NASA: La Niña has remained strong

The La Niña is evident by the large pool cooler than normal (blue and purple) water stretching from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean, reflecting lower than normal sea surface heights. "This La Niña has strengthened for the past seven months, and is one of the most intense events of the past half century," said Climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA JPL. Credit: NASA JPL/Bill Patzert

From NASA JPL in Pasadena:

New NASA satellite data indicate the current La Niña event in the eastern Pacific has remained strong during November and December 2010.

A new Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean that averaged 10 days of data was just released from NASA. The image, centered on Dec. 26, 2010, was created at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.

“The solid record of La Niña strength only goes back about 50 years and this latest event appears to be one of the strongest ones over this time period,” said Climatologist Bill Patzert of JPL. “It is already impacting weather and climate all around the planet.”

“Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,” said David Adamec, Oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “The copious rainfall is a direct result of La Niña’s effect on the Pacific trade winds and has made tropical Australia particularly rainy this year.”

The new image depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is near-normal, higher (warmer) than normal and lower (cooler) than normal. The cooler-than normal pool of water that stretches from the eastern to the central Pacific Ocean is a hallmark of a La Niña event.

Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate. Only from space can we observe our vast ocean on a global scale and monitor critical changes in ocean currents and heat storage. Continuous data from satellites like OSTM/Jason-2 help us understand and foresee the effects of ocean changes on our climate and on climate events such as La Niña and El Niño.

The latest report from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) noted that “A moderate-to-strong La Niña continued during December 2010 as reflected by well below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.” The CPC report said that La Niña is expected to continue well into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011.

Read the latest ENSO forecast here (PDF)

This Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean is based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Dec. 26, 2010. The new image depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is higher (warmer) than normal as yellow and red, with places where the sea surface height is lower (cooler) than normal as blue and purple. Green indicates near-normal conditions. Sea surface height is an indicator of how much of the sun's heat is stored in the upper ocean. Credit: NASA JPL/Bill Patzert

 

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John Marshall

A strong La Nina would explain flooding in Sri Lanka and Australia and Brazil, due to coupling with the PDO/ADO which are both in a negative phase lowering temperatures in other parts of the globe.

John R T

para 5 ¨ height¨
Should that be ´temp?´

etudiant

The maps provide excellent illustration of the La Nina phenomenon, but are purely qualitative.
So it is very difficult to relate the current La Nina to prior such without additional measurements.
What are these measures and how are they summed over an ocean basin to determine the scope of the event?
Given the spotty quality control seen in other relevant data collections, how is this segment handled?
Presumably the lower surface elevation measured in the above charts reflects the greater density of colder water, so that the water column has similar pressure as at spots where the surface water is warmer.

Martin

“levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century” ?????
Suggest a look at Roger Pielke Jnr.:
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/01/brisbane-floods-in-historical-context.html

rushmike

….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm

DocattheAutopsy

The ENSO index reading from Nov/Dec is -1.519.
Next update is Feb. 5th.

Sam Glasser

“Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”. And how does the ocean get its heat? From the CO2 driven atmospheric warming? But water has ~3,000 times the heat capacity (per unit mass) of air. I think the pseudo-scientists have their independent and dependent variables reversed.

Jeff Wiita

This must be caused by AGC (Anthropogenic Global Cooling) caused by aerosols from dirty coal power plants in China. LOL

geo

According to the monitoring graph on WUWTs ENSO page, this La Nina isn’t even as strong as the 2008 one (at least, yet. . .it could take another leg down).
Are they hyperventilating over there, or is there something about “strength” not reflected in the monitoring graph?

