El Niño Modoki: The big shifter?

UNISYS Current Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Plot – click to enlarge

From the Georgia Institute of Technology

Climate change may alter natural climate cycles of Pacific

While it’s still hotly debated among scientists whether climate change causes a shift from the traditional form of El Nino to one known as El Nino Modoki, online in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists now say that El Nino Modoki affects long-term changes in currents in the North Pacific Ocean.

El Nino is a periodic warming in the eastern tropical Pacific that occurs along the coast of South America. Recently, scientists have noticed that El Nino warming is stronger in the Central Pacific rather than the Eastern Pacific, a phenomenon known as El Nino Modoki (Modoki is a Japanese term for “similar, but different”).

Last year, the journal Nature published a paper that found climate change is behind this shift from El Nino to El Nino Modoki. While the findings of that paper are still being debated, this latest paper in Nature Geoscience presents evidence that El Nino Modoki drives a climate pattern known as the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO).

“We’ve found that El Nino Modoki is responsible for changes in the NPGO,”said Emanuele Di Lorenzo, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “The reason this is important is because the NPGO has significant effects on fish stocks and ocean nutrient distributions in the Pacific, especially along the west coast of the United States.”

The NPGO, first named two years ago by Di Lorenzo and colleagues in a paper in Geophysical Research Letters, explained for the first time long-term changes in ocean circulation of the North Pacific, which scientists now link to an increasing number of dramatic transitions in coastal marine ecosystems.

“The ecosystems of the Pacific may very well become more sensitive to the NPGO in the future,” said Di Lorenzo. “Our data show that this NPGO is definitively linked to El Nino Modoki, so as Modoki becomes more frequent in the central tropical Pacific, the NPGO will also intensify.”

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86 thoughts on “El Niño Modoki: The big shifter?

  1. Wow, the equator and southern hemisphere is far colder than the northern hemisphere.
    Has this effected sea life used to warmer temperatures?

  2. How do you call the Nino around Nova Zembla…., is the very cold water over there the first effect that the gulfstream is less stronger??
    Seppie.

  3. Am I correct in thinking that they will now blame any natural, yet larger than normal, El Nino warming on humanities emissions of CO2 creating what they are now calling this “El Nino Modoki”?
    So they do not have to prove that large El Nino’s are un-natural at all, they just redefine “natural” to exclude large events.

  4. That’s quite the setup for La Nina in that Unisys image.
    Did climate change do that too?
    Somehow, I doubt it. More like that lackadaisacal Solar Cycle and related intertwined effects.

  5. There is an over-emphasis on the Pacific in the analysis of the phenomenon of energy emission from the global ocean. The area with the fastest reduction in energy content is currently the north Atlantic. Is the energy swilling from there into the Pacific before it escapes to the atosphere? I doubt it.
    In the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, the rate at which energy moves betwen the ocean, atmosphere and space is determined mainly by the clouds, which control evaporation rates, humidity and thus TOA energy balance.
    The real difference between “traditional” el nino and el nino “modokai” isn’t the locale within the Pacific, it is the mode of energy release and its spreading out. “Traditional” el nino is predominantly a localised event at the sea surface, causi a huge spike in humidity which traps emerging energy and spreads it globally via the resulting winds. El nino Modokai is more a global emission of energy from the ocean, resulting in a general humidity increase worldwide rather than a localised blanket of water vapour arond a localised emission event, followed by rapid heat loss to space once the warm air is spread out.
    That is why lower troposheric temps have remained high long after the Pacific event petered out a four months ago. If my analysis is correct, global LT temps will fall further and faster than after the ’98 el nino once the NH winter kicks in, due to the loss of humidity over the cold land masses.
    Prediction I made 12 months ago: By March 2011 LT temp will be below Jan 2008 levels.

  6. Tallbloke
    Good comment as usual. What struck me immediately, it made me go wow, was the colour usage. If you follow giss, noaa etc they tend towards red at the 0.5 °c anomaly and above.

  7. I’m sure I read somewhere that El Nino Modoki is not a new phenomenon, but signs of this event have been seen in the historic record?
    There seems to be some circular reasoning in the article, with an increase in the frequency of El Nino Modoki being blamed on climate change, while El Nino Modoki is responsible for climate change.
    As in all things connected with climate science, we seem to have cause and effect conflated. There seems to be no good evidence or explanation for the mechanism behind the change, and we are left with smoke and mirrors.
    Perhaps if the scientists who wrote the paper could understand/predict the behaviour of this turbulent deterministically chaotic system, enlightenment would ensue. In the mean-time perhaps the coming strong La Nina will cool their fruitless speculations?

  8. on your comment, Tallbloke, I have been puzzled, as has Joe B, as to why global temps have remained high (UAH) at a time when oceans are cooling. More so the pacific than the atlantic. Your comment seems to explain this.

  9. So a climatic change is caused by climate change? Don’t these people realise how daft they sound outside of their echo chambers.

  10. Isn’t it hubris to be so certain about events that may be long cycle events – essentially where pontifications are made with an N=1 or < 1?

  11. When, many moons ago, I started playing around with electronic spreadsheets, one of the first messages I got was: “cannot resolve circular references” or some words to that effect. (I did my engineering degree with a slide-rule, and it was kind of fun)
    However, it seems that warmists are still waiting to have their first go with a basic spreadsheet and experience the fact that circularity is not an option. And then they are given millions of our own dosh for purchasing of super computers to predict the weather (climate) that my great-great-grand children will be experiencing. LOL.

  12. Science is a process fueled by speculation and conjecture. “Belief” in what is going on is anathema to the process, as shown by the claims that [CO2] explains everything (including earthquakes!).
    Given time, rational scientists discard ideas shown by experiment and observation to be invalid. Clinging to cherished or valuable (CCX anyone?) understandings or ideologies is not part of the scientific method, as much as it may be a very human counterweight upon it.
    In another few decades, climate scientists will have a better take on actual weather producing systems that contribute to overall, long-term climate effects. Hopefully, the [CO2] craze will only be a Piltdown-type bad memory, no matter what the outcome.

  13. The frustrating thing is that we knew a year ago that 2010 would be a hot year. We also know that next year will be a much cooler year because of this La Nina. It won’t stop the warmists from going crazy if 2010 is warmer than 1998. We know that 2011 will be much cooler already.
    This La Nina is looking very impressive though. Will be interesting to see what happens. If the AMO also cools off a bit next year we could see an impressive drop in temperature.
    John Kehr
    The Inconvenient Skeptic

  14. An answer is that evaporation has a cooling effect at the surface. The evaporation can be induced by reduced pressures and movement (winds) of low saturation air. The moist air rises and reduces in temperature due to expansion. Water vapor then condenses into clouds and eventually rain releasing latent heat. There are time lags in the processes. Cooling surface and warming troposphere go together for some time in a changing equilibrium trend.
    I note that the AGW team are again promoting their model showing that the only effect on climate is CO2 see http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/10/does-co2-drive-the-earths-climate-system-comments-on-the-latest-nasa-giss-paper/
    Their assumptions about 1/ radiation compared to other heat transfer mechanisms and 2/ the absorption/emission of CO2 are wrong.
    I contend they do not understand the basic theories of thermodynamics, and heat transfer.
    Maybe they have put this out to counter the latest Miskolczi paper here http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/E&E_21_4_2010_08-miskolczi.pdf

  15. Time for Bob Tisdale- bet there is a perfectly reasonable explanation- as I recall some months ago Bob charted a “Step change” with El Nino.
    Also Tallbloke has a point.

