Tisdale rebuttal to JPL’s “Study Finds El Niños are Growing Stronger”

On Lee and McPhaden (2010) “Increasing intensity of El Niño in the central‐equatorial Pacific”

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

As happens all too often, the press release for a paper has an incorrect title and begins with an unfounded claim. The JPL press release for Lee and McPhaden 2010 “Increasing intensity of El Niño in the central‐equatorial Pacific” is no exception. The title of the press release “NASA/NOAA Study Finds El Niños are Growing Stronger” is wrong. The paper discusses the increase in strength in Central Pacific El Niño events, but does not conclude that El Niño events in general have increased. In fact, as will be illustrated in this post, the strengths of NINO3 and NINO4 based El Niño events, when combined, have actually decreased over the period of the Lee and McPhaden study.

And the press release begins with, “A relatively new type of El Niño…”

New? Central Pacific El Niño events, also known as El Niño Modoki, are not new. Figure 1 is a long-term graph of the El Niño Modoki index, calculated using the method described in Ashok et al (2007) “El Nino Modoki and its Possible Teleconnection.” Link to Ashok et al:
https://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/publications/modoki-ashok.pdf

As illustrated, El Niño Modoki events, the wiggles above the red line that marks the threshold of El Niño Modoki, appear throughout the record since 1900. This was discussed and illustrated in the post There Is Nothing New About The El Nino Modoki. The only thing new about Central Pacific El Niño events is the researchers’ new-found interest in them.

http://i27.tinypic.com/lfgx2.png
Figure 1

The science web pages of newspapers have repeated these bits of misinformation. The New York Times headline of Pacific Hot Spells Shifting as Predicted in Human-Heated World is actually contradicted by the study. Lee and McPhaden note about past studies, “This region has experienced a well‐documented warming tendency for at least a few decades [e.g., Cane et al., 1997; Cravatte et al., 2009], which appears to be consistent with theoretically predicted change of the background SST under global warming scenarios [Cane et al., 1997]. Cravatte et al. [2009] also discussed the implications of warming trend in the warm pool to ocean‐atmosphere interactions and El Niño events. Here we use satellite observations of SST in the past three decades to examine SST in the CP region, distinguishing between the increases in El Niño intensity and changes in background SST.”

But the abstract of Lee and McPhaden reads, “Therefore, the well‐documented warming trend of the warm pool in the CP region is primarily a result of more intense El Niño events rather than a general rise of background SST.” This contradicts the earlier studies with “theoretically predicted change of the background SST under global warming scenarios.”

The Los Angeles Times headline, El Niño has grown more intense and shifted westward in last three decades, data show., is also misleading for the same reason noted above. And they include quotes from Bill Patzert of JPL. “Patzert said the paper was observational rather than conclusive. ‘What will happen if this new type of El Niño becomes permanent? Will it give us wetter or drier El Niños?’ he asked.” [My boldface.]

Again, El Niño Modoki events are not new.

Since there are a multitude of other papers carrying the press release in one form or another, let’s look at the paper itself.

The Los Angeles Times post includes a link to the paper, which was published in Geophysical Research Letters:
http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2010-08/55786556.pdf

Lee and McPhaden use NINO3 and NINO4 SST anomaly data based on Reynolds OI.v2 SST data. The Reynolds OI.v2 dataset can be accessed through the NOAA NOMADS website:
http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite=
Since Lee and McPhaden used base years other than the NCDC standard climatology, I’ve used the KNMI Climate Explorer for data. It allows users to select the base years. Link to the KNMI Climate Explorer:
http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

Figure 2, below, is Figure 1 from the Lee and McPhaden. It includes the NINO3 and NINO4 SST anomalies plotted separately. Note the difference in the scales.
http://i36.tinypic.com/29xc387.jpg
Figure 2 = Figure 1 from Lee and McPhaden

If plotted together, Figure 3, the magnitudes of the variations in the two NINO SST anomaly subsets are put in perspective. Any increase in NINO4 (Central Pacific) SST anomalies during El Niño events should be easily overcome by the decrease in NINO3 (Eastern Pacific) SST anomalies, as we shall see.
http://i34.tinypic.com/15cow0y.jpg
Figure 3
Lee and McPhaden base their “Intensity” analyses on peak readings of El Niño and La Niña events for the NINO4 (Central Pacific) and NINO3 (Eastern Pacific) regions. And the point of the paper is to illustrate that Central Pacific El Niño events are growing in strength. Refer to Figure 4, which is their Figure 3. Note again that the scales are different, and that they do acknowledge this in the text below the graph. But also note the magnitudes and signs of their “Intensity” trends. The NINO4 (Central Pacific) linear trend for El Niño events is said to be 0.20(+/-0.18) deg C/decade. That’s really the whole point of the paper. There has been an increase in the intensity of Central Pacific El Niño events.

