ENSO 2013 – Boy or Girl?

We’re Expecting: Will it be a Boy, a Girl, or ENSO-Neutral in 2013?

There was lots of interest in the short-lived El Niño conditions in 2012. Recently, they very quickly transformed into the present weak La Niña conditions. NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are right at NOAA’s -0.5 threshold for La Niña conditions.  I’ve received some questions about them over the past few weeks, and Steven Goddard has a recent post about it here. There are many bloggers who study El Nino-Southern Oscillation, using many different variables, so the intent of this post is to get a discussion started about what the future will bring for El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in 2013.

It appears the sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific might continue to cool below the present NINO3.4 values of -0.52 deg C shown in Figure 1. The graph is from my recent post Annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update for 2012. The Reynolds OI.v2 data is available through the NOAA NOMADS website.

Figure 1 Weekly NINO3.4

Figure 1

The reason I say that is there’s lots of cool subsurface water along the equatorial Pacific, a result of the last upwelling (cool) Kelvin wave. See Figure 2, which is a gif animation from NOAA here. (You may have to click-start the animation.) As you’ll note, at present, there’s are some warm subsurface waters awaiting the next downwelling (warm) Kelvin wave, and they would warm surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific if and when work their way to the east.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Refer also to the Hovmoller diagram, Figure 3, from the most recent NOAA ENSO update. See page 16 there.

Figure 3

Figure 3

How long will the existing La Niña conditions last? Australia’s BOM is projecting ENSO neutral conditions through July 2013, while NOAA is being more cautious and limiting their ENSO-neutral projection only through boreal spring (though the models they present show the ENSO-neutral conditions extending into the summer). Refer to the most recent updates from BOM here and NOAA here.

HOWEVER

There’s an off-equatorial pool of warm water in the northwestern tropical Pacific that shows up in the NODC ocean heat content data, Figure 4. The map was created at the KNMI Climate Explorer.

Figure 4

Figure 4

It also appears in the AVISO sea level anomalies for Dec 2012, Figure 5.

Figure 5

Figure 5

And it shows up in the JPL sea level anomalies, Figure 6, but it’s not as pronounced .

Figure 6

Figure 6

If that pool heads north or works its way into the Indian Ocean, then it won’t be involved in the next downwelling (warm) Kelvin wave to scoot across the equator in the Pacific, but if it migrates south, it could help to strengthen the next one and bring us back to El Niño conditions again in 2013.

Those were great big ifs.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE EL NIÑO AND LA NIÑA AND THEIR LONG-TERM EFFECTS ON GLOBAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES?

Why should you be interested? Sea surface temperature records indicate El Niño and La Niña events are responsible for the warming of global sea surface temperature anomalies over the past 30 years and ocean heat content since 1955, not manmade greenhouse gases. I’ve searched sea surface temperature records and ocean heat content data for more than 4 years (more than 3 years for the ocean heat content data), and I can find no evidence of an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signal. That is, the warming of the global oceans has been caused by Mother Nature, not anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

I’ve recently published my e-book (pdf) about the phenomena called El Niño and La Niña. It’s titled Who Turned on the Heat? with the subtitle The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño Southern Oscillation. It is intended for persons (with or without technical backgrounds) interested in learning about El Niño and La Niña events and in understanding the natural causes of the warming of our global oceans for the past 31 years. Because land surface air temperatures simply exaggerate the natural warming of the global oceans over annual and multidecadal time periods, the vast majority of the warming taking place on land is natural as well. The book is the product of years of research of the satellite-era sea surface temperature data that’s available to the public via the internet. It presents how the data accounts for its warming—and there are no indications the warming was caused by manmade greenhouse gases. None at all.

Who Turned on the Heat? was introduced in the blog post Everything You Every Wanted to Know about El Niño and La Niña… …Well Just about Everything. The Updated Free Preview includes the Table of Contents; the Introduction; the beginning of Section 1, with the cartoon-like illustrations; the discussion About the Cover; and the Closing.

