For Those Watching the Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies of the Equatorial Pacific and the Decay of the El Niño

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

Many readers are keeping an eye on the sea surface temperature anomalies of the eastern equatorial Pacific. The latest sea surface temperature anomaly map from the CMC Environment Canada (Figure 1) shows cooler than normal sea surface temperature anomalies along the equatorial Pacific east of about 125W, indicating the tropical Pacific is heading toward La Niña conditions. (Note the odd base years for anomalies used by CMC Environment Canada, 1995 to 2009.)


Figure 1 (Source here.)

The following are updates of the two sets of graphs of NINO region sea surface temperature anomalies that have been part of the 2014/15 El Niño series and the 2015/16 El Niño series.


Note: The weekly NINO region sea surface temperature anomaly data for Figure 2 and 3 are from the NOAA/CPC Monthly Atmospheric & SST Indices webpage, specifically the data here. The anomalies for the NOAA/CPC data are referenced to the base years of 1981-2010 so they will not coincide with the map in Figure 1. They also will not coincide with the data from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), because BOM uses 1961-1990 as base years.

Figure 2 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)

02 NINO Region Time Series

Figure 2

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

The sea surface temperature anomalies for the easternmost NINO1+2 region have dropped well below zero (-0.6 deg C). Those in the NINO3 region have dropped to weak El Niño conditions and the NINO3.4 region continues to follow.


Using weekly sea surface temperature anomalies for the four NINO regions, Figure 3 compares the goings on in 2015/16 with the 1997/98 event. While sea surface temperature anomalies in the NINO4 and NINO3.4 regions peaked higher in 2015 than in 1997, the NINO1+2 and NINO3 regions lagged well behind the 1997/98 El Niño. This year, the sea surface temperature anomalies for the NINO1+2 and NINO 3 regions are also decaying faster than in 1998.

We also showed in the post here that the differences between sea surface temperature datasets and their uncertainties keep us from knowing which El Niño was strongest.

03 NINO Region Evolutions

Figure 3


The full ENSO update for April is just a week old. See the post here.

It will be interesting to see how quickly those cooler-than-normal surface temperatures migrate westward. According to the map in Figure 1, they’re on the eastern-most part of the NINO3.4 region.

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Reply to  Bob Tisdale
April 25, 2016 5:27 am

You must be doing holistic science 😉

Tom Halla
April 25, 2016 5:39 am

I do wonder what the declining El Niño will do to local (Austin TX suburbs). It has been warm and wet this year.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 25, 2016 9:44 am

Its interesting that the Red spike pointing westwards from South America for some time, has been replaced by a blue spike indicating-according to the chart-a temperature difference of some 3 or 4 degrees. That is a substantial amount and I wondered what the physical mechanism is that could make such a temperature difference in such a relatively short period of time.

Barclay E MacDonald
Reply to  climatereason
April 25, 2016 8:53 pm

I am wondering the same thing. I am speculating upwelling due to winds, but I really wouldn’t know. We are planning a trip to the Galapagos the beginning of April 2017, so all this is very interesting, and I take it personally:) Looks like the water will be cooler. Maybe not that noticeable for snorkeling.

Reply to  climatereason
April 30, 2016 12:52 pm

Water overturning, surely?

April 25, 2016 5:50 am

Thanks Bob,
I have been watching
It too will be interesting to watch for the next several months.
My barometric pressure diurnal is also getting weak and because of clouds/haze, the “sunlight intensity” is also noisy and the peak to peak cycle has dropped below .1″ hg.
I guess the “stillness” Dr. Roy told us about last year is going into effect.

D. J. Hawkins
April 25, 2016 6:16 am

Bob, is there an explanation for the CMC’s choice of climatology? And why isn’t the Australian BOM using the WMO standard of 1981-2010? In fact, why doesn’t everybody get on board with the supposed “standard” so anomalies from one group are a little more comparable to another?

April 25, 2016 6:18 am

Bob, the “Blobb” reemerges? See your fig.1 and also
for actual developement.

April 25, 2016 6:41 am

El Nino is dead. Just one week ago, the NOAA guys said it would be ‘neutral’ sometime in late spring or maybe summer right when it was definitely dead as a dodo. The map frankclimate posted here shows clearly that the water is now officially colder than normal, not ‘neutral’. This will be a cold, cold la Nina cycle.

Reply to  emsnews
April 25, 2016 6:56 am

Pay attention and look at the headline of the map I posted: these are NOT the SST, it’s the difference to one week ago. So one can see the developement, not the SST per se.

Reply to  frankclimate
April 25, 2016 6:59 am

Thank you for the clarification.

Ric Haldane
April 25, 2016 7:01 am

Time to buy marshmallow futures. According to Joseph D’Aleo:
This natural cyclical lack of rain fall combined with unwise policy that Dr. Scott Campbell reported concerning the prohibition against clearing up accumulated brush from the areas surrounding housing developments that were instituted at the insistence of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups has left more fuel for the fires fanned by the Santa Ana winds. The JPL’s Dr Patzert indicated, in a release , were also more common in La Ninas. The risk is also greater because more people built homes in the cooler hills among the trees, putting more than trees at risk. In addition, environmentalists have reduced the amount of water that can be used for agriculture. Farmers in the Central Valley are asking for a new canal to get water from the Sacramento River, as well as a relaxation of environmental restrictions resulting from a 2007 court ruling limiting the amount of water pumped south from the delta – a giant sponge that absorbs runoff from the wetter north.

