June 2015 ENSO Update – Tropical Pacific Approaching the Threshold of a Strong El Niño

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

This post provides an update of many of the ENSO-related variables we presented as part of the 2014-15 El Niño Series. The reference years for comparison graphs in this post are 1997 and 2014, which are the development years of the strongest recent El Niño and the last El Niño. I have not included animations in this post. In their place, I’ve compared present-day maps from the NOAA GODAS website to the same time in 2014.

Because this El Niño is now working at becoming a multiyear event, in an upcoming post, we’ll compare the current event to the 1986/87/88 El Niño, which was the only multiyear El Niño during the satellite and TAO project eras.

Note: In addition to the standard time-series presentations of global, NINO3.4, hemispheric and ocean basin sea surface temperature anomalies, I’ve also added an updated graph of the sea surface temperature anomalies for The Blob to the standard format of the monthly sea surface temperature updates at my website.

INTRODUCTION – NINO3.4 SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES ARE APPROACHING THE 1.5 DEG C THRESHOLD OF A STRONG EL NIÑO

NOAA defines a Strong El Niño as: “Episode when the peak Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) is greater than or equal to 1.5°C.” (See the footnotes of the NOAA ENSO blog post here.) And NOAA’s Oceanic Niño Index is a three-month running average of NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies.

Weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperatures for the week centered on June 17, 2015 are at 1.4 Deg C, the high end of a moderate El Niño.

Figure 0

Figure 0

Sea surfaces for the NINO regions east of the NINO3.4 region are warmer.

THE 2014/15 EL NIÑO HAS BEEN DROPPED FROM THE NOAA OCEANIC NINO INDEX

We discussed in the recent post here how NOAA added the 2014/15 El Niño to their ERSST.v3b-based Oceanic NINO Index (ONI) in April 2015, after the ONI values for 5 consecutive 3-month averages registered at or above the +0.5 deg C threshold. With NOAA’s recent switch to their ERSST.v4 data, the 2014/15 event no longer qualifies as an El Niño on the current Oceanic NINO Index.

We followed that post with another one here that showed the El Niño processes in 2014 resulted in what appears to be a relatively strong El Niño if we do not focus on the NINO3.4 region, but look at the sea surface temperatures of the tropical Pacific as a whole.

ENSO METRIC UPDATES

This post provides an update on the progress of the evolution of the 2015/16 El Niño (assuming one continues into next year) with data through the end of May 2015, and for the weekly data through Mid-June. The post is similar in layout to the updates that were part of the 2014/15 El Niño series of posts here. The post includes 17 illustrations so it might take a few moments to load on your browser. Please click on the illustrations to enlarge them.

Included are updates of the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies for the four most-often-used NINO regions. Also included are a couple of graphs of the monthly BOM Southern-Oscillation Index (SOI) and the NOAA Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI).

For the comparison graphs we’re using the El Niño evolution years of 1997 and 2014 (a very strong El Niño and the last El Niño) as references for 2015. The 1997/98 El Niño was extremely strong, while the 2014/15 event was extremely weak and intermittent.

And since there is another downwelling (warm) Kelvin wave making its way east along the equator in the Pacific, also included in this post are evolution comparisons using warm water volume anomalies and depth-averaged temperature anomalies from the NOAA TOA project website.

Then, we’ll take a look at a number of Hovmoller diagrams comparing the progress so far this year to what happened in both 1997 and 2014.

Last, we’ll compare maps and cross sections (2014 and 2015) from the GODAS website of a number of ENSO-related metrics.

NINO REGION TIME-SERIES GRAPHS

Note: The weekly NINO region sea surface temperature anomaly data for Figures 1 and 2 are from the NOAA/CPC Monthly Atmospheric & SST Indices webpage, specifically the data here. The base years for anomalies for the NOAA/CPC data are referenced to 1981-2010.

Figure 1 includes the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies of the 4 most-often-used NINO regions of the equatorial Pacific. From west to east they include:

  • NINO4 (5S-5N, 160E-150W)
  • NINO3.4 (5S-5N, 170W-120W)
  • NINO3 (5S-5N, 150W-90W)
  • NINO1+2 (10S-0, 90W-80W)

As of the week centered on June 17, 2015, the sea surface temperature anomalies for all NINO regions were at or above the 1.0 deg C threshold of moderate El Niño conditions. NINO1+2 region anomalies are about 2.7 deg C, the highest they’ve been since the 1997/98 El Niño. And NINO3 region anomalies are at 1.8 deg C. It looks like we might see an East Pacific El Niño this year. They’re typically stronger than Central Pacific El Niños, a.k.a. El Niño Modoki.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Note that the horizontal red lines in the graphs are the present readings, not the trends.

EL NIÑO EVOLUTION COMPARISONS FOR NINO REGION SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES

Using weekly sea surface temperature anomalies for the four NINO regions, Figure 2 compares the goings on this year with the 1997/98 and 2014/15 events. All of the NINO regions this year are warmer than during the same times of the 2014/15 El Niño, and with the exception of the NINO1+2 region, they’re warmer than the 1997/98 El Niño. Then again, we started this year in weak El Niño conditions, while we didn’t during the two reference years.

Figure 2

Figure 2

THE MULTIVARIATE ENSO INDEX

The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is another ENSO index published by NOAA. It was created and is maintained by NOAA’s Klaus Wolter. The Multivariate ENSO Index uses the sea surface temperatures of the NINO3 region of the equatorial Pacific, along with a slew of atmospheric variables…thus “multivariate”.

According to the most recent Multivariate ENSO Index update discussion, strong El Niño conditions exist:

The updated (April-May) MEI has risen by 0.61 standard deviations in one month to +1.57, for a high ranking above the ‘strong’ El Niño threshold (upper 10%ile). This is the highest MEI value in 17 years, surpassing the peak of the 2009-10 El Niño by a few 1/100.

There’s something else to consider about the MEI. El Niño and La Niña rankings according to the MEI aren’t based on fixed threshold values such as +0.5 for El Niño and -0.5 for La Niña. The MEI El Niño and La Niña rankings are based on percentiles, top 30% for the weak to strong El Niños and the bottom 30% for the weak to strong La Niñas. This is difficult to track, because, when using the percentile method, the thresholds of El Niño and La Niña conditions vary from one bimonthly period to the next, and they can change from year to year.

The Multivariate ENSO Index update discussion and data for April/May were posted back on June 6th. Figure 3 presents a graph of the MEI time series starting in Dec/Jan 1979. And Figure 4 compares the evolution this year to the reference El Niño-formation years of 1997 and 2014.

Figure 3

Figure 3

# # #

Figure 4

Figure 4

EL NIÑO EVOLUTION COMPARISONS WITH TAO PROJECT SUBSURFACE DATA

The NOAA Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean (TAO) Project website includes data for two temperature-related datasets for the waters below the equatorial Pacific. See their Upper Ocean Heat Content and ENSO webpage for descriptions of the datasets. The two datasets are Warm Water Volume (above the 20 deg C isotherm) and the Depth-Averaged Temperatures for the top 300 meters (aka T300). Both are available for the:

  • Western Equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 120E-155W)
  • Eastern Equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 155W-80W)
  • Total Equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 120E-80W)

Keep in mind that the longitudes of 120E-80W stretch 160 deg, almost halfway around the globe. For a reminder of width of the equatorial Pacific, see the protractor-based illustration here.

In the following three illustrations, we’re comparing data for the evolution of the 2015/16 “season” so far (through May 2015) with the data for the evolutions of the 1997/98 and 2014/15 El Niños. The Warm Water Volume data are the top graphs and the depth-averaged temperature data are the bottom graphs. As you’ll see, the curves of two datasets are similar, but not necessarily the same.

Let’s start with the Western Equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 120E-155W), Figure 5. The warm water volume data show the Western Equatorial Pacific began 2015 with noticeably less warm water than during the opening months of 1997 and 2014. Depth-averaged temperature anomalies, though, are now comparable to 2014.