Please buy a copy. Credit/Debit Card through PayPal. You do NOT need to open a PayPal account. Simply scroll down to the “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” purchase option. It’s only US$8.00.

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peterhodges

Well we know that NOAA/NASA will predict a super Nino, and consequently the warmest year ever.
And then will adjust the data to until they get it.

Robert M

Shouldn’t this: “appears the sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific might continue to cool below the present NINO3.4 values of -0.52 deg C shown in Figure 1.”
Be more like this: “appears the sea surface temperature anomaly in the eastern equatorial Pacific might continue to cool below the present NINO3.4 values of -0.52 deg C shown in Figure 1.”

tgmccoy

I say neutered in the stall-it will tip back and forth but mostly neutral-then back to nina….
That Indian Ocean warm poll will migrate north….
Just guessing however..

Don

Dude looks like a lady!

Bill Illis

There is an animation of 0-300 metre ocean heat content from the Godas system which shows the whole ocean and, in which, one can see there is much cool water flowing in from the north and south Pacific on the eastern side.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/pent_gif/xy/movie.h300.gif
And the latest update of the equatorial cross-section shows there has been considerable cooling in the last week -5.0C are showing up which is as cold as this cross-section gets.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/pent_gif/xz/pent.anom.xz.temp.0n.1.gif
A typical measure is the Temperature anomaly in the 0-300 metre equatorial Pacific from 180W to 100W which is down to -0.6C in the last week.
http://s7.postimage.org/uu6sw8rh7/EPUOTA_Jan10_2013.png
And this measure typically leads Nino 3.4 by 1 to 2 months so yeah we are heading down to La Nina territory.
http://s9.postimage.org/qsvrvo3i7/Nino_3_4_vs_EPUOTA_Dec12.png

Robert M: Yup, it should’ve read anomalies.

Bill Illis says: “There is an animation of 0-300 metre ocean heat content from the Godas system…”
Thanks for that link. Looks like the “leftovers” from the flash-in-the-pan El Nino are making their way into the East Indian Ocean.

MikeN

Michael Mann has talked about global warming leading to La Nina like conditions, yielding more droughts. He also concluded that it meant climate models vastly overstate warming.

Ethically Civil

You’ve said many time that “El Nino” is responsible for the ocean warming. What I haven’t understood from your discussion is where the energy is coming from? Clearly the “enhanced” greenhouse effect doesn’t correlate to the ocean temperature (“It’s a travesty!”), but just having hot and cold water sloshing back and forth across the ocean can’t increase the total energy of the system… so that’s where you lose me.
No snark intended, I just like that particular bit of ignorance eliminated.
EC

Ethically Civil

“bit of ignorance” meaning *my* ignorance, not Bob’s. 🙂

Hi Bob, and thanks for all your postings about ENSO. It must be quite a reward for you to see the mainstream climatologists one by one blaim ENSO for being more than just a yearly variation (read: noise). I’ve read your book, and i’ve learned a lot from that and from Kristians norwegian interpretation of your work.
Have you read his “Warming by the Sun or by the Atmosphere …?”?
http://klimaforskning.com/forum/index.php/topic,1148.0.html

I bet La Nina, if Hansen has forecast El Nino again.

Mac the Knife

We’re Expecting: Will it be a Boy, a Girl, or ENSO-Neutral in 2013?
Is this a ‘pregnant pause’?
MtK

jim Steele

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation represents an east west pattern of ocean heat that is not just driven by residual waters from previous El Nino and La NIna events but the PDO in turns alters the Walker Circulation in ways that encourages one cycle over the other. The current cool phase of the PDO encourages more La Nina events. However weakening trade winds will allow more El Ninos. Declining solar activity reduces the Hadley circulation and thus the trade winds allowing the warm pool to more readily slosh eastward in an EL NIno, as appears to be the case during the Little Ice Age. So we are in a situation where current ocean surface temperatures promote more La NInas but solar activity promotes more El NInos. I suspect we will see more back and forth conditions in contrast to the multiyear El Ninos of the 1980s and 90s. Also because the ocean stores more heat during a La NIna but the solar activity has waned, I would suspect a cooling warm pool and a smaller supply of heated water for future El Ninos. In contrast to Jim Hansen’s predicted super El Ninos I would predict smaller extremes. This also suggests there will be less of an east west temperature gradient and thus I would predict shorter intervals between El Nino and La NIna and more neutral events.

