North Pacific Update: The Blob’s Strengthening Suggests It’s Not Ready to Depart

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

This post provides an update of the unusual warming event in the sea surfaces of the eastern extratropical North Pacific…what is now regularly called “The Blob”.  It does not appear to be ready to depart anytime soon.  See the sea surface temperature anomaly map in Figure 1 for the location of The Blob.

Figure 1

Figure 1

For a reasonably easy-to-understand overview of The Blob and its companion the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, and their impacts on North American weather, see the recent USAToday article How ‘the blob’ caused USA’s weird weather.  The article, of course, closes with a seemingly mandatory alarmist prophecy about future weather.  Other than that, it’s well worth the read if this subject is new to you.  There are links to a number of other posts and papers about The Blob at the end of this post.

In this post, we’ll look at the impacts of the North Pacific on global sea surface temperatures and global land+ocean surface temperatures.  As I’ve stated before, the unusual warming of the North Pacific, which is linked to weather there, was the primary cause of the record high global surface temperatures reported by GISS, NCDC and the UKMO in 2014.

Lower troposphere data are next.  The Blob appears in the lower troposphere temperature anomaly data, though it was stronger in 2013 than 2014.

We’ll present the sea surface temperature anomalies for a number of regions of the North Pacific, zooming in on the location of The Blob in the eastern extratropical portion. Sea surface temperature anomalies for The Blob are higher in the first 3 months of 2015 than they were in 2014.

Next is the depth-averaged temperature data for the North Pacific during the ARGO-era, including the depths of 0-700 and 0-2000 meters.  The North Pacific to depth has cooled, not warmed, since 2005, even with The Blob.

Last, I’ve included an animation of the sea surface temperature anomalies for the North Pacific, which indicates The Blob originated in the western extratropical North Pacific and worked its way eastward.

As a reminder, let’s start with the absence of warming in the surface of the North Pacific for the 2+ decades, leading up to the formation of The Blob.

NORTH PACIFIC SEA SURFACES SHOWED NO WARMING (BASED ON THE LINEAR TREND) FOR ALMOST TWO AND A HALF DECADES

This portion of the post is for those new to the discussion of the North Pacific sea surface temperatures and The Blob.

Figure 2 shows the annual sea surface temperature anomalies for the period of 1989 to 2014. As you’ll note, the periods of 1989 to 2012 and 2012 to 2014 are shown in different colors.  Based on the linear trend of 0.00 deg C/decade for the period of 1989 to 2012, the data for the surface of the entire North Pacific ocean shows no evidence of long-term warming for 24 years, almost 2 ½ decades. Then, in 2013 and 2014 there were weather-related upticks, which, laughably, alarmists claim were evidence of human-induced global warming.

Figure 2

Figure 2

I’ve borrowed Figure 3 from the post here.  In addition to the sea surface temperature data for the North Pacific, it shows that the average of the outputs of the climate models used for the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report, basically the consensus of the models. The models indicate the surface of the North Pacific should have warmed more than 0.5 deg C from 1989 to 2012…IF it was warmed by the manmade greenhouse gases that drive the climate models…but the surface there didn’t warm.

Figure 3

Figure 3

And as I noted in that post, If the manmade greenhouse gas-forced climate models used by the IPCC cannot explain the 24-year absence of warming of the surface in the North Pacific, it can’t be claimed that the weather-related warming there in 2013 and 2014 were caused by manmade greenhouse gases.   That little bit of common sense eludes alarmists.

For a more detailed look at how poorly climate models simulate the surfaces of the oceans during the satellite era, see the January 2015 post Alarmists Bizarrely Claim “Just what AGW predicts” about the Record High Global Sea Surface Temperatures in 2014.

And for a discussion on the use of the model mean, see the post here.

THE SIZEABLE WEATHER-RELATED UPTICK IN NORTH PACIFIC SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES WAS THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF THE REPORTED RECORD-HIGH GLOBAL SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN 2014

We discussed in a number of posts over the past year how the weather events in the North Pacific—The Blob and the impacts of the developing El Niño—were responsible for the record high global sea surface temperatures in 2014. We can once again show this by comparing the observed global sea surface temperature anomalies to the global data with the North Pacific removed. See Figure 4.  In it, we used the coordinates of 0-65N, 100E-90W for the North Pacific data and assumed that the North Pacific covered 21.3% of the surface of the global oceans.  (Refer to the NOAA webpage here.)  Without the impacts of the two weather-related events in the North Pacific in 2014 (The Blob and the El Niño), the record-high year for global sea surface temperatures would still be 1998.

Figure 4

Figure 4

And for those interested, we can perform the same simple analysis with the global land+ocean surface temperature products from GISS, NCDC and UKMO. I’ve used their respective sea surface temperature datasets (ERSST.v3b for GISS and NCDC and HADSST3 for the UKMO HADCRUT4 data), the coordinates of 0-65N, 100E-90W for the North Pacific, and assumed the North Pacific covers 14.9% of the globe. The results for the three surface temperature products are shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5

Figure 5

Without The Blob and the El Niño events in the North Pacific in 2014, 2010 would still be the warmest year…and that was a result of the aftereffects of the 2009/2010 El Niño.

DOES THE BLOB SHOW UP IN THE LOWER TROPOSPHERE TEMPERATURE DATA?

We only need to look at lower troposphere temperature anomaly maps of the North Pacific region for the year 2014 to answer that question. Refer to Figure 6.  Both RSS and UAH lower troposphere temperature anomalies are displayed.

Figure 6

Figure 6

Figure 7 compares the sea surface temperature anomalies for The Blob region (35N-55N, 150W-125W) to the lower troposphere temperature anomalies.  All show sizeable upticks in 2013, with the lower troposphere data rising faster. Then, in 2014, the lower troposphere data show a slight cooling while the sea surface temperature data continue to rise.  But that divergence is not unusual for two different metrics in such a small part of the globe.  As shown, the sea surface temperature data and the lower troposphere data are often out of synch there.

Figure 7

Figure 7

REGIONAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE DATA FOR THE NORTH PACIFIC

For each of the following portions of the North Pacific, I’ve provided two graphs. The top cells are time-series graphs for the full term of the monthly Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature data, November 1981 to March 2015.  Before the upswings in 2013 and 2014, all regions show multidecadal periods of little-to-no warming based on the linear trends.  I’ve shown those periods in blue for each region, along with the linear trend line, to reinforce that point.

The bottom graphs compare the evolutions of the sea surface temperature anomalies for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and year-to-date 2015.

North Pacific – Figure 8 presents the monthly sea surface temperature anomalies for the North Pacific from the equator to the Bering Strait (0-65N, 100E-90W).  See map here.  It’s quite obvious that the monthly and yearly sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific are quite volatile, and that can be said for all of the smaller subsets that follow.  But as noted earlier, the data showed no long-term warming from 1989 to 2012. Then, quite surprisingly, sea surface temperatures there took a sizeable upswing in 2013 and 2014.  The upswings, of course, were caused by The Blob and the evolution of the 2014/15 El Niño.

Figure 8

Figure 8

The surface temperature anomaly data for the North Pacific show large seasonal components in 2013 and 2014, with the anomalies peaking in August in 2013 and in August and September in 2014.  Sea surfaces in the North Pacific warmed noticeably in 2013 and 2014.

Extratropical North Pacific – For this portion, we’re using the coordinates of 20N-65N, 100E-100W. Think of the North Pacific north of the big island of Hawaii to the Bering Strait. See the map here. The sea surfaces of the extratropical North Pacific, Figure 9, also show an extended period with little long-term warming before the upswing in 2013 and 2014.  Here, the period without warming lasts from 1994 to 2012, almost 2 decades. The temporary dip and rebound from 1991 to 1993, likely caused by the effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, impose a slight warming trend on this region if we try to extend the period back to 1990.

Figure 9

Figure 9

The seasonal components for the extratropical North Pacific sea surface temperature data during 2013 and 2014 are also very strong.  This year, the sea surface temperatures are comparable to 2014, though they are evolving differently.

Eastern Extratropical North Pacific – Closing in on The Blob, Figure 10 presents the sea surface temperature anomalies for the eastern extratropical North Pacific (20N-65N, 180-100). See the map here.  So we’re looking at the portion of the North Pacific that’s north of the big island of Hawaii and east of the dateline. There, looking backwards before the upswing in 2013, there is no long-term warming (based on a linear trend) from 1984 to 2012, even with the temporary warming event of 2004/05.

Figure 10

Figure 10

The sea surface warming in the eastern extratropical North Pacific occurred primarily in 2013. There was a seasonal warming in 2014, but 2014 and 2015 are starting at basically the same value. Sea surfaces there in March 2015, however, are about 0.3 deg C warmer than in March 2014.

The Blob – For Figure 11, I’ve used the coordinates of 35N-55N, 150W-125W for The Blob. See the map here for the location.  While quite volatile, the sea surface temperatures of this region showed no warming (based on the linear trend) from the start of the Reynolds OI.v2 data to 2012.  That’s 3 decades of no surface warming in that region before the upticks in 2013 and 2014.

