Tisdale K.O.e's GISS's latest "warmest-year nonsense"

NASA GISS latest graphic

Bob Tisdale writes:

I’ve been holding off telling you about my most recent post in hopes that GISS would continue with their warmest-year nonsense.  And they did.

Using correlation maps, animations, graphs and a youtube video, the post shows how leftover warm water from an El Nino gets spun up into the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) where it continues to release heat during the La Nina. The KOE correlates with the Northern Hemisphere warming during an La Nina, and one of the datasets used for the graphs and correlation maps is GISTEMP LOTI.

The ENSO-Related Variations In Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) SST Anomalies And Their Impact On Northern Hemisphere Temperatures

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

OVERVIEW

This post provides brief background information about the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE), and discusses the relationship between NINO3.4 SST anomalies and the SST anomalies of the KOE following major El Niño events. Using correlation maps the post also illustrates the possible impacts of the KOE Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies on North Atlantic SST anomalies, Combined Land and Ocean Surface Temperature anomalies, and Lower Troposphere Temperature anomalies.

INTRODUCTION

The Kuroshio Current and Oyashio Current are located in the western North Pacific Ocean. The Kuroshio Current is the western boundary current of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Its counterpart in the North Atlantic Ocean is the well-known Gulf Stream. The Kuroshio Current carries warm tropical waters northward from the North Equatorial Current to the east coast of Japan. The East Kamchatka Current and the Oyashio Current are the western boundary currents of the Western Subarctic Gyre. The East Kamchatka Current is renamed the Oyashio Current south of the Bussol Strait (which is located about half way between Hokkaido and the Kamchatka Peninsula). They carry cold subarctic waters south to the east coast of Japan. The Kuroshio and Oyashio currents meet and form the North Pacific Current that runs from west to east across the North Pacific at mid latitudes. The Qiu, (2001) paper Kuroshio and Oyashio Currents. In Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, (Academic Press, pp. 1413-1425) provides a detailed but easily readable description of the two currents. Figure 1, from Qiu (2001), illustrates the general locations and paths of the Kuroshio and Oyashio Currents.

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Figure 1

As noted above, the Kuroshio and Oyashio Currents collide East of Japan and form the western portion of the North Pacific Current. These waters are often referred to as the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension or the KOE. For the purpose of this post, I’ve used the coordinates of 30N-45N, 150E-150W for the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension, Figure 2.

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Figure 2

CORRELATION WITH NORTHERN HEMISPHERE TEMPERATURES

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies for much of the North Atlantic warm (cool) when the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies warm (cool). This can be seen in the correlation map of annual (January to December) Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies and annual North Atlantic SST anomalies, Figure 3.

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Figure 3

And, as shown in Figures 4 (RSS) and 5 (UAH), annual TLT anomalies for much of the Northern Hemisphere correlate with the annual SST anomalies of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension.

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Figure 4

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Figure 5

The same thing holds true for combined land plus sea surface temperature datasets such as the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data for the Northern Hemisphere, Figure 6. Much of the Northern Hemisphere GISS LOTI data warms (cools) as KOE SST anomalies warm (cool). (Also note the differences in the North Atlantic correlations in Figures 3 and 6. They’re based on the same SST dataset, so why are there differences? GISS deletes SST data from areas with seasonal sea ice and extends land surface data out over the oceans with its 1200km radius smoothing. Refer to GISS Deletes Arctic And Southern Ocean Sea Surface Temperature Data.)

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Figure 6

WHEN DOES THE KOE WARM?

As we’ve seen in past posts, the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans warm in response to El Niño events and then during the subsequent La Nina events. As part of the East Indian-West Pacific subset, the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension warms significantly during La Niña events. Animation 1 is taken from the videos in the post La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos. It presents the 1997/98 El Niño followed by the 1998 through 2001 La Niña. Each map represents the average SST anomalies for a 12-month period and is followed by the next 12-month period in sequence. Using 12-month averages eliminates the seasonal and weather noise. The effect is similar to smoothing data in a time-series graph with a 12-month running-average filter. Note how the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension warms significantly during the La Niña event and how the warming persists for the entire term of the La Niña.

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Animation 1

Note in Animation 1 that the SST anomalies of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension were cool during the 1997/98 El Niño. The KOE actually started with depressed SST anomalies, and they did not drop significantly during the 1997/98 El Niño. Refer to Figure 7. On the other hand, the KOE SST anomalies did rise significantly during the transition from the El Niño to the La Niña in 1998. The other major El Niño event that wasn’t impacted by the aerosols of an explosive volcanic eruption was the 1986/87/88 event. The SST anomalies of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension cooled during the 1986/87/88 El Niño, but also rose significantly during the 1988/89 La Nina. We’ll take a closer look at that event later in the post.