You’ve said many time that “El Nino” is responsible for the ocean warming. What I haven’t understood from your discussion is where the energy is coming from?
#############
it comes from the only sources it can. Solar input and amplification via GHGs.
The ocean cycles cannot add to or subtract from the energy balance. They dont cause global warming. they are the way that warming is expressed. They are not the cause of long term trends.

johnbuk

Ethically Civil says,
“You’ve said many time that “El Nino” is responsible for the ocean warming. What I haven’t understood from your discussion is where the energy is coming from? ”
I really recommend Bob’s book, $8, as it explains this very clearly. I am a layman and it is an excellent read which is easy to follow for me and therefore for most other people as well.

James at 48

This sucks. Here in CA we are getting ready to utter the D word. I hate La Nina and hate negative PDO even more.

Nick Stokes

Here is a high resolution (1/4 deg) OI SST AVHRR map from Jan 14, rendered with WebGL. It does show a marked La Nina cool jet in the E Pacific.

jim Steele

Bill Illis, “one can see there is much cool water flowing in from the north and south Pacific on the eastern side.”
How do you tell from the gif that it is cool water from the poles and not increased upwelling from below? La Nina conditions increase the California and Humboldt currents and ekman pumping then increases upwelling of cooler water. However I agree that the increased currents would also deliver more cold water equatorward. So I suspect both dynamics but I can’t tell from your gif

Otter

Am I right to think that a third la-nina, is going to see a continuation of this past year’s drought? I’ve recently gotten the idea from somewhere, that multiple la-ninas have that effect.

jim Steele

Bill Illis, From where did you derive or obtain the graph of equatorial heat anomalies and to what depths do those anomalies represent ?

John F. Hultquist

Ethically Civil says:
January 17, 2013 at 11:36 am where?

The ocean from 30 N to 30 S is a big region. Clear sky allows solar energy to enter the water. No GHG amplification needed. Trade Winds move the warm water westward and so on . . .

Kasuha

For some reason I think 2013 will be El Nino year. Not very strong but a bit stronger than 2012.

Alec aka Daffy Duck

La Nina should be renamed La Bruja

Joe

Steven Mosher says:
January 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm
You’ve said many time that “El Nino” is responsible for the ocean warming. What I haven’t understood from your discussion is where the energy is coming from?
#############
it comes from the only sources it can. Solar input and amplification via GHGs.
————————————————————————————————–
Not quite.
The energy comes from solar input (plus a little geothermal). For GHGs to “amplify” that input would require an additional source to supply the difference.or the spontaneous creation of energy from nowhere. I can’t imagine even Hansen wouldn’t suggest that GHGs can do THAT?

TXRed

Murphy’s Law says weak La Niña. Drought continues in southern US much like the 1950s.

Harry van Loon

ALL one can say at present is that there will be no STRONG El Nino. Anything else can happen, from cold event to weak to moderate. warm event.

Loch

I hope ENSO doesn’t happen. Last time that happened we got the hottest year on record (1998, you know as in it hasn’t warmed since 1998). I thought with all the snow around this year was going to be the coldest year this century and bet a friend $1000 that it would. I wish you had told me about this ENZO business last week before I agreed to the bet!

Tommy

Figure 1 looks like the trend typically switches directions near the winter solstices. If the downward trend continues, it would break that tradition.