April 25, 2016 7:03 am

By the by, the NOAA website that does future predictions of rain and temperature at has completely changed their predictions from just two weeks ago.
Back then, they had maps showing the US being super duper warm all year long except for a very tiny part of it and now, suddenly, they show nearly the entire northern tier colder than normal starting next fall and all the way through the rest of the year.
This change is due to the collapse of the present el Nino and they know that the la Nina will be cold and last a year or so.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  emsnews
April 25, 2016 8:11 am

“… completely changed their predictions …
Seems this is SOP. Translation: They just make stuff up.

Reply to  emsnews
April 25, 2016 1:18 pm

I expect this coming La Nina to last into 2018. I also think that their is a strong probability for a cooler than normal summer, here in No California.

Bill Illis
April 25, 2016 7:47 am

Fairly dramatic shift from Super El Nino to developing La Nina. The El Nino peaked in mid-November so this is only 5 months later.
And there is a ton of cold water in the undercurrent (stretching all the way across the Pacific) which will follow on from this initial cold water surfacing at the equator. It is going to keep coming and coming for several months.

++Winter Carltz++
April 25, 2016 7:56 am

The website just posted an article that the sun is less active too. Don’the toss them winter jackets yet folks.

April 25, 2016 8:19 am

Besides sea surface temperatures going down, GISS should also go down from March to April. Instead of an increase of 0.03 as in 1998, GISS appears to be in for a drop of 0.13 in 2016 based on numbers to April 23. Other data sets should not be too different from the change in GISS.

April 25, 2016 9:04 am

Will the warm water start cooling up the western north American coast, California, Oregon, Washington, BC and Alaska?

Steve Fraser
Reply to  nc
April 25, 2016 11:49 am

That is a great question! BobT, got an opinion on what to expect there?

john harmsworth
Reply to  nc
April 25, 2016 1:10 pm

I don’t know what the effect is at the coast but inland in Alberta and Saskatchewan the follow on to el nino is typically drier, bordering on drought conditions. That is already what we are seeing here and decent crops will depend on timely moisture.

Reply to  nc
April 25, 2016 1:30 pm

That is my expectation. I am looking forward to a summer that is slightly below average. There should be an increased likelihood for summer rains. In 2014 I had forecast an increase in spring rains and a likelihood for some summer rain in No California. I was correct. There was decent rain in the spring, and some rainfall in each of the summer months last year. Those were the first summer rains in the last 5 years, and also the first decent spring rains of the last 5 years. I expect that this summer will see more rain events during the summer than in the summer before.

Reply to  nc
April 25, 2016 10:20 pm

nc – Bob’s post of the CMC EC graphic appears to show the Alaskan and Californian currents carrying heat north and south respectively. Not sure that is correct, but the graphic seems to suggest that. I think there will be some lag and perhaps even a bit more relative warming in Alaska and along the west coast until the currents circulate a bit more. It could still be a couple of years based on watching the “Blob” form and dissipate. The system has lots of inertia in it though sometimes it moves surprisingly fast. So cool water in the central north Pacific and warm water near the coast could set up some interesting weather patterns for a while. It would be interesting to see a time lapse of these anomalies for the last four or five years. I think there was one posted last year?

April 25, 2016 9:09 am

Another hotter-than-hell La Nina summer in the works for the Great Plains? Will the heat records (49.44 C) of the 1930s finally be broken? I hope not, but I’ll have margaritas ready to go just in case.

Green Sand
April 25, 2016 9:12 am

Thanks Bob!
ENSO always worth a ‘weather eye’ and this transition is interesting. Whilst SSTs east of 125W have developing quicker than the models expected other indicators are still in El Nino territory.
SOI still heading south at present -17 well below the El Nino threshold of -7 :-
Also ‘cloudiness’ at the dateline still high (low OLR). Has been high for over 12 mths effecting the amount of incoming radiant energy reaching the ocean surface.
Expect both to change shortly, time will tell.

Reply to  Green Sand
April 25, 2016 9:34 am

Where do you get you cloud cover stats Green Sand???

Green Sand
Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 10:35 am

Oz, Bureau of Meteorology – Enso Wrap Up
Click ‘Regional cloudiness’ for latest.
Hope it helps

April 25, 2016 9:28 am

IMHO, what needs to be answered in every article published about AGW is “how does atmospheric CO2 cause this effect?”
1) How does CO2 warm the oceans?
2) How does CO2 cause local pockets of warmth?
3) How does CO2 cause temporary spikes in temperature, and how does CO2 ever allow temperatures to fall?
4) What caused El Ninos before man produced CO2?
5) If El Nino is the cause of warming the oceans are warming the atmosphere, how does CO2 work in that model.

Reply to  CO2isLife
April 25, 2016 9:36 am

Could you add “why get excited when temperatures rise during a naturally occurring event that causes temperature rise??”
Seen too much of this and I don’t understand. …

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 12:01 pm

“why get excited when temperatures rise during a naturally occurring event that causes temperature rise??”
Because the rises are breaking records and the long term temp trend is up. That is a concern, particularly when increased atmospheric CO2 is the only plausible explanation for the increase. If you think the long term upward trend is natural, please supply a reason for it. Clue…. “Natural” is not a reason. You will be famous. Would certainly stop all this debate.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 1:33 pm

The long term trend has been up for 400 years, since the end of the little ice age.
There is no evidence that the trend of the latter half of the 20th century is anything other than a continuation of this natural trend.