Figure 11

Figure 11

The Blob definitely evolved in 2013.  In fact, compared to 2013, the sea surface temperature anomalies of the blog remained relatively flat in 2014.  Sea surface temperatures of The Blob are rising early in 2015 and are presently well above the levels seen in 2014.

And just in case you’re wondering, The Blob region shows no long-term warming for 80 years, according to NOAA extended reconstructed sea surface temperature dataset ERSST.v3b.  See Figure 12. Unlike the other graphs in this section, I’ve included the years 2013, 2014 and year-to-date 2015 in that trend analysis.

Figure 12

Figure 12

California-Mexico Coastal Waters – The surface temperatures of the waters off the coasts of California and Mexico also made a recent upswing, but there it happened in 2014. Refer to Figure 13.  For this region, we’re using the coordinates of 15N-40N, 125W-100W. See the map here.  Prior to 2014, the sea surfaces there cooled since the start of the Reynolds OI.v2 data.  In fact, the California-Mexico coastal waters still show no long-term warming, even if we include the 2014 and 2015 data.  See the graph here.

Figure 13

Figure 13

The surface warming of the California-Mexico coastal waters began late in 2013, which is well before the strong Kelvin wave, which initiated the 2014/15 El Niño, reached the coasts of the Americas.  As you will see, however, in an animation that follows, the California-Mexico coastal waters warmed from the south northward, which suggests that the warming there was also not caused by the warm waters of The Blob migrating southward.

There was a recent study of the sea surface temperatures in that region.  See Yuan and Yamagata (2014) California Niño/Niña. The California Niño/Niña is said to be independent of the El Niño/La Niña events in the tropical Pacific.  That California Niño/Niña phenomenon, however, occurs in July-August-September, which doesn’t align with the warming there in 2014.

ARGO-ERA NODC DEPTH-AVERAGED TEMPERATURE ANOMALY DATA SHOWS THE NORTH PACIFIC COOLING TO DEPTHS OF 700 METERS AND 2000 METERS SINCE 2005

Figure 14 presents the NODC’s annual depth-averaged temperature data for the North Pacific (0-65N, 100E-90W) for the depths of 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters.  Note that the NODC depth-averaged temperature data for the depths of 0-2000 meters begins in 2005 at the KNMI Climate Explorer, limiting the data to the ARGO era, so I’ve also only illustrated the 0-700 meters data for that time period. Both show noticeable negative trends over the past decade.

Figure 14

Figure 14

The Blob does appear in the depth-averaged temperature data to those two depths. See Figure 15, which uses the coordinates of 35N-55N, 150W-125W for The Blob.  At both depths, the upticks in 2014 were greater than those of 2013.

Figure 15

Figure 15

HOW DEEP DOES THE BLOB GO?

Figure 16 is a cross section of the subsurface temperature anomalies of the Eastern Pacific Ocean available from the ECMWF webpage here.  It presents the output of their ORAS4 reanalysis. Keep in mind, a reanalysis is the output of a computer model that uses data as inputs. But with all of the ARGO floats bobbing around in the oceans, and assuming the ARGO data are used in this reanalysis, this should be a reasonable representation.

Figure 16

Figure 16

The cross section is for the month of March 2015 and, in the top portion, it presents the average subsurface temperature anomalies to depths of 500 meters.  The x-axis (horizontal axis) stretches from 50S on the left to 50N on the right.  The longitudes are 160W-90W. Basically, if we were to take a slice of the Pacific Ocean that was bordered by the coordinates of 50S-50N, 160W-90W and look from east to west, those are the average temperature anomalies at depth.  The Blob is visible to the right, and appears as the elevated subsurface temperature anomalies.   So The Blob is not simply a surface phenomenon.  But we would expect that with wind-driven ocean mixing.

I’ve also highlighted the most recent Kelvin wave, which is making its way from west to east along the equator. Much of that pocket of warm water will rise to the surface over the upcoming months and likely strengthen the current El Niño.

NORTH PACIFIC SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALY ANIMATION

I’ve provided Animation 1 to confirm that the elevated sea surface temperatures originally formed, as one would expect, in the west-central North Pacific during the back-to-back La Niñas of 2010/11 and 2011/12.  What came next was unexpected.  Those elevated sea surface temperatures then migrated eastward to create The Blob.

Animations of maps of monthly sea surface temperature anomalies can be quite volatile, with weather effects and seasonal components creating a lot of visual noise.  To minimize the monthly volatility, each of the following maps presents the average sea surface temperature anomalies for a full year.  The annual maps then advance on a monthly basis. That is, the first map covers the 12-month period of January 2010 to December 2010.  The second map is for February 2010 to January 2011.  The third map: March 2010 to February 2011.  And so on through the last map for April 2014 to March 2015. This is similar to smoothing time-series data with a 12-month running-mean filter.

Animation 1 N. Pac SSTa

Animation 1

You’ll also note the evolution of the 2014/15 El Niño later in the animation.  It appears to enhance The Blob and cause the sea surface temperatures to rise along the west coast of North America.

FURTHER READING 

We’ve been discussing the unusual warming event in the North Pacific since it first made its presence known in the July 2013 sea surface temperature data.  For additional information, see the posts:

Also see Anthony Watts’s April 2015 post “Warm blob” in Pacific Ocean not caused by climate change, affects U.S. weather at WattsUpWithThat.  It includes the press release for two papers: Bond et al. (2015) Causes and Impacts of the 2014 Warm Anomaly in the NE Pacific and Hartmann (2015) Pacific sea surface temperature and the winter of 2014.

CLOSING

The Blob is a naturally occurring weather event. Along with another natural event, the El Niño of 2014/15, The Blob caused the reportedly record-high global surface temperatures in 2014.  The Blob is coupled with an atmospheric phenomenon known as the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.   The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge have enhanced the drought in California and are responsible for the reported high surface temperatures there as well. Likewise, they are also said to be major contributors to cold weather and snow in the eastern U.S.

The sea surfaces of the North Pacific hadn’t warmed for nearly 2.5 decades and then warmed unexpectedly in 2013 and 2014.  The sea surfaces of The Blob region according to NOAA’s long-term data show no warming for 8 decades. Regardless of that reality, alarmists nonsensically attribute The Blob to the emissions of manmade greenhouse gases.

The Blob is not only a sea surface temperature phenomenon.  It appears in the Lower Troposphere Temperature data and in the NODC’s depth-averaged temperature data for the depths of 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters.  Of course, the NODC depth-averaged temperature data for the North Pacific show no warming during the ARGO era.

There are a number of questions now, including:

  • How long will The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge last?
  • Assuming a La Niña follows this El Niño, will the La Niña be strong enough to overcome The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge?
  • What will be the combined effects of the strengthening El Niño, The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge on weather worldwide over the next 12 months?
  • Will the El Niño be strong enough to overcome the other two and bring rain to California, or will The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge continue their influences there?
  • Will The Blob have a long-term impact on the sea surface temperatures of the Eastern Pacific Ocean as a whole? That is, will The Blob be responsible for another upward shift in the sea surface temperatures of the East Pacific Ocean like that in 1976/77?

I’m sure you can think of others.

SOURCE

The data and maps presented in the post are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer.

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179 thoughts on “North Pacific Update: The Blob’s Strengthening Suggests It’s Not Ready to Depart

  1. Bob,
    Are data available for sea surface temperatures to tell whether a similar blob may have been a factor in the late 1970’s drought in California? I don’t even know where to start looking.
    pbh

  2. Interestingly enough, the Blob appears in the western Pacific ocean in the beginning of the GIF, near Japan and drawing a line reversing direction points back to the location of the Fukushima disaster. Could the Blob be heat generated by radioactive debris?

    • All the heat from all the fuel at Fukushima couldn’t tick the ocean temp up even .00001 deg.

    • If the radiation is weak enough that it takes the most sensitive equipment that we have to detect it, how is it going to warm trillions of tons of water?

    • A more likely scenario is the earthquake that led to the disaster also opened up a rift that is releasing heat. It would have to be enormous, but I saw the same flow in the GIF.

    • @ micro6500 What about an upwelling of water caused by the earthquake? I can’t remember the displacement of the two plates but it was substantial 12 -30 meters sideways and who knows how much up/down. ( I realize the tsunami was caused by different effects) but the timing seems eerily similar.

      • asybot commented

        @ micro6500 What about an upwelling of water caused by the earthquake? I can’t remember the displacement of the two plates but it was substantial 12 -30 meters sideways and who knows how much up/down. ( I realize the tsunami was caused by different effects) but the timing seems eerily similar.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_and_tsunami
        I

        As well as the sideways movement between the plates, the sea floor is estimated to have risen by several metres, displacing an estimated 30 cubic kilometres (7.2 cu mi) of water and triggering devastating tsunami waves. The waves did not originate from a point source, as was inaccurately depicted in some illustrations of their paths of travel, but rather radiated outwards along the entire 1,600-kilometre (1,000 mi) length of the rupture (acting as a line source). This greatly increased the geographical area over which the waves were observed, reaching as far as Mexico, Chile, and the Arctic. The raising of the sea floor significantly reduced the capacity of the Indian Ocean, producing a permanent rise in the global sea level by an estimated 0.1 millimetres (0.004 in).[20]

        That was the Christmas Day Tsunami, the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami lifted the ocean floor 3 meters in some places, and “Earth’s axis shifted by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in)”wiki.
        So I see no reason that these couldn’t have some effect on chaotic currents, a small disturbance at the nozzle of a hose can make a big difference in the discharge pattern.
        Has anyone taken a hard look at climate states and earthquakes? Wouldn’t it be a hoot to find that the 30-60 year ocean driven climate states are due to regular changes to the ocean floor!