Ethically Civil says: “You’ve said many time that “El Nino” is responsible for the ocean warming. What I haven’t understood from your discussion is where the energy is coming from?”
Think of ENSO as a recharge-discharge oscillator, with La Niña as the recharge phase and El Niño as the discharge phase. Here are a few illustrations from my book to help explain La Niña and the recharge phase.
http://i48.tinypic.com/23lji3l.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/34dfuag.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/2dkbrsp.jpg
Regards

Jostemikk: Thanks for the link. I’ll take a look when things slow down here.
Regards

Gail Combs

Ethically Civil says:
January 17, 2013 at 11:36 am
You’ve said many time that “El Nino” is responsible for the ocean warming. What I haven’t understood from your discussion is where the energy is coming from?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Check out Bob’s videos. That I found was made things much clearer for me.
http://www.youtube.com/user/BobTisdale1
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-natural-warming-of-the-global-oceans-videos-parts-1-2/

Gail Combs

James at 48 says:
January 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm
This sucks. Here in CA we are getting ready to utter the D word. I hate La Nina and hate negative PDO even more.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I am in sunny NC and they are predicting 3 inches of SNOW, we don’t GET snow where I live. It is why I left New Hampshire, to get away from shoveling snow. GRRRrrrrr

jim Steele says: “The current cool phase of the PDO encourages more La Nina events.”
The PDO lags ENSO. The PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO and the sea level pressure of the North Pacific. And, don’t forget the Southern Hemisphere—the South Pacific. The Southern Ocean has been cooling since the 1980s, and all of the cool water has been working its way north along the coast of South America.
jim Steele says: “However weakening trade winds will allow more El Ninos.”
If we’re seeing more La Ninas, then the trade winds should be strengthening. And that’s the case for the western tropical Pacific, and the central tropical Pacific. Only a small portion of the eastern tropical Pacific has had a reduction in trade wind strength:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CDB/Tropics/figt4.gif
jim Steele says: “Declining solar activity reduces the Hadley circulation…”
Do you have a link to a website or papers?
Regards

bobl

@Mosher.
Quite the display – Certainly there a far more energy sources than GHGs so your assertion is incorrect. Direct exposure to incoming insolation of all wavelengths add to the sum total of inputs, plus there is geo energies derived from Nuclear and gravitational forces on the planet – Lets not forget the direct affect of gravitational tidal forces on the ocean and particle collisions (nuclear/chemical and kinetic forces) which warm the thermosphere – huge forces are at work other than the minor effect of the Magic CO2.
Also Steven (and a lot of people here) of people conflate energy and temperature. The Temperature of a gas is not only related to it’s energy. The Ideal Gas Law gives PV=nRT or T=PV/nR. The Temperature at a given energy is dependent on its volume density (or PV) at the earths surface is pretty constant overall though it does vary from place to place.
Also given that the ocean has a vastly greater heat capacity that the atmosphere it’s entirely possible that the oceans could net liberate or sink sufficient extra energy to raise the by comparison very low energy capacity of the atmosphere for long periods to give a slight trend overall for one or two thousand years. No “extra Energy” is required overall what you are looking at can simply be a longer energy exchange cycle between the ocean and atmosphere – nothing magic there.
While I am on this point the warmists (like you) like to talk about feedback – you want to say that the climate has a loop gain of around 0.7 – which implies a forward loop gain after the known negative feedbacks are accounted of 0.95 (impossible I know, but warmists don’t seem to be noted for their grip on reality) but they use a scalar model – all the feedbacks are assumed to be instantaneous! Thats just not physically possible – we Engineers use vector models for feedback calculation which take account of the lags and therefore we can predict closely the behaviour of a system with feedback. The Climate fraternity don’t even know what all the lags are let alone be capable of modelling them! They are like infants looking at the world for the first time.