Figure 5

Figure 5

Because we started 2015 in El Niño conditions (or near to them), both warm water volume and depth-averaged temperature anomalies in the Eastern equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 155W-80W) started and continue to be higher at the beginning of this year than in 2014. This year the eastern warm water volume has fallen behind the values of 1997, but are only slightly less with the 1997 eastern depth-averaged temperature anomalies. See Figure 6.

Figure 6

Figure 6

Across the entire equatorial Pacific, Figure 7, warm water volume and depth-averaged temperature anomalies in 2015 are higher than they were in 2014, but lower than they were in 1997.

Figure 7

Figure 7

SOUTHERN OSCILLATION INDEX (SOI)

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is another widely used reference for the strength, frequency and duration of El Niño and La Niña events. We discussed the Southern Oscillation Index in Part 8 of the 2014/15 El Niño series. It is derived from the sea level pressures of Tahiti and Darwin, Australia, and as such it reflects the wind patterns off the equator in the southern tropical Pacific. With the Southern Oscillation Index, El Niño events are strong negative values and La Niñas are strong positive values, which is the reverse of what we see with sea surface temperatures. The May 2015 Southern Oscillation Index value is -13.7, which is a greater negative value than the threshold of El Niño conditions. (The BOM threshold for El Niño conditions is an SOI value of -8.0.) Figure 8 presents a time-series graph of the SOI data. Note that the horizontal red line is the present monthly value, not a trend line.

Figure 8

Figure 8

The graphs in Figure 9 compare the evolution of the SOI values this year to those in 1997 and 2014…the development years of the 1997/98 and 2014/15 El Niños. The top graph shows the raw data. Because the SOI data are so volatile, I’ve smoothed them with 3-month filters in the bottom graph. Referring to the smoothed data, the Southern Oscillation Index this year is ahead of the values in 2014, but behind 1997.

Figure 9

Figure 9

Also see the BOM Recent (preliminary) Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) values webpage. For the past week (through June 26), SOI values have been very low, reaching into the -40s. But prior to that, they had worked their way positive. The current 30-day running average is no longer a greater negative value than the -8.0 threshold of an El Niño based on the Southern Oscillation Index, and the 90-day average is just at the threshold.

COMPARISONS OF HOVMOLLER DIAGRAMS OF THIS YEAR (TO DATE) WITH 1997 AND 2014

NOTE: The NOAA GODAS website has not yet added 2015 to their drop-down menu for Hovmoller diagrams. For the following illustrations, I’ve used the Hovmolller diagrams available for the past 12 months, deleted the 2014 date and aligned the 2015 data with the other 2 years.

Hovmoller diagrams are a great way to display data. If they’re new to you, there’s no reason to be intimidated by them. Let’s take a look at Figure 10. It presents the Hovmoller diagrams of thermocline depth anomalies (the depth of the isotherm at 20 deg C. Water warmer than 20 deg C is above the 20 deg C isotherm and below it the water is cooler). 2015 is in the center, 1997 on the left and 2014 to the right. (Sorry about the different sizes of the Hovmollers, but somewhere along the line NOAA GODAS changed them, but they are scaled, color-coded, the same.)

The vertical (y) axis in all the Hovmollers shown in this post is time with the Januarys at the top and Decembers at the bottom. The horizontal (x) axis is longitude, so, moving from left to right in each of the three Hovmoller diagrams, we’re going from west to east…with the Indian Ocean in the left-hand portion, the Pacific in the center and the Atlantic in the right-hand portion. We’re interested in the Pacific. The data are color-coded according to the scales below the Hovmollers.

Figure 10

Figure 10

Figure 10 is presenting the depth of the 20 deg C isotherm along a band from 2S to 2N. The positive anomalies, working their way eastward early in 1997, 2014 and 2015, were caused by downwelling Kelvin waves, which push down on the thermocline (the 20 deg C isotherm). You’ll note how, early in 2014, the anomalies grew in strength as the Kelvin wave migrated east. (We should expect the same to happen this year.) That does not mean the Kelvin wave is getting stronger as it traveled east; that simply indicates that the thermocline is normally closer to the surface in the eastern equatorial Pacific than it is in the western portion.

The El Niño conditions were much stronger in 1997 than they were in 2014 and so far in 2015.

An upwelling (cool) Kelvin wave followed the initial downwelling (warm) Kelvin wave in 2014 and suppressed the development of the El Niño last year. So far that has not happened in 2015.

Figure 11 presents the 2015-to-date along with the 1997 and 2014 Hovmollers for wind stress (not anomalies) along the equator. The simplest way to explain them is that they’re presenting the impacts of the strengths and directions of the trade winds on the surfaces of the equatorial oceans. In this presentation, the effects of the east to west trade winds at various strengths are shown in blues, and the reversals of the trade winds into westerlies are shown in yellows, oranges and reds. To explain the color coding, the trade winds normally blow from east to west; thus the cooler colors for stronger than normal east to west trade winds. The reversals of the trade winds (the yellows, oranges and reds) are the true anomalies and they’re associated with El Niños, which are the anomalous state of the tropical Pacific. (A La Niña is simply an exaggerated normal state.)

Figure 11

Figure 11

The two westerly wind bursts shown in red in the western equatorial Pacific in 2014 are associated with the strong downwelling Kelvin wave that formed at the time. (See the post ENSO Basics: Westerly Wind Bursts Initiate an El Niño.) Same thing with the three westerly wind busts in 2015: they initiated the Kelvin wave this year. Throughout 1997, there was a series of westerly wind bursts in the western equatorial Pacific. We didn’t see the additional westerly wind bursts later in 2014, which suppressed the evolution of the 2014/15 El Niño. The most recent westerly wind burst happened in May of 2015 and helped to strengthen the El Niño this year.

We’ll need more westerly wind bursts this year, too, in order for this El Niño to continue to develop throughout the year.

Figure 12 presents the Hovmollers of wind stress anomalies…just a different perspective. But positive wind stress anomalies, at the low end of the color-coded scale, are actually a weakening of the trade winds, not necessarily a reversal.

Figure 12

Figure 12

NOTE: There are a number of wind stress-related images on meteorological websites. Always check to see if they’re presenting absolute values or anomalies.

And Figure 13 presents the Hovmollers of sea surface temperature anomalies. Unfortunately, the Hovmoller of sea surface temperature anomalies is delayed a few weeks at the GODAS website. But as we’ve seen in the comparison graphs in Figure 2, with the exception of the NINO1+2 region, the sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO regions in 2015 are ahead of those in 1997 and 2014.

Figure 13

Figure 13

Notice how warm the eastern equatorial Pacific got during the evolution of the 1997/98 El Niño. While the sea surface temperatures this year may be on the verge of a strong El Niño, they’ve still got a lot of work to do to reach the strength of the 1997/98 El Niño.

GODAS MAPS AND CROSS SECTIONS – LATE MARCH 2014 AND 2015

As opposed to presenting animations from NOAA’s GODAS website of maps and cross sections of a number of metrics, I thought it would be better (more informative) to compare the most recent maps and cross sections from this year to those from the same time last year. So let’s start with the cross sections of temperature anomalies along the equator.

Figure 14 compares the subsurface temperature anomalies along the equator (2S-2N) for the pentads (5-day averages) centered on June 17, 2015 (left) and June 17, 2014 (right). The equatorial Indian Ocean is to the left in both Illustrations and the equatorial Atlantic is to the right. We’re interested in the equatorial Pacific in the center. The illustrations confirm what was shown in the depth-averaged temperature anomaly graphs in Figures 5 and 6. The subsurface temperature anomalies in the western equatorial Pacific are cooler this year than last, but in the eastern equatorial Pacific, they’re warmer this year.

Figure 14

Figure 14

Figure 15 presents global maps of the depth-averaged temperature anomalies to depths of 300 meters (a.k.a. T300 anomalies). Looking at the tropical Pacific as a whole, not just the equator, the downwelling Kelvin wave this year, which definitely appears stronger than last year, is traveling eastward into a warmer eastern tropical Pacific than last year. Keep in mind, though, that the downwelling (warm) Kelvin wave this year started later than in 2014 and that there was an upwelling (cool) Kelvin wave last year by this time that helped to suppress it. Also note that the western tropical Pacific is much cooler this year than last. Does this mean that the upwelling (cool) Kelvin wave that follows will be much stronger than the one last year? We’ll have to wait and watch.