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Figure 7

This response of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension to El Niño and La Niña events is easier to see if the NINO3.4 SST anomalies are inverted, Figure 8. That is, the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension warms much more during the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña event than it cools during the 1997/98 El Niño. But could the significant drop in the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension during the 1986/87/88 El Niño impact the global response to that El Niño? Again, we’ll examine that later in the post.

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Figure 8

WHY DOES THE KOE WARM DURING LA NIÑA EVENTS?

Let’s start with the El Niño. During an El Niño event, a significant volume of warm water from the west Pacific Warm Pool travels east to the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, where it releases heat primarily through evaporation. And most of the warm water from the Pacific Warm Pool water comes from below the surface. There is “leftover” warm water when the La Niña forms, and a portion of this leftover warm water is returned to the western tropical Pacific at approximately 10 deg N latitude. Video 1 illustrates global Sea Level Residuals from January 1998 to June 2001. It captures the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña in its entirety. The video was taken from the JPL video “tpglobal.mpeg”. The phenomenon shown carrying warm waters from east to west in the tropical Pacific at approximately 10 deg N is called a slow-moving Rossby Wave.

Video 1

Link to Video 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF5vZErQ6HM

Unfortunately, the video “tpglobal.mpeg” is no longer available at the JPL VIDEOS web page, but for those who would like to watch the entire video, I uploaded it to YouTube as Sea Surface Height Animation 1992 to 2002 – JPL Video tpglobal.mpg.

In Video 1, the warm “leftover” warm water from the 1997/98 El Niño is clearly carried as far west as the Philippines. Shortly thereafter Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension sea level residuals rise and remain elevated for the duration of the La Niña.

In addition, there are other factors that add to and maintain the elevated SST anomalies in the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension during the La Niña. As shown in Animation 1 (the gif animation, not the video), Sea Surface Temperature anomalies outside of the tropical Pacific rise in response to the El Niño. The changes occur first in the Atlantic, then Indian, and finally the west Pacific. Sea Surface Temperature anomalies rise as changes in atmospheric circulation caused by the El Niño make their way eastward around the globe to the western Pacific. Then, during the La Niña, the opposite occurs for much of the globe. But in the tropical Pacific, the trade winds strengthen and the North and South Equatorial Currents return warm “leftover” surface waters from the El Niño to the west. So the western Pacific is warmed cumulatively by the El Niño and then by the La Niña. In the northwest Pacific, the Kuroshio Current carries the leftover warm water up to the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension.

Additionally, the increased strength of the trade winds during the La Niña also reduces cloud cover over the tropical Pacific, which increases the amount of Downward Shortwave Radiation (visible light) there. The increased Downward Shortwave Radiation warms the tropical Pacific. The warmed water is carried to the west by the Equatorial Currents and the North Pacific Gyre spins the warmed water up to the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

In the post “RSS MSU TLT Time-Latitude Plots…Show Climate Responses That Cannot Be Easily Illustrated With Time-Series Graphs Alone”, I illustrated that the RSS Lower Troposphere Temperature (TLT) anomalies of Southern Hemisphere and of the Tropics (70S-20N) followed the basic variations in NINO3.4 SST anomalies, Figure 9. This is how one would expect TLT anomalies to respond to El Niño and La Niña events. El Niño events cause the TLT anomalies to rise because they release more heat than normal to the atmosphere, and La Niña events cause TLT anomalies to fall because the tropical Pacific is releasing less heat than normal.

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Figure 9

But the TLT anomalies of the Northern Hemisphere north of 20N, Figure 10, appear to rise in a step after the 1997/98 El Niño. That is, there is very little response to the 1998 through 2001 La Niña. It appears as though a secondary source of heat is maintaining the Northern Hemisphere TLT anomalies at elevated levels.

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Figure 10

A similar upward step can be seen in the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature anomaly index (LOTI) for the latitudes of 20N-65N, Figure 11. (North of 65N the GISS data is biased by their deleting Sea Surface Temperature data and replacing it with land surface data with a higher trend. Again, refer to GISS Deletes Arctic And Southern Ocean Sea Surface Temperature Data.)

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Figure 11

And a similar upward step is visible in the North Atlantic SST anomaly data, Figure 12.

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Figure 12

The North Atlantic SST anomalies, the Lower Troposphere Temperature( TLT) anomalies of the Northern Hemisphere north of 20N, and the Northern Hemisphere Land-Ocean Temperature anomalies (20N-65N) all rise in response to the 1997/98 El Niño, but fail to respond fully to the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña. The similarity of the curves can be seen in Figure 13.

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Figure 13

The correlation maps in Figures 3 through 6 show that a portion of the warming of the Northern Hemisphere north of 20N should be a response to the elevated Kuroshio-Oyashio SST anomalies during the 1998 through 2001 La Niña. To further illustrate this relationship, Figure 14 compares the KOE SST anomalies (not scaled) to the three datasets shown in Figure 13. I did not scale the Kuroshio-Oyashio SST anomalies because I wanted to illustrate the differences in the magnitudes of the variations. The variations in Kuroshio-Oyashio SST anomalies are clearly far greater than the variations of the other three datasets in Figure 14. In fact, the KOE SST anomaly variations are about 40% to 50% of the variations in NINO3.4 SST anomalies (refer back to Figures 7 and 8).