    • The “Blob” is no more made by CO2 than El Ninio.
      Who are we, in our hubris, to believe that we understand all ocean circulation and natural heat variances? That we may discount each and everyone as unnatural?

      • My view exactly. We are still just observers, probably for generations to come. Someday we will be predictors with reasonable experience and knowledge of the cycles and random possibilities. But control of the climate will only come when the manipulation of our universe is well within our grasp.

    • hit yourself in the hand with a hammer every day for 100 years and your hair will fall out. this is proven by the large numbers of old, bald carpenters. proving that hammer hitting hand (HHH) causes hair loss (HL). if your hair doesn’t fall out, it is because you are not hitting yourself hard enough. exactly how hard you need to hit can only be determined by experts performing large numbers of studies requiring billions in government grants.

      • I think diagnosis by phrenology and followup treatment via trepanning may have caused this advice to be written.

      • you can then discove3r personality traits of the person by reading the bumps on the head. That is just an added bonus.
        It Was settled science in the past. Many text books were written and the science was called Phrenology.

      • Also if you are right handed your right arm and hand will get stronger and your left hand will swell up. Can I have a grant, a warmist and a hammer to pursue this line of research?

    • The missing heat for the last 19 years that the oceans ate has been found. I believe this vindicates many climate alarmists… right?

    • Flashie
      How can you possibly make that connection? Did ALL the CO2 in the atmosphere conspire and congregate in that area and thereby heat that spot? You really are a silly boy with an agenda.

    • Is someone paying you to make a fool of yourself, or is this a volunteer effort.
      If it were AGW doing the warming, there would be a warming trend over the last 50 years. Instead the temperature is constant until about 2 years ago.

      • There is a trend (just look at the LOTI) over 50 years. The question if the blob is partly attributable to AGW is just impossible to answer. The team did not predict it.

      • Maybe this is the heat that was supposed to have warmed the Weddell Sea, took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Or maybe Hansen was holding his globe upside down when he inputed the model.

      • If your “big picture” of global climate change is that CO2 is increasing, then you might be a warmist! (with apologies to Mr. Foxworthy)

    • If you bothered to read the actual post you’d realise that he’s pointing out the LACK of warming for 24 years in the region followed by the sudden onset of the ‘blob’ shows that it’s a natural phenomenon and not a CO2 driven one that would create a more constant gradual warming over a larger area.

  3. It’s interesting you can see the heat bleeding east into the west coast. And i think the main reason it shows up in global temps (record 2014 temps) is the homogenization process where they extrapolate temps into area’s that are not measured.
    This is also a good example of what I think has been going on around the globe, surface data prior to all of the “making it better” crud done to it, show that the average previous day’s warming is a little less than the following nights cooling, it does this because warm moist air moves from the tropical oceans over land where the water rains out as the air mass cools off, the extratropics are the cooling zones of the tropical steam generator that is the tropical oceans.

  4. So if it hadn’t suddenly got a lot warmer, then we could say there was no warming in the North Pacific. But it did……….but it was only “weather-related”, presumably unlike the previous 15 years of weather which were not “weather-related”??

      • Isn’t it that way with every conceivable dataset? Everything Proves AGW but nothing can Disprove it (Null Hypothesis).

  5. Observing the blob’s formation and effects:
    One wonders if previous blob’s had key parts in causing the long term droughts evident in archaeology.
    One also wonders why someone, like you Bob, has not given the warm water an official name; e.g. “Gulf of Alaska temperature Oscillation”. (I’m sure you can derive a far better name / description.)

    • [I propose] the inverse phase be called the “Pacific Easterly Radiative Reduction Oscillation”
      See, the PERRO chases the GATO all the around the ocean…
      [else the porpoise has a purpose for his proposal to pursue his proposed pussy … .mod]

      • Beware of the blob, it creeps
        and glides and slides
        Across the ocean floor
        Right through the door
        And off the pacific coast
        A splotch, a blotch
        Be careful of the blob

      • Wait a minute….How did they finally Defeat the Blob
        Hey, there’s the fire !
        I’ll stop it !
        Wait a minute.
        Let me have that a minute.
        [ Coughing ]
        CO2 ! Hey, that’s it !
        It’s cold !
        That’s why it didn’t come in the ice box
        after us. It can’t stand cold.
        – You got any more
        of these things? Huh?
        – [ Man ] No.
        This thing’s running out.
        The phone. Hey, Dave !
        Hey, Dave ! Hey, Da–
        Anybody on the phone?
        Hey, Dave !
        Dave, can you hear me?
        CO2 !
        Dave !
        – What did he say?
        – Al, what’s up?
        Shhh. Quiet.
        CO2?
        Phil ! Phil, do you got
        any CO2 extinguishers?
        Not many.
        Some soda acid.
        Well, get the CO2s out here and start
        hitting around those cellar windows.
        – What?
        -Just do it, Phil !
        And check these buildings for fire
        extinguishers. But only the CO2 kind.
        – Bring back every one
        you can get your hands on.
        – All right. Okay.
        Hey, maybe we can help.
        Let’s get some guys together.
        – Lieutenant, I know where
        there are 20 extinguishers
        – Good. Where?
        CO2 the cure for the BLOB

  6. Two observations.
    1. During previous El Nino cycles, or before previous El Nino cycles, has such a hot spot in the NW Pacific Surface temperature been measured before?
    Or, is this the first time that satellites have been able to measure a phenomenon that might be very common over previous El Nino cycles?
    2. The “Brother of the Blob” is a smaller hot spot on the other side of the Aleutian Island chain – thus indicating that the island chain does not “stop” or break up the blob’s heat source, but does significantly reduce it by breaking up the currents surrounding the Big Blob. These are the same two areas that have 2014 lowest sea ice extent and lowest area the entire winter sea ice season.
    So, why did the Blob and Blob’s Brother appear in those locations this year?

    • So, why did the Blob and Blob’s Brother appear in those locations this year?

      Only two possibilities, winds or currents, or both(well three possibilities).

    • So, why did the Blob and Blob’s Brother appear in those locations this year?
      =========
      Persistent meridional flow of the jet stream carrying increased warmth pole-ward along the west coast and increase cooling towards the equator along the east coast.

  7. figure 16 maybe should extend northward to 55N to better visualize the depth structure of the blob at the current time?

  8. Is it possible that there might be some volcanic activity warming that particular area in some way?
    Slightly off topic, I see that the Tripod in the Nenana Ice Classic is at about 45 degrees. Looks like an early finish this year.

  9. I can only think of one teacher (professor) in my life that presented their material in such a simple, logical and easy-to-understand way.. complete with lots of pictures! Thank you Bob for every article you put out.
    What is really a shame is this is a very interesting transient phenomenon that evidently comes along once is a hundred or so years and is well worth the study on how it effects the weather globally.. but the real science behind it will be clouded by the global warming hype.
    Five years from now the Pacific will be much different and how it gets there will be fun and interesting to watch. At least we have better tools to observe it. Just need to keep the tool keepers honest.

  10. We know that much of Alaska did not get covered with thick glaciers unlike most of Canada and the Northeast/Great Lakes region. We know that the Pacific was warmer than the Atlantic during Ice Ages. We now know that when it is unusually warm in the northern Pacific, it gets terrifically cold in the same regions where glaciation was thickest during Ice Ages.
    This means that determining if we are going into an Ice Age era or a global warming era, we look at the Great Lakes/Hudson Bay region and if there is a warm spot in the Alaska/Northeast Pacific region and super cold in the Hudson Bay region, we are in Ice Age conditions, not global warming.
    This is quite likely what happened in the past, too. I am betting if we had the data during the 1970’s, we would have seen the same warm west/cold east effect. Instead of wailing about warming, we should be very concerned about cooling since we know the next solar cycle will be extremely weak.