Figure 15

Figure 15

Sea surface height anomalies, Figure 16, are often used as a proxy for temperature anomalies from the surface to the ocean floor. They are showing lower sea levels in the western tropical Pacific this year than last and showing that the downwelling Kelvin wave is moving into a warmer eastern tropical Pacific.

Figure 16

Figure 16

The sea surface temperature anomaly maps at the GODAS website lag by a few weeks. Figure 17 shows the sea surface temperature anomaly maps for 2014 and 2015 for the pentads centered on June 12th. The sea surface temperature anomalies along the equatorial Pacific are warmer this year than last, concentrated this year just east and west of the dateline. The eastern North Pacific is also warmer this year, with the remnants of the “blob” and the coastally trapped Kelvin wave(s) from last year.

Figure 17

Figure 17

Let’s hope a very strong La Niña follows the El Niño this year and finally overcomes the effects of the “blob” on the North Pacific. Even then, there may have been an upward shift in sea surface temperatures there, which would impact the entire east Pacific. We’ll have to keep an eye on it over the next few years.

EL NIÑO REFERENCE POSTS

For additional introductory discussions of El Niño processes see:

Also see the entire 2014-15 El Niño series. We discussed a wide-range of topics in those posts.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EL NIÑO EVENTS AND THEIR AFTEREFFECTS?

Or, yay, a commercial!

My ebook Who Turned on the Heat? goes into a tremendous amount of detail to explain El Niño and La Niña processes and the long-term aftereffects of strong El Niño events. Who Turned on the Heat? weighs in at a whopping 550+ pages, about 110,000+ words. It contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 380 color illustrations. In pdf form, it’s about 23MB. It includes links to more than a dozen animations, which allow the reader to view ENSO processes and the interactions between variables.

Last year, I lowered the price of Who Turned on the Heat? from U.S.$8.00 to U.S.$5.00. And the book sold well.

A free preview in pdf format is here. The preview includes the Table of Contents, the Introduction, the first half of section 1 (which was provided complete in the post here), a discussion of the cover, and the Closing. Take a run through the Table of Contents. It is a very-detailed and well-illustrated book—using data from the real world, not models of a virtual world. Who Turned on the Heat? is only available in pdf format…and will only be available in that format. Click here to purchase a copy.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy of Who Turned on the Heat? as a result of the 2014-15 and the recent El Nino series.

 

 

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136 thoughts on “June 2015 ENSO Update – Tropical Pacific Approaching the Threshold of a Strong El Niño

  1. Combined with the fact that the arctic sea ice looks quite precarious this year, the outlook clearly isn’t good.

    • Combined with the fact that this is an article about ENSO, a tropical Pacific weather phenomenon, the outlook is that your comment about Polar sea ice is irrelevant.
      FIFY

    • Gees, at some stage , IFFFF the pause actually turns to warming for a few decades, we may even get to the “seasonal” ice of most of the early to mid part of the Holocene, rather than the rather high levels of Arctic ice the world, an particularly the northern countries, has had to cope with since the cooling to the LIA.
      Won’t that be SCARY !!!!!!

      • Dream on while you look at the situations in Greenland and Norway, countries that are still waiting for summer to start. In some areas of Norway, where you should see green pastures and sheep, there was four feet of snow on the ground a few days back.. You don’t see vistas on some roads normally fully open for the tall banks of snow on either side. The NAO has gone cold and that will have some influence on both warming and Arctic Ice.

      • I haven’t been to Norway this year, but in many parts of Norway even quite far south, the snow does not begin to melt until June.
        I can remember one year driving from Bergen to Oslo in mid June. When I left Bergen it was about 32degC, I drove over Hardangervidda and the road was cut through walls of snow over 2 metres high. I stood on the roof of my car taking some photos because there were several cottages only the very top of the chimney was vissible. The entire cottages were buried under snow. You could hear the sound of running water, the snow was obviously melting.
        That said, I do understand that it has been ‘cold’ so far this year in Norway.

    • Based on what metric? Sea ice volume and mean thickness are higher than they’ve been since 2006. Extent is headed towards an above-average summer melt season. And the Hovmoller maps show that as the “blob” along the Alaska/Canada/US coastline continues to migrate east and south, as well as a cooling of the North Atlantic, everything is in place for colder Arctic SST’s and an increase in extent during next winter’s growth.

  2. Combined with the fact that the Antarctic sea ice is at record levels this year, the outlook is clearly good.
    FIFY.

      • But I’m not so sure what is more dangerous, natural global cooling or world governments exerting total control over the global economy in the name of “saving us.”

  3. I never understand about El Nino having anything to do with AGW. If the sea absorbs the heat energy frrom the air, why does it take an El Nino to cause AGW if the heat is in the air, why would it be absorbed by the oceans and not fust breeze over and warm stuff up anyway. Surely it is the sun warming the oceans and the ocean currents move the warm water around?
    Yet, the radical extremists of Global Warming seem to claim that hot years are made by CO2 but do explain the cooler years and only a few seem to grudgingly accept that El Nino is a natural occurence and non man made.

    • You are talking about people who think a cold wind blowing over the sea causes deep water warming. With Orwell’s “doublethink”, anything is possible

  4. Here in Orange County CA, we’ve had an invasion of red crabs on our shores. According to a news article I read on it, it said the last time this happened was at or around the beginning of the last El Nino in ’98.

  5. This is bad. All it will take is for the first chart to show a spike anywhere above the line, and the cry from the Warmanistas will be instantaneous:
    See!!!! NO PAUSE!!! We TOLD YOU SO!!!…WE ARE RIGHT, you deniers, you!
    I can see them rubbing their hands in glee and preparing an onslaught of press releases now.

  6. Always check to see if they’re presenting absolute values or anomalies.

    Indeed – that should apply to everything ENSO-oriented. Did you know the eastern pacific equatorial waters are in the process of *cooling* ?!?! Look at the Sea Surface Temperature animation at the link below…
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml
    You can see, across the whole Pacific basin, the warm water is shifting northward which is expects during the north hemi summer & the south hemi winter and the opposite occurs 6 months later.
    Yes, they (Nino Regions 1,2 & 3) are still above normal, but the waters are just not cooling as fast…and this is important to remember – the atmosphere does not react to an ‘anomaly’, it reacts to the actual condition.
    All of the ENSO ‘anomaly’ charts/displays make it appear the water is warming when, actually, it is just not cooling as fast as normal (at this time of year)

    • At the time, the BBC suggested El Niño might scupper England’s chances in the 2014 Football World Cup, as if they needed scuppering. Perhaps they might now like to suggest that El Niño will now affect England’s Cricket chances in the upcoming Ashes Series against Australia in 2015? (Of course, no result at all due to weather is probably England’s best hope.)
      Having taken a hammering from the UK electorate in May, the BBC are certainly hoping it will ride to the rescue of some of their other political ambitions in Paris.

  7. Hmmmm I wonder how many thousand of a degree C the global temperatures will rise so NASA and NOAA will be able to declare that 2015 was the warmest year ever in recorded history. It is pathetic that CAGW agencies have to depend upon completely natural events like the El Nino to produce global warming.

  8. I don’t know if I completely buy it. Trades are picking back up in strength and the area of warm water in the equatorial Pacific is declining. And, there is a huge area of cold water sitting just south of the equator. It is as if the area of cool water than had been there a year ago simply drifted south a bit.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/tlon_heat.gif
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/sst_wind_anom_5day_jsd.gif
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif

    • The anomalies still indicate westerly wind bursts along the western Pacific edge are still in play. You are seeing Kelvin waves I think.

    • Joe Bastardi a few weeks ago noted that successive model runs have pulled back projections for a Strong El Nino. Like you observed, ENSO may be running out of fuel. If the El Nino does go Strong, it will be for a short period.