  16. Sorry, Sarc off now!
    “The NPGO, first named two years ago by Di Lorenzo and colleagues in a paper in Geophysical Research Letters, explained for the first time long-term changes in ocean circulation of the North Pacific, which scientists now link to an increasing number of dramatic transitions in coastal marine ecosystems.”
    I need to read up on this but I am sure someone here can tell me how long the data spread used by Di Lorenzo was?

  17. Tallbloke your explanation makes sense. Here is a small extract from an abstract from a Japanese study on El Nino Modoki: http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2007/2006JC003798.shtml
    “The ENSO Modoki events significantly influence the temperature and precipitation over many parts of the globe. Depending on the season, the impacts over regions such as the Far East including Japan, New Zealand, western coast of United States, etc., are opposite to those of the conventional ENSO. The difference maps between the two periods of 1979–2004 and 1958–1978 for various oceanic/atmospheric variables suggest that the recent weakening of equatorial easterlies related to weakened zonal sea surface temperature gradient led to more flattening of the thermocline. This appears to be a cause of more frequent and persistent occurrence of the ENSO Modoki event during recent decades.”
    This suggests that El Nino Modoki is actually the signature ENSO mode of the warm ocean phase. (warm PDO) as opposed to the cool phase measured prior to 1980

  18. Oh. I can see where this is going. The CO2 argument will explain cold and warm temp extremes. So I am going to do a pre-emptive strike and state their case as I predict they will.
    Here is my predicted title of the next journal artical: “Strong La Nina’s (thus extreme cold) are connected to El Nino Modoki’s which will be more frequent due to increased greenhouse gasses (ex: CO2)”.
    The argument will be made at the front and back door thusly:
    There are those in the CO2 camp who feel that greenhouse gas driven Trade Wind diminution brings about El Nino (it’s warm everywhere) and that Trade Wind increases (the cycle continues but now the swing is more dramatic) bring about colder La Ninas. Then there are those who feel that it is oceanic temperature change that brings about Trade Wind changes. To follow this logic and try to make the CO2 case in both scenarios I imagine it might go like this:
    If it is the former (changes in trade winds), the increasing CO2 ladened land temperatures affect the normal cycle of trade winds by inserting a manmade increase in the drivers that bring about this cycle. The temperature/pressure differences needed to kick it up and take it down a notch more than under natural conditions can be explained by greenhouse gasses increasing land temps. This increased land temperature forces El Nino to change its location by spreading out due to air temps being warmer everywhere, thus nearly stopping wind. Then when the cycle (which they will say continues but with greater swings) begins its swing towards La Nina, the extra energy causes La Nina extremes.
    If it is the later (oceanic changes came first), it is because the oceans are very large entities compared to land, and that the much smaller affect of CO2 warming on oceans can nonetheless easily cause the oceanic temperature changes necessary to bring about this Modoki condition, (which then drives La Nina into extremes).
    The icing on the cake: It is likely that both trade wind and oceanic temperature changes due to increasing greenhouse gasses work in tandem to create the extremes in ocean temperatures that are the ultimate source of weather and climate extremes.
    Or something like that. This is a falsifiable argument. If modoki’s do not become more frequent, then it is back to the drawing board. I’ve noticed that the drawing board is getting a bit worn.

  19. Quoting from the press release:
    “so as Modoki becomes more frequent in the central tropical Pacific, the NPGO will also intensify”
    One question that I’d like to see addressed is “which way is the causation here?” – in a complex non-linear coupled system like the oceans and the atmosphere, causation is not always so easy to work out. Is El Nino Modoki driving the NPGO, or is it the other way about? And equally, are global temperature changes causing these Pacific ocean phenomena, or is it the other way around?

  20. Climate change causes change in El Nino. Anything they haven’t seen is automatically categorized as caused by humans.
    These folks are pathetic. They need to get out from behind their computers and do some field work. There are plenty of sediments that record the marine climate history of the Pacific basin.
    Tom Pederson of the University of Victoria (in Canada) has been doing work on this area for many years. It would likely broaden some Modaki researchers views if they took a look at his results.

  21. # „“climate change” causes climate change”,
    Could it mean that ‘the average weather changes the average weather?’ The word CLIMATE is scientifically absolute meaningless, discussed at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/
    And “Modoki“ ? El Nino, derive presumably from an internal mechanism. Dake Chen et al (Nature, Vol. 428, 2004) assumes:
    ____ “THE implication is that the evolution of major ENSO events is largely determined by oceanic initial conditions, and that the effect of subsequent atmospheric noise is generally secondary“; Discussed in: Ch.2, p.23f at: http://climate-ocean.com/02_12-Dateien/02_12.html

  22. “may very well become”
    How fresh. Another AGW attribution with “may”.
    This new speculation may have a link to Jane Lubchenco’s baseless and false attribution of Oregon’s seasonal Ocean dead zones to AGW.
    The web is full of her ginned up link.
    “We seem to have crossed a tipping point,” Lubchenco said. “Low-oxygen zones off the Northwest coast appear to be the new normal.”
    “all signs point to stronger winds associated with a warming planet”
    This has been one of the more cooked up claims by alarmists and it got her the job of NOAA chief.
    Her peers at Oregon State University helped her further embellish her fabricated link.
    To make sure the phenomenon was actually new, Oregon State marine ecologist Francis Chan reconstructed data from water sampling at 3,100 stations dating to 1950. He found that low-oxygen areas have long existed in deeper waters, but there was virtually no evidence until recently of hypoxic waters in prime fishing waters, which extend down to 165 feet. “It’s pretty clear this is unprecedented,” Chan said. “It’s never been detected since we began to measure oxygen levels.”
    Imagine how sloppy this science is. These seasonal “dead zones” have been recorded in history for 100 years and this group comes along and uses old water samples, reliable and adjusted as “tree ring data”, to bolster a baseless claim.
    A claim so empty that this same research team that also devoured a $9 million NAS grant studying the same dead zone cautioned they were “unable to determine the extent of the link, if any to global warming”.
    I’ll wager that those water samples and work by Chan are as defective as any AGW work to date.
    Because Lubchenco, the nead of NOAA, was involved and her fabricated link has traveled the globe in countless publications perhaps someone will be insprired to check the work. Without the water sample claims the embellishment vanishes leaving nothing but a completely ginned up link.