    • emsnews on April 21, 2015 at 6:33 am
      – – – – – – –
      emsnews,
      I was not previously aware of that thinking on a possible Ice Age initiation signal. It has made me curious.
      Any additional llinks to further reading?
      John

      • Relationship of Multidecadal Global Temperatures to Multidecadal Oceanic Oscillations:
        Joseph D’Aleo and Don Easterbrook, September 2011
        Global temperatures, ocean-based teleconnections, and solar variances interrelate with each other. A team of mathematicians (Tsonis et al., 2003, 2007), led by Dr. Anastasios Tsonis, developed a model suggesting that known cycles of the Earth’s oceans – the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, El Nino (Southern Oscillation), and the North Pacific Oscillation – all tend to synchronize with each other. The theory is based on a branch of mathematics known as Synchronized Chaos. The model predicts the degree of coupling to increase over time, causing the solution to “bifurcate”, or split. Then, the synchronization vanishes. The result is a climate shift. Eventually the cycles begin to synchronize again, causing a repeating pattern of warming and cooling, along with sudden changes in the frequency and strength of El Nino events. They show how this has explained the major shifts that have occurred including 1913, 1942, and 1978. These may be in the process of synchronizing once again with its likely impact on climate very different from what has been observed over the last several decades.
        http://www.oarval.org/ClimateChangeBW.htm#D%27Aleo-Easterbrook

      • Andres Valencia
        Thanks for posting this, I believe that Taonis et al are definitely looking in the right direction ie synchronised chaos (alternately synchronised and not). This indeed makes sense of the oceanic shifts at the dates you mentioned. There is quite a lot of good literature on nonlinear dynamics in ocean phenomena such as ENSO. The climate establishment is trying to supress such enlightened oceanography because it paints a picture of natural decadal term oscillations which dilutes their shrill and idiotic picture of simple linear warming in a passive simple climate system for today’s new breed of simple people.
        It would be nice to try to review such research when time allows. Some papers use the term “ground state” of the Pacific, which changed at the dates you listed. I remember in an earlier thread Joe Bastardi mentioning that there was a similar hot North Pacific blob during the 50’s. That marked a transition between a warming and a cooling period, and it could mean the same now.
        My own hunch is that the recent warming period was characterised by stronger poleward transport of equatorial warm water, driven like a beating heart by ENSO. In this regard it may even be the La Ninas that are most important in this warm water pumping – or naybe the el Nino-La Nina cycle.
        Now we are transitioning to a period in which no amount of Kelvin waves, warmist hysteria or even encouragement from Bob Tisdale can get an el Nino to start, even though the conditions were such that people trained in the prior oscillation cycle expected one. But none came. This is what is meant by a change in the Pacific ground state. It just ain’t in the mood for el Nino-La Nina cycles any more.
        In the short term the result of this is a slowdown in north Pacific circulation with the pumping effect of ENSO gone. Eventually this will weaken poleward heat transfer and thus cause cooling. However a more short term result of this circulation slow-down could br this blob of surface warm water, perhaps due to reduced vertical mixing.
        Synchronised chaos is where answers to this will be found and I hope Tsonis et al are going to be allowed to continue this research.

      • According to current theory, there is a strong relationship between the speed of the solar conveyor (a current of plasma that runs from the sun’s equator to poles under the surface) and the strength of the following solar cycle. During cycle 23 the speed of the conveyor fell through the floor, which strongly implies that cycle 25 (the next one) will also be very weak.
        The fact that the weakness of cycle 24 caught all the experts by surprise may put a damper on this prediction, since the conveyor was still strong in cycle 22.

    • emsnews commented

      This is quite likely what happened in the past, too. I am betting if we had the data during the 1970’s, we would have seen the same warm west/cold east effect.

      I believe this as well.
      https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/us.png
      This is the average day to day change of min and max temps, you can see that max averages near zero, and min is all over the place.
      https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/nh.png
      Adding Eurasia, you see they had a cold Min from the 50’s to the 70’s
      https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/au.png
      Australia
      https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/af.png
      Africa
      https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/sa.png
      South America
      You can see temps are flat, then min temps drops for a while, and then go back up and are flat again. This is not how a global effect would present itself, but you are all presented with this photo-shopped/AutoTuned pile of bilge that’s suppose to represent temps, and it hides the fact that there is no global temp trend, anywhere!

    • emsnews…the warming ocean in this area also corresponds to solar grand minimum events from what I can see from studying the many regional temp graphs available. The UK area has something similar in that it does not appear to cool along with the rest of Europe during a cold trend. It does feel the cold later on though.

  11. If you started the animation about 8 months or so earlier, one would see the Blob is really just the left-over heat from the 2009-10 El Nino cycling in the North Pacific Gyre. It is a good animation of the Gyre being responsible for the current pattern, but starting it a little earlier would provide a very valuable piece of information.
    Although most maps of the North Pacific Gyre like this one, don’t show the connection to the equatorial ENSO currents, there is one nonetheless.
    http://eatingjellyfish.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/gyres1-s.png
    I guess what is interesting is that the time it takes for a complete circulation in the Gyre appears to be longer than I assumed before and longer than one might have thought; 7 or 8 years apparently.
    Semi-off-topic, but the upcoming El Nino appears to be strengthening. Could be a large one as the atmospheric processes seem to syncing up with it now.

    • Likely a contributing factor. But, why is it so much warmer than it was in this region 5 years after the 1998 super El Nino? There must be other factors involved.
      It would be interesting to see a time lapse view of the undercurrents along the Northern edge of the Pacific Gyre. Is there something similar to the kelvin wave at the tropics that drives an El Nino?

    • Yes, the Blob most likely is a left over from that super warm el Nino. By the way, having an el Nino in SUMMER is opposite of its normal formation which is Xmas time. The sun has been steadily pumping out energy via sun spot activity during the entire crest of this solar cycle which weaker than previous ones.
      This does mean that the ‘top’ of the cycle is LONG instead of a spike and this may have caused some moderate to weakly strong heating of the Pacific Ocean on the equator. But it is ending rapidly and will be gone pretty soon.
      This may be the last ‘warm cycle’ activity for a long, long time if some of the solar astronomers are correct.

    • I agree, but it looks like a full cycle could be as much as 15 years. It took 5 years or so to form in the eastern Pacific and start to spread along the west coast of North America. (from NORTH PACIFIC SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALY ANIMATION) Based on that it will take another 5 years to dissipate (2020) and then start circulating back. Whether it brings heat back or not is another kettle of fish. Your 8 year estimate could be correct. It took 4 years for radiation from Fukishima to show up on the west coast of North America. But there are gyres within gyres and Japan is already part way through the cycle so it could be much longer – like 15 years. Some of us won’t be here to check.
      Great post Mr Tisdale. I wonder how it has affected the fishing?

    • The slowdown of the gyre is connected with a general slowdown of poleward heat transport including that of the gulf stream (causing the sea level rise of NW USA) and this is also connected with why there will be no el Nino. The Pacific ground state has changed. A period of global cooling will follow.

  12. Hmm…your figure two (3?) showing the model projections- they seem to be getting on track with help from the blob.

  13. fig 12 looks to be the most pertinent, since it is about the only one that gives a long view. It is about time for PDO to change direction, though this change is rather abrupt.
    There is also the latent heat being dropped by ice recovery in the Arctic. This will be injecting huge quantities of heat into the region. The UHA record, which is certainly more uniform in coverage than surface measured SST, clearly shows the warmth centred on the Bering Straights. Due to the persistent Coriolis driven ocean currents this will run down the west coast.
    Animations #1 is also informative. We see this W-E movement being focused by the form of the N. Am coastline. This is what would happen if this is multi-annual tidal movement.
    fig 16 shows warm surface waters that may have been drawn to the equator by the recent eclipse alignment causing unusually strong tide raising forces.
    Max lunar declination is at approx 23+5 deg N/S so the “anomalies” will play out water entering and leaving around 20 N/S. It will flow in and out in both the equatorial and polar direction in both hemispheres.
    Such a multi-annual tidal resonance would look a lot like fig 16.

  14. Crap, WP ate my post ( again ).
    I’m not going to type it all again. Basically most this is multi-annual tidal resonance being focused by the N. Am coastline as shhown in anoim #1. There is probably significant contribution from the latent heat being dumped into Bering Str. by Arctic ice recovery.
    E. Pac cross-section in fig 16 also shows warm waters were drawn to equator by recent eclipse configuration. N. Pac is the polar counter part of the flow from 20 N/S to the equator. Max lunar declination is around 23+5 degrees N/S so the main anom shows in the middle of that range around 15-20 N/S.

  15. Bob Tisdale: “The sea surfaces of The Blob region according to NOAA’s long-term data show no warming for 8 decades.”
    Why did you limit the data comparison to only 8 decades? I know, because referring to a longer period wouldn’t match up with your biased agenda. Can everyone say cherry picking the data?
    Just looking at these links for data in that region for the entire data record going past 11 decades tells a different story:
    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/SST/index.shtml?point=585
    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/SST/index.shtml?point=586
    Plotting of the yearly averages from those data sets of the blob area shows a linear regression increase of 0.9C since 1900 with a major new peak set in 2014. It goes right along with this long-term plot of NH SSTs: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3nh/from:1850/mean:60/offset:0.8/plot/hadsst3nh/from:1910/offset:0.53/trend
    If the warming was only due to the influence of the ocean cycles as you surmise in your little bubble world, then the entire atmosphere all the way into the lower stratosphere would be warming, but its not: https://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/styles/inline_all/public/stratanom_1958-2013.gif?itok=e3kGJ5sc
    But then as you have admitted to me many times in the past, you are a not scientist, so….