      • I did not say that, I said a Super Nino which is 5 months above 2.0, Weatherbell.com forecast was for this to be a blend of 57-58, and 65-66 which would give a top 5 month running value of 1.85. The models I referred too had pulled it back to 2.3 which is still a super nino from almost 3. Recent runs are warmer again. But our long standing forecast on this, and subscribers can back me up, as we based our summer forecast and first look at next winter on it, back in April, was for an enso event similar to the strong ones of the late 1950s and 65-66. I also stated that there should be a greater drop in global temps behind the coming spike than the drop in 2012.
        From Eric Burdon and the Animals:
        I’m just a boy who’s intentions are good.. O Lord please dont let me be misunderstood

  9. Last week, it sucked to be in Yuma, AZ, because of this El Nino. I’m not surprised to see that it is probably going to get stronger. Humidity is at 60 percent this morning at my house with the temperature in the mid-80’s. We have had total cloud cover for the second day in a row. It feels good for a little while in the morning, but feels extra miserable by afternoon. We are getting rain showers not predicted in the forecast. Monsoon season isn’t supposed to hit until mid-July.

    • Here in NE Oregon we have a heat wave going. Happened before, but of course is “Hyste..er “Historic” (NWS seems to have backed off a bit on that..)
      Now they are talking about monsoonal moisture moving north….

  10. Thanks, Bob. This is, as always, a very very supported post.
    And yes, very inconveniently for the global warming proponents, this El Niño is warming Earth, and is all-natural.
    I have completed the links to your Reference Posts from my pages.

  11. ENSO only refines the temperature variance in a particular climatic regime , and it not capable of sending the climate of the earth into another climatic regime as is the case for all intrinsic earth changes.

      • Your wise cracks diminish you contributions Pamela.
        In the meantime your thoughts as to why/how the climate may change do not have much merit because you are of the thought that it is random chaotic intrinsic earth changes that can account for the climatic changes which fail miserably on two fronts.
        Front one -the climate has a semi cyclic beat to it of around 1500 years.
        Front two- the climate sooner or later always reverts to it’s mean.
        Those two facts go a long way in discrediting intrinsic earth changes as the reason for why the climate changes.
        They go along way in backing up my thoughts as to why the climate changes which are due to Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability, Geo Magnetic Variability ,and Land/Ocean Arrangements, and how they phase in relation to one another and the degree of magnitude change that takes place with these factors which then give either a minor, moderate or major climate change but no matter which one the semi cyclic 1470 year cyclic climate beat is always present which eliminates your theories.

      • You make the mistake of focusing on wriggle matching instead of mechanism. The mechanisms I bring forth are already well-researched in short-term variations. I am of the opinion that those same mechanisms, in random walk regimes, are still key.

      • Pamela is correct. Until academe starts including more research and teaching in the theory of chaos in their scientific computing and numerical analysis courses, we will be hampered in projections by only using least-squares and other curve fitting techniques.

      • A question:
        Why is it that Environment Canada and the US NWS-CPC have been wrong for the past two years in their long-term (~6 month) forecasts for the next winter, and why have others like Joe A and Joe B at WeatherBell accurately nailed both winter forecasts?
        When people and institutions make statements, my first question is “What is their predictive track record?”
        I suggest that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
        On this basis, you can take every scary prediction by the IPCC and MULTIPLY IT BY MINUS ONE.

    • To extent that there has been increase in temperature during the satellite period, these have been in steps coincident upon El Nino events.
      it appears that recent El Ninos have released ‘heat’ into the atmosphere which ‘heat’ has not been dissipated, thereby resulting in a step change in temperatures. Whether this will be the pattern long term, who knows.
      This appears to be of natural origin, not manmade.

  12. Just my thoughts:
    Combining the thermocline indicator (total volume) and the Hovmoller charts, I contend that the Pacific is running out of stored heat, not gaining heat from the small human sourced addition to natural greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere. Yes we will continue to be warm and maybe a bit warmer where we live, with our heads in the atmosphere and our feet on the ground. Thanks to the oceans for giving us that additional heat besides what is beaming down on our heads. But what happens when the next trade wind slow down comes along and there isn’t enough heat left to warm us up much?
    I think we are near or at the peak of a warm period (IE we may have a few more El Nino’s but each one being pretty weak) and will begin a faster downward slide to colder weather variation patterns with a return of trade winds blowing sun blocking clouds out of the way and towards the west Pacific. Let us hope so. The equatorial Pacific stores heat best when the Sun is given unfettered access to its surface and below without pesky El Nino clouds in the way.
    Why do I consider insolation pattern variations the main driver in a jagged temperature rise and fall and not human sourced CO2 or solar variation at the top of the atmosphere? Because insolation at Earth’s surface, varied by the Milankovitch cycle, is considered to be a key component of the Milankovitch warming and cooling cycle hypothesis. If it is part of that cycle, it may also explain the noise on time scales of 60 years or more, but in this case, varied by clouds present across the equatorial oceanic band or conversely shoved up against continental mountains. And it is an ENSO cycle that keeps clouds around, warming us but emptying the ocean of stored heat, or that shoves that clouds aside, making us a bit colder by allowing more solar energy to be mixed into and stored in the oceans. The worry is whether or not ENSO cycles sometimes get stuck in one or the other. My hunch is that ENSO gets stuck in cold regimes (powerful easterly trade winds) more often that warm regimes (slack easterly trade winds). And why that guess? Because neutral to super easterly trade winds are the norm. Slack trade winds are the exception. Which explains the fewer named warm periods compared to the more frequent named cold periods.
    http://www.awi.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Research/Research_Divisions/Climate_Sciences/Paleoclimate_Dynamics/NewManuscripts/LaeppleSeasonalCycle.pdf

    • So called ‘greenhouse’ gases do not appear to ‘heat’ the oceans since any energy they backradiate only penetrates a few microns, and there appears to be no effective mechanism that would sequester that energy to depth (mix it to volume) at a rate faster than the energy being absorbed in the top few microns would drive evaporation.
      It is the sun that heats the oceans, and changes in patterns of cloudiness being an important factor as to how much solar reaches the ocean surface and percisely where. Also bio activity close to the surface ciould play a role and alter the absorption characteristics.

    • Pamela what are the mechanisms behind this ,how do you reconcile this with the semi cyclic 1470 year climatic cycle, what causes these intrinsic earth climate random happenings not only to change in the direction they bring the climate to but also result in the climate of the earth having a semi cyclic climatic cycle?
      What is the regulator Pam? What are the mechanisms Pam?
      I have provided the answers to al these questions with my thoughts as to why the climate changes.

      • Again, you fail to appreciate the climate mechanisms intrinsic to Earth and appear to think all of them no longer than weather forecasting for the week. What we need from you is to show, for each one of these well-researched intrinsic mechanisms, with links, how your mechanisms trumps intrinsic ones. That is the way research is done. For you to propose an extrinsic system, you need to have a thorough background in intrinsic systems and be able to show, with calculations and physics involving thermo and fluid dynamic theory specific to Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic teleconnected systems, that your mechanisms are calculably stronger. Just saying yours are isn’t enough to get you published.

  13. The recent sea level anomalies give the impression that the Pacific as a whole is losing heat, and fast.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/weeklyenso_clim_81-10/wksl_anm.gif
    Negative anomalies are all over the place and have been strengthening. Considering the fact that water expands and contracts slightly depending on temperature, this suggests a sizable decline in its total heat content when measured from top to bottom.

      • If heat is evaporating from the oceans, it has to go somewhere and that would be the atmosphere. So yes, I expect continued warmth consistent with El Nino conditions. The question is, will the heat energy being discharged from the oceans be replenished? And how much needs to be replenished to keep Earth comfortable?

      • It isn’t SST, it’s sea level anomaly. I criticize it because it does not show long term trends. I haven’t had a chance to look for that metric. It likely is short.

  14. “June 2015 ENSO Update – Tropical Pacific Approaching the Threshold of a Strong El Niño”
    BOB, thanks for all your work . I think this 2016 El Nino will be closer to the 2009/2010 El Nino and it will remain more likely a moderate El Nino

  15. 5. Conclusions
    We propose a simple model for insolation-driven climate variability on astronomical time
    scales. Under the assumption that the climate response to insolation is the same on
    seasonal as well as on astronomical time scales we use the observed seasonal cycle of
    temperature to derive the spatially resolved surface temperature variability of the last 750
    ka.
    The above from the feeble study Pamela sent which shows it is all assumption driven not data driven so they can further their wrong assumptions, and disregard the data which shows otherwise.
    Again their thoughts on how the climate system works do not address the fact that the climate is semi cyclic in nature ,and always reverts to it’s mean state over time, or for that matter does not trend in the same direction one it starts moving toward a given direction.
    They do not address the variability of solar activity, the geo magnetic field or Milankovitch Cycles other then to either brush then aside or assume the climate of the earth does not respond to them.
    This is why these kind of studies which Pamela presents are not held in high regard and do not have the presence that studies related to solar/climate connections enjoy and have.