Galvanize

“Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,”
I suppose 1974 was the last century, in his defence

The following Sea Surface animations, especially the longer timescale temperature ones, do a good job at demonstrating the large changes that have occurred due to the La Nina event:
Global Tropical Sea Surface Temperature – 3 Months
http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/gsstanim.shtml
Global Sea Surface Temperature – 30 Days
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/sst30d.gif
Global Sea Surface Temperature – 12 Months
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/sst12m.gif
Global Surface Currents over Temperature – 30 Days
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/ctemp30d.gif
Global Surface Currents over Temperature – 12 Months
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/ctemp12m.gif
Global Surface Currents over Height – 30 Days
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/cssh30d.gif
Global Surface Currents over Height – 12 Months
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/cssh12m.gif
Global Surface Currents over Speed – 30 Days
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/cspd30d.gif
Global Surface Currents over Speed – 12 Months
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/cspd12m.gif
Global Sea Surface Height – 30 Days
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/ssh30d.gif
Global Sea Surface Height – 12 Months
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/ssh12m.gif
Global Sea Surface Salinity – 30 Days
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/sss30d.gif
Global Sea Surface Salinity – 12 Months
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/anims/glb/sss12m.gif
Sources:
Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at Stennis Space Center (SSC):
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_ncom/
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Services (NWS), Climate Prediction Center:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
Anthony
Is it possible to include some of the global sea surface animations on the WUWT “ENSO/Sea Level/Sea Surface Temperature Page”? I think it should become a more encompassing WUWT Ocean Reference Page.

Matt Schilling

Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain? Is the Gulf Stream currently (pun intended!) impacting NW Europe in a way that is the inverse of the impact for which it is famous?

John M
latitude

“Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,”
=========================================================
Before global warming, there were twice as many floods….
….global warming has cut the amount of floods in half
Between 1840 and 1900, 60 years, there were five floods much higher.
Have led to levels of flooding usually only seen 8 times in a century.

GregO

All levity aside, is there a claimed relationship between man-made CO2 and a La Niña event that can be gleaned from climate models?
How do the models, which by my (limited) understanding predict warming due to the excess of CO2 put into the atmosphere by man account, for cycles like the current La Niña?

kuhnkat

rushmike says:
January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am
….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm
and global temps have already lost ALL of those high temps and are still dropping. Global sea ice is flat although the arctic has become the dumping ground for the NH’s heat and the thickness has grown from last year in spite of this. The Australian flooding, as bad as it is, still isn’t the worst on record and AGW touted us getting hotter and drier. It is not hotter than ten years ago and we have seen this year that it certainly isn’t drier.
Sorry you are so wrong, but, I guess someone has to be.

Werner Weber

What new do we learn from these data? All this is known from terrestric data and from other satellite data which measure SST. Now NASA measures sea surface temperatures by sea surface heights. And by a very complicated, time consuming analysis which gives nothing new, but that is achieved with much bigger error bars.
The other day we had the solar constant minimum baseline newly adjusted, it differs considerably from the previous satellite result. And the new value approaches the sixty year old terrestric value of Abbot.
How many satellites are in space measuring climate data? 20 or 50 or 100?
Each 100 megabucks or how much more?
And terrestric data taking is shut down (or not even started) because of lack of funds.
It may be allowed to ask: who benefits most from all the climate change excitement?

Elizabeth

“Although exacerbated by precipitation from a tropical cyclone, rainfalls of historic proportion in eastern Queensland, Australia have led to levels of flooding usually only seen once in a century,” said David Adamec, Oceanographer
In Adamec’s defense, there was only one really big flood during the last century, if you count the century as 1909-2009. And he probably just missed the five major floods that occured between 1840 and 1900, at levels higher than the current flooding. After all, only two of those floods registered as almost double the level of today’s. Another half-dozen or so floods during this same 60 year time period were merely almost to the level of today’s.

Matt Schilling says: January 15, 2011 at 7:38 am
“Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain? Is the Gulf Stream currently (pun intended!) impacting NW Europe in a way that is the inverse of the impact for which it is famous?”
No. Mexico, Central America and South America’s contiguous land mass prevents La Nina’s cold waters in the Pacific Ocean from entering the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Stream:
http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/wind-driven-surface.htm
The atmospheric effects of the La Nina can certainly impact the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Stream and Great Britain, but there is no direct interchange between the bodies of water.