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Figure 14

Figure 15 presents the same datasets as Figure 14, but in Figure 15, the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies have been scaled. Keep in mind that the three Northern Hemisphere temperature anomaly datasets rise first in response to the El Niño.

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Figure 15

It appears the warming of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension during the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña and its interaction with the other datasets could explain a portion of the trend in Northern Hemisphere SST anomalies, TLT anomalies, and Land-Ocean temperature anomalies since 1995. The warming of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension during that La Niña counteracts the normal cooling effects of the La Niña and prevents the temperature anomalies for the three datasets shown in Figures 13, 14, and 15 from responding fully to the La Niña.

THE 1986/87/88 EL NIÑO & 1988/89 LA NIÑA

There is a similar effect during the 1988/89 La Niña. That is, Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies do not drop as one would expect during a La Niña. But the response during the 1986/87/88 El Niño may help to confirm the impact of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension on Northern Hemisphere temperatures.

Figure 16 compares scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies for the period of 1985 through 1994 to the same datasets used in Figures 13: North Atlantic SST anomalies, the Lower Troposphere Temperature (TLT) anomalies of the Northern Hemisphere north of 20N, and the GISS Northern Hemisphere Land-Ocean Temperature anomalies (20N-65N). Once again, the Northern Hemisphere datasets rise in response to the El Niño event, but don’t drop in response to the La Niña. Note also that the North Atlantic SST anomalies lag the NINO3.4 SST by more than 6 months during the ramp-up phase, but the lag in the Northern Hemisphere TLT and Surface Temperature datasets is excessive, about 18 months. Why?

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Figure 16

Could the dip in the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies during the 1986/87/88 El Niño have counteracted their responses to the El Niño? Refer to Figure 17. It compares Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies (not scaled) to the North Atlantic and Northern Hemisphere datasets. The drop in KOE SST anomalies is significant in 1986/87/88.

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Figure 17

And in Figure 18, the Kiroshio-Oyashio SST anomalies have been scaled. The North Atlantic SST anomalies rise in response to the 1986/87/88 El Niño as noted earlier. The timing of the rises in the KOE data and the GISS LOTI data are very similar. But the rise in the TLT anomalies north of 20N precedes the rise in the KOE data. If the dip in KOE SST anomalies were the only factor preventing the TLT anomalies from rising in response to the El Niño, shouldn’t we expect the TLT anomalies to lag the rise in the KOE data? Or are the TLT anomalies responding to the rise in North Atlantic SST anomalies?

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Figure 18

If we replace the RSS TLT data with TLT data from UAH, Figure 19, the lag decreases between the North Atlantic SST anomalies and the TLT anomalies north of 20N.

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Figure 19

CLOSING

An El Niño event releases vast amounts of warm water from below the surface of the west Pacific Warm Pool. But the end of an El Niño event does not mean all of that warm water suddenly disappears. The warm water sloshes back to the western tropical Pacific during the La Niña. And some of that warm water is spun up into the Kuoshio-Oyashio Extension where it continues to release heat.

Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies rose significantly during the La Niña events of 1988/89 and 1998/99/00/01. These warmings appear to have counteracted the effects of those La Niña events on North Atlantic SST anomalies, and on Lower Troposphere Temperature anomalies north of 20N, and on combined Land-Ocean temperature anomalies of the Northern Hemisphere between the latitudes of 20N-65N. During the 1997/98 El Niño, the drop in Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies was very small and the KOE does not appear to have had a noticeable impact on the effects of that El Niño. On the other hand, the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies did drop significantly during the 1986/87/88 El Niño and they appear to have suppressed the effects of that El Niño on Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies. But why did the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies drop significantly during the 1986/87/88 El Niño but not during the 1997/98 El Niño? Differences in Sea Level Pressure?

SOURCE

Data for graphs are available through, and the correlation and anomaly maps were downloaded from, the KNMI Climate Explorer:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

Posted by Bob Tisdale at 6:39 AM

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pat

Why let actual measured temperatures get in the way of conjecture? Where’s the money in that?

Thanks, Anthony.

Onion

lol wut?
I see a lot of text but the title “Tisdale K.O.e’s GISS’s latest “warmest-year nonsense”” doesn’t bear on it at all.
It’s like you’ve plonked an essay on here and just given it a “GISS has been disproved” title.
REPLY: Warmists like yourself who snipe from shadows really don’t have any sense of humor do they? – A

Njorway

I have been in South America in November for vacations:
In Peru, I was shivering with cold. In Chile the nights were very cool. I had never experienced such a cold November in Argentina (I am Argentinian) . South America have experienced this year one of the coldest winters of the last years, with thousands of dead fishes in the rivers of Bolivia and snow in Brazil.
Now I am in Norway, which has experienced one of the coldest Novembers of the last century and December continues to be very cold.
We all know what has happened last week in UK, in France (and in almost all Europe) and today in Turkey. And also today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the temperature is of 20C when normally should be 30C at this time of the year. Could you explain me where is that excess of heat that GISS talk about??