    • Solar/climate connections studies do not have high regard or presence. In fact studies such as those presented by Willie Soon do not garner praise from solar scientists. The degree of solar variation presented by Dr. Soon, especially in light of the reconstructed data set, do not match that required for regime shifts in Earth’s climate systems.

      • Sal, I may not have read your response correctly. Your response, “They do not address the variability of solar activity, the geo magnetic field or Milankovitch Cycles other then to either brush then aside or assume the climate of the earth does not respond to them.”
        The premiss of the article stands on the research that affirms the Milankovitch Cycle, a well researched phenomenon, is responsible for extreme ice ages because (of course) solar insolation changes as Earth’s angle changes in its wobbly march towards another ice age in its path around the Sun. It goes on then to propose that changes in solar insolation can also explain interglacial warm and cold regimes. The issue is what would drive solar insolation changes.

  16. Pamela , solar studies have visibility your thoughts do not because they do not have much merit, they are dead ends.
    . There are 1000’s of papers and studies that have been wrote about solar/climate relationships because this is the best possible explanation that is out there. If you do not agree with it that is fine but until you can come up with something better which you have not, that is where many of us will stand.

  17. Again, you fail to appreciate the climate mechanisms intrinsic to Earth and appear to think all of them no longer
    Pamela ,they are dead ends and do not explain anything other then climate variability within a climatic regime.
    I have already explained why in my previous post and that is why your explanation receives very little attention in contrast to AGW and Solar Climate relationships because the case can not be made for what you present to any degree of strength. It does not satisfy or reconcile with the historical climatic record.

  18. Pam says below. I say take your own advice and that is what you should do with all your thoughts.
    Again, you fail to appreciate the climate mechanisms intrinsic to Earth and appear to think all of them no longer than weather forecasting for the week. What we need from you is to show, for each one of these well-researched intrinsic mechanisms, with links, how your mechanisms trumps intrinsic ones. That is the way research is done. For you to propose an extrinsic system, you need to have a thorough background in intrinsic systems and be able to show, with calculations and physics involving thermo and fluid dynamic theory specific to Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic teleconnected systems, that your mechanisms are calculably stronger. Just saying yours are isn’t enough to get you published.

  19. Sal gives us a list of Solar decision measures that he says in combination from the list (some defined some not), if met, somehow translate into climate regime shifts. He has not proposed the cascading mechanism and whether or not it has the chops to do what he says it can do.
    On the other hand we know what causes heat or cold for example, in the US (El Nino versus La Nina). We know what causes jet stream loops versus no loops (negative AO versus positive AO). We know what cause a substantial diminution in solar insolation (cumulo and cumulonimbus clouds versus no clouds or high cirrus clouds). We know how the Sun heats or does not heat the oceans to depth (changes in solar insolation at the ocean surface). And we know how pools of water from the equatorial band, show up as blobs elsewhere.
    These mechanisms create weather patterns. It is up to Sal to say how these same mechanisms cannot therefore create longer term weather pattern variations and regime shifts. He must rule out the drivers closest to the effects before considering distant drivers. And if all he proposes is that his mechanism is stronger, that cannot be enough to sway the discerning reader and least of all those experienced in the scientific process.

  20. On the other hand we know what causes heat or cold for example, in the US (El Nino versus La Nina). We know what causes jet stream loops versus no loops (negative AO versus positive AO).
    My reply
    Yes Pam, but what causes those things to happen that is the question. Why is the AO for example positive this year while negative a few years back? What caused it?

    • If you go to the following skeptical site you may be led to believe that the changes are related to solar changes in UV. However, the match-up is very weak at best and simply wriggle matching at worst. In this case using only one wriggle. Definitely not a solid theses and one that is not published in a peer reviewed journal. In addition links to actual research has been met with recent issues related to solar data.
      http://appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_About.htm
      Since the AO is calculated from sea level pressure, it stands to reason that anything that affects this pressure would be atmospheric. One of the ways in which atmospheric pressure is drastically changed (IE a change related to more perturbances than simple weather noise), would be Rossby Waves.
      In comparison to Sal’s belief that Solar issues have been more important in the literature, Rossby Waves have been receiving a great deal of attention as a significant factor in AO and NAO patterns. Several models have been developed. There is a connection between Rossby Wave intrusion, Jet Stream displacement, pressure changes, and AO/NAO regime shifts. These measures have been modeled in several different ways to determine their interconnectivity and to determine which came first. The bottom line is that scientists do not have enough observations to clarify their modeling attempts. It is also admitted that the interconnectivity is so complete, it is difficult to determine which came ultimately first.
      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010JCLI3372.1
      But hey, if amateur climate enthusiasts want to jump over all this real life limitation in terms of what we know about intrinsic factors and cling to unknown extrinsic mechanisms without knowing how the intrinsic factors are interconnected, be my guest. But readers should know how weak the solar argument in the face of not knowing the full details about what we see in front of us right here on Earth.

      • Pamela you just do not get it.
        I have been saying all along that most of the times solar influences on other items that control the climate get lost in the noise of the climate. Especially when the sun is in a more or less steady 11 year rhythmic cycle. I further have said it is at the times of extreme solar variability that the sun has enough change in degree of magnitude and duration of time to over come the noise in the climate system which obscures the solar effects.
        This is why Pamela I had to come up with average low value average solar parameters which I think if met will exert an influence on the climate. I have posted them many times do you not remember?

    • The following links serve to educate ourselves on forecast methods, forecasts, and long term JFM trends over the decades. Notice the noise as well as the trends. I question the notion that noise and trends are driven by vastly different mechanisms. Always rule out what is in the observation box before looking outside the box for a different cause.
      https://www.aer.com/science-research/climate-weather/arctic-oscillation
      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.sprd2.gif
      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/JFM_season_ao_index.shtml

  21. Hello Bob, One of the criteria for ENSO is of course the Trade Wind status. For the life of me I cannot come to grips why 2N/2S is used for the latitude bands. I’ve been in Tropical Meteorology for many years and posed this question once when I visited the BoM Tropical Office in Northern Australia. The response was a blank look, a shrug, and ‘we’ve always used it’. Good for laughs all around as we all at the table knew there are no ‘trade winds’ in that band. Yet, it remains. Since the yachting cruising season started around the end of April the real trades have been very strong. The opposite of the so called ‘rule of thumb which says El Nino brings lighter trades’. Even as I write this yachts I’ve routed for the past week have had winds of 20 to 25 kts, SE. Normal direction but much stronger wind than last year. The Sub tropical jet has been very strong so far and the jet maxes have been in the order of 150 to 170kts and located basically south of Vanuatu. The polar entrance and equatorward exit causes down flow so the Anticyclones produced have been strong; most over 1030mb; that is the reason for the fresh trades. There is a ditty which applies, ‘over 1030 the going gets dirty’. A very rough and bouncy passage window for most yachts indeed.
    So anyway, I thought I’d mention this to you and would enjoy your take on this latitude band which is really quite silly in my view (and others).
    Cheers from New Zealand

      • Thanks Pamela and yes I’m aware of the site and data. I prefer not to use noaa but use the BoM Climate Note which comes out every wed and the ENSO Wrap Up. I think BoM and NOAA swap data anyway.
        The 850mb level for the ‘trades’ to me makes no sense at all. When lay people talk about trade winds its the surface wind they care about and the only wind that can be used for practical purposes. The 850 level is above gradient wind level and thus there is a disconnect with the surface. For example if you were sailing along and enjoying a nice 15 kt wind from the SE and look up at some nice fair weather Cu you’ll no doubt see they are not going in the same direction as the surface winds. This is normal and why I think the whole data set is silly. When I use satellite imagery and note highly convective cloud, especially MCS’s I usually go to the 850 or 700 level to see which way they will track. Yet the powers to be think the 850 level is a ‘trade wind level’; in their dreams maybe. Winds at all levels swap hemispheres at the equator often which is one more reason why it makes no sense to me to use 2N/2S. Another reason is the equatorial counter current which Bob talks about often; that current is going to go east if its moving. Another reason is the Monsoon; roughly Nov-Jan winds are westerly out to about 150E; coming from Asia then crossing the equator. And yet another is the MJO which incidentally it’s pulse is active now over the maritime continent. I could go on and on for reasons not to use that latitude band but who would listen?
        Cheers from Weather Dave

    • Weather Dave, sorry for the delay in replying. I was off doing family stuff. I suspect (don’t know for sure) they monitor the winds for the latitude band of 2S-2N in an effort to capture westerly wind bursts.