Pamela Gray

Suffering under La Nina? Did you suffer under El Nino? Did you suffer under a negative AO? The fault is ours.
Wherever the winds pile up warm water during La Nina’s worst PMS days, is exactly where much of civilization has extended their city boundaries out into the ocean (kinda reminds me of trailer houses parked in Tornado Ally areas). Isn’t there a biblical reference directed at this folly? We flood because we have purposely sunk our cities into the ocean just for the ocean view. We freeze because we build in freeze and glacier prone areas just so we can see framed valleys below through our front window. We sweat because we desire to build in deserts. The river gnaws away at our front door because we wanted river-front property. Our houses fall into the sea because the sand beneath us falls away. Why? Developer and buyer visionary, yet still stoooopid, greed. Many of the houses under water in Aussie land look new to me. Sorry, but I have no sympathy. Reminds me of the houses built on sand spits along the Oregon coastline.
Some good advice from your past: You should not build a house where your ancestors refused to build a house. Just because you are modern doesn’t mean you are smarter.

James H

Don’t listen to “Just The Facts”, he is forgetting about the Panama Canal , where [undocumented] climate workers furiously shuttle the cooler water through to cool the planet.

Matt Schilling says: “Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain?”
Nope. The Atlantic responds to ENSO events through teleconnections. That is, the La Nina is changing the “normal” atmopheric circulation patterns, rearranging the “normal” wind patterns, etc., which in turn alter the “normal” SST anomalies.

richard verney

As Sam Glasser says:
January 15, 2011 at 7:00 am
“Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”. And how does the ocean get its heat? From the CO2 driven atmospheric warming? But water has ~3,000 times the heat capacity (per unit mass) of air. I think the pseudo-scientists have their independent and dependent variables reversed
I think that the AGW theory fails at almost every level but the heating of the oceans is one of the most fundamental stumbling blocks. Given that 70% of the surface area of the earth is ocean and given the heat capacity of the oceans (bear in mind the heated volume in comparison to the depth to which the ground/soil can be heated) means that you cannot get global warming unless the oceans are being heated. However, a slightly warmer atmosphere (whatever be its cause) cannot heat the oceans. You cannot heat a cup of water by blowing a hair dryer over and parallel with the surface of the water.
We know that CO2 does not in itself heat, and at best can only slow down heat loss but in practice in the real world, it is not very effective at slowing down heat loss, witness how cold a desert is at night. The CO2 in the atmosphere does not act an effective blanket keeping in the heat which has been generated during the day and the sand in the desert does not possess sufficient latent heat to continuously at night heat the air above it. Contrast this with the air over an ocean which remains warm at night due to the heat capacity of the ocean which continuously heats the air above it and due to the moisture of ocean air.
Oceans, if they are getting warmer (which they do not appear to be doing) can only be heated by energy from the sun or thermal energy from the mantle/crust. CO2 cannot drive the energy budget of the oceans and that is a death knell to the AGW theory.
NB. I am ignoring currents which are merely distributing or redistributing heat that is already in the system and which may change where the heat is to be observed but which do not in themselves actually heat the ocean.

netdr2

rushmike says:
January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am
….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm
*******************
So many mistakes in a single post.
1) Temperatures haven’t gone up since 1998.
.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C.lrg.gif
.
2) Ice in the Arctic has increased the last 3 years and the Antarctic is well above average.
.
3) Temperature was very slightly warmer because of an El Nino in the spring which GISS’s saw and a La Nina in the fall which GISS missed. Other temperature records didn’t. The real news was the lack of warming since 1998.
.
4) The extreme weather events can’t be caused by global warming if it hasn’t warmed since 1998. The alarmists are so embarrassed by the failure to warm that they are grasping at straws with the climate disruption nonsense. There is no proof that calamities have increased.