Nick

What is the relationship between the headline and the discussion?

Bill H

Facts, facts, facts,….
if they don’t match the reality you want manufacture them…. Briffa, Mann, Hansen, and the IPCC doesn’t seem to want to learn… push the crap, get it out to create fear and get the one world control system in place… its all about control and the agenda…

Bill H

the sorry state of our scientific community… GISS how pathetic…

Henry chance

Joe Romm is already getting dramatic regarding heat. To me it looks like the heat is concentrated at the north pole where they don have readings so they use ultra hig speculation to fill in space.

Bill Illis

Really important article Bob.
The Kuroshio Extension should be added into the list of important ocean cycles.
I just added the data to a few of my reconstructions and it makes a significant improvement. It even enhances the stats on the ENSO component which is perhaps unexpected. I’ll have to play around with it a little more, test a few lags etc., but this could be a big finding.
ps: the global warming residuals fall considerably on the RSS and UAH satellite reconstructions so there is pretty small warming left.

H.R.

Figures 14 & 17 make a good point. Very nice work, Bob.

Brilliant, Important, Brilliant and Important, Thanks Bob!!
K.R. Frank

Bill Illis: I’d be interested in seeing your reconstructions when you’re done.

BillD

Rather obsure post. Why don’t the conclusions follow from the data in a clear, easy to follow argument?

Stephen Wilde

A good summary explaining why and how lag effects can operate in connection with ENSO effects on the atmosphere.
It also confirms the importance of integrating ALL the ocean cycles at any given moment before discussing the anticipated effect on tropospheric temperatures.
The oceans clearly control air temperatures and can be invoked to explain ALL observed tropospheric temperature changes without needing any input from GHG changes.
The next big question is as to how solar variability can be linked in mechanistically with SSTs to achieve observed climate cycles over centuries such as the cycling from MWP to LIA to date.
Recent climate changes having been seen to occur in parallel with the changes in solar variability should give us useful pointers over the coming years.
Does the sun change the tropospheric pressure distribution to alter global cloudiness and albedo thereby skewing the balance between El Nino and La Nina for centuries at a time?

R. Gates

This is excellent and quite informative. One general question however: Isn’t this sort of residual heat from an El Nino always present when averaged over many decades such that the effect would be averaged in and included in prior temperature readings? In short, if the decade of 2010-2019 (which will very likely include several El Nino/La Nina cycles) is warmer than the decade of 2000-2009, (which was undiputably the warmest on instrument record) doesn’t this sort of residual El Nino effect not really matter in the long run if we are looking at a warming trend over a longer period of time?

Looking athe the GISS year Anomoly map, my area is swathed in yellow, no two ways about it – they have as us a positive .2 c degree anomoly. I’ve done the maths from the BOM in Australia for my Area and we are 3 whole degrees cooler this year than last – how the hell does tha make a positive anomoly? THey are lying – pure and simple. Everyone shivvering their arses off around the world knows it.

With apologies to carollers around the globe:
Hark! The climate modellers sing
Climate change is happening;
Funds must now collected be
From the rich,(that’s you and me.)
Joyful, all ye nations, rise
Solve the problem in the skies
With the Cancun host proclaim
Earth will no more be the same
Hark! The climate modellers sing
Climate change is happening.
Let’s all sign treaties that bind
We’re all doomed unless we find
Consensus at the Cancun talks;
They will fail if China balks.
The Third World is the victim here;
Western guilt’s too much to bear.
Polar bears are on thin ice
Can’t you see this isn’t nice?
Hark! The climate modellers sing
Climate change is happening
Temps are rising, so’s the sea.
The Maldives? They’ll no longer be.
Floods and droughts; more sun; more snow,
All these things just go to show
Just how bad the world has got
The climate is completely shot
All mankind must take the blame
It’s got much worse since they came.
Hark! The climate modellers sing
Climate change is happening
Mother Earth must be adored
Eden, now, must be restored
Western life will kill us all
Burning all the evil oil
CO2’s a poisonous gas
Can’t you see? You silly ass!
Save the planet while you can
Fossil fuels aren’t hard to ban
Hark! The climate modellers sing
Climate change is happening

Onion says:
December 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm
It’s like you’ve plonked an essay on here and just given it a “GISS has been disproved” title.
It’s like you just plonked a comment here and thought it washed away what the post says.
Do you post comments under another name also?