  23. Yes, like Espen says, send them to Bob Tisdale where they might learn something significant about El Nino Modoki: http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/there-is-nothing-new-about-el-nino.html.
    Emanuel Di Lorenzo is publishing in Nature (Geoscience). Has he and colleagues submitted their data and methods with Nature? Should we respect research on “earth and atmospheric science” at Georgia Institute of Technology or is it in the funding orbit of leftist-AGW-global warming-climate disruption pseudo-scientists? The buzz words are there — “dramatic transition”, alteration in “fish stocks” and “ocean nutrient distribution” “ecosystems MAY VERY WELL BECOMEThe paper seems to be wanting to predict that changes in fish stocks and ecological changes in the North Pacific
    I would be interested on Bob’s take on the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. Googled this research but did not find what I needed.

  24. Yes, like Espen says, send them to Bob Tisdale where they might learn something significant about El Nino Modoki: http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/there-is-nothing-new-about-el-nino.html.
    Emanuel Di Lorenzo is publishing in Nature (Geoscience). Have he and colleagues submitted their data and methods with Nature? Should we respect research on “earth and atmospheric science” at Georgia Institute of Technology or is it in the funding orbit of leftist-AGW-global warming-climate disruption pseudo-scientists? The buzz words are there — “dramatic transition”, alteration in “fish stocks” and “ocean nutrient distribution”, “ecosystems MAY VERY WELL BECOME more sensitive” — so that all change in the Pacific Ocean can be claimed for their version of “[disruptive] climate change”. I have a file of research articles documenting changes in fish stock and ocean nutrient distribution in the Pacific according to whether it is a warm period or a cold one from quite a long time ago. Are these authors finding anything new to research, or are they trying to pretend that this research has not been done before?
    I would be interested on Bob’s take on the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. Googled this, but did not find what I needed.

  25. Anybody ever hear of Lorenz and Chaotic systems? By the way, we lost another great in the field this past week when Mandlebrot died.

  26. Pre-print of the paper here.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/michael.alexander/DiLorenzo-NGEO-2010.pdf
    No two El Ninos will look the same nor have the same impact on the north Pacific nor global temperatures or whatever. This is just another non-real phenomenon that can be turned into a global warming scare story. The current La Nina Ingens (I get dibs on making-up the name for a new made-up mode of ENSO variability – Latin for huge) looks to vastly impact the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation as well.
    http://www.o3d.org/npgo/

  27. Is this election news support? Keep funding coming if you are reelected. If not then maybe I can sell the idea to the new comers. Throw in significant effect on fish stocks and a dash of increased frequency, mantra achieved.

  28. Salmon researcher Steve Hare first identified the PDO by recognizing the shift in abundance of salmon north and south in their range over a 20 to 30 year cycle. (El Nino operates within this broader PDO cycle). However this is not the only salmon cycle– they also demonstrate centennial and perhaps millenia scale abundance shifts tied to climate forcing. Until we understand these longer cycles -I’m not sure how one can say much at all about the shorter term cycle within a cycle within a cycle.
    Some background on the subject if interested below.
    A critical life period for salmon is the initial transition form fresh to salt water— for their osmoregulatory system to function effectively – a convergence of sea surface AND river temperatures must be in a very tight band of 8 to 12C for maximum survival at the time of the outmigration (there are other limitations as well). Shift the water temps even slightly out of this range and salmon numbers crash.
    Salmon appear to fluctuate over PDO timescales and also larger but unexplained century and perhaps millenia scales with a high degree of variability. (Population size estimates made using the accumulation of marine derived nutrients (deposited by salmon carcasses) in the freshwater system as proxies for abundance. )
    In a 2002 Nature Paper by Finney et al “Fishery Productivity in the northeastern Pacific Ocean over the last 2000 years” (416: 729-733). The swings in salmon abundance seen in the last 300 years are not nearly as great as the decadadal shifts in earlier periods. Alaskan stocks of sockeye salmon evidenced a severe multi-centennial decline between -100BC and 800AD and then a period of abundance between 1200 to 1900AD. Anchovies and sardines show a similar but out of phase with the salmon pattern.
    El Nino Modoki is advanced as a change within a particular PDO pattern of late. I’m just not sure what that means unless someone can describe how these longer term patterns operate and/or whether Modoki is just one more unrecognized natural cycle pattern .

  29. Think back, way back to the dark ages, you know the 1980’s in the time before models when we didn’t know how to predict climate. Funny we still don’t but that’s another story. I can remember stories like this one all be it about the atmosphere. The models were crap then and they still are. It looks like the ocean guys are falling into the same “model trap”, as the atmospheric boys did. I for one would be more comfortable with all this if the cautions and caveats of the abstract made it into the press release.

  30. The article read, “‘The ecosystems of the Pacific may very well become more sensitive to the NPGO in the future,’ said Di Lorenzo. ‘Our data show that this NPGO is definitively linked to El Nino Modoki, so as Modoki becomes more frequent in the central tropical Pacific, the NPGO will also intensify.'”
    Has there been an increase in the frequency of El Nino Modoki in recent years? They’ve existed as long as equatorial Pacific SST data exists:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/there-is-nothing-new-about-el-nino.html
    And there are no studies that show that the recent changes are not part of a natural
    cycle. Here’s a graph of El Nino Modoki data (from post linked above) smoothed with a 121-month filter. It shows is an increase in La Nina Modoki, not El Nino Modoki.
    http://i52.tinypic.com/nmb5gy.jpg
    But the massive change in variability may simply be the result of the sparseness of data in early years and the fact that the data for the three regions used in the El Nino Modoki data are infilled then. (That curve bears a strange resemblance to the HADISST data for the Southern Ocean, except it’s inverted, and there’s very little Southern Ocean data prior to the 1970s.)

  31. From now on I think we can call a Climate Scientist “El Scientist Modoki”.
    A Climate Scientist isnt quite a Scientist, he is “Same same, but different”.
    He allways gets confused when you talk about cause and effect, and thinks
    he can control the world temperature with “The Great Control Knob”.

  32. And if memory serves me well the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) is derived as the second PC of the North Pacific SST anomalies, north of 20N, where the PDO is the leading PC.

  33. When they changed from global warming to climate change they broadened their claim to no limits to their claims.
    As far as I know there are limits to everything in the natural world and universe. In the un natural world, not sure what that would be but climate change has probably got it covered.

  34. “The ecosystems of the Pacific may very well become more sensitive to the NPGO in the future,” said Di Lorenzo. “Our data show that this NPGO is definitively linked to El Nino Modoki, so as Modoki becomes more frequent in the central tropical Pacific, the NPGO will also intensify.”
    Did he provide any evidence for this, or is he just blowing AGW smoke?

