Mid-October 2011 SST Anomaly Update

by Bob Tisdale

NINO3.4

NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies (a commonly used El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index) are still hovering within weak La Niña range. For the week centered on October 12, 2011, NINO3.4 SST anomalies are approximately -0.77 deg C.

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies – Short-Term

GLOBAL

Weekly Global SST anomalies dropped significantly (about 0.04 deg C) in the past week. It will be interesting to see where Global SST anomalies bottom out during this El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) season.

Global SST Anomalies – Short-Term

NOTE

This weekly Reynolds OI.v2 SST dataset begins in 1990. I’ve started the graphs in 2004 to make the variations visible.

SOURCE

OI.v2 SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS system:

http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite

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18 thoughts on “Mid-October 2011 SST Anomaly Update

  1. Looking downward to me!!! Then again I’m no expert & certainly not a “climate” scientist, who are clearly the only ones who can interpret scientific data! 😉

  2. WoW, strangest looking “hockey stick” I have ever come across.(sarc). It is interesting to see this graphic and shows the normal fluctuations, coupled with the lack of intense weather increase it seems that the facts are becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

  3. The global SST is still following 1991 pretty well. I think it has dropped about 0.5°C since its last local maximum in August (about 0.4°C as of last week, Oct. 12), and if it keeps following 1991, it should drop another 0.2 – 0.3 °C in just the next six weeks or so, before rising again before year’s end. I expect it to begin to vary about +0.1°C anomaly in coming years, if the multidecadal ocean oscillations theory, with continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA) minimum in late 17th century, is correct. In other words, I have already thrown out the consensus and its greenhouse effect, and am looking only to see if the “LIA recovery” pattern continues.

  4. Bob Tisdale,
    Thank you for your contributions here. As a non-expert in the oceanic oscillations, I appreciate the chance to learn from your posts.
    Question – For both of the graphs in your post, to me it looks like the behavior from ~Feb/Mar 2008 to end of Dec 2008 looks very similar to the behavior from Jan 2011 to present. So, do you see the behavior from present (Oct 2009) to be like the behavior that was seen after Dec 2008?
    John
    REPLY: Bob is otherwise engaged an may not be able to answer for awhile – Anthony

  5. Both the Nino 3.4 and global SSTs appear to be taking on a somewhat palindromic appearence from the year 2008 onwards.

  6. I downloaded the data. SST’s have been trending downwards since 1990, the start of the data. They have also been trending downwards since 1998.
    How does that reconcile with the maps showing the seas to be boiling hot? And what does that mean for future atmospheric temperatures?

  7. Hello Bob,
    We are agreed that La Nina represents a ‘recharge’ phase for ocean heat content whereas El Nino represents a ‘discharge’ phase.
    However the net effect of El Nino or La Nina would also be dependent on the amount of solar energy entering the oceans would it not ?
    How is ocean heat content currently responding to the recent increase in La Nina events as compared to the predominance of El Nino events during the late 20th Century ?
    As I understand the available data ocean heat content actually increased during the late 20th century despite the dominant El Nino discharge phase whereas some accounts now suggest a decline in ocean heat content despite an ongoing recharge phase.
    Can you assist ?

  8. oops made a mistake. My graph was upside down. Trend is up since 1990 but down since 2003. Atmospheric temperatures should lag those of of SST’s

  9. Richard says:
    October 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm
    oops made a mistake. My graph was upside down.
    No problem. Mann plotted one of his time series upside down and claimed it didn’t affect the results.

  10. Coordinate of the graph is mistake?
    I thought its shift for one year( 2011–> 2012) , am I misunderstanding?

  11. Environmental Canada’s Dave Phillips is already spreading the warmth. He has made various claims like this before, and has been wrong roughly 90% of the time. Yet folks keep climbing up to his lair, seeking his erroneous predictions.
    http://www.news1130.com/weather/article/289636–throwing-cold-water-on-winter-predictions
    I had to laugh when I heard this, his most recent prophesy on the radio yesterday. Never do the media look back to see if he has ever been correct. He has changed his modus a bit this year however, and has left a huge gaping hole to scurry into should he be proven to yet again to be wearing warmist coloured glasses.

    David Phillips with Environment Canada knows his history. He’s currently touring Canada, promoting his best-selling weather trivia calendar and says when you talk about cold snaps in BC, nothing much beats January 1950 in Lac la Hache.

    I wonder how much taxpayer funded time Mr Phillips used to compile his little calender? Do we taxpayers get a cut of the profits?