http://i37.tinypic.com/723au0.jpg
Figure 4 = Figure 3 from Lee and McPhaden

BUT

The NINO3 (Eastern Pacific) linear trend is said to be 0.39(+/-0.71) deg C/decade, but that has to be a typographical error, since the trend is negative. They appear to be missing the (all-important) minus sign. If the trend value (0.39) is correct, but the minus sign is missing, then the decrease in the intensity of the Eastern Pacific El Niño events is twice that of the increase in Central Pacific intensity. Since the NINO3 region is larger than the NINO4 region, it means the overall intensity of El Niño events for both regions is decreasing.

The linear trend of the “Intensity” of the NINO4 (Central Pacific) La Niña events are shown to be decreasing, which means they’re increasing in strength, but the linear trend of the NINO3 (Eastern Pacific) La Niña event “Intensity” is of the opposite sign and again it’s twice the value. In summary, looking at the graphs presented in Lee and McPhaden, the overall “Intensities” of El Niño and La Niña events appear to be decreasing.

To confirm that, let’s look at NINO3 and NINO4 SST anomalies where the ENSO-neutral data have been deleted. That is, if the positive anomalies were less than 0.5 deg C, the data were deleted, and if they were greater than -0.5 deg C, the negative anomalies were deleted. It’s an awkward looking graph, Figure 5, with all of the mid-range data missing, but it does illustrate the point. The negative linear trend of the El Niño events based on the NINO3 (Eastern Pacific) data is more than twice the positive trend in the NINO4 (Central Pacific) SST anomalies. The opposite holds true for the La Niña events, indicating the Eastern Pacific La Niña events are becoming less intense at a rate that’s twice the rate that Central Pacific La Niña events are increasing in intensity.
http://i34.tinypic.com/9abj35.jpg
Figure 5

And if we combine the two datasets, Figure 6, the linear trend of the El Niño events is decreasing, indicating they’re becoming less intense. And the La Niña trend is basically flat.

http://i33.tinypic.com/2yy6u5i.jpg
Figure 6

Lee and McPhaden include the following in their Concluding Remarks, “Why these changes are occurring and what accounts for them are important questions. Theories have suggested that the intensity of El Niño could be affected by changes in background conditions such as the depth of the thermocline [e.g., Fedorov and Philander, 2000]. More generally, it is important to know if the increasing intensity and frequency of CP‐El Niño events are related to changes associated with natural decadal-to-multi-decadal variability [e.g., McPhaden and Zhang, 2002; Lee and McPhaden, 2008] or whether the changes are due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing [Yeh et al., 2009].”

But the press release and the press have missed this realistic conclusion.

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33 thoughts on “Tisdale rebuttal to JPL’s “Study Finds El Niños are Growing Stronger”

  1. Could it be that when researchers reach a conclusion that contradicts AGW, or doesn’t support it, they feel obliged to add a few vague references to global warming? That way the media can scavange the bits they want, and the researches can still put their results in the body of the paper.

    Perhaps that they need to do to get grants and to get published.

  2. “But the press release and the press have missed this realistic conclusion”

    Probably because the press in general aren’t concerned with reality; just what news sells.

  3. Nice piece of work Bob.

    You were too kind, so:

    The assumptions that underpin such linear regression analyses fail absolutely.

  4. This is like taking candy from a baby.

    News stories based on a press release based on a flawed study.

    It’s worth remembering that a press release is just a public relations instrument; it’s a selling tool meant to present its subject in the most favorable light.

    Tracking the shifting loci of ENSO events is not made any easier by the asymmetrical nature of the Pacific Basin. Throw in some agenda driven “science” and we’re back to the high priests examing entrails.

  5. Just as the science media have mishandled L&M 2010’s conclusion, Anthony has somewhat misrepresented your post,Bob,as a ‘rebuttal’. It’s more a criticism of its press handling.