Rob JM
Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 3:33 pm

Mainstream climate science continues to ignore the 5% decrease in cloud cover between 1990 and 2003 that accounts for at least two thirds of the observed warming in the satellite age. Outside of this forcing there is no statistically observable trend. And you are still assuming the scientists have correctly modelled the combined effects of CO2 warming from reducing surface radiation to space(which becomes saturated) and CO2 Cooling from increased atmospheric radiation to space.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 7:55 pm

So you have any idea what is causing this trend/continuation?

Reply to  Simon
April 25, 2016 8:35 pm

Natural climate variability fully explains all current observations.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 8:42 pm

“Natural climate variability fully explains all current observations.”
Really? Phew … that’s an easy out for the minimal thinkers then. But before we go any further DB, got any peer reviewed papers that support your rather “one size fits all” theory?

Reply to  Simon
April 25, 2016 9:14 pm

It’s not an ‘easy out’. It’s the default understanding; the climate Null Hypothesis, which has never been falsified.
And your usual crutch of “peer reviewed papers” ignores the fact that the Climategate emails proved that the climate peer review process has been thoroughly corrupted. Anyone who still believe it’s honest is a credulous fool. Mann even said he was prepared to re-define what ‘peer review’ means if a skeptic’s paper was accepted.
That’s the only kind of lame argument you ever post. Certainly you have no credible science to support your debunked belief system.
Wake me if current temperature parameters ever exceed past parameters. Then we can discuss the possibility of other causes. But until/unless that happens, “natural climate variability” fully explains current observations.
If you have the usual wacky conjectures that you believe provide a better explanation, then post them here. I will take pleasure in easily deconstructing them, chapter and verse. Because as usual, all you’ve got are your baseless assertions and your eco-religious beliefs — without a shred of scientific skepticism.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 9:22 pm

“It’s not an ‘easy out’ dufus. It’s the default understanding”
The default understanding of who… Mickey mouse? If it is a serious concept you will be able to back it up with credible people who agree with you. But typical DB… back to name calling because you have nuttin.

Reply to  Simon
April 25, 2016 10:18 pm

Once again, the onus is on YOU toshow your man-made global warming belief is anything other than nonsense. As usual, you failed.
You asked the question, but you don’t like the common sense answer you got. But you have nothing credible to explain any other reason for the truly benign global temperatures over the past century and a half.
The fact is, you’ve got nothing to support your globaloney nonsense. The planet is making a fool out of you, and every other climate alarmist. There is nothing unusual or unprecedented happening, but you still have the amusing urge to run around in circles, clucking like a chicken that just got bonked on the head by an acorn and thinks it was the sky falling.
You are truly pathetic, trying to sell the ridiculous idea that harmless, beneficial CO2 — which has risen by only one part in 10,000 over the past century — will cause runaway global warming. As if.
Trot on back to hotwhopper, or wherever you get your nutty ideas. They’ll welcome you with open arms. But here we have common sense, so you’re a misfit.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 10:44 pm

Simon is struggling to understand that the null hypothesis is that natural variability is responsible. The rationale is that we know that climate has changed naturally for eons, without any human intervention necessary, and furthermore that we can’t fully explain many past climate phenomena. The null hypothesis requires no proof. It is the new hypothesis to be tested that requires convincing evidence in order to reject the overriding assumption that natural variability is responsible now as it has been so many times before.
Climate “science” is one of the few areas to get this bass ackwards, and the only one where the adherents are so brash to insist that the burden of proof rests on the null hypothesis itself!

Reply to  Acidohm
April 25, 2016 11:48 pm

So the name calling, got nothing, DBstealey, resorts to more name calling and more… well.. nothing. And he calls me a dufus?

Reply to  Simon
April 26, 2016 6:07 am

You repeatedly called me a “minimal thinker”, and referred to me as “Mickey Mouse”. But you’re a crybaby now because I responded with “dufus”? You say:
…increased atmospheric CO2 is the only plausible explanation for the increase. If you think the long term upward trend is natural, please supply a reason for it. Clue…. “Natural” is not a reason.
1. Since you can’t think of any other reason, the it must be CO2? And you call me a minimal thinker??
2. Natural variability is universally accepted as a reason for “climate change”. You just don’t like it because it negates your measurement-free “carbon” silliness.
3. Long term global warming is the planet’s natural recovery from one of the coldest episodes of the 10,000+ year long Holocene. Per Occam’s Razor there is no need to invoke an extraneous variable like CO2.
No one agrees with you, Simon, for the simple reason that you’re wrong.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 26, 2016 10:03 am

That is a concern, particularly when increased atmospheric CO2 is the only plausible explanation for the increase.

1) The oceans are warming. CO2 can’t warm the oceans. 13 to 18µ IR doesn’t penetrate or warm water. What is warming the oceans is also warming the atmosphere above it.
2) CO2 has been as high as 7000ppm and never caused CGW.
3) Daytime temperatures have been reaching peaks. Only incoming radiation can cause a record daytime temperature. CO2 can’t cause record daytime temperatures.
4) Common denominator between warming oceans and record daytime temperatures? Cleaner air is allowing more visible light to reach earth. You don’t need a hotter sun, you need cleaner air to warm the earth. Much like lifting a shade warms a room.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 26, 2016 11:50 am

“Natural variability is universally accepted as a reason for “climate change””
I think that is quite obvious, no one is arguing that the climate changes naturally, but let’s not confuse natural variability with known “unnatural” forcing of the climate. We know why the ice ages happened. We know the natural effect volcanoes have on climate. We know what happens when the sun plays it’s part. But….the sudden rise in global temperature over the last 100 years is not due to any of those things. So citing natural variability as the reason is too simple and is really only a thinly veiled attempt to cause uncertainty where there is none. We have known for over 100 years the effect increased CO2 will have. It was predicted back then. Those predictions have been tested and retested many times since then. The planet is clearly warming as predicted and the ice is melting. The only question now is how much warming is to follow and how much damage will occur? You can “natural variability” it up all you like, but science is well past that point. So Mr DB, unless you have some army of people qualified to back up your “natural variation” nonsense, then I see no further need for discussion on this.