Hi Bob.
Good game. 🙂
La Niña

Steven Mosher says: “it comes from the only sources it can. Solar input and amplification via GHGs. The ocean cycles cannot add to or subtract from the energy balance.”
The data contradicts your assumptions about GHGs. First, the fuel for El Ninos is supplied by the ocean heat content of the tropical Pacific. Between 1955 and 1995, tropical Pacific ocean heat content only warmed during the 3-year La Nina events of 1954-57 and 1973-76. Ocean heat content there cooled after those 3-year La Ninas:
http://i46.tinypic.com/xbljye.jpg
Then there was the 1995/96 La Nina. It provided the fuel for the 1997/98 super El Nino.
http://i46.tinypic.com/sqtslz.jpg
The 1998-2001 La Nina recharged the heat discharged the heat discharged by the 1997/98 El Nino:
http://i49.tinypic.com/9gfpkw.jpg
And the tropical Pacific has been cooling since then:
http://i46.tinypic.com/2qmks4w.jpg
There’s no evidence of greenhouse gas-induced warming.

jim Steele says: “Bill Illis, From where did you derive or obtain the graph of equatorial heat anomalies and to what depths do those anomalies represent ?”
Just in case Bill doesn’t return for a while, I know it can be found through this NOAA webpage:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/index.shtml
Specifically the “weekly ENSO update”:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf
See page 10.

Bill Illis

jim Steele says:
January 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm
Bill Illis, “one can see there is much cool water flowing in from the north and south Pacific on the eastern side.”
How do you tell from the gif that it is cool water from the poles and not increased upwelling from below? La Nina conditions increase the California and Humboldt currents and ekman pumping then increases upwelling of cooler water. However I agree that the increased currents would also deliver more cold water equatorward. So I suspect both dynamics but I can’t tell from your gif
Bill Illis, From where did you derive or obtain the graph of equatorial heat anomalies and to what depths do those anomalies represent ?
————————————
The Ocean is 3D and it has typical currents that flow in certain patterns at different latitudes, at different depths (which are often backwards from the surface currents) and have a seasonal patterns as well. After watching this for a long time and specifically seeking out this info, I can say the answer to your first question is Both.
The cold water is coming up from below in the 150 metre deep Cromwell / Equatorial Pacific Under-Current (which flows west to east at 150 metres depth) and from the surface to 150 metre deep California and Humbolt currents which are part of the north Pacific gyre and the south Pacific gyre. Beyond this, there is a north-equatorial counter current at 8N (which flows west-to-east) and a north-equatorial counter-under-current (which flows east-to-west at 150 metres depth) and southern-equatorial-counter-current versions of both of these (which for some reason are not as strong as their northern counter-parts).
There are also three upwelling currents next to Central America sometimes called the Tehuantepec upwelling currents, which are not understood that well since we don’t have good bouy coverage of the region, but which can provide surprising changes in ocean temperatures.
ALL of these are filtering into the Nino regions at the equator in the Pacific at the Galapagos Islands which is where the ENSO starts.
After that, it is also a coupled phenomenon with the atmosphere. The trade winds move the surface water to the west. The temperature of the ocean water itself determines where the thrunderstorms will develop and these have a huge impact on the amount of long-wave radiation which escapes from the ocean. Near the International Dateline, out-going radiation can be +/- 50 watts/m2 depending on the state of the ENSO which is an order of magnitude higher variation than any other place on Earth. The clouds, caused by the warmth of the ocean, actually hold the heat in and allow the heat to migrate to the rest of the planet (or escape).
Rotation of the Earth makes winds blow east to west at the equator – surface is pushed in the same direction by the wind – Cold water flows in from the feeder currents – La Nina – trade winds blow even stronger – even cooler La Nina – no clouds form at the equatorial International Dateline – more radiation escapes from the still relatively warm equatorial Pacific – planet cools off because the equator does not have / is not providing so much warmth – ocean gyres and currents eventually move warm water back in, recirculating the previous El Nino waters mostly – now we have a new El Nino – oscillation back and forth – very hard to predict how such a big system will work in the medium-term-future – easier in the short-term.
The equatorial temperature anomaly data is here (and the chart I used, used to be on the net but it isn’t anymore) It is only in the weekly ENSO briefing from the NOAA/CPC.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/index/heat_content_index.txt
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/pent_gif/

I imagine the failure of the El Nino to develop as expected is messing up the fellows who are good at long range forecasting. I recall Joe D’Aleo stating a weak El Nino after a La Nina often went hand in hand with a cold winter over the lower 48 states. However what does it mean when the El Nino poops out so swiftly?
It goes to show you long range forecasting can be messed up by a failure of long range forecasting. If the El Nino does not materialize, everything else is compromised.