  22. Like Dave, I am picky about my preferred indices. I would rather we have an OLR indices that is centered on the equatorial band, especially in the Pacific (it is our largest band of equatorial waters). The results could then be used to calculate insolation/ocean recharge (basically it would function as a fuel guage in a car), thus enable distant forecasts of heat potential per El Nino event. And, more importantly, if we are running out of gas.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CDB/Tropics/figt1.gif

  23. In comparison to Sal’s belief that Solar issues have been more important in the literature, Rossby Waves have been receiving a great deal of attention as a significant factor in AO and NAO patterns. Several models have been developed. There is a connection between Rossby Wave intrusion, Jet Stream displacement, pressure changes, and AO/NAO regime shifts. These measures have been modeled in several different ways to determine their interconnectivity .
    Again Pamela what is the mechanism ?
    I will answer it for you. I will go back words. The mechanism for Rossby wave intrusions has to do with how zonal the atmospheric circulation is, which is related to temperature gradients between the pole and equator at the surface as well as the stratosphere.
    This is where the solar contribution comes into the mix due to the fact of all the evidence that has been accumulated from numerous studies which have shown changes in Ozone concentrations and distributions due to changes in UV light intensity due to solar variability are the driver that redistributes ozone in the stratosphere in a horizontal /vertical sense which at times of prolonged minimum solar activity sets up a temperature gradient which give rise to polar warming relative to the lower mid latitudes which causes the intensity of the pressure systems to diminish which causes the polar vortex to expand and weaken giving rise to -AO/-NAO ,in other words a more meridional atmospheric circulation which allows Rossby waves to penetrate both higher into the atmosphere and attain more amplitude which then reinforces the -AO/-NAO pattern and Jet Stream displacement.
    Yes Pamela it is all interconnected but unlike yourself I supply a mechanism for why it happens in the first place rather then saying it just random, which is no reason at all.

    • The diurnal change in ozone is massive compared to your conjecture, but that is caused by Earth’s rotation, which is an intrinsic driver. The tiny variance in UV (there is so little of it that gets through that the variance is tiny in terms of energy), thus ozone, is indeed, as you say, buried in the noise, as is the direct change in temperature due to solar irradiance. We already know of the 0.1 degree variation from peak to trough in the 11 year solar cycle. It cannot be seen in the noise. It is calculated only based on physics. Is it cumulative? Doesn’t matter. It will still be buried in the intrinsic noise and not noticeable by humans.

    • Salvatore:
      Congratulations you are correct … well nearly – low solar will cool the lower latitude Strat and weaken the deltaT that way.
      This is something I replied to you with on another thread. And the explanation of the cold Euro winters of the Maunder (except via volcanism) and Dalton Minima. Not Global, but regional changes, as discussed also in the recent UKMO paper. If Arctic air moves south them temperate air must move north to replace it. Result big regional variations but near same global average. Yes there is a link also with the MJO via the BD circulation and O3 reaching the Strat.

      • Toneb, your contention is that low solar will change stratospheric temperatures. Physical calculations of the entire process related to maximum to minimum solar output translates to a change in ground temperature of .1 degree Celsius. Obviously you dispute that calculation. What part of it is wrong?

      • Related to the general rule of thumb of .1 degree C change in Earth’s temperature driven by the waxing and waning Sun, this recent paper reviews the fairly current efforts to accurately measure TSI. Enjoy the meal. It’s a big one.
        http://arxiv.org/pdf/1407.4249.pdf

      • Thanks. This subject is tough and one thing that must be realized that the variation in TSI between major prolonged solar minimums and prolonged solar maximums is more then .1 which is the figure applied to the 11 year sunspot cycle .
        Not to mention some of the wave lengths that make up the TSI are in anti phase with one another obscuring the true variability of TSI in the component wave lengths that make it up.

  24. So if the UV and ozone connection is as you say, compare ozone indices to solar minimum and you should be able to see a connection without doing any fancy finagling to the data. Ozone ups and downs, solar minimum to maximum, temperature. Easy.

  25. Still no let up in the trades.
    Is it normal for el Nino for there to be such a cold subsurface anomaly in the western equatorial Pacific?

  26. Pamela I think earth intrinsic bound climatic factors are limited by how much they can change the climate due to the amounts of energy they have to work with in the climate system which is governed by Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability , Geo Magnetic Field Strength Of The Earth (which moderates solar effects) while the effects of those items on the climate are moderated by Land Ocean arrangements and the Ice Dynamic.
    I think earth bound intrinsic factors do have the capacity to change the climate by plus or minus 1c due to the given energy in the climate system at a given time and the randomness factor the climate system has which allows them to work with that energy in the climate system to give a variable result to some degree.
    Beyond that you would have to explain how earth intrinsic factors can at times change the climate into another regime. Where does the capacity come from to enable then to change the climate into another regime? Further how do you reconcile a 1500 year semi cyclic beat to the climate due to these intrinsic earth bound changes? How and why does this happen?

    • Link to that 1500 year climate regime cycle from a peer reviewed journal please. The only one I am familiar with is the complete cycle related to the ocean meridional overturning cycle, estimated to be about 700 to 1000 years, give or take, and with lots of shorter segments overturning in periods shorter than that within the system.
      http://web.uvic.ca/~jalexndr/thc_review_final.pdf

  27. No Pam, it does not work that way because as I have said many times the 11 year so called rhythmic solar cycle influences on the climate are going to get lost in the noise not to mention the cycle itself is to limited in variation as far as duration of time goes to have any big impact.
    This is why I have come up with low average value solar parameters as well as a duration of time for these values and sub solar activity in general in order for the solar changes to exert an influence on the climate.
    I have always said the 11 year solar cycle instead of acting as an agent to change the climate is instead an agent which bring stability to the climate system. It is only when solar activity goes into the extreme when it can overcome the noise in the climate and it’s own cyclic changes that it can then exert a force on the climate by bringing it in a particular direction.
    This is why periods of time in the climatic record only show deviations from the trend when solar is either at a maximum state of activity as in the Medieval Warm Period or a minimum state of activity as shown by the Little Ice Age. And even then intrinsic earth bound changes moderates things to a degree but the trend up or down over time can be seen.
    OZONE—- I am talking about changes over decades of time not in short time periods. OZONE is correlated to UV light which is correlated to Solar Activity. Therefore any sustain changes in solar activity is going to effect ozone concentration and the distribution of ozone in the atmosphere which in turn is going to impact the temperature gradient in the atmosphere (stratosphere)from pole to equator which is gong to change the pressure configuration in the atmosphere and thus effect the atmospheric circulation as this effect propagates down from the stratosphere to lower atmospheric levels.

  28. Last point I would like you to reconcile how earth bound intrinsic changes fit in with the historical climatic record from the Holocene Optimum to present which shows a gradual decline in the temperature from that period of time some 8000 years ago to present with periods of warmth at times but each warm period not quite as high as the previous one.
    My explanation is Milankovitch Cycles were more favorable for warmth 8000 years ago due to N.H. summer corresponding to earth’s closest approach to the sun at that time as opposed to now which accounts for the slow gradual downward temperature trend.
    To account for the periods of warmth within the downward trend I think it is solar variability. Active periods of solar activity associated with the Medieval Warm Period, while inactive periods of solar activity associated with the Little Ice Age.
    Then why the variance in temperatures within the warm and cold periods and that is where your earth intrinsic climate factors come into play which refine the temperature trends.
    I again must emphasize that how much the climate changes as far as going from one regime to another has to be associated with a change in the total energy which is present in the climatic system. I do not see how intrinsic earth bound changes accomplish this feat, this is why I think they have a limited climatic influence.
    The energy has to change and it not only has to change but do it in a semi cyclic beat of some 1500 years.
    How does this happen in the absence of solar variability, Milankovitch Cycles , or some random asteroid /comet impact? Tell me how?