Reply to  Acidohm
April 26, 2016 6:58 pm

In Greenland the ice is melting? that’s soo 2012

john harmsworth
Reply to  CO2isLife
April 25, 2016 1:20 pm

Your question #3 is of particular interest to me. If el Nino causes or results in a rise in the temperature of the earth overall and CO2 prevents heat from escaping, how does the temperature come back down? Let me put that another way. Can they show that in their models? Seems to me to be a logical disconnect there. How does a constant, incremental increase in CO2 cause a rise in temperatures which is two steps up, a looooong one sideways, another step up, then a step backwards?

Reply to  john harmsworth
April 25, 2016 2:08 pm

There’s a question they won’t answer.

Reply to  john harmsworth
April 26, 2016 7:45 am

I thought global C02 increase precedes the global temp increase, wasn’t this pointed out?

Reply to  john harmsworth
April 26, 2016 10:09 am

How does a constant, incremental increase in CO2 cause a rise in temperatures which is two steps up, a looooong one sideways, another step up, then a step backwards?

Bingo!!! CO2 is A constant over the short run. How does a constant cause such variability, especially cooling. CO2 only increases. How does trapping more energy result in cooling? Also CO2 is 400 ppm all the way up to 80km. More importantly, the absorption of energy/unit decreases as CO2 increases.

Reply to  john harmsworth
April 28, 2016 10:23 am

I thought global C02 increase precedes the global temp increase, wasn’t this pointed out?

CO2 follows between 800 to 1,500 years. That is consistent with Henry’s Law. CO2 leadingtemperature is inconsistent with basic chemistry. The oceans are by far the largest producers of CO2, the annual variation alone dwarfs man’s production.

Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 9:39 am

There’s no doubt in my mind we are heading toward La Nina conditions this year. So, the only questions are these:
1. Will be reach La Nina before the presidential elections (very likely)
2. Will global temperatures drop before … (possible)
3. Will we sceptics be able to go back to business as normal “18 years without warming” (?)

Scottish Sceptic
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 9:40 am

That should have been “18 years without warming … before the presidential election”
(Sorry – I just assumed it was obvious we’ll be back to 18 years without warming in the near future)

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 10:02 am

…What difference will it make?
The temperature/data will either be adjusted or ignored by the MSM and the Administration.
There are already enough facts on numerous subjects to think there will be a change in government all hidden and either distorted or not mentioned by the MSM.

Doug in Calgary
Reply to  Catcracking
April 25, 2016 11:19 am

A slim hope that the MSM may be waking up… in today’s BBC online new there are quotes from Nick Lewis and Judith Curry in an article entitled “Rise in CO2 has ‘greened Planet Earth'”.
Nick Lewis, an independent scientist often critical of the IPCC, told BBC News: “The magnitude of the increase in vegetation appears to be considerably larger than suggested by previous studies.
“This suggests that projected atmospheric CO2 levels in IPCC scenarios are significantly too high, which implies that global temperature rises projected by IPCC models are also too high, even if the climate is as sensitive to CO2 increases as the models imply.”
And Prof Judith Curry, the former chair of Earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, added: “It is inappropriate to dismiss the arguments of the so-called contrarians, since their disagreement with the consensus reflects conflicts of values and a preference for the empirical (i.e. what has been observed) versus the hypothetical (i.e. what is projected from climate models).
“These disagreements are at the heart of the public debate on climate change, and these issues should be debated, not dismissed.”
Almost spritzed my coffee on to my laptop when I realized that I was actually reading this on the BBC.

Reply to  Catcracking
April 25, 2016 2:14 pm

Doug – that got a “wow” from me. Not the D word in there anywhere!

bit chilly
Reply to  Catcracking
April 25, 2016 2:29 pm

looks like the constant barrage of emails the bbc get criticising their stance on climate change are starting to have an effect .

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 12:23 pm

“I just assumed it was obvious we’ll be back to 18 years without warming in the near future”
It isn’t. The arithmetic, to good short term approx, goes like this. You’d have to rely on satellite measures, probably RSS V3.3 (now deprecated). The “pause” there vanished in Feb 2016, at which stage the average since 1997 was about 0.26°C. The requirement to get that zero trend back is that the average since Feb 2016 should be less than 0.26°C. But March was 0.84°C, and those high levels will continue for a while. It will take a lot of months well below 0.26 to bring the average back down to that level.
Of course, if you want elections to be affected, you’ll have to convince people that they should worry about a troposphere average rather than what is happening down here.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 25, 2016 5:01 pm

I doubt that a quick continuation of the “pause” would have any effect politically one way or the other.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 25, 2016 10:52 pm

Especially not when temperatures in the mainland US are not warming appreciably, but rather are moderating.
But try telling that to the true believers, who see the effects of rampant warming out of every window and door.
They are climate hypochondriacs, and simple facts like that don’t penetrate the derangement that rules over their perceptions.