Werner Weber says: “Now NASA measures sea surface temperatures by sea surface heights.”
Hi Werner. I didn’t understand that from this post. NASA has been monitoring ocean topography with satellites since the early 1990s.
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/elninopdo/latestdata/
I have never seen NASA attempt to convert SSH data into SST data.

richard verney

As regards La Nina, it will be interesting to see how tempwratures in 2011 compare with those of 1999. Specifically, will the 2011 global temperature drop below 1999 levels? If they do, what will the warmists say?

Matt Schilling

Obviously the isthmus of Panama is a barrier for the free flow of water, yet it does at seem at first glance that there is (nearly) one long streak of blue stretching the width of the Pacific and on up to Great Britain.
Does a seemingly matching blue tongue often appear in the Gulf/Atlantic during a La Nina? I am guessing not, after looking at a La Nina page on NOAA’s site (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/la-nina-story.html). They show images of 3 recent La Nina’s near the top of the page; none of them display blue to the west of Panama.

John R T says: “Should that be ´temp?´”
Nope. These satellites are montoring Sea Surface Height. The sea surface temperature patterns are similar.

James H says: January 15, 2011 at 8:48 am
“Don’t listen to “Just The Facts”, he is forgetting about the Panama Canal , where [undocumented] climate workers furiously shuttle the cooler water through to cool the planet.”
Funny. I actually checked on the Panama Canal before I wrote it, and almost wrote “essentially” contiguous, but didn’t want to confuse the situation. For the record, the Panama Canal is 48 miles long, and climbs over “the mountainous spine of Central America” that “rises to a height of 110 meters (360.9 ft) above sea level at the lowest crossing point.”;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Panama_Canal
thus no direct interchange of water occurs between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the Panama Canal. However, one could argue whether the existence of locks along the canal sufficiently meets ones criteria for contiguousness…

geo says: “Are they hyperventilating over there, or is there something about ‘strength’ not reflected in the monitoring graph?”
Based on NINO3.4 SST anomalies, it’s still a relatively strong La Nina:
http://i51.tinypic.com/2ivn3n8.jpg
The graph is from the December 2010 SST update:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/01/december-2010-sst-anomaly-update.html
But I’ll agree that this statement doesn’t ring true: “…this latest event appears to be one of the strongest ones over this [50 year] time period…”

JP

Besides the the Austrailian floodings, 1974 brought on one of the worst severe thunderstorm outbreaks in North America. The infamous Day of the Killer Tornado occured during a modertate to strong La Nina episode. Tornados broke out from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico in one event. Xenia Ohio was totally flattened.

rushmike

netdr2,
shame you’ve fallen for the usual misinformation:
“Temperatures haven’t gone up since 1998”- OK, what about 1999…or 1997? The particularly strong and long lasting El Nino was the main factor there. Now come back and tell me how much the temperature has risen since 1999 (you can cherry pick, so will I). To take out the ENSO effect lets plot a graph of global temperatures using a 5 year mean and see what happens. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1930/to:2010/mean:60/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1930/to:2010/scale:0.1/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1930/to:2010/mean:60/offset:0.2/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1930/to:2010/scale:0.0005
Notice the correlation of global temperatures to an annualised PDO mean until 1980…then pow….No warming, yeah right.
“2) Ice in the Arctic has increased the last 3 years and the Antarctic is well above average.”
You obviously haven’t checked out Anthony’s sea ice charts, very handy source so I suggest you look quick quick. Notice GLOBAL (sorry to emphasize but I think you missed it first time round) sea ice area…hmmmm. Oh, and also note the Antarctic ice area, I think you’re statement “it’s well above average” would be, how you say, false? Looks below average to me!
“3) Temperature was very slightly warmer because of an El Nino in the spring which GISS’s saw and a La Nina in the fall which GISS missed.”
???? GISS missed? I’m hoping you’re not suggesting some kind of conspiracy here……http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt
“4) …..There is no proof that calamities have increased.” Just overwhelming evidence.