    L&M 2010 is entitled “Increasing Intensity of El Nino in the Central-Equatorial Pacific”. From their handling of the C-EP data,this seems a reasonable observation on EN Modoki, notwithstanding your decision to re-unify the two brands and point out that as such EN intensity is decreasing. But there really is so little data: 30 years of any kind of EN doesn’t add up to very many. According to the standardised index back to 1900,there seem to be more EN-Ms prior to the 1970s.Is this so?

  6. Thanks Bob, for another clear post. Worrying that people who should know better fail to understand the history of El Niño Modoki events.

    A good estimate of the global energy moved and dissipated by El Niño and the associated La Nina ‘recharge’ event would go a long way to improving our understanding of weather regime/climate.

  7. Thanks, Bob.

    Hopefully Lee and McPhaden are also thankful, for true peer review involves having the assumptions and weaknesses of our work tested. We are improved by it. It is like having a first draft of a paper returned by a strict teacher, so we can improve upon it with our second draft.

    What annoys me most is the fact the media incorrectly reported what Lee and McPhaden were stating.

    That’s not peer review. That’s just wrong.

  8. Am I missing something here?The article had direct quotes from the writers of the paper.

    “Our study concludes the long-term warming trend seen in the central Pacific is primarily due to more intense El Niños, rather than a general rise of background temperatures,” said Lee.

    “These results suggest climate change may already be affecting El Niño by shifting the center of action from the eastern to the central Pacific,” said McPhaden. “El Niño’s impact on global weather patterns is different if ocean warming occurs primarily in the central Pacific, instead of the eastern Pacific.
    Lee said further research is needed to evaluate the impacts of these increasingly intense El Niños and determine why these changes are occurring. “It is important to know if the increasing intensity and frequency of these central Pacific El Niños are due to natural variations in climate or to climate change caused by human-produced greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
    End
    Why wouldn’t the headline be
    NASA/NOAA Study Finds El Niños are Growing Stronger

  9. Nick wrote: ” Anthony has somewhat misrepresented your post,Bob,as a ‘rebuttal’. It’s more a criticism of its press handling.”

    Anthony titled the post “Tisdale rebuttal to JPL’s ‘Study Finds El Niños are Growing Stronger’” because the post and the paper show that El Nino events are not growing stronger, disproving the title of the JPL press release, which he placed in quotes. The post also illustrates that there’s nothing new about central Pacific El Nino events. Those both sound like rebuttals to me. And there are a number of comments about the Lee and McPhaden, including the missing minus sign.

    You continued, “But there really is so little data: 30 years of any kind of EN doesn’t add up to very many.”

    There is only 30-years of satellite-based SST data. The Hadley Centre and NCDC have SST reconstructions back through the mid to late 1800s. Researchers like Trenberth and Stepaniak have created the Trans-Nino Index (TNI) back through 1871, using the SST anomalies of NINO1+2 and NINO4 regions.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/catalog/climind/TNI_N34/index.html

    You asked, “According to the standardised index back to 1900,there seem to be more EN-Ms prior to the 1970s.Is this so?”

    Assuming the SST data prior to the satellite era is a reasonable representation of reality, the data shows El Nino Modoki have existed throughout the instrument temperature record.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/there-is-nothing-new-about-el-nino.html

  10. We still await the formation of the mid tropespheric tropical hotspot, which the IPCC says is one of the signatures of AGW.

  11. First of all, I do not believe there is much point in analysing a 30 year timeseries in climate research. Looking at the graph, most of all the one representing anomalies -absolute value greater than 0.5 degree Celcius- any linear regression appears to be rather silly. And as far as the press release is concerned: does NASA/NOAA employ PR professionals to ridicule their research?

  12. Yes,indeed Bob we seem to agree that the press has neglected to make the distinctions needed…meanwhile,L&M have stated that EN-Modikis have become stronger according to the data. They did not claim that El Ninos in toto are so, nor did they claim that EN-Ms are new. They obviously believe it is valid to proceed on the distinction between ‘classic’ and ‘Modoki’.

    I’d suggest that when reference is made to the novelty of EN-Ms it is only in context of the novelty of the Ashok et al index as the tool to distinguish them from the ‘classic’ EN.

    You are rebutting the media coverage,not L&M. While they have used the new index to isolate the feature, and claimed statistical significance,one would rather wish for more data points. Where they use the generality ‘El Nino’ in the press it is qualified by the location,the Central Pacific,which is probably incautious of them…

  13. Nick says: “You are rebutting the media coverage,not L&M. ”

    I never wrote that I was rebutting Lee and McPhaden. You made that leap, not me.

