It’s no surprise to us that the “monster” El Niño of 2015/2016 created a very large global temperature spike, after all, that’s what the natural process that creates the phenomenon results in due to the Pacific ocean near the Equator not being able to dissipate heat to space as effectively as it usually does. NOAA says that “ENSO is one of the most important climate phenomena on Earth due to its ability to change the global atmospheric circulation, which in turn, influences temperature and precipitation across the globe. ”
But, as they say, “what goes up, must come down”. NOAA has this to say about the current state:
After dominating the tropical Pacific for more than a year, El Niño ended in May 2016. Near- or below-average temperatures existed in 3 out of 4 ENSO monitoring regions of the tropical Pacific. And for the first time in 2016, wind and air pressure patterns were consistent with neutral conditions. There’s a 75% chance that La Niña will develop by winter. NOAA’s next ENSO update will be released on July 14.
The latest forecasts show La Niña conditions developing this fall, and with it, global temperatures will come down:
And in fact, they already are. Here are some selected global temperature plots. First the lower troposphere from University of Alabama Huntsville, Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. John Christy:
The big spike from El Niño is clearly evident, followed by the drop in global temperature. And as you can see, as of May, it has already lost about half of the peak value.
Looking at RSS (the other satellite data set from Carl Mears) I chose to use Nick Stokes temperature viewer. It also shows recent global temperature plummeting.
For the surface record, here is the NCEP 2 meter global temperature plotted along with the tropical region where El Niño resides, by Dr. Ryan Maue. It also is going down.
The NCEP plot has also lost about half it’s value since the peak of nearly 1°C, and is now at 0.55°C as of June 14th, 2016.
A 90 day averaged version of the NCEP 2 meter global temperature data shows a sharp dropoff.
When looking at the NCEP data by hemisphere, the southern hemisphere is already below the zero anomaly line:
The southern hemisphere has most of the water surface on Earth, so it is interesting that it has cooled faster than the northern hemisphere, which has most of the land and surface thermometers. This map below shows how the northern hemisphere has so many more thermometers.
Note that world population is almost entirely in the northern hemisphere, so will be the infrastructure that accompanies human population.
Since the El Niño event clearly drove global sea surface temperatures, which in turn affect air temperatures with global air currents transporting that heat, and the northern hemisphere showed a peak signal about double that of the southern hemisphere, it is yet another suggestion that the surface temperature record is polluted by the effects of urbanization encroaching on thermometer viewsheds.
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) Land and Ocean data plotted by Stokes viewer also shows a huge drop in temperature over a very short time:
Here are the remaining land and ocean datasets, NOAA GHCN2, HadCRUT, and NASA GISS. It is important to note that HadCRUT and NASA GISS are interpretd derivatives of the NOAA data.
What’s clear, is that no matter what dataset you look at, global temperatures are headed down, and fast. This may spoil activist plans for a planned celebration of of 2016 being yet another “hottest year ever”. Scientific American blazed a headline on May 18th that said: 99 Percent Chance 2016 Will Be the Hottest Year on Record.
Maybe, but what is equally 99% certain is that 2017 won’t be the “hottest year ever”.
We live in interesting times.