JDN

This doesn’t make any sense. You guys (Bob & Anthony) are way off base with this one. You have 21 charts that do nothing to advance the cause that this is not the warmest year on record. Conversely, you seem to be arguing that it *is* the warmest year on record but that you have a reasonable explanation.
Supppose there weren’t leftover warm water from an el nino year…. is it still the warmest year on record? If I believed the temperature “measurements”, then, yes. See what I mean? The cause for it being so is irrelevant to whether it is or not. I’m guessing the GISS is lying somehow. I would change the title.

Jose Suro

This makes excellent sense when using anomalies that average the whole globe. I am correct in my understanding that the stronger the El Nino the stronger the residual warming effects in the Western Pacific and this in turn tips the whole global average? If so, this is quite an important observation.

JDN says: “This doesn’t make any sense. You guys (Bob & Anthony) are way off base with this one. You have 21 charts that do nothing to advance the cause that this is not the warmest year on record.”
The post deals with attribution, not with whether or not this year is warmest. As I noted on the “Hansen feels the need to explain why GISS is high in the midst of frigid air” thread…
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/12/hansen-feels-the-need-to-explain-why-giss-is-high-in-the-midst-of-frigid-air/#comment-549207

Hansen writes, “The warmth of 2010 is especially noteworthy, given the strong La Nina that developed in the second half of 2010.”
But what he fails to tell you is what happens to the leftover warm water from the El Nino during the transition to La Nina. It gets returned to the West Pacific by a slow-moving Rossby wave and spun up into the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) in the northwest North Pacific where it continues to release heat during the La Nina.
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/12/enso-related-variations-in-kuroshio.html
######
And that post is the one Anthony co-posted here.
Regards

R. Gates says: “This is excellent and quite informative. One general question however: Isn’t this sort of residual heat from an El Nino always present when averaged over many decades such that the effect would be averaged in and included in prior temperature readings? In short, if the decade of 2010-2019 (which will very likely include several El Nino/La Nina cycles) is warmer than the decade of 2000-2009, (which was undiputably the warmest on instrument record) doesn’t this sort of residual El Nino effect not really matter in the long run if we are looking at a warming trend over a longer period of time?”
It’s the residual effect that’s creating the trend.
Since the North Atlantic SST anomalies and the Northern Hemisphere TLT anomalies (north of 20N) and GISS LOTI (20N-65N) do not respond to the La Nina events discussed in the post, those datasets in effect rise in steps and they should make yet another step up after the 2009/10 El Nino & 2010/11 La Nina “cycle” is concluded. In other words, the reason the decade from the late 1980s to the late 1990s is warmer than the one before it is due to the response to the 1986/87/88 El Nino and 1988/89 La Nina. Same thing holds true for the period after the 1997/98 El Niño and 1998-2001 La Niña. It’s warmer than the period before it due the upward step.
Keep in mind that the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans (60S-65N, 80E-180, or about 25% of the global ocean surface area) also make similar upward steps. That’s one of the subjects I’ve repeatedly posted about for almost two years.

BillD says: “Why don’t the conclusions follow from the data in a clear, easy to follow argument?”
Please clarify, so that I can improve my future posts,

Bill Illis

Bob, just a preliminary look but the Kuroshio will certainly be added to my reconstructions.
Not a huge improvement, but more than enough to include. I’ve got the coefficient at 0.09 to 0.10 (which means it has an impact of +/-0.1C or so) and no lag seems to be required. [By contrast the ENSO is +/- 0.2C so that makes it half as important as the ENSO which makes it one of three or four most important ocean cycles in my opinion]. In addition, it bumped up the coefficients for the ENSO and their significance level which is also important].
It explains a certain amount of the extra warming in the the 2000s, the 1940s, and the relative cooling in the mid-1980s, and the early 1900s.
Just RSS here. I want to look into a few more things before going any farther.
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/4809/rssmodelnov10.png
Global Warming/CO2 residuals. Down quite a bit from before.
http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/9959/rsswarmingnov10.png
Good work.

eadler

The gist of Tisdales post seems to be that Hansen didn’t mention the remnants of the El Nino warm pool in his analysis. The anomaly map that accompanied Hansen’s article did show that the ocean in that area was abnormally warm, with small portions in the 1 to 2 degree range.
Hansen highlighted the 10C anomaly in the Hudson’s bay area due to the absence of sea ice, and gave a possible explanation of why Europe turned out to be so cold. This was relevant and interesting.
Even with the residual warm pool left over after the El Nino subsided, the La Nina would not be expected to influence the global average temperature as strongly as an El Nino situation, which provides a much larger area of warm water at the surface of the Southern Pacific. So it is perfectly legitimate for Hansen to point out that the El Nino has subsided.
None of this contradicts Hansen’s analysis which indicates that 2010 will be close to a record warm year.