    You wrote, “While they have used the new index to isolate the feature…”

    And what new index would that be? The NINO4 index has been around for a while, Nick. Annual peak SST anomalies, or December SST anomalies, or DJF SST anomalies have been used in earlier studies.

    You wrote, “I’d suggest that when reference is made to the novelty of EN-Ms it is only in context of the novelty of the Ashok et al index as the tool to distinguish them from the ‘classic’ EN.”

    There is no novelty to El Nino Modoki, Nick. Central Pacific El Nino events existed prior to the period used in this study. And I illustrated this fact using the methodology developed by Ashok et al, which is very clear in the post.

    You wrote, “They did not claim that El Ninos in toto are so, nor did they claim that EN-Ms are new. ”

    I didn’t write that they had made those statments in the study, Nick, but I did show show their graphs reflect an overall increase in Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific El Nino events.

    You wrote, “They obviously believe it is valid to proceed on the distinction between ‘classic’ and ‘Modoki’.”

    Obviously, because they noted exactly that at the end of the paper. They wrote, “However, no studies have addressed possible causes for an increasing intensity of CP−El Niños. Further investigation is therefore needed to understand
    these issues better given the uncertainty surrounding causal mechanisms and the implications the observed changes have for global climate and societal impacts.”

    Can’t get much plainer than that.

    In summary, Nick, I’m not sure what you’re arguing about. Your complaints about my post are unfounded.

  14. I think the readers of this thread may find a recent JGR paper of mine to be of interest. [“El Niño–Southern Oscillation: Magnitudes and asymmetry” JGR 115 D15111, doi:1029/2009JD0135508, 2010]. This is a study the statistical properties of all 4 indices (Nino12, Nino3, Nino3.4 and Nino4) from 1856 to the present. I find that the positive values for all are Gaussian distributed. This means that El Ninos are merely rare events from the tail of this distribution. However, the negative values differ from Gaussian because of a deficiency of large La Ninas. The deficiency is largest for [mid-Pacific] Nino4 and least for [eastern-Pacific] Nino12.

    The interpretation of these results as an “Increasing intensity of El Nino in the central-equatorial Pacific” would be incorrect.

    David Douglass
    University of Rochester

  15. In the long term chart of EN Modoki, there seems to be a recent decline. Death Spiral? :-)

  16. As has already been pointed out: Lee and McPhaden used data set that is too short. But as also is pointed out the admitted in so many words they knew it: “…changes associated with natural decadal-to-multi-decadal variability…..or whether the changes are due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing…”

    But the media has to talk about the sky falling.

  17. Liberal headline writers will say anything for their agenda regardless of the content of the story. It has become increasingly obnoxious. I expect soon to see articles on car repairs and restaurant reviews headline AGW.

  18. Bob…you wrote in a post back in May of this year the following:

    “Will a La Nina follow the 2009/10 El Nino? Considering that only 2 of 10 El Nino Modoki events since 1950 were followed by La Nina events, the odds are against it. But nature does provide surprises.”

    I guess this year we are seeing one of those surprises.

  19. C James says: “I guess this year we are seeing one of those surprises.”

    Yup. And next time I can write…only 3 of 10 El Nino Modoki events since 1950 were followed by La Nina events…

  20. Layne Blanchard says: “In the long term chart of EN Modoki, there seems to be a recent decline. Death Spiral? :-)”

    I was lazy and didn’t update the El Nino Modoki Index for this post, but as one would expect, the data did take an upswing for the 2009/2010 El Nino.

    Long term graphs of (or based on) Pacific SST can be tricky to interpret. How much of the change in variability (larger swings in recent years) is due to the better sampling? HADISST has included satellite data since 1982, so there’s complete sampling, but back in the early 1900s, much of the ship- and buoy-based data was infilled by Hadley Centre (and NCDC for ERSST.v3b data).

  21. Great rebuttal and a highly illuminating tour-de-force of the subject – thanks! Omitting the minus sign from -0.39 is a shocker!

    A small typo in your penultimate sentance, “or whether the changes are due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing (Yeh et al 2009)”

    Presumably the reference should have been Yeh-Right et al ?