David A
Reply to  Nick Stokes
April 26, 2016 4:55 am

Nick says,
“Of course, if you want elections to be affected, you’ll have to convince people that they should worry about a troposphere average rather than what is happening down here.”
The surface will cool along with the troposphere, just as they did post the 98 event.
Peoples understanding would improve if you would be truthful and admit that CAGW theory is predicated on the troposphere warming more then the surface, and the models all show this, but the observations do not.
Peoples understanding would improve if you would be truthful and admit that the disasters propagandized in the media and by prominent CAGW scientists are not happening.
Peoples understanding would improve if you would be truthful and admit that the benefits of CO2 are manifesting on a global scale.
Peoples understanding would improve if you would be truthful and admit that there is no acceleration in SL rise where people live as shown by the tide gauges.
As the peoples understanding improves, then so would the election results.
Instead Nick, you do all you can to stoke the flames of CAGW alarmism by defending the failed hypothesis of CAGW

April 25, 2016 10:09 am

Thanks Bob for the excellent and clear data on the subject.

April 25, 2016 10:47 am

It has been a cold spring overall so far in southern Ontario. I think there has been one day with temps in the high 70s, day time highs have been below average. The first weekend in April saw record low highs and night time lows. The long-range forecast in the winter was for a warmer than normal spring. So far, not correct.

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  dongle
April 25, 2016 1:10 pm

Yeah, and we had snow on the hills in southern England (Cotswolds) 9 days ago, and snow is forecast in northern Scotland in the next 24 hours. The CET max for April is going to be about 0.5 degrees below the 1981-2010 mean. That’s cool, not outrageously so, but is a big reversal from a record-warm December.

bit chilly
Reply to  See - owe to Rich
April 25, 2016 2:31 pm

we had brief flurries of snow on the east coast of scotland just north of edinburgh and the central belt today. more forecast later in the week. nothing new of course.

James at 48
Reply to  dongle
April 25, 2016 2:22 pm

Coolish spring thus far in California. I may end up labeling it cold depending on how May and June turn out.

Brandon C
April 25, 2016 10:59 am

It seems to me, that an El Nino brings a lot of warm water to the surface of the ocean. For this to have any effect, that warmth must be lost to the air above the water. The Air layer of our planet does not save energy, it constantly loses 100% of all energy it holds and needs to be recharged, from the sun and geo sources. So An El Nino is an almost perfect mechanism for cooling the ocean. It causes a short term warmth spike in the atmosphere, but the nature of the atmosphere means that all of that exceptional heat is lost to space in short order. The transfer of heat from air to water is terribly inefficient, but loss of heat from water to air is extremely efficient. So how can anyone tie warm oceans to small increases of air temps? How can anyone see an El Nino as anything but a massive cooling of the ocean waters? Am I missing something or is this process being very misunderstood/misrepresented by much of climate science?

charles nelson
Reply to  Brandon C
April 25, 2016 4:00 pm

100% on the money.
DMI has a graph which shows the average temperature inside the Arctic….this year temperatures there leapt to a dizzying MINUS 20˚C before falling back. Given the lack of sunlight there in February the only mechanism by which this heat got to the Arctic was warm, moisture laden winds (from the El Nino). We all know what happens to warm moisture laden winds when they cool!
In shor,t the spike in Global Temps which this ‘arctic warming’ caused illustrated a major COOLING event, and not the WARMING event spun out by the Warmists.

Reply to  charles nelson
April 25, 2016 4:44 pm

…The MSM and alarmists called it a “Heat Wave” !!

April 25, 2016 11:30 am

So what are we to expect from a new La Nina?
Global temperatures look set to cool from mid-late 2016 onward, compared to their present level; observing the (roughly) 3 month lag in surface and 4-6 month lag in satellite.
How far will they cool though… enough to prevent 2016 from setting another consecutive warmest year record in the surface data? Enough to prevent a ‘new’ warmest year record in the satellite data; beating 1998 at last?
I would say ‘no’ to both of the above. The first 3 months of 2016 have already set the tone, I believe. It would take a rapid fall in ENSO temperature plus an unusually short lag time in both the surface and lower troposphere temperatures if new records aren’t to be set in both this year.

Scottish Sceptic
Reply to  DWR54
April 25, 2016 11:44 am

We may well see a very interesting December – with climate “scientists” claiming it’s the warmest year “eval”, but with some of the coldest monthly temperature (before adjustments obviously) in a decade.
But 2017 should be more interesting still. Because by then the “19 years no warming” will be back and the sharp cooling will be obvious in the satellite record.
To most sceptics it will just appear as another year’s worth of data that does not mean much by itself. But to the alarmists who are upset by the merest trifle – it will look to them like the end of the world.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 12:04 pm

“To most sceptics it will just appear as another year’s worth of data that does not mean much by itself.”
Which is why “some” skeptics don’t seem to get the severity of the problem ahead.

Brandon C
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 12:29 pm

Yes Simon, you kinda made his point for him. A single data point does not make something alarming. Jumping on single data points and screaming the world is ending, doesn’t mean you “get the severity ahead”, it only means you are easily swayed by non-contextual data being spun by non-scientific methods.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 1:35 pm

There is no problem ahead, severe or otherwise.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 2:27 pm

I already had Seaice (in another thread) claim that we could have up to 20 years of cooling and it still wouldn’t count as a trend. Presumably then, 20 years of cooling added to nearly 20 years of plateau would give us nearly 40 years of no warming. With that, would they admit there’s nothing to worry about? I doubt it somehow.
It seems to me that some of these people will go to their graves insisting that we’re entering dangerous warming even if we slide into a new ice age. They are determined to have it their way and they twist themselves (and the data) into pretzels to try and make it so.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 25, 2016 4:07 pm

Scottish Sceptic,
“We may well see a very interesting December – with climate “scientists” claiming it’s the warmest year “eval”, but with some of the coldest monthly temperature (before adjustments obviously) in a decade.”
The coldest December in a decade would still be warmer than ‘average’ for all of the surface data sets, based on their current definitions of ‘average’.
In any case, why should a cooler than average December necessarily mean that the year as a whole wasn’t the warmest on record – including the satellite record?