  35. Bill Hunter says:
    October 18, 2010 at 6:28 am
    This suggests that El Nino Modoki is actually the signature ENSO mode of the warm ocean phase. (warm PDO) as opposed to the cool phase measured prior to 1980

    Bill, I don’t know. It could be that there is a complex mixture of things going on that make every el nino-la nina cycle different. I think it likely the solar factor is important. My take is that because the ocean has to sequester additional energy when the solar output is above the long term average (equivalent to around 40SSN), it will tend to emit excess energy when the sun is below that level.
    This explains why global ocean heat-energy content has been falling since 2003, when the sunspot number dropped below 40. This is why the el nino events we’ve seen since 2003 hav been more diffuse and ‘Modoki’ in nature. It is a different beast to the ‘traditional’ el nino, which comes after a concentration of solar energy warmed water concentrates in the Pacific Warm Pool and then belches a huge dollop of energy out into the atmosphere.
    Bob Tisdale has the best account of the tie-up between the slackening of the trade winds and the timing of the el nino vents I’ve read, but I think my insolation based thesis gives the overarching setting within which the order of events Bob describes takes place.

  36. Well…. Salmon fishing was GREAT this fall in the Northwest. Frasier River had the biggest run of Sockeye in over a 100 years. The Coho we caught out of Sekiu Washington were the biggest and reddest fleshed – and so many!! Best fishing my uncle ever saw and he has been going out every year for over twenty-five years.
    Something is going on at the salmon feeding grounds, and from this fisherman’s perspective it is a positive thing. Like all fisherman – I’m plenty superstitious – but It never occurred to me it was all our fault. AGW and the return of the Salmon. Who’d have thunk that?!

  37. Climate change may alter natural climate cycles of Pacific
    Climate Change anybody?, Come On!….It seems that someone up there in the UN’s building has been reading WUWT and, by now, they already know we are already in a Maunder or Dalton like minimum and they are fixing their CAMPAIGN.
    Forget it babies!: There are papers which describe exactly what happens in those CYCLIC events, so there is no ANY reason whatsoever to change ANYTHING. Period.

  38. If the ocean is releasing energy to the atmosphere it stands to reason the atmosphere will warm, and we are seeing that with 2010 being the hottest year since the earth butted heads with planet X and created the moon. But – that energy placed in the atmosphere that does not return to the sea is shuffled off to the space between the stars which would imply our earth is losing net energy and as a system, is cooling.
    And now I learn that climate change is causing climate disruption. One can only conclude that climate is the root of all evil, and sacrifices are needed to appease. For my part I’m going to toss out all my dry Sharpie pens, and sort my paper clips by size, gauge, and color. And since Seattle has had one of the coldest, miserable years in my time here, I’m going to turn up the CO2, er, thermostat a nudge.

  39. In the Unisys graphic at the start of the article, lake Michigan in the central US looks warmer than anything on the map.

  40. Before you can understand El Nino Modoki you have to understand El Nino itself. It is part of the ENSO oscillation which alternately gives us warm El Ninos and cool La Ninas. ENSO oscillation is a physical oscillation of ocean waters from side to side of the tropical Pacific ocean. It is kept going by trade winds that push the water west along the north and south equatorial currents. Between these two currents is the equatorial countercurrent and the water piled up in the western Pacific eventually comes back east via that countercurrent. It does so periodically as a massive wave, observable as a Kelvin wave, because the oscillation is caused by wave resonance and the resonance period is determined by the dimensions of the ocean basin. When that El Nino wave reaches South America at the equator it splashes ashore and spreads out. This creates a large area of warm water, the air above gets warm, an updraft forms that interferes with trade winds, and global temperature rises by half a degree Celsius. But any wave that runs ashore must also pull back. As the El Nino wave retreats water level behind it drops half a meter or more, cold water from below wells up to fill the space, and a La Nina has started. As much as the El Nino warmed the air La Nina will cool it so we have a global temperature oscillation, up and down by half a degree every four-five years or so. But outside influences can change that. The super El Nino of 1998 was an extra that did not even belong to ENSO. But if you understand that an El Nino happens when the warm water from the El Nino wave spreads out because it was stopped by collision with the coast it is not hard to see that if anything stops the flow of the countercurrent in mid-ocean El Nino water will spread out there instead of at the South American coast. This is what an El Nino Modoki or CP El Nino (Central Pacific El Nino) is. Offhand I don’t know what could stop the flow of the countercurrent but I have strong suspicion that a storm surge from a typhoon could probably do it. What happens next is unclear but I suspect it will have a strong influence on the La Nina that should follow. When the flow resumes the rest of it will reach South America in diminished form and may not be able to produce a normal La Nina as a result. These guys with billions of dollars to spend on climate research actually have no idea what an El Nino is, much less what an El Nino Modoki is, and just dream up some imaginary connections involving the Modoki form with climate change. They should spend some money tracing the flows I spoke of and maybe find out how the Modoki really happens.

  41. Does an El Nino Moloki release Godzilla, or does Godzilla cause El Nino Moloki?
    How will we ever know, unless Mothra comes to the rescue?

  42. “So “climate change” causes climate change,”
    Hmmmmm seems to be a very positive corelation here.
    Kind of like wetness causing water to be wet.

  43. According to a German Professor there are two types of science.
    We have the traditional science and we have post science.
    The traditional science works as science should work.
    Post science however is dominated by political agenda.
    Climate Change is Post Science.
    And so is this article.
    I will have a second look at the video where science and post science has been explained extensively and see if I can find some more information about the subject.
    By the way, don’t worry about ocean life and the distribution of food.
    A fish always goes where the food is.
    They’re clever critters

  44. hunter says:
    October 18, 2010 at 8:40 am

    What we expect is that it doesn’t release a new Godzilla with diapers (the global warmers now disguised as such) to sell us their new “Climate Disruption”, based on now REAL changes which are happening and which are absolutely NATURAL.
    So don’t try to cheat us!, It’s just another cyclical minimum like the Dalton, Maunder, etc., etc.
    Again: No more surprises here: There is no need to change anything. Go and preach your GREEN religion anywhere else.

  45. Ten years ago they were not claiming AGW was going to cause El Nino Moloki at all. They were claiming “hockey stick” rises in global temperatures. Since global temperatures are not exponentially increases they are now trying to latch onto anything, including this El Nino Moloki. The AGW religion would get a lot more supporters if they could actually predict something BEFORE it happens, not attach their belief to something they just observed for the first time!!!

  46. Bill Illis says: The current La Nina Ingens (I get dibs on making-up the name for a new made-up mode of ENSO variability – Latin for huge)”
    Just as long as the frequency and magnitude of La Nina Ingens meet or exceed the frequency and magnitude of central-eastern Pacific El Nino and El Nino Modoki, global temps should remain relatively flat, one would think.