  22. Bob, again,I never claimed that CEP El Ninos were new. I’m offering a possible reason for the way the media have represented the paper. There is unarguably novelty to the delineation and analysis of them -the concepts have only recent currency-as you well know. Media simplification represents that,which is why I think upbraiding the science media for using the word ‘new’ is overegging it,and why interposing a limited discussion of the paper into what is largely a correcting of the media is not useful. It creates the impression of damnation by association,when the paper needs to be evaluated in its own right.

    Juxtaposing L& M’s figures,which in context of their paper are used specifically to identify the CP trend ,with data you use to correct the press release error about EN trend in general creates the impression that L&M’s findings don’t matter.

    And as the CP is a subset of the western Pacific warm pool, I don’t think L&Ms findings can be easily extrapolated as a contradiction of earlier theoretical predictions for the much larger area.

    I erred in thinking L&M may have used the Ashok EMI index in their work:that was my reference to a ‘new index’.

  23. I’m yet to be convinced AGW has anything to do with Ninos.
    And I can’t be convinced until someone explains how IR radiation warms oceans.
    Anyone care to try?

  24. The ‘trick’ to selling newspapers has always been the same. Adults think it has something to do with the truth and depth and breath of the material in the newspaper. It hasn’t. Selling newspapers is an art-form and a sci-form, too, if you will. It’s a ‘trick’ that any ten year old boy can learn in less than an hour if you give him a bundle of papers and plant him in front of the La Mesa, California, Post Office after school gets out in 1958. Back then a lot more folks went to the Post Office then they do now, but that’s just a matter of ‘location-location-location’ and has nothing to do with here and now and selling newspapers and the ‘trick’. Anyway, it all boils down to the head turning, gimme-a-paper-kid, SHOUT that you use to get the attention of adults who are milling around doing nothing important except checking their mail, etc., on their way here or there. The ‘trick’ is the ‘SHOUT’ – Sometimes it’s just the main headline. Sometimes there is no real main headline and you have to brighten what you’re given up a little. Here’s an example, like at todays ‘The Globe and Blackmail’, or ‘National Exployter’, etc., you take nothing and make it into something sensational and interesting: “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE! EL NINO TO KILL EVERYONE! GET YER PAPER! TEN CENTS A PAPER! EL NINO TO KILL EVERYONE! TEN CENTS A PAPER!”

    PS: Kid’s have to eat too ya’ know!

  25. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/pacific-hot-spells-shifting-as-predicted-in-human-heated-world/#more-24337

    “Michael McPhaden:
    If all we had was data the interpretation would be ambiguous as to what causes what. However, we also have climate change computer models which are valuable guides to how the climate system will respond to greenhouse gas forcing. These models as a group suggest that central Pacific El Niños will become more frequent as the planet warms up.”

    LOL – there’s the proof. It’s not proof of their contention, however, it’s proof of something we already knew.

  26. Nick: You replied, “Bob, again,I never claimed that CEP El Ninos were new.”

    I didn’t say that you had. Look again at my reply:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/tisdale-rebuttal-to-jpls-study-finds-el-ninos-are-growing-stronger/#comment-469349

    You used the word “new” in your (August 29, 2010 at 5:49 am) comment, “While they have used the new index to isolate the feature…” and I advised you NINO4 data and the Lee and McPhaden methods (the use of peak SST anomalies) were not new.

    You wrote, “Juxtaposing L& M’s figures,which in context of their paper are used specifically to identify the CP trend ,with data you use to correct the press release error about EN trend in general creates the impression that L&M’s findings don’t matter.”

    The post itself contradicts what you’ve written. The second to the last paragraph of the post included a portion of Lee and McPhaden’s Concluding Remarks and I closed the post with the following two words, “realistic conclusion.” And in the body of the post, I noted, “…the point of the paper is to illustrate that Central Pacific El Niño events are growing in strength.” Your belief that my post gives the “impression that L&M’s findings don’t matter” is unfounded.

    You continue to attempt to spin what I wrote in my post and on this thread, Nick, so that you can contradict your spin, in effect arguing with yourself, and, by doing so, you attempt to put my post in a bad light. Your tactics remind me of those used by a Nick during a multiple-week debate I had at Accuweather last September and again in January of this year here at WUWT.

    My post is very simple, Nick. It starts with, “As happens all too often, the press release for a paper has an incorrect title and begins with an unfounded claim.” And the post ends with, “But the press release and the press have missed this realistic conclusion.” Between those two sentences I showed, using the El Nino Modoki Index and the paper itself, that specific claims made in the press release were wrong.

