deep oceans, like an energy sequestration project; I think it comes right back to the surface; but of course much slower than the surface prompt warming due to downward IR long wave radiation.
    And that slower thermal energy transport to the surface eventually leads to that too passing back into the atmosphere by surface radiation (dependent of SST^4), and by water-air conduction followed by upward convection in the atmosphere; by exactly the same process which brought the energy back to the ocean surface. The surface radiation is of course long wave UR, and it has to run the gauntlet of GHGs to escape the planet. Then there’s the evaporation which is the real cooling machine.
    So it’s easy to see how the surface particularly the oceans can warm the atmosphere, but the other direction doesn’t look like a winner. When you examine the process of absorption and re-emission of the long wave IR in the atmosphere; you realize why the preferential direction for that radiation to proceed is also upwards, and not downwards.
    I gotta go home, but I can write that here later.
    George

  133. NOAA announces the arrival of El Niño
    Congratulations Mr and Mrs NOAA – a healthy bouncing boy – Might you be calling him Jason?

  134. Interesting article at Icecap.us:
    ” There has been an El Nino within about 12 months after each of the last four solar minimums. The same pattern seems to be developing again now. The El Nino may be a moderate or weak and short lived [about a year]. It may have a minor effect on global temperatures, like in the period 1965-1966 when US temperatures continued to drop despite the El Nino”.
    and
    “This latest period of cooler weather is not the start of some modern ice age or new grand cold minimum but just another cool cycle of the planet that happens about after every 20-30 years more recently when AMO and PDO are both in the cool mode simultaneously. The coldest last such cycle 1902-1925 when AMO hit a single month low of -0.563 and PDO went down to -1.72 and global air temperature anomalies plummeted to -0.581C [crutem3] in 1911. Other such cool periods occurred 1964-1976 and also much earlier during the Dalton and Maunder Minimums. Read more here”.
    Friday, July 10, 2009
    AMO, The Key Global Climate Indicator
    By Matt Vooro
    The AMO is an ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time and a difference of about 1F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years. [per NOAA].
    The AMO index is calculated at NOAAPSD by using the Kaplan SST data set [5×5], determining the area weighted average over the North Atlantic over 0-70N and then detrending this data. The average AMO index or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index went negative or cool in January 2009 The average for the first 5 months this year is about [-0.06] . It has been cooling since 2003. In the past, the very cold seasons of North America and especially the East coast happened when the annual average AMO went cool [ as low as -0.405] in the 1970’s.
    It seems that this level of cool AMO may be several years off as the AMO cooling rate appears to be still slow. Back in 1964 it took about 8 years before the AMO went to [-0.3] by 1971. Review of other periods for similar rates of decline of the AMO show a spread of about 2-8 years. However the solar activity was much higher during 1964-1972 and things may cool down faster currently with extended solar minimum and anticipated low future solar cycles. If AMO does drop faster, then the cold weather like 1964-1979 may be the norm here much sooner and the East Coast will cool down as well as will the globe. The most sustained number of low AMO levels was during the cold spell of 1902 -1925 and again the 1970’s.
    The graph below shows how closely Annual Global Air Temperature Anomalies [Crutem3] follow the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Index [AMO] below and enlarged here.
    image
    The last interval change was 1994 or about 15 years ago and according to Enfeld et.al (2005), the probability that AMO will switch to cool in 15 years is about 80%. Based on this analysis , there is a high probability that the current cooling phase of AMO which started in 2009 is real and likely sustainable for the next 20 years at least.
    The graph below shows the decline of the AMO index from warm to cool between 2005 and 2009 below and enlarged here.
    image
    EL NINO 2009-2010
    There has been an El Nino within about 12 months after each of the last four solar minimums. The same pattern seems to be developing again now. The El Nino may be a moderate or weak and short lived [about a year]. It may have a minor effect on global temperatures, like in the period 1965-1966 when US temperatures continued to drop despite the El Nino.
    AMO appears to be like a thermostat or predictor of global temperatures. ENSO events if moderate or strong seem to modify, amplify or over-ride the AMO effects. This pattern will continue to bring cool yearly temperatures and colder and snowy winters like 2008 and 2009. My best guess is that the climate of the 1960’and 1970’s will be our climate for the next several decades [2-3] at least, and inter-dispersed with periodic warm years. PDO and AMO readings are of limited value for short term use but quite useful and accurate for decadal forecasts. Currently 2009 looks something like 1971 [cool PDO, low cool/ near neutral AMO] and the rest of this decade looks like the 1970’s if you had pick one decade from the past. The 1960’s and the 1950 are also close behind.
    This latest period of cooler weather is not the start of some modern ice age or new grand cold minimum but just another cool cycle of the planet that happens about after every 20-30 years more recently when AMO and PDO are both in the cool mode simultaneously. The coldest last such cycle 1902-1925 when AMO hit a single month low of -0.563 and PDO went down to -1.72 and global air temperature anomalies plummeted to -0.581C [crutem3] in 1911. Other such cool periods occurred 1964-1976 and also much earlier during the Dalton and Maunder Minimums. Read more here.
    Icecap notes: See Matt’s earlier post here. See a 2008 post by Dr. Don Easterbrook on the PDO and NAO influences on a cooling climate here.
    See also my recent Intellicast post “ El Ninos in a Cold PDO – Are they Different?”. See another older post “Taking a Time Machine Ride Back to the 1960s or 1800s?”. See also a story on the AMO here and PDO here. Another upcoming story will support Matt’s view on this upcoming El Nino. See an older Icecap post on the role of the oceans in climate here.
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog

  135. Isnt El Nino supposed to bring warm conditions? Or is that only for the Northern Hemisphere. Its freezing here in NZ, there have been snow showers in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges and parts of central Victoria and almost 250 children have died in a cold wave in Peru. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8146995.stm
    Whats the weather like up in the North?

  136. Ron de Haan (15:41:54) :
    Fortunately our world leaders help a lot to bring “absurdity” to a new level stating they intend to control earth’s temperature within a limit of 2 degree Celsius above pre industrial temperature levels.
    Every person with two years elementary school will see the absurdity of that statement.

    You think?? I humbly suggest that your statement ought to read “Every person with two years elementary school SHOULD see the absurdity of that statement”.

Comments are closed.