Another effect that affects the long range forecasts is where the heat is located in the Pacific. Some El Ninos have the warm anomaly centered just off the coast of Peru, while others have the warmth centered towards the center of the Pacific (and are called “Dateline” or “Modoki” El Ninos.) As I recall it is this second sort, when they occur after a La Nina, that indicate a cold winter may be at hand for the lower 48. (The big El Nino of 1998 was of the first sort, and didn’t lead to a particularly bad winter.)
The question is, if the center of the Pacific is warmer than the east, does it matter all that much if it is “officially” an El Nino. Could it even be “officially” a La Nina, and still have the effects that generate a cold winter over the lower 48?
This is something we are about to learn about, this winter.
(As a sidelight, the “Modoki” El Nino’s were not really known about until satellites revealed them in the 1980’s. As I recall, when they were discovered some claimed they were new and unprecedented, and due to…(drum roll)…Global Warming.)

Theo Goodwin

bobl says:
January 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm
@Mosher.
Brilliant post. Your last two paragraphs emphasize the importance of discovering the natural processes involved and the fact that Warmists simply overlook these natural processes. You write:
“Also given that the ocean has a vastly greater heat capacity that the atmosphere it’s entirely possible that the oceans could net liberate or sink sufficient extra energy to raise the by comparison very low energy capacity of the atmosphere for long periods to give a slight trend overall for one or two thousand years. No “extra Energy” is required overall what you are looking at can simply be a longer energy exchange cycle between the ocean and atmosphere – nothing magic there.”
“A longer energy exchange cycle” is a behavior of a natural process that must be understood through empirical investigation. You write:
“While I am on this point the warmists (like you) like to talk about feedback – you want to say that the climate has a loop gain of around 0.7 – which implies a forward loop gain after the known negative feedbacks are accounted of 0.95 (impossible I know, but warmists don’t seem to be noted for their grip on reality) but they use a scalar model – all the feedbacks are assumed to be instantaneous! Thats just not physically possible – we Engineers use vector models for feedback calculation which take account of the lags and therefore we can predict closely the behaviour of a system with feedback. The Climate fraternity don’t even know what all the lags are let alone be capable of modelling them! They are like infants looking at the world for the first time.”
I want to emphasize the following point:
“…we Engineers use vector models for feedback calculation which take account of the lags and therefore we can predict closely the behaviour of a system with feedback.”
Lags are the time taken by a natural processes to run their course. Warmists have never believed in lags and have done no empirical work to discover what they are.
Following Trenberth, warmists have used a simple “radiation in equals radiation out daily” model of Earth’s energy balance. On that grand assumption, feedbacks must be instantaneous. There can be no natural processes which channel energy from radiation over unspecified periods of time and which must be observed and understood in their own right. However, in the last year or so, Trenberth violated his own grand assumption when he claimed that there is undetected warmth stored in the deep oceans. In my humble opinion, Warmists have no instincts for empirical science.