Tim Hammond
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 26, 2016 2:20 am

Simon – “Which is why “some” skeptics don’t seem to get the severity of the problem ahead.”
Because we don’t believe that computer models that try to forecast decades ahead have any ability to provide accurate forecast,s given how little we know.
Blindly believing in a computer model is no different that blindly believing in Mystic Meg and astrology.

Reply to  DWR54
April 25, 2016 1:44 pm

A rapid fall in the ENSO regions is already well underway…
Let’s see what conditions are later on this year. The ocean surface temps are also changing in the Atlantic. I would say yes to your above speculation..

Reply to  goldminor
April 25, 2016 4:34 pm

“I would say yes to your above speculation..”
The rate of ENSO3.4 decline from the 2015 el Nino max so far seems to be about average according to BoM:
I respect your view, but here’s my reasoning for thinking it might be wrong: SSTs are still inside the el Nino threshold on the 3-month average scale. They will fall outside that within the next month or so, at current rates of cooling.
Let’s say they fall into neutral territory for MJJ and from there into la Nina territory from JAS. Even then it would require a further ~3 months for this transition to be reflected in the surface data and possibly as much as a further 3-months for the satellite data to settle down.
We are looking then at ~ Nov/Dec 2016 before we start seeing below average temperatures in the surface data and maybe into 2017 before we see the same in satellite; and that’s assuming that we do indeed see a la Nina event.
Given the exceptionally high start in both the surface and lower troposphere data sets in 2016, it seems unlikely to me that 2016 won’t set a new annual record in both the surface and satellite temperature data sets.
As always, I am ready to be wrong.

Reply to  DWR54
April 26, 2016 5:54 pm

We shall see then, later on this year.

Reply to  DWR54
April 25, 2016 5:04 pm

DWR54 wrote: “How far will they cool though… enough to prevent 2016 from setting another consecutive warmest year record in the surface data?”
Can you say “margin of error”?

Reply to  TA
April 26, 2016 3:49 pm

The margins of error are published.

April 25, 2016 11:36 am

Anyone have the latest Argo buoy data graph? Every time I Google it, I get it only up until 2012ish. Thanks in advance.

April 25, 2016 12:17 pm

We will not have to wait till next year for the cooling. lts already started big time in the NH.
Since second half of March the weather pattern set up has been swinging into rapid cooling. So much so that it has given real insight into the causes of ice age formation in the NH. lf these trends last for the remainder of the year, then expect to see some rapid cooling in Canada. Maybe the most rapid cooling since the little ice age. This current “ice age” weather patterning set up is going to last to least into the first week of May. But beyond that the big unknown is for how much longer will it last. ?

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  taxed
April 25, 2016 1:17 pm

That sounds just like an alarmist warmist but in reverse. ‘taxed’ seems pretty certain, but April 1976 (at solar minimum) was fairly cool in England and then followed by the hottest summer ever.

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  See - owe to Rich
April 25, 2016 1:27 pm

More details: April 1976 and April 1988 both had CET mean max of 12.2 degC, very similar to what this year is going to be. Then, June-July-August 1976 averaged 23.5 (1 degree above the next hottest) yet JJA 1988 averaged 18.7 (30th coldest out of 138 years).
See for details.

Reply to  See - owe to Rich
April 25, 2016 2:16 pm

Yes much will depend on how long these patterns last. lf its brakes down within May then yes its effects will be limited. But l have a feeling that something important maybe going on here, which l will be watching closely. These weather patterns have given me a real insight into ice age formation that l have been waiting for the last 3 years. These patterns have only been in place for around a month and already over that time the temps in NE Canada are up to 5c below average. Just think what they will do if they last over the summer and then in to in the winter.

James at 48
Reply to  taxed
April 25, 2016 2:20 pm

And right on queue … we got our first inside slider here on the West Coast yesterday. Number two due tomorrow night. Woke up to temps in the 40s here in the near coastal Bay Area, some places inland had frost.

Reply to  James at 48
April 25, 2016 2:54 pm

Temps dropped to 28F last night here in Trinity Co. The forecast is similar for tonight before night time temps warm back up to around 40F afterwards. My handy dandy portable greenhouse is working great. My tomato starts have nice stem thickness, and the Rangpur lime tree has hundreds of limes started.

Reply to  taxed
April 25, 2016 3:23 pm

I wonder if this pattern could be representative of early grand solar minimum conditions.

James at 48
April 25, 2016 2:18 pm

The missing cold is welling up with vigor. 😉

Reply to  James at 48
April 25, 2016 3:13 pm

This cold spot in the Atlantic first popped up towards the beginning of this year. Th peak low anomaly showing is -13.7C. That is nippy…,42.91,819/loc=-47.080,41.177
Another point of interest is the ocean region around the tip of South America. The currents shifted late last year. The shift appears to have led to a new pattern of cold Antarctic waters becoming a greater portion of the waters flowing through Drakes Passage. There are pockets of very cold waters at the tip of So America. This is a noticeable change from the last 3 years, which saw mainly warmer Pacific water flowing into the Atlantic. The pocket of very warm waters on the east coast of lower So America have lessened as compared to the last several years, probably as a result of the current changes…,-52.04,819

Reply to  James at 48
April 25, 2016 4:59 pm

Yet temperatures remain well above average both globally and across the NH:

Reply to  DWR54
April 25, 2016 10:27 pm

DWR – Inertia. Lag. Whatever you like. It takes time to turn and aircraft carrier.

bit chilly
Reply to  DWR54
April 26, 2016 2:20 pm

not in this part of the northern hemisphere .

bit chilly
Reply to  DWR54
April 26, 2016 2:26 pm

in fact, right now it is snowing at sea level on the east coast of scotland. not unheard of at this time of year, but the last time i remember it this late in april was in the mid 80’s.