Bob – I have to explain ENSO to you. But first, where did you get that subtropical countercurrent? That’s a new one for me – my chart does not have it. Couple of things I’ve noticed with your article. First, figure 9 compares RSS TLT (70S-20N) and Nino 3.4 and they convey basically the same information except for a noticeable and variable time shift. That should be no wonder because Nino3.4 is part of that TLT. I am not exactly sure why they use it because it encompasses a vastly greater and more heterogeneous area than Nino3.4 does. That Nino just sits right smack in the middle of the equatorial countercurrent, watches El Nino waves go by, and is good at it. That is because all ENSO waves use the equatorial countercurrent to get to South America. The ENSO oscillation itself is created by trade winds that push the equatorial currents west until they are stopped by the Philippines and by New Guinea. The water has been warmed by being pushed across the tropical ocean and feeds the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool. Some of it does leak between the islands into the Indian Ocean but eventually an El Nino wave builds up and crosses the ocean in the opposite direction using the equatorial countercurrent. The timing of these El Nino waves is determined by wave resonance and depends upon the dimensions of the ocean basin itself. Once it gets to South America it runs ashore at the equator and spreads out north and south. This spread-out water now warms the air, warm air rises, interferes with trades, mixes with global circulation, and raises global temperature by half a degree. But any wave that runs ashore must also retreat. When the El Nino wave retreats water level behind it drops by 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 raised the global temperature the La Nina will now lower it. Since we are dealing with a resonant oscillation the time series of temperature should look like a sinusoid. Some parts of the satellite record in the eighties and nineties are almost but not quite like that because of numerous interferences due to the long path length involved. The most prominent is the 1998 super El Nino that does not even belong to ENSO. I looked for historical records of ENSO and found a version of HadCRUT3 that shows them back to 1850. It has bimonthly resolution but they have processed it so that both peaks and valleys are pointed, not rounded as they should be. It was handy for locating the timing of volcanic eruptions but there must be data somewhere that are not processed by people who do not understand what they are doing. What I have described is the outline of a dynamical theory of ENSO that for reasons unknown no one else had thought of. Some came close – whoever located NINO3.4 in the middle of the equatorial countercurrent could have taken the next step simply by observing the time lag involved and realizing that a huge water mass was in motion. The total mass of water taking part in the ENSO oscillation is so large that it will cause a periodic change of the angular momentum of the earth. This can be observed by measuring atmospheric shear at high altitude and was already known in 1984 although they did not understand the cause.

R. Gates

Bob Tisdale says:
December 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm
R. Gates says: “This is excellent and quite informative. One general question however: Isn’t this sort of residual heat from an El Nino always present when averaged over many decades such that the effect would be averaged in and included in prior temperature readings? In short, if the decade of 2010-2019 (which will very likely include several El Nino/La Nina cycles) is warmer than the decade of 2000-2009, (which was undiputably the warmest on instrument record) doesn’t this sort of residual El Nino effect not really matter in the long run if we are looking at a warming trend over a longer period of time?”
It’s the residual effect that’s creating the trend.
______
Thanks for your response, but in the long run, if this continues decade after decade, isn’t heat just heat…regardless of whether is comes from residual effects of ENSO or whatever. I mean, if in the next 100 years, we get 8 out of 10 decades that are warmer than the previous, then that is essentially what GCM’s are predicting from AGW, such that if you could trace some of that heat from residual ENSO effects, who cares? ENSO redistributes heat but does not create it, since it all begins as solar, and so even if we get some of the excess heat from AGW altering the the ENSO cycle and if the effect is delayed, then the effect would be exactly what you’re observing, (i.e. the heat will eventually show up in some measurement period). Residual El Nino heat is still heat and if the trend is greater amounts of residual heat, no matter when it’s measured, we still have an uptrend.

crosspatch

“But why did the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies drop significantly during the 1986/87/88 El Niño but not during the 1997/98 El Niño? Differences in Sea Level Pressure?”
Quite possibly, or even pressures aloft. I would be willing to bet that if you looked at jet stream maps of the periods involved, they would be quite different. Persistent regions of higher/lower pressure might have been displaced slightly in the later event compared to the earlier events so wind patterns might have been much different. Slack winds over the region would certainly cause sea surface temperatures to rise as, after all, sea surface temperature anomalies are often more of a wind proxy than anything else. A little bit of wind can cool the surface of a “hot blob of water” down to “normal” even though the underlying water is still warmer than normal.

Baa Humbug

Onion says:
December 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

lol wut?
I see a lot of text but the title “Tisdale K.O.e’s GISS’s latest “warmest-year nonsense”” doesn’t bear on it at all.

If anyone else comments about the title not matching the essay I’ll pull my hair out.
Peal back your blindfold Onion, K.O.e’s as in Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE)
Geddid?
Hanson defended his data with drivvel that showed he didn’t understand why 2010 temperatures are what they are. Bob just told him and some of us learned a lot.
Obviously some didn’t.