    • Dennis Hlinka says: “Why did you limit the data comparison to only 8 decades?”
      Welcome back, troll. Do you realize how foolish that sounds? “only 8 decades?”
      The answer to your question should be obvious…but the obvious has always eluded you, Dennis. The intent of the graph was to show how far back in time the data for The Blob region showed no warming at that specific location. Get it? It’s real easy, Dennis.
      You wrote: “Just looking at these links for data in that region for the entire data record going past 11 decades tells a different story”
      I suggest you check the latitudes and longitudes of the data you linked to, Dennis. They don’t represent the Blob. It’s sad that you, a meteorologist, have such difficulty with reading maps and determining coordinates. Do your clients understand you can’t read a map and can’t determine global coordinates?

      [Oops, my mistake, Dennis. Correction. I’ve never been to that website before, and I’ve just re-read the links. I was looking at the coordinates on the drop-down menu, not what was shown for that specific subset of the obsolete HADSST2 data. You were in the right location. My mistake, sorry. See the continuation of this comment below.]

      Do you still have difficulty comprehending why I don’t allow you to post comments at my blog, Dennis Hlinka? Anyone who has read your comment here will understand it.
      Adios, troll.

      • Dennis, the following is a continuation of the correction to my first reply to you.
        I’ve extended the ERSST.v3b data for the blob location back to its January 1854 start date in the following graph. As you might recall, the NOAA ERSST.v3b data are used in your alarmist-preferred GISS land-ocean temperature index data, (which makes me wonder why you provided links to obsolete HADSST2 data with so many months of missing data).
        https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/blob-ssta-1854-start.png
        I wouldn’t pay much attention to the data before 1880. So here’s a graph of the same data starting in 1880.
        https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/blob-ssta-1880-start.png
        Because there was no warming from 1935 to present (see Figure 12 in the post) and because the anomalies in the 1880s are comparable to the most recent few decades, then I believe it’s safe to say that the trend is caused by the dip and rebound in the sea surface temperatures there that started in the 1890s and ended in the 1930s. In other words, you are using a naturally caused dip and rebound to explain the long-term warming of the blob region of the North Pacific.
        Good-bye, Dennis. You’ve wasted my time, once again.

  16. Until recently the jet stream followed a great circle route (Japan-Alaska-California). Now it runs along the 30th parallel until it takes an abrupt turn north toward the “blob”. Here’s the questions.
    Is the abrupt turn caused by the RRR and pushing warmer water north to create the “blob”.
    Or is the warmer water of the “blob” forcing the abrupt turn and causing the RRR.
    Or does the “blob” increase the water vapor over the Canadian shield reducing TSI and creating a cold blocking high over the east coast thus causing the RRR.

    • I’m guessing the answer to your question is “yes” probably the two effects you mention reinforce each other.
      btw it boggles my mind how some people can think CO2 warms only small parts of the oceans while other parts such as the entire north Atlantic cool. Magical molecule seems to promote magic thinking! Even more weird is how they imagine a change in air temperature of a fraction of a degree can possibly overwhelm the variations in solar radiation into the ocean.
      That micro degree change of air temperature gets lost in the enthalpy of vapourization causing no change on SST would it not? This question has never been adequately answered to my satisfaction. If this is true then given the heat capacity of the oceans, how is AGW theory relevant in any way except as a trivial, hair splitting question for academics?
      Isn’t a warming ocean the most profound argument against AGW since that warming clearly has to come from changes in cloud cover and ocean circulation? It’s not like the 1.4 × 10^21 kg of ocean water are reaching a new equilibrium with a .3 degree change in the average atmosphere temperature?!
      Questions…questions…

    • The G.A.T.O. is responding to the M.O.U.S.E which is currently (!) residing over the northerly extent of it’s range.
      So the answers are:
      1) It could be
      2) That would not be inconsistent.
      3) Perhaps, but it requires years of further study to be sure.

  17. Is The Blob natural or influenced by global warming? I prefer to wait for the peer-reviewed scientific literature on that one. It begs the question how did the ocean get so warm ie where did the extra thermal energy come from?
    Other options is it is influenced by the Arctic Amplification of global warming.
    The Jan-Mar 2015 average temps for California are most unusual.

    • given our short history of monitoring ocean temps it would be pretty far fetched to say this “blob” is unusual let alone caused by co2 emissions. I wonder what the water temps looked like in the late 20’s after a drought in California that started in 1910. Oh yeah i remember we weren’t monitoring ocean temps in any reliable way then.

      • Charlie,
        was the drought you refer to accompanied by high temps?
        Any anyway no one is saying CO2 concentrations cause anomalies like the blog directly. But there can be indirect affect on air and sea circulation caused by arctic amplification.

      • Well since there is no overall arctic amplification just raised temperature for a period over certain regions like Alaska and also lowered temperatures in areas like eastern Canada…which by the way with the rest of the arctic ground station and satellite temps even out any sort of unethical reports or arcrtic amplification. There is a short history of accurate ocean temp and even ground temp recording in this area.. even if California’s temps were higher now than in the 20’s or 30’s. (I don’t think there is any accurate source for those temps of that period for that state) That is really hard to connect to co2 when considering climatic observation for the rest of the globe. In fact it would be completely irrational
        “Nobody is saying that “blob” is caused by co2 emmisons”
        of course they are. Have you been reading any of the hundred or so articles printed weekly worldwide on climate change? Did you notice they blame everything in weather on co2? Maybe you stay away from mainstream media?

      • Charlie.
        I think you have misquoted me.
        Also I was just referring to the blob, but you have answered like I was referring to all climate change. That is a straw man argument.
        To answer your question about mainstream media – actually I take all mainstream media with a grain of salt. A media article can be a misrepresentation or just wrong. I don’t trust any mainstream media article if it does not give citations etc which can be checked.

    • Interesting if the IPCC crowd devotes any time to a publication about this. I do not think the CAClimate Change/GlobalWarming/ClimateDisruption peer review crowd financing has the depth of knowledge to attack this. Either that or they spent money doing it already and figured that if they call it CACCH/GW/CD would get blasted even worse than they are, as a localized blob cannot be caused by a global effect.
      Of course, I might be wrong, but can’t find any papers

      • This is going to require considerable field research to get to the bottom of it. It looks like we’re going to need to go monitor Alaskan glaciers calving off over the next few summers. These are most easily accessed by cruise ship. Of course we will have to check out the water temperatures off the beach in Hawaii every winter, although this can be done on foot or perhaps by jet ski.
        And I believe it will also be necessary to spend some time on the Colorado river during the peak of white water rafting season.
        Oh well, no use complaining about it.

    • Isn’t it obvious that we’ve just found where the ocean heat is hiding doncha’ know. Where do I apply for my grant!

    • “The Jan-Mar 2015 average temps for California are most unusual.”
      Most unusual compared to what and when,Harry?

      • sunsettommy
        compared to what is considered usual for California of course – check the NCDC website. If west coast state have had their highest Jan-March temps on record, and there is a blog of abnormally warm water off the coast, I would wonder if the events were related.

  18. While I agree that anthropogenic CO2 is probably making little to no contribution, something is going on that deserves more analysis. Look at Figs 9 & 10 upper panels – Illustrate a channel by setting trend lines of peaks and valleys – clear warming of the channel from 1987 of about 0.6 degrees C averaging the peaks and valleys slopes for Fig 10 and 0.7 degrees for fig 9.. Now consider Fig 12 and create a similar channel – cooling ca 1938 to 1972 then warming 1972 to 2015. Note that the 2015 peak (so far) is about 0.2 degrees C warmer than the 1938 peak – could be instrument error, or could be real warming continuing. Seems to be a distinct cyclical warming that may not yet be finished, with the current peak maybe at the same level as 1938. Given the long term warming since the LIA one would expect a current peak to be higher. Are we seeing a 75-80 year cycle??

  19. CLOSING
    The Blob is a naturally occurring weather event. Along with another natural event, the El Niño of 2014/15, The Blob caused the reportedly record-high global surface temperatures in 2014. The Blob is coupled with an atmospheric phenomenon known as the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge. The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge have enhanced the drought in California and are responsible for the reported high surface temperatures there as well. Likewise, they are also said to be major contributors to cold weather and snow in the eastern U.S.
    My reply . Exactly. The entire closing Bob has provided is 100% correct.

    • Generally, when the central Pacific is cooler there is less evaporation and precipitation available and therefore the California drought becomes worst: however, when it warms there is considerably more evaporation and precipitation that can reduce the drought conditions. I think you must consider the relationship between the Blob and the conditions in the central Pacific in the California drought discussion.

  20. MICRO 6500 what is your data source? I see a clear trend in the NH mins with NA delayed relative to the total hemisphere, and Africa and SA well aligned in the latter part of the NH cycle, with Australia data insufficient to be useful. If you look at Arctic temperatures only, excluding UHI effects as much as possible, you see that all of the warming/cooling is in the mins also. The maxs are surprisingly stable. In theory CO2 will have its greatest effect at night, in winter and at higher latitudes, ie in the mins. Interesting. Food for thought

    • MICRO 6500 what is your data source?