Werner Weber

To Bob Tisdale: Bob, you are right. I was not aware of that series.
I was fooled by this sentence: “A new Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 satellite image of the Pacific Ocean that averaged 10 days of data was just released from NASA. The image, centered on Dec. 26, 2010, was created at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.”
and thought, this a a new satellite (Jason-2), delivering first data. And I was also fooled by the solemn language of the announcement.
So what is presented is a spin-off of the Jason project and they show that there is a signature of La Nina in the data. Fine. Congratulations, USA. So U.S. knows much better the heights of global oceans than it knows the heights of their ground water levels, which are pumped through irrigation into the oceans and contribute how much with all other arid countries to global sea level rise?

Ian W

geo says:
January 15, 2011 at 7:21 am
According to the monitoring graph on WUWTs ENSO page, this La Nina isn’t even as strong as the 2008 one (at least, yet. . .it could take another leg down).
Are they hyperventilating over there, or is there something about “strength” not reflected in the monitoring graph?

The metrics are based on a nice tidy little box NINO 3.4
http://ioc-goos-oopc.org/state_of_the_ocean/sur/pac/map-pac-EquCylproj.jpg
But the La Nina this year has spread considerably and is well outside the Nino 3.4 box see
http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-110109.gif
Is this a La Nina modoki ?
Perhaps the metric used for the strength of El Nino and La Nina need to be reassessed to take in the large ocean area and potentially depth affected by the anomalies.
It is also interesting from the SST maps the cold anomalies in the eastern Atlantic and Indian ocean. The North Atlantic Drift won’t be warming Europe much for a while.

jlurtz

I completely disagree with the statement:
“Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global climate”.
I would possible agree with: Earth’s ocean is the greatest influence on global WEATHER.
The CLIMATE of the Earth is 100% controlled by the Sun.
The time-frame between weather and climate must be defined!
I would suggest Climate is over 100 years and Weather is over 5 years.
Lest anyone have a fit: were the innumerable ice ages caused by AGW or by a low level of Solar energy reaching the Earth.
Just an aside: How does one equate radiative forcing due to the Sun to heat trapping due to CO2??? Other than geothermal heat from the Earth’s core, there is no other heat input to the Earth’s surface other than the Sun
(Cosmic Rays < .00000000001%).

richcar 1225

According to NIWA’s (New Zealand ) State of the Climate report for 2010, in 2000 the IPO (interdecadal pacific oscillation) went negative and should remain that way for 10 to twenty more years. This means La Ninas should dominate over El Ninos in strength and duration similar to the period from 1947 to 1977 when SST’s were either flat or declined. They point out that climate modelers predicted the opposite to occur.
http://www.niwa.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/104762/State-of-the-Climate-2010-.pdf
This is similar to the failed predictions for the NAO to remain positive due to GHG forcing. The models are failing.

izen

@- richard verney says: –
“Oceans, if they are getting warmer (which they do not appear to be doing) can only be heated by energy from the sun or thermal energy from the mantle/crust. CO2 cannot drive the energy budget of the oceans and that is a death knell to the AGW theory.”
The last man on Earth is incorrect on two counts.
1) Oceans certainly appear to be getting warmer, direct and satellite measurements of surface temperature indicate this as does the rise in sea level which is at least in part from thermal expansion.
2) Oceans are heated by absorption of visible light from the sun, thermal energy from the mantle AND down-welling long-wave radiation from the atmosphere. The back-radiation from the atmosphere is measured to increase with rising CO2. The photons in this radiation are predominately absorbed and thermalized min the top few nanometers of the ocean surface.
How far that heating mixes with the bulk ocean, or how it affects evaporation rates is a matter for discussion, but that it heats the ocean is not in dispute.