Pamela Gray

I think I have found the source of all that global warming on the ground here in Wallowa County. Was wondering how a cold Pacific could have so much water vapor coming out of it.
The mighty conveyor built speaks volumes don’t it.

savethesharks

Bob Tisdale says:
December 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm
BillD says: “Why don’t the conclusions follow from the data in a clear, easy to follow argument?”
Please clarify, so that I can improve my future posts,
=================================
I think pare it down, some, Bob. It is a difficult read. For us laymen (really for us all), less is more.
And make more concise conclusions at the end, rather than ending in a rhetorical question.
Those are my suggestions.
All the best,
Chris

savethesharks

R. Gates says:
“Thanks for your response, but in the long run, if this continues decade after decade, isn’t heat just heat…regardless of whether is comes from residual effects of ENSO or whatever. I mean, if in the next 100 years, we get 8 out of 10 decades that are warmer than the previous, then that is essentially what GCM’s are predicting from AGW, such that if you could trace some of that heat from residual ENSO effects, who cares?”
=================================
Reposted for sorry effect.
Preposterous, ridiculous, juvenile, CIRCULAR REASONING.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

jorgekafkazar

Well, global hot spots are heat shedding mechanisms, more than a sign of global warming. It’s the overall heat balance that’s important and the GISS “average global temperature anomaly” is largely meaningless, given the huge thermal capacity of the oceans (1100 x the atmosphere) and latent heat and humidity effects. There’s just no place to stick a big thermometer to get a single measurement that represents the equilibrium temperature of the earth.
Great post, Bob.

crosspatch

There’s just no place to stick a big thermometer to get a single measurement that represents the equilibrium temperature of the earth.

Well, maybe not one, but maybe a dozen, in the abyssal ocean might do it.

Jim Steele

Your animation captures nicely the effect of El Nino/La Ninas on the pumping of warm water northward and reminds me of the PDO. During the PDO cool phase, the area near the KOE develops warm anomalies and there are fewer El Ninos and more La Ninas. During the PDO warm phase as we have been in for most of the last 30+ years, there are fewer La Ninas and more El Ninos and the KOE areas anomalously cool.
However I am not sure how directly the KOE oscillations account for warming trends , other than its connections to the PDO and its impact on Arctic ice thinning , that blocks less heat escaping from the ocean and the resultant warming of recorded temperatures, which is not the same as a warming planet. Ironically while they measure warmest temperatures, the oceans are releasing more heat which in the long run will cool the oceans.

crosspatch

Has anyone had a chance to read this paper?
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3682.1
Warming of Global Abyssal and Deep Southern Ocean Waters Between the 1990s and 2000s: Contributions to Global Heat and Sea Level Rise Budgets
Sarah G. Purkey and Gregory C. Johnson

We quantify abyssal global and deep Southern Ocean temperature trends between the 1990s and 2000s to assess the role of recent warming of these regions in global heat and sea level budgets. We compute warming rates with uncertainties along 28 full-depth, high-quality, hydrographic sections that have been occupied two or more times between 1980 and 2010. We divide the global ocean into 32 basins defined by the topography and climatological ocean bottom temperatures and estimate temperature trends in the 24 sampled basins. The three southernmost basins show a strong statistically significant abyssal warming trend, with that warming signal weakening to the north in the central Pacific, western Atlantic, and eastern Indian Oceans. Eastern Atlantic and western Indian Ocean basins show statistically insignificant abyssal cooling trends. Excepting the Arctic Ocean and Nordic seas, the rate of abyssal (below 4000 m) global ocean heat content change in the 1990s and 2000s is equivalent to a heat flux of 0.027 (±0.009) W m−2 applied over the entire surface of the Earth. Deep (1000–4000 m) warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current adds 0.068 (±0.062) W m−2. The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081) mm yr−1. Thus warming in these regions, ventilated primarily by Antarctic Bottom Water, accounts for a statistically significant fraction of the present global energy and sea level budgets.
Received: February 16, 2010; Revised: July 28, 2010; Revised: August 18, 2010

dp

Just answer this simple question: did more energy arrive on earth than left earth in 2010? I don’t care what the temperature was – did more energy arrive than left? Who can answer that? Anyone? Come on – it can’t be that hard. Nobody knows?
I didn’t think so.

Jim Harper

I’m new, a layman and I’m really having trouble understanding how this concludes to match the title. Could you PLEASE edit the article to end with a statement, instead of a question?

Arnost

Good stuff Bob!
Now if I had the time I would have a look at how the KOE ties in with the PDO – have a look here: http://130.207.67.194/npgo/enso.html
Cheers mate!

izen

@-jorgekafkazar
“There’s just no place to stick a big thermometer to get a single measurement that represents the equilibrium temperature of the earth. ”
Given the massively dominant role of the oceans as a reservoir of the thermal energy the volume change from thermal expansion and addition of land-based ice is a good global measure of changing thermal content.
Sea level rise is a big thermometer that rises in proportion to the extra energy absorbed.