      NCDC Global Summary of Day’s data set. But I don’t mess with it, which is why some places are missing, or the spikes are much larger than others.
      I have lots of data here http://sourceforge.net/projects/gsod-rpts/
      and lots of words on how it was done. http://www.science20.com/virtual_worlds
      So max temps are “flat”, Min temps’s seem to go up and down for longer periods, but the periods are not happening at the same time, the only thing that I can thing of that has the juice to push surface temps around are the oceans.
      Curiously if you look at the average station temp increase yesterday, and compare to last night’s cooling, this morning will be cooler than yesterday morning, ie it cools more than it warmed, it’s not much colder, but the average of 65 million samples for all stations with more than 360 day’s/year of samples.
      So, if min temp is up, it’s not because it didn’t cool enough last night.

    • “In theory CO2 will have its greatest effect at night, in winter and at higher latitudes, ie in the mins”
      If CO2 exerts it’s warming effect by slowing down the flow of heat through the atmosphere, then wouldn’t it have its biggest effect where there is the most heat to slow down, in the tropics, during the day, and in summer?
      As an analogy consider a mattress lying in the middle of the highway. At night when there is very little traffic, it will not have much of an effect, but during rush hour it will cause a huge backup.
      In any case, if you’re going to talk about the theory,then we will have to talk about the models and where’s the hot spot?

      • menicholas commented

        If CO2 exerts it’s warming effect by slowing down the flow of heat through the atmosphere, then wouldn’t it have its biggest effect where there is the most heat to slow down, in the tropics, during the day, and in summer?
        …..
        In any case, if you’re going to talk about the theory,then we will have to talk about the models and where’s the hot spot?

        No theory, measurements.
        https://micro6500blog.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/tr.png
        Tropics aren’t doing anything different.
        YEAR RISING FALLING DIFF
        1940 11.94945355 11.95218579 -0.00273224
        1941 12.33450842 12.34555425 -0.011045828
        1942 13.01334036 13.00950474 0.003835616
        1943 14.20131894 14.20417447 -0.002855526
        1944 14.59890337 14.59860598 0.00029739
        1945 13.75322363 13.75143895 0.00178468
        1946 13.45881572 13.45804567 0.000770048
        1947 13.72501371 13.72288288 0.002130826
        1948 14.7346127 14.73513339 -0.000520694
        1949 14.60375662 14.60059315 0.003163467
        1950 14.33023195 14.33593042 -0.005698471
        1951 14.78784026 14.78210689 0.005733373
        1952 14.42088805 14.42457912 -0.003691077
        1953 13.4449503 13.44436183 0.000588469
        1954 13.26760464 13.26669363 0.000911009
        1955 13.43221566 13.43172755 0.000488116
        1956 13.32665429 13.32544614 0.001208154
        1957 14.76409823 14.76305419 0.001044041
        1958 16.21905687 16.22150864 -0.00245177
        1959 14.99190903 14.99250081 -0.000591776
        1960 15.30150976 15.30134029 0.000169463
        1961 14.78201147 14.77992677 0.002084701
        1962 14.67334399 14.67074217 0.002601825
        1963 15.19818542 15.1927566 0.005428817
        1964 14.98863984 14.99815694 -0.009517103
        1965 15.11541095 15.11180818 0.003602771
        1966 15.49171536 15.48698598 0.004729378
        1967 15.10211836 15.10854327 -0.006424913
        1968 14.28795914 14.28285989 0.005099249
        1969 14.33642687 14.34123957 -0.004812708
        1970 14.01689397 14.01586699 0.001026979
        1971 12.01844227 12.01962427 -0.001181996
        1972 12.675471 12.67129664 0.004174363
        1973 14.36202944 14.37848206 -0.01645262
        1974 14.86821097 14.854812 0.01339897
        1975 14.19158686 14.21912473 -0.027537872
        1976 14.92657178 14.91406146 0.012510319
        1977 14.56232303 14.55700932 0.005313712
        1978 14.74185892 14.74388849 -0.002029571
        1979 16.06932031 16.07073886 -0.001418547
        1980 16.12955199 16.25251317 -0.122961175
        1981 15.76470565 15.76415351 0.000552142
        1982 15.78284806 15.78565373 -0.002805668
        1983 15.50870497 15.51123269 -0.002527717
        1984 16.09198194 16.08816914 0.003812799
        1985 14.99684334 14.99843224 -0.001588895
        1986 14.74872543 14.74021417 0.008511254
        1987 15.30402077 15.30510528 -0.001084504
        1988 15.30693507 15.31066401 -0.003728931
        1989 16.18060542 16.17855518 0.002050245
        1990 15.88407764 15.88291117 0.001166469
        1991 15.96795389 15.9738465 -0.005892606
        1992 16.55757155 16.55683061 0.000740937
        1993 15.78335048 15.78926161 -0.00591113
        1994 15.84243087 15.83849838 0.003932489
        1995 15.94233607 15.95069175 -0.008355678
        1996 15.87928885 15.87264474 0.006644109
        1997 15.71072924 15.70890877 0.001820474
        1998 16.24724961 16.24689976 0.000349848
        1999 15.36025881 15.36545965 -0.005200837
        2000 16.07008205 16.07122082 -0.00113877
        2001 16.2840974 16.28510774 -0.001010344
        2002 16.37675996 16.37346527 0.003294685
        2003 16.44125324 16.44425648 -0.003003238
        2004 16.91362492 16.91771846 -0.004093544
        2005 16.02493836 16.01917292 0.005765442
        2006 16.52623941 16.52982232 -0.003582908
        2007 16.03037566 16.0336862 -0.003310536
        2008 16.21280748 16.21293763 -0.000130147
        2009 16.40395211 16.40285625 0.001095863
        2010 15.99867628 16.00479773 -0.006121453
        2011 16.08599135 16.08289445 0.003096904
        2012 16.54798283 16.57830206 -0.030319229
        2013 16.51935872 16.52079838 -0.001439655
        9999 15.06073967 15.06328346 -0.002543788

      • “Tropics aren’t doing anything different.”
        I am not sure where these numbers are from, but…
        I agree.
        More falsification of the basic theory.
        Thank you Micro.

        • Menicholas commented

          I am not sure where these numbers are from, but…

          NCDC’s Global Summary of Days data, I’ve been looking at the day to day change on an individual station, then averaging that with other stations. Basically how the temperature evolve at a station, then how collects of stations by area to see how the measured surface temp changes.This is based on stations that have 360+ days of data per year. My baseline is the stations previous day’s temp.

  21. Thanks, Bob.
    This is, as always, a wide and deep view. Your work is highly appreciated.
    The questions you rise about “The Blob” are central, but do we know enough to even start answering them?

  22. If one looks at the late 1950s in Figure 12 we can see a similar series of years with the current period a little warmer than it was then. That was also an El Nino period, but it looks like the blob has added a bump to the temperatures.
    This should be a phenomena ripe for study. Lots of possibilities. It’s actually quite amazing that nothing has been published so far. It says a lot about this field of science.

  23. What l find interesting about the animation is how the blob is linked to changes in the Great Lakes.
    When the NE Pacific was cool the Great Lakes were warm, but as the blob takes hold it switches the Great Lakes from warming to cooling. This helps to point out the real threat from this weather pattern should it become more common over the next few years. Because it draws down cold air from the Arctic down across North America. This is where the threat is with this weather pattern should it become a long term weather pattern rather then the drought in the west.

  24. Is there some giant magnifying glass in space being focused on that part of our anthill?
    Is this the Earth’s version of Jupiter’s Big Red Spot, or Saturn’s “great white spots”?
    The location seems rather close to the North American edge of the Ring of Fire, is there a link?

  25. There are a number of questions now, including:
    •How long will The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge last?
    I will take a crack at this question and say the Blob has around 12 months left at which time it will start to diminish in response to a cold PDO phase and a tendency toward at least neutral ESNO conditions, Going forward as the decade proceeds I think the cold phase of the PDO will dominate with neutral to weak La Nina conditions being the rule.
    If this is correct the blob and ridge should show a gradual diminishing trend over time.
    If someone held a gun to my head that would be my forecast. Confidence not that high but that is my best estimate on what I think might happen.
    If it should turn out that way then any long time lasting effects of the blob will not be present.

    • “any long time lasting effects of the blob should not be present”
      Better tell Jerry Brown and the almond growers, who are about to lose decades old trees which produce a large percentage of the world’s almond supply.

      • My amateur forecast has this current drought breaking with the upcoming winter 2015/16. The next year after that should be a flood year for the Pacific NorthWest. That will certainly finish the drought. This will also mean that a La Nina will have to be in place for the flood to strike. The important rains for the state take place in the northern half of the state where most of the reservoirs and hydroelectric plants are situated. The water stored there, then gets shipped south out of the delta through the California aqueduct system.

  26. Really good TPW just north of here, go blob! Now, if only the jet would steer a bit more south.

  27. I think the blob shows how little we understand the climatic system.
    This is why AGW theory is laughable not to mention they have yet to make one prediction that has come to be. If the theory is so good they should have been able to predict the blob, just like they predicted the lower tropospheric hot spot.
    The event AGW theory did not predict (the blob) becomes reality while the event AGW theory predicted (the lower tropospheric hot spot ) never sees the light of day. The conclusion is AGW theory has not a clue as to where the climate is heading or why.