  47. From http://notrickszone.com/2010/10/15/climate-change-now-questioned-at-german-universities-professors-speaking-up/
    3. The controversy and politics of climate change
    Many meteorologists say about climate science: ” That’s political and has nothing to do with science.”
    Dr. Kirstein: “Climate change? – That’s political and has nothing to do with normal science, it’s post-normal science.” With post-normal science, politics is at the forefront and science is just a tool to promote and drive “good” policy” by spreading fear and sticking to a dogma. In the early 1980s, “scientists” projected that all trees would die in Europe by 2005. Dr Kirstein then quotes Hans von Storch:
    Climate science is not normal. It’s post-normal.
    Post-normal science is always for a good cause or a political agenda. The target is to achieve de-industrialisation – The Green Economy – The Great Transformation. The modus operandi: by spreading fear. Kirstein then quotes Maurice Strong, John Houghton, Stephen Schneider, and explains some of the recent and infamous PR scare campaigns. There’s even a Climate Change Hotel and tourism in Greenland where you can actually “see climate change taking place”.
    After viewing Dr Kirstein’s presentation, it is absolutely no wonder that Hal Lewis called “climate science” the greatest fraud he’s ever seen. Dr Rahmstorf, Dr Schellnhuber, your sham is up.
    For those of you who speak German, watch the video at the link above and witness the first public discussion that sheds serious doubts on climate change in Germany.
    Professor Kirstein was immediately attacked by the warmist lobby and was offered
    price for bad presentation of facts because he dared to state that Greenland at the time of the Vikings was much warmer.
    We all know that Greenland was warmer.
    We found the remains of trees and an agricultural civilization that grew food crops in area;s now covered by snow.
    The article above is just another attempt to link an event that doesn’t fit the IPCC agenda to climate change.
    Nothing more, nothing less.
    Bob Tisdale imo makes the correct assessment.
    In the video Prof. Kirstein presents a diagram that makes it easy to identify post natural science, even for laymen.
    I think this is a good development that will proof a strong tool in future discussions because it also sets a profile for the scientist involved in post normal science including the flow of money that is used to finance their “research”.

  48. scientists now say that El Nino Modoki affects long-term changes in currents in the North Pacific Ocean.
    I seriously doubt that climate effects ocean currents. In fact, I think it is the ocean currents that effect the climate. Of course when it comes to climate change, up is down and down is up.

  49. “The reason this is important is because the NPGO has significant effects on fish stocks and ocean nutrient distributions in the Pacific, especially along the west coast of the United States.”
    I wish the fellows who come up with the quotas for fishermen would frame this passage and put it up on the walls of their offices. All too often, when the populations of a certain fish crash, the fishermen get blamed for over-fishing. Then, when the population of the same fish booms, the fishermen (or hunters, or pesticides, or what-have-you,) gets blamed for reducing the population of whatever it is that preys on that particular fish.
    The fact of the matter is that, if you live by the sea, you experience some wild swings in the populations of many sea creatures. In some cases you can identify why it happens. Perhaps you note off-shore winds created an upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water. However in other cases no one has a clue why the drastic changes occurred.
    During my boyhood I often rowed out to an island (Bassett’s Island in Buzzard’s Bay,) to fish and clam and be a boy. Clams were always few and far between on its sandier beaches. Then, in September of 1965?, I noticed the sand was jammed with tiny little clams. The following June I had an amazing, private supply of steamers. You could fill a bucket by turning only five shovelfuls of wet sand. Unfortunately word got around, and abruptly the shores were jammed with clammers, working nearly shoulder to shoulder. By July the island had reverted to its former state, with clams few and far between.
    In the early 1970’s old-timers on the coast of Maine would wistfully tell me of the old days, when Bluefish visited their waters. (Bluefish are called “Snapper-blues” to the south, and are small, but the further up the coast they migrate the larger they get, and by the time they got to Maine they were called “Big-blues.”)
    Then, on a pitch dark night late that summer, I heard an incredible rushing noise out in Harraseekett Harbor, as entire schools of herring went airborne in panic. The Big Blues were back! There was terrific fishing for about three weeks, and such mayhem occurred to the population of Menhaden that the water took on an oily sheen, and then suddenly, in September, the Big Blue simply vanished without a trace. It was as if they never had been.
    Both of these population explosions occurred without a single “fisheries expert” telling clammers and fishermen how much they could harvest, and when they could harvest, and where they could harvest. It is simply in the nature of nature for such population swings to occur, just as it in the nature of nature for temperatures to change, and currents to change.
    Currently “fisheries experts” are making life miserable for the fishermen of New England. The experts are certain cod populations are determined by bureaucrats nibbling erasers. They allow small quotas, and when populations don’t immediately rebound they allow even smaller quotas. It never occurs to them that things such as the AMO have a hundred times greater an effect than they ever will.
    This is not to say I approve of over-fishing such as the Russians did, off the New England coast in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. However when a bureaucrat points a blaming finger at a small fishing boat, I think it is more a sign that he is ignorant of nature, (and also that he is slightly power-mad,) than it is a sign that he understands the sea as much as fishermen do.

  50. OMG!
    Has anyone investigated the stability criteria for the temperatures of the sea currents? May a disturbance of the temperature lead to the Ice Age?

  51. Link to the abstract here.
    I FREAKING HATE SPECULATION by scientists.

    Central Pacific El Niño and decadal climate change in the North Pacific Ocean
    E. Di Lorenzo, K. M. Cobb, J. C. Furtado, N. Schneider, B. T. Anderson, A. Bracco, M. A. Alexander & D. J. Vimont
    Abstract
    Decadal fluctuations of the ocean and atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean significantly affect the weather and climate of North America and Eurasia. They also cause transitions between different states of marine ecosystems across the Pacific Ocean1, 2, 3. An important fraction of North Pacific low-frequency variability is linked to the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation4, a climate pattern associated with decadal fluctuations of the ocean circulation. Decadal variations in the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation are characterized by a pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies that resemble the central Pacific El Niño, a dominant mode of interannual variability with far-reaching effects on global climate patterns5, 6, 7. Here we use an ensemble of simulations with a coupled ocean–atmosphere model to show that the sea surface temperature anomalies associated with central Pacific El Niño force changes in the extra-tropical atmospheric circulation. These changes in turn drive the decadal fluctuations of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. Given that central Pacific El Niño events could become more frequent with increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere8, we infer that the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation may play an increasingly important role in shaping Pacific climate and marine ecosystems in the twenty-first century. [emphasis added]

    Cripes, do I want to rip into this one. They (literally: DiLorenzo was the one who came up with the name) only just decided 2 years ago that this NPGO existed as a specific feature. And now they are trying to assign it responsibility for all kinds of things. This is as much grandstanding as it is anything; DiLorenzo wants his new “discovery” to be important, so he is throwing all kinds of cause-and-effect speculation out.
    ALL of this is based on their models.
    Their logo’s motto is “CCE LTER — Observe Experiment Model.” See here for that and a description of what the NPGO is.

    The decadal dynamics of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) are linked through their relationships to ENSO.

    See? This is DiLorenzo trying to claim equal status for his second-level after-effect.
    The PDO does not have a relationship to the ENSO. The PDO is on multi-decadal scales and ENSO’s cycle is half a decade, more or less, so there really isn’t any cause and effect, even between those two. The NPGO appears to just be a small part of the PDO.
    But this paper is models and speculation. Note the bold text.
    There is almost nothing to suggest that this NPGO is anything but a resultant of the PDO. They found sea level changes, whoop de doo. Give credit for that to the PDO. The salinity changes? My gosh, call out the National Guard and kick up the terrorism alert to orange.
    Climate – including the ocean – have fluctuations. And this guy throws in the obligatory nod to “increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” They HAVE to tie it in to AGW in order to show they are on the bandwagon. Poppycock.
    This paper is a big nothing. Models and speculation and mention of GHGs so they will get their next grant moneys.