    You can continue to try to spin my post and my comments on this thread, Nick, and I will continue to correct you.

    Have a nice day.

  27. Correct me as you will,Bob,but I feel the structuring of your post with its rebuttal of the expedient usage in a press release does tend to diminish the observations that you share on L&M 2010,and I wonder why you chose to do this. When looking deeper into the media pieces based around the paper,correcting that usage seems pretty trivial as the various quoted commenters offer qualification and extra detail for their professedly tentative conclusions. Slapping a gotcha on what is a perfectly explainable usage,while ignoring the nuance in the rest of the cited media seems to be,well,a curious choice of action. Which makes your concluding line moot,as L&Ms ‘realistic conclusions’ are in the body of the media work.

    Simply,why even bother to include a swipe at the media,and simply discuss the paper?

    I also feel your rhetorical style is as grating as you find mine. For instance, when I made the point that 30 years is so little data,it seemed unambiguous to me that I was referring to L&M’s study period. You chose then to inform me that data from combined sources go back to the mid-1800s,completely missing my point,which was that while there were technically enough events to run the significance test,it was by a bare margin. As,L&M themselves observed the most recent EN-M played a big part in building up that significance.

    I then asked you a sincere question,clearly related to the preceding observation about the bare adequacy of the length of the study period: ‘According to the standardised index back to 1900,there seemed to be more EN-Ms prior to the 1970s. Is this so?’ Cryptically,you ignored my question,instead offering what was already common knowledge. Surely it was clear I was not asking for you to confirm their long-term existence,but to offer an opinion on their frequency and whether the pre-satellite would allow this.. I’m still interested in your answer,no matter our little differences.

  28. Nick says: “Correct me as you will,Bob,but I feel the structuring of your post with its rebuttal of the expedient usage in a press release does tend to diminish the observations that you share on L&M 2010,and I wonder why you chose to do this.”

    And I wonder why you choose to use the unclear adjective “expedient” in your sentence. I can read it as “appropriate” or “convenient”, and that changes the meaning of your sentence drastically. And the remainder of your paragraph doesn’t clarify it.

    You wrote, “When looking deeper into the media pieces based around the paper,correcting that usage seems pretty trivial as the various quoted commenters offer qualification and extra detail for their professedly tentative conclusions.”

    In the press release, the “various quoted commenters” do not correct the claim in the press release that the central Pacific El Nino is a new type of El Nino event. In fact, after that discussion, the author of the press release reinforces his opening sentence with, “Since the early 1990s, however, scientists have noted a new type of El Niño that has been occurring with greater frequency. Known variously as ‘central-Pacific El Niño,’ ‘warm-pool El Niño,’ ‘dateline El Niño’ or ‘El Niño Modoki’ (Japanese for ‘similar but different’), the maximum ocean warming from such El Niños is found in the central-equatorial, rather than eastern,”

    The Los Angeles times Story begins with “The weather pattern known as El Niño, which can bring heavy rains to Southern California, has doubled in intensity and warmth and shifted westward over several decades.” In the remainder of the article, the interviews with Lee or Patzert do not qualify or provide any more detail as you claim about the “weather pattern known as El Niño”…doubling in “intensity and warmth…”

    You wrote, “Simply,why even bother to include a swipe at the media,and simply discuss the paper?”

    Your question is based on your continued belief the misrepresentations presented by the media were corrected somehow by the interviews. They were not.

    You wrote, “I also feel your rhetorical style is as grating as you find mine.”

    There’s an easy fix for that. Don’t bother to read my posts or comments.

    You asked earlier and repeated the question, “According to the standardised index back to 1900,there seemed to be more EN-Ms prior to the 1970s. Is this so?”

    My apologies for not replying to your question earlier. The following is a table that lists El Nino years and whether the DJF values for the El Nino Modoki Index would have qualified it as an El Nino Modoki event. Of the 18 El Nino events prior to 1980, 12 (or 66%) are El Nino Modoki. After 1980 (and including the 2009/10 El Nino not listed on the table), there were 9 El Nino events and 6 (66%) were El Nino Modoki. In other words, there is no difference in the percentage of El Nino Modoki events.

    And if you’re wondering, I prepared that table for a third post last year on El Nino Modoki, but I never got around to writing it. I’ll likely update it and post it soon.

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