    • Salvator del Prete: I think the blob shows how little we understand the climatic system.
      I second that. Every year brings surprises, big areas of unusually warm or unusually cool temperatures, whose causes are mostly conjectural (narrations based on nothing more than observed co-occurrences), and whose durations and consequences are not known.

  28. Undersea volcanic activity long that off shore fault, That big west coast earthquake is in the near future !!!

    • The 2 overdue locations are the Cascadia Fault up north, and the Hayward Fault on the east side of the SF/Bay Area. The Hayward Fault runs right through the middle of every city on the east side of the bay. You can see how this affects sidewalks, roadways, foundations, and so on. That could turn into a very bad event.

      • goldminor

        The 2 overdue locations are the Cascadia Fault up north, and the Hayward Fault on the east side of the SF/Bay Area. The Hayward Fault runs right through the middle of every city on the east side of the bay.

        Thought the LA “key” (the jog where the San Andreas kicks sideways south of the mountains before resuming its nw-se trend) is the next earthquake zone because it has NOT moved far enough to release the stored energy below. Hayward fault has moved, but the LA zone has not. Is that wrong? I do know the middle-CA range has slowly and steadily moved along the fault almost continuously, so there will likely be no big quake at all in the middle range between LAX and SFO.
        Either end? Big trouble coming.

        • Look at this article for information on the Hayward Fault. It states that the last big quake there was in 1868…http://www.earthquakesafety.com/earthquake-hayward-fault.html
          Notice on the map shown That the Hayward Fault disappears shortly after it enters the upper SF Bay where the Sacramento River comes in. I was wondering if that quake which Napa had last year might not mark a connection between Napa and the northernmost point of the Hayward Fault. Either way as the article suggests a large quake on the Hayward could be an extremely damaging event with much loss of life. I mentioned the Cascadia, which runs from offshore of Eureka Ca and up to Canada, because it has a known periodic ability. The LA region has had multiple events in my life time of 65 years. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t still very dangerous, just as the 1989 SF World Series Quake does not mean that it won’t strike again in the near term.
          I am wondering about the potential influence of the upcoming solar change to trigger some large Earth events.

  29. Thanks again.
    If the manmade greenhouse gas-forced climate models used by the IPCC cannot explain the 24-year absence of warming of the surface in the North Pacific, it can’t be claimed that the weather-related warming there in 2013 and 2014 were caused by manmade greenhouse gases. That little bit of common sense eludes alarmists.
    The difficulty is that high-dimensional nonlinear dissipative systems, like the climate, do not behave according to common sense. Step changes in measured quantities are common in experimental and computational examples. Extant models are inaccurate, but that does not imply that CO2 is not causing warming.
    We discussed in a number of posts over the past year how the weather events in the North Pacific—The Blob and the impacts of the developing El Niño—were responsible for the record high global sea surface temperatures in 2014.
    What caused the “weather events”?
    Animation 1 shows the disappearance of below-average North Pacific temperatures during the evolution of the blob up til now. Isn’t it remarkable that the entire N. Pacific is at or above average temperature for this time of year? It also show the dramatic cooling of the Great Lakes during the same time.

    • matthewrmarler commented

      It also show the dramatic cooling of the Great Lakes during the same time.

      I live 30 miles south of lake Erie, 41N 81W. Last summer reminded me of the weather of my childhood here (60’s).

  30. lf asked “how long will this weather pattern last” then l would have to say l don’t know.
    But if asked “how long can this weather pattern last” then l would have to say, as long as a ice age.
    Because the effects that this weather pattern cause and what happened during the last ice age are to close for comfort.

  31. I have been watching this for some time, also. I noticed that at the beginning of this month that there were cool inroads being made into the center of the Blob. There would be a cool intrusion, and then the warm would push back. These are impacting approximately from mid California to southern California. At first it was just a tiny blip of cool showing up in the vast warm region of the Blob, but in the last 3 days this has changed to what looks to me to be the very start of what will become a cool intrusion through the center of the Blob. Metaphorically striking at the heart of the Blob. Yesterday,s ssta data shows the best look at this. Tropical tidbits this morning also clearly shows the first changes to be clearly seen. The temps in the sst graphs have also moved slowly further south. This has carried cooler sst,s all the way down to Baja, California. I had originally thought that this might have taken place last year. Now it looks like it is time.
    Something else that has caught my attention is the surface wind changes over the last month. I have the impression that they are going to shut down the warm ENSO over time. With a noticeable break coming around July of this year. Time will tell the full story.

  32. The animation of the time-evolution of anomalies in the N. Pacific doesn’t really provide any convincing indication of the origins of The Blob in the western Pacific. While ABSOLUTE values of temperature, salinity, organic matter, etc. can be used as tracers of mass transport by currents, mere anomalies offer no such firm indication. They are subject to strong LOCAL variation due to the NON-advective component of the material (Stokes) derivative.

  33. Bob,
    The present super Blob appears to have formed by the fusion of two smaller blobs. Maybe there is some subsurface connection between the larger, more northerly blob, which crossed the Pacific from west to east, & the southern one, which seems to have formed independently off central Mexico, then spread to Baja and Alta California, ultimately to unite with the bigger trans-Pacific blob, but it’s not obvious to me.

  34. OK, I’m a dirty denier, well, more like a luke-warmer, but riddle me this Bob Tisdale – how is it, exactly, that we know, for certain, that ACO2 did not not cause the blob?
    The back-story here is that some folk have suggested, on here, that the energy that El Nino belches into the atmosphere from time to time is simply ACO2 warming finally coming home to roost in the atmosphere after spending some time in the briny deep. Why is it that the blob cannot be some similar manifestation?

    • How would co2 have the ability to do that ? What do you see that is different from El Ninos of the past 30 years, as compared to the known history of El Nino/La NIna over the last 1,000 years? Why isn’t co2 also warming the rest of the global oceans to where we might wonder “what is going on with the all of the Blobs in the oceans”?

    • “ACO2 warming finally coming home to roost in the atmosphere after spending some time in the briny deep.”
      How exactly does this happen?
      My understanding is that the briny deep is a rather frigidly cold place. How does cold water from the briny deep belch heat into the atmosphere?
      If someone can explain that, in plain language, graphs, or diagrams, I would be sincerely grateful.

  35. Bob, what I wonder about is the development and spread of the blob, from a relatively small phenomenon in the NW Pacific to a widespread, intense phenomenon in the NE Pacific. What could cause/ account for that particular accumulation of warm water? Saying “ocean currents and clouds,” while possibly correct at that broad level of description, is not very helpful. I’m pointing specifically to the size/ shape (3 dimensions — which you have not shown) of its initiation and development. There’s something important going on here, even more so than ENSO, that relates to our understanding of climate — or, rather,to our lack of understanding. If this phenomenon can raise global air temps so much, we really ought to try to understand what causes this.

    • “If this phenomenon can raise global air temps so much, we really ought to try to understand what causes this.”
      I suspect most of this phenomenon takes place in software long after the measurements are taken.

      • micro6500…I live in Northern California. I can feel the effect that the Blob has had on the area where I live. This last winter for example, which I had correctly forecast to be above average temps because of the Blob back in August of last year, turned out around 20 F warmer. That impressed the local postmaster as I had described to him back in August what the coming winter would be like. It is real enough. The warmth of the Blob making it,s presence known around here started at the beginning of 2014.

        • I don’t doubt there’s heat coming in off the ocean, but I’m inclined to say your +20F was probably cancelled out by the many -20F days we had in the arctic Midwest this winter. That it’s was just mostly moving big blobs of heat around the oceans, warming what ever land is down wind, cooling the places the blobs left.

          • You are correct. I have similar thoughts as to what is happening. I thought you were implying that the Blob was being somewhat adjusted. Prior to this change in the ocean took place at the start of last year, the 3 previous winters were very cold where I live. It is interesting to see how the warm to cool regions shift over time. I am learning as I go, and I have been developing a good forecast ability from the process. The online observational tools are tremendous. They supply volumes of information to me, as I have always had a strong inner visual component. Back in my school days, I was known for being able to run geometry functions and algebra equations internally. Math was my easy subject back then. I am able to apply that ability to the visual data that I take in. That is why I look at and save daily copies of observations of the changes taking place around the globe. This all makes sense to me, and also aids me in following the conversation here.

      • I should really finish my thoughts, and that while I think the over all temp hasn’t really gone up, post processing turns move heat into a warming trend.

      • This may sound naïve, but is there any chance that the unusually warm air temperatures, which have persisted for an extended period of time, are heating the surface waters of the ocean below?
        Or is the warm water “upwind” of the anomalously warm air?

  36. It seems to me that this blob or region of warmer water is saturated with energy. Being unable to absorb more energy, the energy is following winds and ends up further east than normal. Being land rather than sea water, there are more surfaces and objects to absorb the energy.
    How do I get a research grant to study this?