  29. Thanks Pam. Pam your opinion is as valid as mine or anyone’s that is out there to be honest. I have mine you have yours and everyone has a different take on this subject when you come right down to it.
    I am learning much from your post believe it not. When it comes to earth intrinsic climate changes your knowledge is extensive and the perspective you bring is refreshing.

  30. My thing if you want to call it that is the energy issue . I think total energy in the system has to change to bring about a major climate regime change. How does the climate change in the absence of total energy staying constant? That is why I keep looking outward rather then inward.

    • Energy can be stored as well as used in different amounts and at different rates. Nothing about Earth says it must be balanced. It works the way it does because it is always out of balance on both long and short time scales.

  31. Pamela you subscribe to the redistribution of energy which changes the climate, which means you must not subscribe to synchronous hemispheric climate change?
    I on the other hand subscribe to the total energy change theory in order to change the climate from one regime to another and synchronous climate change when this occurs.
    ,I am curious where would the energy be stored and if so how does it get released to somehow impact the climate? I do not get that. It reminds me of all the heat went to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean only to be released at a later data and end the pause in temperatures.

    • Salvatore
      You curiosity should lead you to the oceans containing 95+ % of climate heat. The critical factor is the very strong vertical temperature gradient especially in the tropics – warm at the surface, near freezing at the ocean floor. When the penny drops and you finally receive a revelation of how much “cold” is stored in the ocean, you will realise that all that is needed for climate change, over a region or globally, is a change in the rate of deep vertical mixing, which always moves heat downwards.
      A lot of nonsense is talked about heat hiding in the deep to rise later. Apart from physical impossibility, its more about heat being pulled down at a higher or lower rate.
      The ocean is not a passive puddle.

    • Look up “reemergance mechanism”. The studies relate how the deeper mixed layers work to bring stored warm water to the surface at some later date. I think this mechanism works over longer periods of time.

    • The recent interest in ocean dynamics has a strong flavour of mercenary expediency about it. Back in the halcyon days of the 1990’s and rapid warming, the ocean was ignored as a passive puddle and atmospheric radiation balance was the solitary topic of climate science. However, 20 years into the pause and now everyone is suddenly an oceanographer. Ocean vertical mixing has somehow been rediscovered, and the possibility of an oceanic excuse for the pause is proving irresistible. the problem for these folks is that the ocean does not just explain the “pause” but it underlies all climate change, including back in the good-ole 90’s.

  32. “Let’s hope a very strong La Niña follows the El Niño this year and finally overcomes the effects of the “blob” on the North Pacific.”
    Well …. why wouldn’t it? The Hovmoller graphs are consistent between 1997/98 and the current 2014/15/16(?) one. Fig 14-17 all show that as being not just a strong possibility, but an inevitability if the basic assumption that SSH is a true proxy for ΔT at depth. What is more curious is an assumed progression of the “blob” from off the Alaska-to-California coast farther south – which would potentially translate into a much stronger El Niño in the eastern Pacific – but with cooler SST’s at high Pacific latitude combined with North Atlantic cooling could (should?) translate into much colder European and Arctic temperatures, a flattening of the jet stream, and increased Arctic sea ice extent.
    Or am I just whistlin’ Dixie?

  33. To shed light on current ENSO developments I like to swing by “Undercurrent News” and find out the latest on the Peruvian anchovy. Here it is:
    http://www.undercurrentnews.com/2015/06/26/peru-sets-new-mini-ban-for-anchovy-fishing/
    So they just closed the fishery temporarily in certain areas. At first sight this looked like evidence that el Nino was at last starting to bite, interrupting upwelling and thus reducing recruitment (survival of larvae to young adults). However looking further in the article i saw that the reason for the ban was the appearence of high numbers of juveniles. This is remarkable and suggests the exact opposite – that upwelling is strong, fuelling anchovy recruitment and potentially threatening the current “el Nino”.

  34. Hello Pamela, Salvatore, Bob and others.
    Would any of you care to make a prediction regarding global climate in the next five years?
    I say global cooling will soon be apparent, probably by 2020 or sooner – not sure the magnitude of cooling.
    Sorry I cannot be more precise.
    I hope to be wrong, because more warming would be good for humanity and the environment, since we are now clearly below (cooler than) climate optimum temperatures.
    Cool weather kills many more people than warm weather, even in hot climates.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/24/winters-not-summers-increase-mortality-and-stress-the-economy/
    Regards, Allan

    • Can anyone predict which way an ant will walk? Which way a butterfy goes? And do people think by averaging these comes and goings it will come back to some kind of calculated average?
      To take a page from Leif’s book, the lead time is too great under current circumstances. That said, First I think the long term trend says that the JFM AO will continue its jagged walk into climatological negative
      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/JFM_season_ao_index.shtml. Second, I think the La Nina/El Nino regime shifts are upon us meaning that a preponderance of El Nino’s will become a preponderance of La Nina’s http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/teleconnections/eln-f-pg.gif unless we get stuck. And I would rather get stuck in El Nino’s. Getting stuck in La Nina’s brings cold dry air to NE Oregon.

      • Thank you Pamela and Salvatore. It takes courage to make any prediction in this fractious debate.
        My expert friends agree that the PDO and AMO will both be in negative (cool) territory in a few years, and global cooling will result.

    • Hi Pamela,
      Repeating my question above, with respect to your comment about ants, butterflies and randomness. BTW, Leif has said previously that in another 12 months or so he will feel more confident about a SC25 prediction.
      Why is it that Environment Canada and the US NWS-CPC have been wrong for the past two years in their long-term (~6 month) forecasts for the next winter, and why have others like Joe A and Joe B at WeatherBell accurately nailed both winter forecasts?
      Also, since we know that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature, we can with some accuracy predict the concentration of atmospheric CO2 9 months later. It’s not a perfect prediction, but it’s not bad…
      I suggest the random walk of weather and climate is not all that random since some can predict it much better than others. An ant goes back to his nest, some butterflies migrate across continents, and drunks tend to stagger home. Trying to predict their every move may be futile, but their longer term trends may be more clear.
      Best, Allan

      • True about wandering drunks and grouped ants. Butterfly path is very random within the broad area of its range. They don’t even stick to one clump of flowers on a branch. They may fly over to the next bush and then come back. Further, random numbers can generate trends. Roy Spencer demonstrates this over at his blog.
        That said, (again lol), for weather pattern variation, when IN a trend or regime, we get the advantage of having some knowledge about the teleconnected processes that potentially sustains the trend for a while and that can be modeled which helps us understand them better.
        So you want me to nail this down? Go out on a limb? Make me chop my own head off? Well, I do live dangerously.
        I think we will continue to have El Nino’s and what not but any long term predominance of El Nino’s need massive amounts of stored heat rising to the surface under calm winds to really show up. Since we have had a few of those heat expelling conditions without significant episodes of heat storing La Nina’s, I think (and have a bit of data to support it) the Pacific is running out of stored heat. Eventually the easterlies will commence and we will either be in an ENSO neutral state, La Nada state, or full blown super normal La Nina state within, say, 5 years, with the possibility that it is followed by a preponderance of such normal to super normal conditions. That’s if the butterfly decides to stay on that same clump of flowers till they run out of nectar.
        As for Weather Bell, did they accurately predict the hot temps? Just curious. El Nino’s are a bit easier to predict than the land temperatures that ride the tail of El Nino’s. And did they predict the appearance and persistence of The Blob? Or the blocking high? I actually think they are pretty good at this but they make the mistake of using Solar indices along with more powerful indicators, then say their Solar indices are important (autocorrelate much?). The folks in Environment Canada and the US NWS-CPC, the Met Office, etc, sit around drinking coolaid. I ignore them.