  12. Steve Wilde said:
    “As I understand the available data ocean heat content actually increased during the late 20th century despite the dominant El Nino discharge phase whereas some accounts now suggest a decline in ocean heat content despite an ongoing recharge phase.”
    Correct me if I am wrong but here is step-by-step break down of what you are saying:
    [Note: The following observations [possibly erroneously] assume that the Sun’s ability to
    heat the Earth’s tropical oceans remains unchanged throughout the time period
    considered.]
    1.Sunlight recharges the tropical oceans’ heat content during a La Nina because of the low cloud
    cover of over the eastern equatorial Pacific.
    2. The built up of tropical ocean heat content is discharged (to space and towards higher latitudes) during a subsequent El Nino event.
    3. During the latter part of the 20 th century, the frequency of El Ninos exceeded the frequency of La Ninas.
    4. Logically then, you would expect that the greater frequency of El Ninos should lead to a general decrease in the ocean heat content rather than the increase that was observed.
    5. Recently, there appears to be an increase in the frequency of La Nina (recharge) events
    yet the oceans appear to be loosing their heat content.
    Given these observations, your quote above could be explained if there was an additional source of ocean heating and cooling other than the solar recharge and discharge mechanism that takes place through the El Nino/La Nina cycles.
    I believe that the alternative source of heating and cooling is provided by the effects of Lunar tides on the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere.

  13. P.S.
    Bob pointed out that there were step like increases in ocean temperature following some strong El Nino events followed by extended periods of flat or slowly decreasing temperature.
    If the frequency of El Ninos exceeded those of La Ninas, this should lead to a general ocean warming. Likewise, a decrease in the frequency of El Ninos should produce an overall cooling of the ocean temperatures.
    I agree with you that this contradicts the solar recharge/discharge model [all else being held the same].and it seems to require some sort of additional elaboration upon the simple concept of solar recharge and discharge.

  14. Thanks Ninderthana, you see the point.
    Subject to alternative suggestions I think we will find that the effect of more meridional/equatorward jets on the amount of solar energy entering the oceans (reducing it due to increased cloudiness) more than offsets the recharge process that would otherwise occur during La Nina.
    Likewise the effect of more zonal/poleward jets on the amount of solar energy entering the oceans (increasing it due to decreased cloudiness) more than offsets the discharge process that would otherwise occur during El Nino.
    Assuming the sun does have a significant effect on the surface air pressure distribution that would then give us the observed increase in ocean heat content during a period of increasing solar activity such as that from LIA to date AND a bias in favour of El Ninos AND upward stepping from one 60 year cycle to the next.
    That is the neatest solution to explain the observations.

  15. Dear Stephen Wilde,
    I have found a significant Lunar atmospheric tidal effect on surface air pressure distribution. I have reason to believe that one effect of this tidally induced phenomenon may be to increase and decrease meridional/zonal air flow on inter-annual to decadal time scales.
    I am sorry but I cannot elaborate further until the work is submitted for peer review.

  16. TrueNorthist says:
    October 19, 2011 at 5:04 am
    Environmental Canada’s Dave Phillips is already spreading the warmth. He has made various claims like this before, and has been wrong roughly 90% of the time. Yet folks keep climbing up to his lair, seeking his erroneous predictions.
    ————-
    Whenever I hear his predictions I always mentally prepare for the opposite. His predictions generally favour warmer than normal temperatures, although I believe for once he got things right about last winter being colder than normal where I live. This is supposed to be a warmer-than-normal autumn in southern Ontario – and after a particularly warm and sunny end-of-September and beginning of October I suspect that is what people will remember. No frost by Thanksgiving, which I can remember occurring on three different years since I arrived here over 25 years ago.
    My first autumn here in 1985, spent as a grad student at U of Toronto, was so warm that we were clad in T-shirts up until Nov. 2 (a day of personal significance) and then the weather turned sharply colder. It was quite a shock in the following years to learn how abnormal that autumn had been – and that Toronto was not in a more southern climate zone after all. But it’s a useful personal yardstick and corrective for claims that things are getting warmer, as we’ve never experienced another fall like it – and as things have now definitely cooled down that will not happen this year, either.
    @ Bob Tisdale,
    Thanks for a timely posting and update on the condition of SSTs.

  17. Ninderthana says:
    October 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm
    Dear Stephen Wilde,
    I have found a significant Lunar atmospheric tidal effect on surface air pressure distribution. I have reason to believe that one effect of this tidally induced phenomenon may be to increase and decrease meridional/zonal air flow on inter-annual to decadal time scales.
    I am sorry but I cannot elaborate further until the work is submitted for peer review.
    _________________________________________
    I hope you will write up a post for WUWT on your work at the appropriate time.
    (Please define your terms so us lay people can understand it.)

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