  37. This article is making the case that ENSO during prolonged weak solar minimum periods is more in a neutral state.If prolonged minimum solar conditions exist going forward maybe ENSO will feature less extreme El Nino ,and La Nina events.
    Analysis of the multi-proxy reconstruction revealed considerable ENSO variability
    over the past five centuries. Our results are consistent with the conclusions of
    D’Arrigo et al. (2005) concerning solar/temperature related modification of ENSO
    behaviour. Periods of inactivity were identified throughout the record; most notably,
    during the 1600s ENSO appears to have weakened, coincident with the height of
    the commonly defined Little Ice Age (∼A.D. 1550–1850) and Maunder Minimum
    (∼A.D. 1645–1715) epochs. Hendy et al.’s (2002) coral Sr/Ca SST reconstruction
    shows northern Australian SSTs 0.2◦ to 0.3◦C cooler than the long-term average
    between 1565 and 1700. This corresponds to enhanced La Niña activity in our
    reconstruction (1520s to 1660s) and a period of relative El Niño quiescence from
    the 1600s to 1780s.
    Hendy et al. (2002) also note a conspicuous period from their Sr/Ca SST reconstruction
    from the 1700s to the 1870s show a consistent warming comparable to
    the SST warmth of the early 1980s. A Pacific coral Sr/Ca SST reconstruction from
    Rarotonga (Linsley et al. 2000) also shows SSTs for the 18th and 19th centuries
    that are as warm as, or warmer than, the 20th century. Interestingly, this period
    corresponds to a pronounced period of La Niña activity (see Table 9). Aboveaverage
    SSTs persist through most of the 18th and 19th centuries, a period notable
    La Niña activity in our reconstruction, before cooling to a minimum in the early

  38. As the blob continues to move east it will start to include up-welling of cold water from the depths, which will rapidly lead to its demise. Or that is my guess, judging from how fast such events seem to have faded, using the scant records we have from the past.
    I imagine the speed with which the blob fades will catch many by surprise, and make a mess of long range forecasts. I fear it will be one of those rough situations for forecasters wherein no forecasters are correct, and the best ones will be the ones who are quickest to recognize the unexpected change is happening, and quickest to change their forecasts as a result.

      • goldminor, that big spin is a area of low pressure that has been sitting in the Atlantic. Because a area of high pressure has been over or near the UK for the last 2 weeks and its blocking the lows path across the Atlantic. Thank’s to this high the UK has been enjoying some nice spring weather as the lows have had to sit it out in the Atlantic.

        • Thanks, I remember reading of a wind that crosses through Spain and southern France that was going to bring a warm spell to the UK region. I also see that is still functioning. It certainly brought a lot of change with it. Although, I am also seeing quite a bit of wind change all around the globe when using earth.null lately. What caught my attention with the Atlantic wind is that it must be having quite an affect on the Gulf Stream, as earth.null also shows when switched to sst and wave movement.

      • That spin is a feature that is generally dubbed “the Icelandic Low”, and is the Atlantic version of the Pacific feature called “the Aleutian Low”. They take turns at bossing around the northern hemisphere’s jet stream. When one is strong the other tends to be weak. As “taxed” noted, their positioning can lead to a “blocking pattern”, which gives some areas extended periods of rotten weather as other areas get extended periods of gorgeous weather.
        How does this effect the Gulf Stream? It must, but exactly how is still a mystery. The AMO is shifting to displaying attributes of its “cold” phase, and the last time this happened we lacked the satellites we now have. This is the first time we have been able to sit back and study what nature does.
        My own guess is that, when the Icelandic Low persistently blows across the Gulf Stream, the flow of the surface water must be shifted. That in turn creates Atlantic versions of cold and warm “blobs”. The blobs in turn encourage or discourage the Icelandic Low to position itself east or west, or north or south. Then the winds over the Gulf Stream shift, and the current shifts again. The factors influence each other, and trying to say which came first is like saying the chicken came before the egg.
        Once the AMO shifts it has a huge effect on things like fishing grounds. I had some fun discussing this at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/09/author-of-its-own-demise-musings-on-the-amo/
        I think the way we will learn more about the factors that shift the AMO is to do exactly what Bob Tisdale is doing: Observe; Observe; Observe.

  39. The blob is just one of many over the years if you look at the NASA AMSRE_SSTAn_M file. These spots of high temperature come and go somewhere pretty well non stop.

      • Well OK in the bureaucratic sense it qualifies as el Nino due to the statistical Nino 3.4 number. But its a kind of odd el Nino with the Peruvian upwelling and anchovy fishery going strong, with no real let up in the trades and occurring at the wrong time of year (el Nino is supposed to be at Christmas). But I guess the colossal inertia of communal wishful thinking will no doubt force us to recognise this thing as an el Nino even if we have to change the definition of el Nino in order to do so.

  40. Fine interesting reading. Thank you
    Hoping for more snow this Christmas in Utah than last Christmas, need to snowboard.
    A stupid question is during the next little ice age, sun activity possibly at minimum. Will solar cells still perform.
    At what temp would lead acid batteries have to be protected. Do they perform better in cold or warm.
    The reason for my stupid question is I will be erecting solar panels on my south facing car port 20 X 12 surface
    in the next couple of years.
    Robert

    • Robert,
      Solar cells will perform fine. The difference in total solar irradiance is small, less than a veil of cirrus overhead on a solar panels output.
      There is speculation that the low solar activity leads to cooler terrestrial temperature regimes by some less easily identified means than a dimmer sun would be. Increased cosmic rays, variations in ultraviolet or some other wavelengths, or (and this is just an offhand idea of my own) perhaps by changing the structure, density or height of the various layers of the ionosphere or the thermosphere. Changes in the magnetic fields of the earth and sun seem likely as well, so there could be large variations in charged particles entering the atmosphere near the poles. Other ideas I have seen mentioned are that the earth derives some energy from the sun or wherever via electric currents, and that this would be altered or diminished.
      One thing we do not have, is a lot of research in this area, or examples of such a phase during the modern era. That seems certain to soon change, unless the sun suddenly changes it’s mind about hibernating…which I doubt. The solar magnetic field variations which cause these cycles do not appear to be random or transient.

  41. At the post on the “supercalifragilistic el Nino” a couple of weeks ago,
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/10/noaa-enso-model-now-forecasting-a-supercalifragilistic-el-nino-for-201516-season/
    Joe Bastardi had this to say:
    Joe Bastardi April 10, 2015 at 12:04 pm
    Think you are right Ian. Already better linkage in overall pattern, but this will peak and weaken back toward the enso3.4 centered Modoki event. Look for a major flip to much colder enso areas and off west coast of US in coming 2-3 years. Overall pattern Atlantic, where Gray/Klotzbach AMO metric already turning cold, and the Pacific is similar to late 1950s. The temp drop in the wake of this in 16-17 ( globally) should exceed that of the previous enso events in 06-07 and 09-10.
    So about 60 years ago in the 1950’s, round about one oceanic (~60 year) oscillation cycle ago, the Pacific was … the same as today, a warm blob.
    I’ve conjectured already upthread that what may be happening is a general cyclical slow-down in equator to pole transport of water. Note for instance the slowdown of the north Atlantic drift evidenced by the pile up of sea level off the NE USA coast. The warm blob could be due to a slowing of the Pacific gyre and reduction in vertical mixing.
    In support of this, Bill Illis noted that the warm blob is leftover warm water from the 2010 el Nino but he expressed surprise that the rotation of this water around the north Pacific gyre has taken as long as 7-8 years – this was slower than expected:
    Bill Illis April 21, 2015 at 6:36 am
    I guess what is interesting is that the time it takes for a complete circulation in the Gyre appears to be longer than I assumed before and longer than one might have thought; 7 or 8 years apparently.
    Its ironic that both the NE USA sea level rise and the warm blob are being seen by warmists as proof of climate warming, reasonably enough, but they could signal an oceanic shift to a few decades of reduced warming or even cooling.

  42. Edit; the “blog” is used for blob once or twice.
    “the sea surface temperature anomalies of the blog ”
    And Figure 6 is missing or blank until I force an image reload/display. .

  43. Or… Maybe the heat is due to significant heat upwelling caused by the friction that is causing all those earthquakes up around Haida Gwaii in the last 2 years! Surely that is as plausible as most of the climate alarmists claims! 😀

  44. Is this site partially or fully funded by big oil? I see many references to Heartland Institute so I assuming fully funded. Thanks for all the info (fiction lol) ! I’m sure our dumping of pesticides in the Gulf of Mexico and the plastic throughout the oceans, Fukishima , etc. are having zero effects on the planet. Just another natural cycle lol. What a sad , delusional lot. You probably don’t believe alchohol cause cancer either lol.
    [No. This site is not funded by Big oil. .mod]

    • How funny – preaching Victorianly about alcohol, “Neal Dow” is an anagram for DOWN ALE.
      BTW the ratio of oil money going to ecofascists like you compared to climate skeptics is 1000 to 1.
      You might as well accuse your local synagogue of trousering cash from Saudi Arabia.
      Its not us who are delusional here.

  45. I was wondering the same Mr. Stokely. I also believe geothermal heat is responsible for some if not most of the ice melt in Western Antarctica and along the Antarctic Peninsula.

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