  52. tallbloke says:
    October 18, 2010 at 4:33 am
    Quite an intelligent forecast. Then we must not be too kind to forget what all the Global Warmers, then Climate Changers and now Climate Disrupters, told us; That because of the anthropogenic CO2, heat was being accumulated on the tropical atmosphere, and from there all kind of calamities would happen to us, if we do not followed their “faith”.
    Now, I guess, they will be trying to concoct a new tale, but now based on the current and cyclical solar minimum. But this time we don’t care, as they have become an unbearable bad comedy.
    So, moving on, we are indeed in times of changes, in interesting times, where, like in the semitones of a musical octave, resonate new fresh waves from the outside, changing for the better all we thought we knew and taking us back to the actual meaning of symbols, as Rene Guenon put it: To the “The fundamental symbols of the sacred science”.

  53. It is wise for all readers to consider any major scientific publication as a political manifesto, rather than a cool, scientific analysis.
    It is wise for all to assume that the statements made in the Title, Abstract, Introduction, Discussion and Conclusions to be pushing the political line desired by the authors and the Journal Editor, rather than being an accurate reflection of the body of data collected by the authors, their peers and their forebears in scientific history.
    Finally, it is wise to assume that slipping in little assumptions without stating that that is what they are is the chief way to alter perceptions amongst the non-professional general public.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, scientists should now be regarded on the same par sometimes as journalists i.e. a lot of them should be read with caution, whereas some of them represent the highest calling of science/journalism and research.

  54. @ DesertYote October 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

    “The ecosystems of the Pacific may very well become more sensitive to the NPGO in the future,” said Di Lorenzo. “Our data show that this NPGO is definitively linked to El Nino Modoki, so as Modoki becomes more frequent in the central tropical Pacific, the NPGO will also intensify.”
    Did he provide any evidence for this, or is he just blowing AGW smoke?

    It’s all in the model. The whole thing is their model. Ergo, whatever they put into it, that is what they read out of it – self-fulfilling scientific prediction. They don’t even need the real world anymore.

  55. Arno Arrak-
    I like wave analogies–is a Super El Nino simply a Draupner or rogue wave?
    A rogue wave far higher than scientists and engineers claimed possible slammed into the Draupner oil platform in 1995 allowing for direct measurement of the wave height. We had been floating, paddling and sailing on the oceans for millenia yet scientist thought these waves were simply another sailor’s wild tales that included sea monsters.
    What does this teach us? Perhaps 3 things–1. Some times wild claims are true 2. Sometimes wild claims are just wild claims and 3. Measurement helps us distinguish between the two.

  56. tallbloke said:
    “Bob Tisdale has the best account of the tie-up between the slackening of the trade winds and the timing of the el nino vents I’ve read, but I think my insolation based thesis gives the overarching setting within which the order of events Bob describes takes place.”
    Agreed that with regard to ENSO Bob is the expert.
    However I also see a need for just such an overarching setting so that oceanic events netted out globally (not just in the Pacific) can be slotted into a scenario that encompasses the climate cycling from at least the Minoan Warm Period to date.
    There has to be an insolation component despite the smallness of TSI variability and I see that tallbloke recognises the effects of clouds in that respect.
    Cue my suggestion that insolation changes as the clouds shift latitudinally over time and that shifting is at least partly explained by the level of solar activity.
    As Michael Mann once recognised:
    “December 2001, nearly 9 years ago, Shindell, Schmidt, Mann co-authored a paper which looked at Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum. The Abstract reads:
    We examine the climate response to solar irradiance changes between the late 17th-century Maunder Minimum and the late 18th century. Global average temperature changes are small (about 0.3° to 0.4°C) in both a climate model and empirical reconstructions. However, regional temperature changes are quite large . In the model, these occur primarily through a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases. This leads to colder temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere continents, especially in winter (1° to 2°C) , in agreement with historical records and proxy data for surface temperatures. ”
    At that time Mr. Mann and his colleagues clearly accepted that a less active sun resulted in a more negative polar oscillation but he never seems to have followed through with the logical implications, not least that a more active sun might have caused the observed late 20th century positive polar oscillations and the observed poleward drift of the jets and that therefore the cause was not changes in anthropogenic CO2 and /or CFC quantities.

  57. @Bob Tisdale
    Bob,
    Didn’t you make note that historically, a Modoki El Nino does not result in subsequent La Nina? Correct if wrong.

  58. Friends,
    UAH.
    2010 2 0.61
    2010 9 0.60
    There is no reason related to the enthalpy for this to occur. (Except cycles associated with a hypersensitive climate … 2,3,4,5,6, 8,10,11, … 22 … 35 .. 40 .. 60 … 60 , 61,62,63,64 … 5 … 90 … 105 … 180 … 200,201.202, 2015 … .. 300 … 400 …. 1600. .. 2800 …. 5000 … 10,000 years).
    simplifying:
    delta (G) = delta (H) – T (delta S);
    as delta (H) = 0
    delta (G) = 0
    Delta (S)
    (La Niña or El Niño) are just particular solutions (particular solution has the consequence of feeling that the problem is under control).
    I hope it has become clear (area Extent or area) that the ice cover is the result of an entropic solution of the Earth system.
    IMHO ….. the best variable representing entropy is the wind.
    Sorry for the English (it is very difficult to philosophize in that language).
    Sorry
    many Brahmas.

  59. tallbloke says:
    October 18, 2010 at 4:33 am
    Yes indeed. All the heat of El Nino taken from the Pacific/Atlantic is crowded up to the Far Northern Hemisphere by the advancing La Nina, where winter will open the floodgates to release it to space. Then comes the big chill.
    After which, it’s up to the Sun to recharge the batteries. What state will the Sun be in then?

  60. Pat Moffitt says:
    October 18, 2010 at 10:44 am
    You are absolutely right: 3. Measurement helps us distinguish between the two.
    Not MODELS (A.K.A. Wee games) in a conditioned air room, thousand of miles far, far away from reality.
    Next time a cataclysm preacher speaks out his “truths” before us. we must ask him, where ON THE FIELD did he/she get the data, if nowhere then…..tar and feathers buddies!

  61. “After which, it’s up to the Sun to recharge the batteries. What state will the Sun be in then?”
    If the sun stays relatively inactive keeping the jets in a more equatorward position, thus covering more oceans with cloud then there won’t be much recharging going on.