Bill Illis

There will be another El Nino. There always has been another El Nino coming. I might say there has always been another coming for at least the last 400 million years since the Pacific became a large deep ocean.
The warmth that is building up next to the Philippines right now and is filtering into the Indian Ocean now as Bob noted (and is renewing its build-up in the west Equatorial warm pool area in the subsurface) will be the source of the next El Nino but it could take a few years to recirculate back to the Galapagos Islands surface region. Which sounds a little strange I guess but this a very big, very strong warm pool now. But there is too much cool water in the east Pacific now for this to happen for awhile.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/pent_gif/xy/movie.h300.gif
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/pent_gif/xz/pent.anom.xz.temp.0n.1.gif

John Trigge (in Oz)

The Oz BOM state: “Tropical patterns of winds and cloud also remain near normal.”
What is ‘normal’ when referring to the Pacific?
Does this mean the recent cyclone that hit the Pacific nations is ‘normal’?
Compare that to when I travelled across the Pacific (Sydney to Hawaii in the RAN) when it was like a mirror – not a ripple as far as the eye could see.
There seems to be a common misconception that calm, people-friendly weather is the norm and anything that disturbs this is ‘abnormal’.

jmorpuss

From what Iv’e read here the energy is being supplied by this little boy and girl
http://www.ips.gov.au/Educational/5/2/3#prop

Bob Tisdale on January 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Steven Mosher says: “it comes from the only sources it can. Solar input and amplification via GHGs. The ocean cycles cannot add to or subtract from the energy balance.”

The data contradicts your assumptions about GHGs. First, the fuel for El Ninos is supplied by the ocean heat content of the tropical Pacific. Between 1955 and 1995, tropical Pacific ocean heat content only warmed during the 3-year La Nina events of 1954-57 and 1973-76. Ocean heat content there cooled after those 3-year La Ninas:
http://i46.tinypic.com/xbljye.jpg
Then there was the 1995/96 La Nina. It provided the fuel for the 1997/98 super El Nino.
http://i46.tinypic.com/sqtslz.jpg
The 1998-2001 La Nina recharged the heat discharged the heat discharged by the 1997/98 El Nino:
http://i49.tinypic.com/9gfpkw.jpg
And the tropical Pacific has been cooling since then:
http://i46.tinypic.com/2qmks4w.jpg
There’s no evidence of greenhouse gas-induced warming.

– – – – – – –
Bob Tisdale,
The educational value of your ENSO related writing is wonderful.
Do you consider the ENSO (and its related) phenomena as a variable natural cyclic subsystem within a larger system? Have you considered how the ENSO subsystem’s variability is influenced by the larger system variability and vice versa? What are the major magnitude influences?
ABOUT the boy or girl prediction => If the names were in a non-Romance language we could avoid the masculine, feminine and neutral designations of nouns. The downside of doing that kind of language change is a little less Romance in climate science.. : )
John

SAMURAI

I’m sticking with a La Niña cycle for 2013 based on all the cold water still shown in Niño areas 1+2 and 3.0. The ENSO index has been dropping like a stone over the last month and just out of sheer joy, I’d like to see all those CAGW-skewed climate models which are predicting neutral/El Nino conditions this year to fail yet again.
Having a strong -2.0C La Niña would cause the warmunists to go apoplectic as it would cause the HADCRUT4 anomaly to drop to around .2C this year, which would lock in 17 yrs of no warming trend.