Matt Schilling says:
January 15, 2011 at 7:38 am

Am I right to think water from La Nina’s primary pool is being drawn into the Gulf of Mexico and, from there, is being drawn into the Gulf Stream, which then sends it by express delivery straight to Great Britain? Is the Gulf Stream currently (pun intended!) impacting NW Europe in a way that is the inverse of the impact for which it is famous?

The cool (well, low sea level) water you see in the Gulf Stream may be from the recent cold weather in the American southeast and mid-Atlantic coast. A large fish kill in the Chesapeake Bay occurred to a temperature sensitive species.
The negative Arctic Oscillation has been forcing coastal storm systems into Canada. That’s the source of their warm temperatures. Since that weather isn’t flowing northeast, arctic winds bring cold air into Europe.

rushmike says:
January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am
….and global temperatures still keep climbing, global ice area is reaching the lowest level recorded…..and yet AGW is still being , 2010 was the equal warmest, and wettest year recorded, we are only two weeks into 2011 and extreme weather events have affected Brazil, Sri Lanka and Queensland….hmmmmmm

I suggest you visit North America soon. La Nina traditionally makes the eastern US warmer and drier than normal. Yet, this has been the second year in a row we have experienced a brutally cold winter. According to the latest accuweather.com long-range predictions, the cold ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/44401/year-of-extremes-strongest-la.asp
Sure, summer was La Nina like. That, coupled with the lingering effects of El Nino, made 2010 “the hottest year on record”. Yet why is this winter not La Nina like? If we know the climate so well that we can make 100 year forecasts, why is it that a well-known phenomena isn’t causing the effects traditionally observed? I was afraid that this summer will also be extremely hot because of La Nina, but now I have to rethink that. I was afraid this winter would be mild, and it has been anything but. Now when temperatures are normal, I call those days warm.
I grow tired of this winter already. Usually the winters in North Carolina where I live have some very mild spring-like days, warm enough to not need a jacket all day. This winter and last winter, I’ve needed to wear a jacket every single day.
We know so little. Tell me again why I should trust 100 year forecasts? AGW is like trying to decide how a movie will end when we only have 10 scenes of the entire movie and then of those 10 scenes, 8 were thrown away because we didn’t like what they were saying. How can you possibly know the ending when you know so little?

rushmike

Hi Wade,
La Nina isn’t the only driver of your weather, when jet streams stop doing their usual west to east and start to take more detours south and north then more extreme weather is to be expected. Whether the jet stream changes are due to arctic ice melt I don’t know but certainly interesting times.

richcar 1225

Does anybody believe as I do that the 2010 super El Nino may be the result of the twenty year lag in solar forcing that began with the decline in SSN that started in 1990 and continues today? If so we may have a moderate El Nino in ten years but then see progressively weaker ones after that.

Matt G

izen says:
January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am
If LWR heated the ocean down to 100m and SWR heated just the top few nanometers, would you say this caused the ocean warming?
Put your hand in a swimming pool in Winter and you will warm few nanometers of the water in conact with them. Do you think you can warm the entire swimming pool if you left them long enough?
The correct term is the LWR warms the few nanometers of the ocean, stating this warms the ocean is misleading at best and technically not true. There is no evidence that LWR actually warms the ocean below this depth.

rbateman

richard verney says:
January 15, 2011 at 9:09 am
As regards La Nina, it will be interesting to see how tempwratures in 2011 compare with those of 1999. Specifically, will the 2011 global temperature drop below 1999 levels? If they do, what will the warmists say?

The temps will continue to drop this year, and the warmists will churn out another version of AGW causes global cooling.
Why are temps dropping (and people chattering thier teeth)?
1. ) because there is nothing going on that propels the temps any higher, and they have to return from whence they came.
2. ) The ride up bears little to no resemblance to the climate patterns now being observed on the drop side. That is why the current La Nina does not fit the pattern as depicted on the ENSO/SST WUWT page. It is more like a La Nino or El Nina, or better yet, a climate marriage made in hell.
3.) TSI is in defecit mode as the last century was in surplus mode. However slight and seemingly inconsequential, a defecit is a defecit is a deficit. A function of time as to how long before equilibrium is reached.
4.) Jet Streams have moved equatorwards and fattened thier traveled ranges. Storm fronts now operate on 1.5 to 2 times thier latitudinal breadth. Should result in much wider band of cloud activity.