Reply to  DWR54
April 26, 2016 3:53 pm

bit chilly
“not in this part of the northern hemisphere”
If only the scientists had thought to set up a thermometer outside your house, rather than take temperatures across the world.
Think how much money was wasted.

Sun Spot
April 25, 2016 5:06 pm

LIA-2 here it comes.

April 25, 2016 5:09 pm

…Here in London, Ontario in Southern Canada…We are STILL waiting for Spring to arrive !! Going down to -1 C tonight !! I demand some Glo.Bull Warming !

April 25, 2016 5:31 pm

The weather patterns look normal to me, from my viewpoint in Oklahoma.
Tomorrow, a classic “tornado alley” storm will set up just west of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and will move east with the potential for very strong storms, large hail and strong, longlasting tornadoes.
The Jet Stream is lined up perfectly to enhance the strength of the storms in my area. If you get to see a picture of the jet stream, you will see the shape it takes when it packs extra energy. A little bulge.
In contrast, this same jet stream is arcing north into the northern U.S. and brought a few storms and small tornadoes to the area, but nothing like what is going to happen in Tornado Alley tomorrow.
One of the reasons for the difference in strength of the storms in the two locations on the same jet stream is because the jet stream will enhance the Tornado Alley storms, whereas the storms farther north did not have such an extra energy input due to the configuration of the jet stream in that area.
That is why it is so important to show the jet streams along with all other aspects of the weather. The Jet Streams will tell you where the strongest portion of the weather front is going to be.
In Spring, the weather patterns set up normally like they are setting up right now, with the strongest storms concentrated in Tornado Alley. Later in the year, the focus of the strong storms will move north and east and areas like Iowa and Indiana and Ohio will catch the brunt of the storms.
After that happens, a high pressure system will show up and come to call in Oklahoma, and it might stop and stay for a while, and, if it does, then the rain goes away, the tornadoes go away, and the hot weather arrives.
There have been occasional years when a high pressure system did not come to stay very long in the middle of the country, but that doesn’t happen often.
I expect a high pressure system to sit down on top of us in the near future, and then the question will be how long will it be before it moves on.
Watching these tornadic storms develop and advance is a fascinating exercise for me. I’m getting to the point where I can kind of tell what they are going to do before they do it, if you can believe that. Of course, I have a lot of help from all those storm chasers who dog the tornadoes relentlessly The tornadoes can’t make a move without us knowing it. 🙂

Pamela Gray
April 25, 2016 6:23 pm

There are two possibilities:
1. A mild La Nina (still too much water vapor in the air to allow for a clear dry sky) that will only partly replenish the heat lost in the most recent El Nino. This will leave us still at the peak of an interstadial as the ocean continues to disgorge stored heat. Let’s hope that we can stay there, and maybe even get warmer and that the AGW theory is right.
2. A global climate knee occurs whereby the oceans are so depleted of stored heat that there is no stored energy left to drive the oceans to cough up life giving heat for a while, thus putting us on the long jagged slide down (irradiance is deeply stored due to cold clear sky conditions interspersed with weak El Nino’s) to a cold stadial, just like we have seen happen in the past 800,000 year reconstruction.
Because we do not have a global metric of total stored ocean heat capacity, and we don’t have a metric for current total stored heat and how much was lost to the atmosphere during El Nino’s, we don’t know how much of that capacity has been depleted in the current interstadial warm period. Thus, projections 1 versus 2 is a dart throw. With this as a caveat: It is time for a cold jagged slide down to a stadial period of misery where few humans will survive.

wayne Job
Reply to  Pamela Gray
April 26, 2016 5:23 am

Pamela not sure if we are ready to slide into a full ice age, but the cycle time between LIA’s is up and the sun is doing what it did last time, having a sabbatical. People in the northern climes of the northern hemisphere may have trouble growing crops in the not to distant future. Those that disregard history and cycles from the past may soon be in for a rude awakening, ice fairs on the Thames anyone.

James at 48
Reply to  wayne Job
April 26, 2016 8:11 am

Ice fairs, and people will learn to love potatoes, Brussels Sprouts and leeks.

April 25, 2016 6:34 pm

Bob – Many thanks for your very informative posts. I have an El Niño query, but it isn’t directly related to this post: In (El Niño and the Peruvian Anchovy Fishery) it says in Ch.3 “During the 1953-1981 period moderate El Niños occurred in 1953, 1965, and 1976, and severe El Niños occurred in 1957-58 and 1972-73. Above-average natural mortality did occur during the El Niños of 1953, 1957-58, and 1976, but only the 1976 deaths can be attributed to actors other than predation. Furthermore, the lowest rate of natural mortality occurred during the severe El Niño of 1972-73, and natural mortality was below average during the 1965 event. What is the explanation for this pattern?“. I wonder if any of your detailed data re different El Niño zones etc, could provide a clue to these differences between the various El Niño years.