  62. Alarmists’ “science” in effect contends that climate change is a driving force within natural systems that effects weather formation. This seems backward. I am informed that climate change are weather trends determined from compilation of local and regional weather events over several decades. Climate change is historical, not physical.
    In a sense, weather is a major driving force. But, weather is not self-initiating. Numerous systems and phenomena, both internal and external, in our chaotic planetary environment cause weather? How this happens remains poorly understood.
    My point is that the alarmists have high-jacked the term “climate change” in a way that advances their unproven hypothesis. Climate scientists need to become better wordsmiths in order to control the debate about AGW. This is a skill that can be learned from lawyers who are professional wordsmiths. I offer this advice from my perspective of a lawyer with 52 years of experience.

  63. Paddy says:
    October 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    I agree, the statement below uses the term “climate change” in a very strange and almost meaningless way:
    Last year, the journal Nature published a paper that found climate change is behind this shift from El Nino to El Nino Modoki.
    This is rather like saying “we have found that a change in weather is behind the change from sunshine yesterday to rain today”.
    The climate has changed. And what is behind it? Climate change!

  64. Interesting. I used the same graphic in a posting about the Pacific too:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/pacific-cold-heart/
    I’ve also got a live version, so you get an A/B along with links to an absolute temperature graph (where this is anomalies).
    Went in a whole different direction in the text, though.
    The “Modoki” is interesting… I’d expect the cold water coming up the Pacific coast of South America to be a key issue. Those pesky ocean currents 😉
    But with the cold and snow in Australia, I think what we’re seeing is a cold South Pole starting to drift it’s influence north…
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/wetting-australia/
    And all that mass flow of water and steam is just beating the tar out of CO2. No matter how much the politicians make of it:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/where-co2-goes/
    But I do like that Modoki word… and the ENSO application of it…

  65. We are still waiting for AGW/climate change.
    The only thing we experience is natural variability, nature rules.
    Nature is the biggest opponent of the AGW/Climate change theory.
    It has been an almost impossible task to link CO2 to a warming climate when we found ourselves in a period of a positive PDO/AMO and a major El Ninjo.
    Now we have arrived in a period of cooling the claims made by the IPCC are loosing all validity. The distance between their graphs and the real world will show ever bigger gaps. Non of their claims will materialize.
    All the warmist can do now is to produce the most extreme sorts of propaganda which will make their case even more doubtful.
    All we have to do now is to tell the public how crazy it is for a politician to state that they are going to control the earth’s thermostat by shutting our societies and industry down.
    ‘Don’t cast your vote on a politician who believes we control nature’.
    Any politician who thinks we can control nature belongs in a mental institution.
    So here we are.
    Our current governments in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are
    run by mental patients.
    I’m quite sure this assessment is not far from the truth.
    I am quite sure they all paid a visit to the Climate Change Hotel on Greenland to watch the melting icebergs float by. ‘Yes, climate change s real, we have seen it with our own eyes’.
    We can heel them very quickly by sending them to the same location in January.
    It’s the quickest way to undo the IPCC brainwashing of the past decade.
    Such a trip to that location mid winter will cool any warmist down for good.

  66. DR says: “Didn’t you make note that historically, a Modoki El Nino does not result in subsequent La Nina?”
    From this post:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/05/typical-average-el-nino-traditional-el.html
    Referring to Figure 12, “Of the 10 El Nino Modoki, only 2 events transitioned into La Nina events, the 1963/64 and 1994/95 El Nino events. The SST anomalies during the ENSO season following the 2004/05 El Nino dipped below the La Nina threshold, but did not remain there long enough to be considered an official La Nina.”
    That would now be 3 El Nino Modoki events have turned into La Nina events.

  67. Stephen Wilde says: “However I also see a need for just such an overarching setting so that oceanic events netted out globally (not just in the Pacific) can be slotted into a scenario that encompasses the climate cycling from at least the Minoan Warm Period to date.”
    Good luck on finding SST data to support your wants from 1450–1300 BC to present.

  68. “Good luck on finding SST data to support your wants from 1450–1300 BC to present.”
    Well we both know it doesn’t exist.
    However, we do know that during the MWP the jets were far enough poleward to make Greenland more habitable than it is today and that during the recent period of poleward jets the oceans were also showing a multidecadal run of stronger than ‘normal’ El Nino events. Also that during the LIA the jets were more equatorward than today with generally lower SSTs.
    It’s not a big leap to draw a conclusion that periods of more poleward jets are associated with warmer SSTs and more equatorward jets with cooler SSTs.
    Nor is it hard to see from lots of regional data over the past 2000 years that local climate changes have been due to shifting of the air circulation systems overhead first poleward then equatorward.
    I respect your reluctance to be drawn on issues of interpretation and logical extrapolation beyond that which can be demonstrated by actual data but it is unreasonable to try to prevent others from doing so and for global climate analysis I’d say it’s unavoidable unless we are determined to learn nothing from the evidence that is available.

  69. Our Bureau of Meteorology is sticking its neck out and saying we are going to have several cyclones this summer.
    My query is this: If the La Nina Modokai is very strong and there is so much cold water in the Pacific is there enough warm water for cyclones to form? We may continue to have plenty of rain (as we have over the past 3 months) but not necessarily cyclones.

  70. Tall Bloke said: “This explains why global ocean heat-energy content has been falling since 2003, when the sunspot number dropped below 40. This is why the el nino events we’ve seen since 2003 hav been more diffuse and ‘Modoki’ in nature. ”
    El Niño “Modoki” events occurred in 1991-92, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2009-10. 2 of those events started with SSN at 120 or above (4/1991 140SSN and 4/2002 120SSN) The Japanese 2006 study relegated the differences to two periods broken at 1978.
    There were two El Ninos between 1979 and 1991 so I don’t know why they chose 1978/79 for the date to show change in Modoki frequency since the details are behind a paywall.

  71. Once again Nature Magazine forgot the disclaimer, No science was used in the creation of this product.

  72. One of the warm “singular points” is on the Japan Sea side (called “Backside Japan” in Japanese) of my country, and these days cold air is coming down from Siberia. This causes atmospheric instability, and two tornadoes blew up several roofs and cars yesterday.