Julian Flood

izen says: January 15, 2011 at 10:12 am
quote
1) Oceans certainly appear to be getting warmer, direct and satellite measurements of surface temperature indicate this as does the rise in sea level which is at least in part from thermal expansion.
unquote
And the warming of the land seems to depend on the oceans’ warming if
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/gilbert.p.compo/CompoSardeshmukh2007a.pdf
is to be believed.
Does anyone have a theory of why the oceans have warmed first? Apart from me, obviously?
JF

Pamela Gray

I think warming of the ocean’s surface via longwave radiation may be both ever-so-slightly warming and mostly cooling, depending on oceanic conditions. It is known that choppy seas throw salt water spray into the air, leaving not much chance of LW warming. Quiet seas are another matter. What are the temperatures of quiet seas? Depends on their address. I think that LW radiative addition to sea surface warming would be extremely hard to determine and very hard to model holistically. The best you could do would be to input oceanic surface condition, oceanic temperatures, air temperatures, cloud parameters, and ozone parameters. Not to mention just how much CO2 is above.

Matt G

The Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) has reached recently -1.4, which was the same level it reached back in 2008. Last years El Nino reached 1.8, so it was a stronger event then this La Nina so far. The El Nino in 2002 reached 1.5 and was considered a moderate event not a strong one. Although Nina3.4 only reflects a little strip of the region and fails to demonstrate much bigger or smaller events by surface area. The length of the events also have a significant bearing with the strongest two recorded since 1950 lasting between 3 and 4 years.
Stronger La Ninas (ONI)
1998-2000 -1.6
1988-1889 -1.9
1973-1976 -2.1
1954-1957 -2.0
1950?-1951 -1.7
I think it’s fair to say that this has not yet reached strong event compared with others since the 1950’s. A ONI of -1.4 is around the middle value of the La Nina events since 1950, so I thinks it’s fair to call it so far a moderate La Nina. The lack of La Ninas over more recent years has discoloured a little how there were compared in the past.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