April 25, 2016 8:21 pm

I live in Southeast Asia, north of the Equator, right in the line of fire of El Nino. But this monster event seems definitely to be waning.
We have had a few heavy downpours at night during the last couple of weeks, which caused a rise in humidity did not reduce daytime temperatures. Some attributed this as the tail end of a Pacific Ocean typhoon. But I thought it more likely the beginning of the monsoon season.
We have had two days with mostly overcast skies and some moderate rainfall. That has cut the daytime temperature a couple of degrees Celsius, enough for me to get a shirt ready to put on in case it gets cooler this evening..
I have lived in the tropics for most of the last 45 years and have observed that after three overcast days the temperature drops enough even at sea level for me to wear a long-sleeved shirt.
No surprise then that I am partial to the theories of the cosmo-climatologists.
I am wondering if there have been studies of the effects of the strength and timing of monsoons on the strength and timing of ENSO events. Must have been because so obvious.

April 26, 2016 12:17 am

ENSO definite seems to go the way of my ENSO predictions which is based on ANN analysis I have made. This analysis is based on the hypothesis that ENSO variability is driven mainly by variations in the lunar cycles and in the sun’s electromagnetic variability. I’m currently working on improving my forecast with more up to date information and by improving signal to noise ratio of the solar wind data and data on variations in Earth’s magnetic field.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Per Strandberg (@LittleIceAge)
April 26, 2016 6:16 pm

Be careful that you don’t include data combinations that result in autocorrelation.

April 26, 2016 7:46 am

What might be the impact on land areas of the dropping SST temperatures in the Nino region of the Pacific Ocean? Using the post 1997/1998 E l Nino pattern as a guide , it would appear that global winter land temperatures during the post 1998 period started to decline but did not drop significantly until 2001 or the third year after the El Nino peak of 1998.
However the longer term or decadal trend of the winter temperatures continued to decline globally especially in Northern Hemisphere and North America after 1998 . The exception was the winters of 2015/2016 when due to the North Pacific Ocean SST ” Blob” and the 2014-2016 El NINO the winters warmed in many regions .
Canadian winter temperatures seemed to drop the most during 3 years after 1998 El NINO, dropping as much as 4.8 C(8.6 F) in the Prairie regions and 3.6 -3.7 C in Eastern Canada . Northern Hemisphere land temperature anomalies declined between 1998 and 2014 at -0.33C /decade . North American Winter land temperature anomalies have continued to decline since 1998 at -0.69 C /decade. Contiguous US winter temperature anomalies have been declining at -0.78F/decade since 1998.
So it would appear that historically winter temperatures may decline for decades after a major El Nino although other climate factors could also come to play.
( All temperature data per NOAA climate at a glance web data and Environment Canada data)

April 26, 2016 9:53 am

Simon sez:
…skeptics don’t seem to get the severity of the problem ahead.
That comment shows why no climate alarmist is a skeptic of ‘dangerous AGW’. Simon is a perfect example of being closed-minded. He presumes things not in evidence.
There is no evidence that anything unusual or unprecedented is happening. We have just been through more than a century of the most benign global temperatures ever recorded.
There is no indication whatever that any ‘severe problems’ are approaching. Since the 1880’s global temperatures have remained within ±0.7ºC. That is hardly a wiggle. For all practical purposes, global temperatures over the past century and a half have been absolutely flat — flatter than anything found in the geologic record.
But people like Simon look at that, and conclude against all possible evidence, that ‘severe problems’ lie ahead. To put it simply, that’s crazy.
The only honest kind of scientist (or commenter here, for that matter) is a skeptic. Without skepticism, science becomes politics. It becomes religion. It is dishonest, but science must be about finding truth. But the climate alarmist crowd has no interest in the truth.
That’s what we’re dealing with here. Simon is no skeptic. No climate alarmist is a skeptic. They don’t even understand skepticism. Rather, they are absolutely certain they are right, just as Simon is certain that severe problems are right around the corner.
Simon is getting thrashed in this thread, just like he gets demolished in every other thread he comments in. The reason is because he has no skepticism about anything he believes in. Simon believes. That’s enough for him.
Commenters who lack skepticism are simply True Believers. No one can teach them anything, because they’ve made up their minds. All the contrary evidence in the world is insufficient to change their Belief.
Simon is the fly in the ointment of science; the turd in the punchbowl. By being unwilling to entertain the possibility that he might be wrong, he’s merely a Lysenkoist.
Time and Planet Earth will tell who is right. With Simon’s rigid and uncompromising attitude, there’s little doubt that Planet Earth will hand him his head — as it has been doing so far.

April 26, 2016 4:06 pm

“Time and Planet Earth will tell who is right.”
May we apply this maxim to the already failed predictions of Don Easterbrook and David Archibald?
Let’s remind ourselves that Don predicted ~30 years of cooling centred around 2000, due to fluctuations in the PDO. It’s already clear that there has been further warming since 2000. That’s true in both the surface and satellite data sets.
David Archibald’s prediction of widespread global cooling from 2008 onward, following the onset of solar cycle 24, is even more risible. The period from 2008 to the present is one of the fastest warming on record; again in both surface and satellite data.
Planet earth has been speaking loud and clear. Not everyone is listening though.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  DWR54
April 26, 2016 6:18 pm

You need to include references to those predictions.

Reply to  DWR54
April 27, 2016 2:53 am

Your beliefs do not reflect reality:
It’s already clear that there has been further warming since 2000.
The period from 2008 to the present is one of the fastest warming on record; again in both surface and satellite data.
I guess you missed the ‘pause’ of the past 20 years. And “the fastest warming on record” is nonsense. Just prior to the current Holocene, global T rose by TENS of degrees, within only a decade or two.
When you cherry-pick “the record” you can show almost anything.

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