      • Thank you Pamela,
        RE your detailed questions – let’s see if the folks at WeatherBell want to comment.
        We have an 18-page slide presentation that I sent to both US and Canadian governments last fall.
        It shows the predictive history of EC and NWS-CPC for winter 2013-2015 vs WeatherBell’s ~July 2013 winter forecast, and the actual results. WB did predict both the very cold weather in the eastern 2/3 of North America and the warmth in the western 1/3.
        A rather similar WB forecast for winter 2014-15 has now been realized.
        Both EC and NWS-CPC forecast warmish winters that did not materialize in either year (must be warm Kool-aid).
        Joe d’Aleo and I recently confirmed (this has been known for decades) that cold weather kills many more people that hot weather.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/24/winters-not-summers-increase-mortality-and-stress-the-economy/
        Excess Winter deaths total about 10,000 every year in Canada and up to 50,000 per year in the UK (which is almost double the per-capita Canadian rate and can be reduced).
        Excess Winter deaths total about 100,000 every year in the USA – in numbers, think of this as two 9/11’s every week for four months every winter, targeting the elderly and the poor – OK – with much less property damage.
        GreenPeace and the Sierra Club must be getting nervous. All their warmist nonsense has wasted huge amounts of scarce resources that should have been used to solve real problems; instead, several trillion dollars were squandered on scary fantasies.
        Best, Allan

  35. Good news for CAGW warmer conditions in the country they’re trying to destroy, bad news drought in California over. But then CAGW has dementia, they forget predictions as soon as the weather/ climate changes. They just don’t talk about it anymore or defy logic and claim just the opposite a few years latter or connect any event regardless of what’s causing it to warmer temperatures. I wonder if Mr. Gore would have gotten as much traction with his book if he were to have revisited all of the predictions last year as when he first made those statements, sans hurricane Katrina or Sandy, or Boston with 3.5 meters of snow. When was the last time anyone from CAGW talked about the ” tipping point” ?

    • Your dementia snark is both inappropriate and funny. We are upon the forgetful senile age of CAGW. Josh, where are you in our hour of need?

  36. ‘The forgetful senile age of CAGW’.
    Needless to say –
    thats sovereignty. Thanks.
    Hans

  37. Give credit where credit is due which is Ian Wilson had predicted this current El Nino , based in large part on lunar cycles long before anyone else. Those are the facts and to white wash his achievements shows how biased this field is.
    He has future El Nino’s besides this one also predicted. He is the ONLY person that was able to predict this way in advance.
    Ian Wilson
    April 10, 2015 at 11:54 am
    I may be wrong but my prediction of a strong El Nino in 2015 still stands:
    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/evidence-that-strong-el-nino-events-are_13.html

  38. This is from his study which I sent in the above post published way back on Nov.13,2014.
    This gives much credence to his thoughts and theories because he was correct and did it way in advance. Impressive, Ian.
    FINAL COMMENTS:
    This study is still a work in progress but already we can make some interesting predictions, which
    if fulfilled would reinforce the claim that El Nino events are triggered by the Moon.
    The first prediction is that because we are currently in a 31 year Full Moon Epoch for El Niño events,
    there should be heightened probability of experiencing a strong El Niño in the following years:
    2015-2016 (see figure 1)
    2019-2020 and
    2024
    as these are the years where the lunar line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the times of the Equinoxes.
    The second prediction is that, starting sometime around the year 2021, we should begin to see El Niño events that are more typical of the sequencing seen for the New Moon Epochs (i.e. they will be triggered when the line-of-apse aligns with the Sun at the times of the Solstices). These times could include:
    2022-23 (?) and
    2027

    • From his thesis:
      “Ninderthana November 23, 2014 at 7:17 AM
      Here is my ~ 9 year year cycle in each corresponding 31 year tidal epoch:
      A. Full Moon Epochs
      1st FULL MOON EPOCH [1870 to 1901]
      1877-88 –> 1888-89 –> 1896-97 –> 1905-06 with 1899-1900 as a half cycle
      2nd FULL MOON EPOCH [1932 to 1963]
      1940-41 –> 1951-52 (weak) –> 1963-64 (weak) with 1957-58 as a half cycle
      3rd FULL MOON EPOCH [1993-94 to 2024-25]
      1997-98 –> 2006 –>. 2015-16 –> 2024-25 with 2019-20 as a possible half cycle.
      B. New Moon Epochs
      1st NEW MOON EPOCH [1901 to 1932]
      1902-03 –> 1911-12 –> 1918-19 –> 1931-31 with 1925-26 as a half cycle
      2nd NEW MOON EPOCH [1963 to 1993-94]
      1965-66 –> 1972-73 –> 1982-83 –> 1991-92 with 1987-88 as a half cycle.”
      I am looking for the current El Nino condition and don’t see it listed. Based on his thesis, it should be listed here. Apparently he has missed this one? Which on the face of it, is amazing. Given the possible times he could be right listed here, he has a pretty good chance of getting a 50/50 shot at it. Utter FAIL! Come on Sal, rise to the occasion and show some statistical acumen.

      • On top of which his epoch are based on a 6 month average. Compare that with the “what-if” a strong El Nino start developing before the “tide rolls in” so to speak. Then what triggered it?
        This whole thing was a wriggle matching effort.

      • And on top of that, note that ENSO ups and downs are noisy. His chart is noisy. Pick any two similar noisy data sets. Sets from observations that haven’t a chance in hell of being connected. Without any direct or indirect mechanism, what are the chances that you will pick a match fairly often?

  39. You can not wriggle the future(way in advance) and make it come out correct. At any rate he is the only one to have predicted an El Nino event way before it occurred.
    I am not saying he is 100% correct yet, but if he is right on the 2019-2020 El Nino I am going to have to say he is.
    Time will tell.

    • Then you still don’t understand how wriggle matching works. Take one wriggly data string and predict something will happen in the other wriggly data string. With enough smoothing and variables (full moon, half moon, strong El Nino, weak El Nino, etc), you can make the other wriggly data string get up and do the watusi.

  40. Pam here are the final comments in black and white from his study, made way in advance.
    FINAL COMMENTS:
    This study is still a work in progress but already we can make some interesting predictions, which
    if fulfilled would reinforce the claim that El Nino events are triggered by the Moon.
    The first prediction is that because we are currently in a 31 year Full Moon Epoch for El Niño events,
    there should be heightened probability of experiencing a strong El Niño in the following years:
    2015-2016 (see figure 1)
    2019-2020 and
    2024

  41. My rain dance has more recently incorporated elements of break dancing as well as slamming in the mosh pit. Taking it up a notch.

  42. My opinion is ENSO events result from the coupling of two basin modes, an annual quasi-stationary wave that results from a first baroclinic mode, fourth meridional mode Rossby wave and a quadrennial quasi-stationary wave that results from a first baroclinic mode Kelvin wave and a first baroclinic mode, first meridional mode Rossby waves (tropical and off-tropical Rossby waves).
    A consequence is the modulated componant of the geostrophic current of the North Equatorial Counter Current anticipates ENSO events. In particular, instabilities off the Cape d’Urville result from the North Equatorial Counter-Current that flows closer to the equator and in the amplification of the modulated current acceleration common to both basin modes. Off the Cape d’Urville 137.5°E 0.5°N the North Equatorial Counter-Current may accelerate from 0 to 1.5 m/s within one month, which is considerable. Some of these accelerations are harbingers of an ENSO event. In this case the current accelerates rapidly eastward and its speed decreases before increasing again, reaching a maximum two months later. The geostrophic current off the Cape d’Urville is perturbed at an early stage of the development of an ENSO event, and then returns to its original speed. This occurs 7 times late 1992 to mid-2015: the corresponding ENSO events occur in 08/1994, 11/1997, 12/2002, 12/2004, 12/2006, 11/2009 and 09/2012.An event is maturing in June 2015, whose intensity is very similar to that of the event .that matured in 09/2012.
    To know more, see the equatorial Pacific in:
    http://climatorealist.neowordpress.fr/2015/06/11/climate-change/

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