jim Steele

Bob Tisdale says: The PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO and the sea level pressure of the North Pacific.
Bob I don’t disagree but it is not a one-way street, and it is clear that the PDO intensifies each ENSO phase. From a biological perspective the PDO creates regime shifts that alter salmon fisheries, sardine versus anchovies and numerous other impact. The cool phase of the PDO encourages more upwelling and increases the equatorward bound eastern boundary currents.
Bob Tisdale says: If we’re seeing more La Ninas, then the trade winds should be strengthening.
I agree but the trade winds are a function of the Hadley Circulation and the Walker circulation. I don’t know how to tease the two apart but the Hadley circulation drives the Trade Winds and as it creates a gradient between a hot warm pool in the west and cooler upwelled waters in the east, that temperature gradient intensifies the Walker circulation and thus the trade winds. The PDO phases mimic the ENSO phase. Dr. Chavez likes to call the cool PDO La Vieja. A La Nina has cooler waters in the east and warmer waters in the west, as does the La Vieja and it that gradient that enhances the Walker circulation and promote more La Nina like conditions. Over the course of a few years with similar solar input, a switch from El Nino to La Nina would definitely increase the trade winds. However if all else was equal less sun should create weaker trades and thus less intense La Ninas.
The solar connection is best seen in paleoclimate data and megadroughts. During greater solar activity around the Medieval Warm Period the southwestern USA and the Yucatan were hammered with megadroughts. That implies stronger more frequent La Nina conditions. Conversely during the Little Ice Age the megadroughts assaulted southeast Asia and undermined nearly very kingdom. Those droughts imply more frequent El Nino conditions.
Asmerom used Be C14 to track solar activity and found periods of increased solar radiation correlated with decreased rainfall in the American southwest, and the opposite to that observed in the Asian monsoon suggesting “a solar link to Holocene climate is through changes in the Walker circulation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and ENSO”
Asmerom, Y., et al. (2007) Solar forcing of Holocene climate: New insights from a speleothem record, southwestern United States. Geology, vol.35, p.1-4.
And Mann also found the strong and persistent La Niña conditions around 1000. During the preceding medieval warm period (∼800–1300 AD) had an SST pattern that was very similar to the present. Conversely the equatorial Pacific cold tongue was absent during the LIA.
Mann ME, Zhang ZH, Rutherford S, Bradley RS, Hughes MK, et al. 2009. Global signatures and dynamical origins of the little ice age and medieval climate anomaly. Science 326:1256–60
Mann and Asmeroms data is supported by Gutierrez and Chavez who report greater upwelling and greater ocean productivity during La Nina phases. As solar activity increased since the Little Ice Age so did upwelling and ocean productivity, implying a solar connection to more La Ninas, and despite the global warming dooms dayers, warmer oceans have created greater marine abundance.
They also implicated the ITCZ migration during the LIA that could shut down the tropical Walker circulation and, off Peru, deepen the thermocline and nutricline, increase surface layer ventilation and oxygen”
Gutierrez D, et al. 2009. Rapid reorganization in ocean biogeochemistry off Peru towards the end of the Little Ice Age. Biogeosciences 6:835–48
Chavez,. F., et al., (2011) Marine Primary Production in Relation to Climate Variability and Change. Annual Revie of Marine Science, vol. 3, p. 227–260.
Regards direct connections between solar activity and the Hadley circulation, it seem obvious that greater solar heating should create more convection and intensify the trades as well as increase the north south temperature gradient and that has been observed during sunspot cycles.
Van Loon writes, “it has been shown in observations that a signature of enhanced solar forcing is evident in a warming of the upper tropical troposphere (van Loon and Shea 2000) and an intensified Hadley circulation”
van Loon, H., and D. J. Shea, 2000: The global 11-year solar signal in July–
August. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 2965–2968
Meehl writes “Over relatively cloud-free oceanic regions in the subtropics, the enhanced solar forcing produces greater evaporation. More moisture then converges into the precipitation convergence zones, intensifying the regional monsoon and Hadley and Walker circulations, causing cloud reductions over the subtropical ocean regions, and, hence, more solar input.
Meehl, G.A., et al., (2003) Solar and greenhouse gas forcing and climate response in the 20th century. Journal of Climate, vol. 16, p. 426–444.

jim Steele

Bill Illis. Thank you.

Steven Mosher says:
January 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm
The ocean cycles cannot add to or subtract from the energy balance.
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False. By changing the ocean mixing rate you fundamentally change the energy balance. Increase the mixing rate and global temperatures will drop. Decrease the mixing rate and they will rise. This changes evaporation, precipitation, convection, winds, radiation to space, etc., etc. Pretty much like ENSO.
Is ENSO truly an oscillation around a mean? is it auto correlated? Does it have a unit root? Due to the large effect on global temperatures, the wrong assumption about the nature of ENSO will likely lead to misleading statistical results when analyzing global temperatures.
Is spurious regression the source of the unexplained rise in temperature that has caused the IPCC, the climate models and indeed a great many climate scientists to seriously over estimate the observed warming?