Just a guess.
Current Pacific situation according to some of my research is very reminiscent of a period 1900 to 1915 when all pointers are converging to a low value, when there was substantial dip in the
global temperatures .

Dave Wendt

Some time ago while looking through the sea level anomaly maps at this site
http://bulletin.aviso.oceanobs.com/html/produits/aviso/welcome_uk.php3
I noticed a phenomenon that I found quite puzzling. If you peruse a selection of the daily SLA maps you’ll see several persistent bands, one nearly circumnavigating Antarctica, one running from the mid Atlantic states of the US on a vector toward Britain, and one running east from Japan about in the area described as the “mixed water region” in Bob’s figure 1. What distinguishes them is a consistent pattern of nearly maximum negative anomaly trend with nodes of near maximum positive anomaly trend interspersed. I haven’t examined every one of the daily maps available, but each that I have has the pattern present to some extent, irrespective of year, month or season. Given the locations involved it seems to suggest that when currents with widely variant temperatures blend that, rather than being well mixed, the different temp waters maintain the differential for some considerable length of time. The phenomenon is so consistent that it even appears in somewhat muted form on a map which averages anomaly trends over decades.
http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/
I’ve tried on several occasions to find further information on this phenomenon, but it’s rather difficult to craft a search enquiry that is on point for this. Does anyone know if this has been discussed or named in the oceanographic literature, or know of a link where this is covered?

Jim Steele says: “Ironically while they measure warmest temperatures, the oceans are releasing more heat which in the long run will cool the oceans.”
And ocean heat content (0-700meters) in some ocean basins has been dropping for the past few years:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/10/update-and-changes-to-nodc-ocean-heat.html

Jim Steele: Oops. Sorry. Somehow I snipped the “m” in your first name.
[I have corrected the spelling …. bl57~mod]

son of mulder

Has the residual area of warming always been captured in the global temperature record since 1860?

stephen richards

Moderator
I am absolutely not a warmist but I can’t see any humour in the the title being mis-connected to the essay. It doesn’t bother me one little bit and I find Bob’s works far more plausible than anything I have seen from the warming crew here and the ‘Team’ (example. The Dessler Paper, the worst scientific paper I have ever read and I’ve read a few in my long life).
[REPLY: Note the very first part:
Bob Tisdale writes:
I’ve been holding off telling you about my most recent post in hopes that GISS would continue with their warmest-year nonsense.

Quoting Bob to create the title is valid. .. bl57~mod]

R. Gates says: “Thanks for your response, but in the long run, if this continues decade after decade, isn’t heat just heat…regardless of whether is comes from residual effects of ENSO or whatever. I mean, if in the next 100 years, we get 8 out of 10 decades that are warmer than the previous, then that is essentially what GCM’s are predicting from AGW, such that if you could trace some of that heat from residual ENSO effects, who cares?”
The creators of the GCMs should care and so should you, because it means GCMs and their creators incorrectly attributed the source of the global warming. Also, there’s no indication it will continue decade after decade. It didn’t continue from 1945 to 1975.
You added, “ENSO redistributes heat but does not create it…
El Niño events discharge heat and La Niña events redistribute it. La Niña events also recharge the heat released during the El Niño in part or in whole.
You continued, “…since it all begins as solar, and so even if we get some of the excess heat from AGW altering the the ENSO cycle…”
There is no evidence that the ENSO cycle has been altered by AGW and there’s no evidence that AGW has had a measurable impact on OHC over the past 55 years. Refer to:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html
And:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html
And:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html

MartinGAtkins

Onion says:
December 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm
lol wut?
I see a lot of text but the title “Tisdale K.O.e’s GISS’s latest “warmest-year nonsense”” doesn’t bear on it at all.
It’s like you’ve plonked an essay on here and just given it a “GISS has been disproved” title.

Just for you, because we care.
This graph is cumulative in that it takes the December anomaly of each data set and sets it to zero. The rise or fall compared with the December anomaly for each month thereafter is added to the preceding month/months. This tells you what months are deflating or inflating the year average. This is not a moving average and does not give you the average. It shows that from September GISS data has been inflating the year average whilst UAH data has been deflating the year average.
http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/Cum-GISS-UAH.png

Arno Arrak says: “Bob – I have to explain ENSO to you. But first, where did you get that subtropical countercurrent? ”
That’s as far as I read, Arno. Or maybe you should read my posts that explain ENSO in detail. If you had you wouldn’t have been surprised by the Rossby wave. Start here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/08/introduction-to-enso-amo-and-pdo-part-1.html
There are links to other posts included.
I first illustrated the Rossby Wave in the December 18, 2008 post:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/08/introduction-to-enso-amo-and-pdo-part-1.html

Baa Humbug

Bob I wonder if I’m barking up the wrong tree here.
If I look at your fig. 2 side by side with a chart of the Thermocline Circulation, the Kuroshio and Oyashio Currents look trapped, almost like an eddy.