Dr. Lurtz says: January 15, 2011 at 9:58 am
“The CLIMATE of the Earth is 100% controlled by the Sun.”
No. The sun is the largest contributor of energy into Earth’s Climate System, however there are an array of other factors that help control earth’s climate including:
1. Earth’s rotation that;
http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6h.html
results in day and night,
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_rotation_cause_day_and_night
influences Oceanic Gyres;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_gyre
through the Coriolis Effect;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_Effect
and causes Earth’s Polar Vortices;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex
which “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”
http://www.cfm.brown.edu/people/sean/Vortex/
Here’s an animation of the currently broken up Antarctic Polar Vortex;
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_sh_anim.shtml
and here’s an animation of the currently broken up Arctic Polar Vortex:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_nh_anim.shtml
A key measure of the vortices appears to be when they breakdown each year. According to this paper on the Final Warming Date of the Antarctic Polar Vortex and Influences on its Interannual Variability;
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7598/is_20091115/ai_n42654411/
“several studies (including Waugh and Randel 1999; Waugh et al. 1999; Karpetchko et al. 2005; Black and McDaniel 2007) have indicated a trend over the 1980s and 1990s toward a later vortex breakdown.”
This is a good paper exploring the Polar Vortices;
http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/waugh+polvani-PlumbFestVolume-2010.pdf
and the chart on page 10 shows the vortex break-up dates for the Northern Hemisphere since 1960 and Southern Hemisphere since 1979.
2. Earth Tilt and elliptical orbit around the sun (same reference as above);
http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/6h.html
create seasons and significant climatic variability;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season
as well as over longer time frames changes in Earth’s orbit, tilt and wobble called Milankovitch cycles;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles
may be responsible for the periods of Glaciation (Ice Ages);
http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/time1/milankov.htm
that Earth has experienced for the last several million years of Earth’s climatic record:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age
3. Lunar forces have various impacts,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_force
http://www.themcdonalds.net/richard/astro/papers/602-tides-web.pdf
including tides;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide
as well potentially influencing Earth’s Thermohaline Circulation;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation
i.e. “Satellite measurements of sea levels suggest the moon’s tidal pull plays a once-unrecognized role in lifting cold water from the ocean depths and influencing Earth’s climate.
Data from the U.S.-French TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite, which bounces radar off the oceans to measure sea levels precisely, also may solve the mystery of what happens to all the energy that the moon transfers to Earth by creating ocean tides.
Scientists once thought most of the energy was dissipated by friction as waves and tidal currents drag along shallow coastal sea floors. The new study indicates about three-fourths of the energy indeed is dispersed in that manner.
But the measurements also imply 25 percent to 30 percent of the energy in tides dissipates when deep-ocean tidal currents hit seamounts and mid-ocean ridges, creating turbulent “internal waves” that stir and lift cold bottom water so it mixes with warmer, shallower water. That effectively moves heat away from the sea surface, influencing climate in the overlying atmosphere.
“In the past, people thought wind was the primary agent to mix warm water down into the deep, cold part of the oceans,” said Richard Ray, a geophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “Our work suggests tides are equally important.””
http://wwww.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/tide_energy_000627.html
If that link doesn’t work, as it didn’t for me, try this cached version:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XE2pBOHIwu4J:www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/tide_energy_000627.html+lunar+climate+impacts&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a
4. Geothermal Energy;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_energy
especially when released by volcanoes;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano
which have been shown to influence Earth’s climate;
http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html
http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm
including in the infamous Year Without a Summer;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer
which was partially caused by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1815_eruption_of_Mount_Tambora
There are several more influences of note, Cosmic Rays and Magnetic Fields come to mind, but I need to jump in the shower so I’ll leave you with these summaries of the known variables involved in Earth’s climate system;
http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7y.html
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/whatfactors.pdf
and a notation that it is impossible to assign primary driver status to any variable in Earth’s climate when we have a rudimentary understanding of such an astoundingly complex system…

izen

@- Matt G says: –
“Put your hand in a swimming pool in Winter and you will warm few nanometers of the water in conact with them. Do you think you can warm the entire swimming pool if you left them long enough?”
Yes.
2LoT.
Not much of course. Swimming in an olympic pool would warm it by 1 degC in around 3000 years at a rough calculation. -grin-
“The correct term is the LWR warms the few nanometers of the ocean, stating this warms the ocean is misleading at best and technically not true. There is no evidence that LWR actually warms the ocean below this depth.”
Actually there is evidence of turbulent mixing from wave effects. But the real problem with the assertion that the surface effect from LWR is not capable of warming the bulk ocean is then the source of the energy for the observed warming of the oceans. Surface temperatures have increased and thermal expansion is the only credible explanation for part of the sea level rise.
If as has been claimed the only other sources are solar and geothermal, and both show no rising trend to match SST then you have a problem with explaining the observed data unless you are willing to accept the purely descriptive, but scientifically uninformative, ‘Natural variation’.

el gordo

Dr Lurtz said: ‘I would suggest Climate is over 100 years and Weather is over 5 years.’
Very amusing, but it won’t work. How would climate scientists make any money? At the same time the whole idea that a 30 year trend is essential for the recognition of climate change is utterly flawed.

peter_ga

There must be long-wave warming of the oceans otherwise they would be frozen solid. The question is what does 324 + 2.63Watts/m**2 do that 324 Watts/m**2 doesn’t.