  73. If you look at the polar graphs like this on posted by Ryan Maue on the ice pages;
    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/nh_raw_temp_000.png
    You can see right now the surge of warm moist air sitting on the arctic cap, is just like the one that was coming up over Greenland last week. These surges are the result of the lunar declinational tides reaching the same angle at culmination as the apparent sun angle at culmination. This harmonic convergence of the solar and lunar air tides, is able to drive larger more consolidated equatorial air masses that are being pulsed by every 13.7 and 27.3 day lunar declination culmination onto the arctic dispatching cold dry air out the other side of the globe.
    Thus consolidated, the jet streams that follow the edges of these surges of competing temperatures, form massive loops with blocking highs, formed out of the polar return pulses to the mid-latitudes. The monsoonal flows from the equator on the warm pulses give us the massive flooding due to the greater than average size of the tidal bulges. So it follows that the hot dry peat burning spell, and the soggy bottom of Pakistan, and the tropical storms over the Atlantic, some with vorticity is just the result of the 18.6 year pattern of lunar declination.
    When we get past a couple more years, then the angle of declination culmination will be lower ~21 degrees, for about 6 years, 3 down to 18 and 3 back up to this point again. The jet streams will get much smoother and separate more as the tidal pulses will mix in the mid-latitudes and not make inroads into the Arctic. The greater through mixing in between the more separated polar jet and the tropical trades, will help to keep the skies clear in most of the mid-latitudes, and cloudy around the equator, the poles colder as the circumpolar jets will act more like the Southern pole does now.
    This should give an increase in polar sea ice on both poles. But I would expect less snow above 80 degrees North.
    The other process that concerns the raising and lowering of the polar jet streams is the total flux of EMF fields being coupled into the earth because of the solar activity level and the solar wind. When stable and with very little change the Polar Jet streams, and LOD will be smooth with inductive shifts to higher levels of EMF flux, the zonal flow rates will increase along with the LOD shorting, and cloudiness along the ITCZ will decrease although the speed of the trade winds, moisture vapor content, and resultant specific heat will increase. ENSO effect as you call it, is the combination of these effects due to this interaction between the two processes both the lunar declinational tidal effects in the air and oceans, and the shifts in solar wind speed modulated by the interactions of the other planets with the sun/earth/moon system.
    This complex repeating pattern has had at least 3 billion years to stabilize into a mnemonic balance of interlocking cycles, with gradual shifts as new in falling material is incorporated into the bodies, and the particle flow in the solar wind takes the refuse back out toward the heliopause.
    To not consider these drivers of the resultant turbulence in the global circulation, that stir the mix continually, as important to study as the paths of the storms, soot, and volcanic ash that float around on these currents, was a mistake made back in the 1950’s, when weather forecasting teams first got hooked on numerical models. Now following in their standard practice, Climate Scientist are using models that do not incorporate these long term drivers of the weather to predict the climate as well.
    When university backed research is done to find the connections between the Sun/earth/moon system and the rest of the solar system, then these forecasting problems will just go away, because they won’t listen to some “off the street idea” from someone with out the ability to publish in a journal to be peer reviewed.

  74. Pat Moffitt says:
    October 18, 2010 at 7:41 am
    Fascinating – I was not aware that salmon studies were the first to show up the PDO (my research focus is more on Atlantic history). Thanks!

  75. Hadley/GISS/RSS/UAH/NOAA are now in for September. This is the first time in the satellite temperature record (i.e. since approx 1979) that the Hadley 12-month running mean anomaly is lower than the equivalant RSS and UAH 12-month running means. Given that Hadley’s baseline mean is from a colder era, that’s something. At the end of 1998, RSS (but not UAH) had a very slightly higher 12-month running mean. At the top of a major El Nino, the surface records’ (Hadley/GISS/NOAA) 12-month-running-mean seems to turn downwards approximately 3 months so before the satellite records’ (RSS/UAH) 12-month-running-mean. Sea-Surface-Temperatures are included in the surface record data immediately, but it seems to take a while for the cooling sea to cool off the lower troposphere.

  76. I wish the fellows who come up with the quotas for fishermen would frame this passage and put it up on the walls of their offices. All too often, when the populations of a certain fish crash, the fishermen get blamed for over-fishing. Then, when the population of the same fish booms, the fishermen (or hunters, or pesticides, or what-have-you,) gets blamed for reducing the population of whatever it is that preys on that particular fish.
    This is not to say I approve of over-fishing such as the Russians did, off the New England coast in the 1960′s and early 1970′s. However when a bureaucrat points a blaming finger at a small fishing boat, I think it is more a sign that he is ignorant of nature, (and also that he is slightly power-mad,) than it is a sign that he understands the sea as much as fishermen do.
    ===============================
    Well the bureaucrats, as always, miss it!
    In reality, the finger pointed at the small fishing boat, Caleb, as you say, is bogus.
    They do what they do, and with relatively no harm.
    The real harm [and where I point my finger]: is from the industrial fishing [overfishing] “industries”, such as Omega Protein.
    Grrrrr. Omega ******* Protein
    Or point a finger at the billion dollar shark finning industry courtesy of China.
    Both of the foregoing need a finger pointed at them….and a finger where it hurts!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  77. Arno Arrak says:
    October 18, 2010 at 8:29 am
    Your explanation of ENSO as esentially a wave phenomenon runs afoul of physical basics. Waves transport energy rather than matter, which moves in quasi-stationary wave-induced orbits. The fundamental “sloshing” mode of Pacific Ocean basin resonance has a period on the order of days. No significant such short-term oscillation is observed . Eastward Kelvin waves are involved in dispersing energy from wind-induced surface deformations in the Western Pacific along the equatorial wave guide. They take ~2mos to traverse the Pacific and never “splash” pools of warm water onto the South American coast.
    El Nino, on the other hand, last several months and produce the episodic Peru Coastal Current, which is a tongue of the equatorial counter current that displaces the Humboldt Current when trade winds weaken. It is the transport of warm water from the Western Pacific by currents, rather than waves, that creates the classic El Nino phenomenon. Modoki is but a chaotic variation on this pattern, absent the current gyres that usually form at the eastern terminus.

  78. Tallbloke Oct 18th at 4.33 a.m.
    Thanks for the insight into the connection between El Nino Modoki and increasing humidity. It answers perfectly a question of mine of recent origin. A friend passed on to me a large amount of tabled data for my location, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
    The data all comes in tabled form. Looking at hundreds or so numbers is not easy on the eyes. To pick up trends and highlights I decided to colour code each excel cell depending upon the numerical strength for each different table. A laborious process but with pleasing results in the end.
    When I looked at the Relative Humidity I was struck by the increasing level of humidity over the past 30 or so years. I was curious as to what could be the cause of the increase? Your comment about El Nino Modoki ‘resulting in a general increase in humidity worldwide,’ got me to comparing the Modoki El Nino Index Ranking for the overlapping period available to me, 1950-2000.
    On the MEI table La Ninas are dark blue at their strongest to light blue, while the El Ninos go from orange through mauve and onto deep red for the strongest values. For the Relative Humidity table the lowest humidity values are yellow then orange before changing to an ever increasingly darker blue and finally onto black.
    With the tables showing the monthly figures the Southern Hemisphere winter (with the highest humidity values) dominates the centre of the table. I frame grabbed each table and placed beside each other in a word document. The RH table at a glance shows that the summers were less humid from the 1950’s through to the mid ’70’s. On the MEI table next to it the same period shows a strong tendancy towards La Nina.
    From 1975 to 2000 the reverse happens.
    I feel that this is a very simmple confirmation of your statement and should be easily duplicated elsewhere.
    Cheers
    Coops

  79. Very important stuff:
    sky wrote:
    “El Nino, on the other hand, last several months and produce the episodic Peru Coastal Current, which is a tongue of the equatorial counter current that displaces the Humboldt Current when trade winds weaken. […] Modoki is but a chaotic variation on this pattern, absent the current gyres that usually form at the eastern terminus.”

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