Claim: El Niño and global warming combine to cause record-breaking heat in Southeast Asia

From the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN and the “what if it’s only El Niño, then what?” department:

Scientists at The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) have found that a devastating combination of global warming and El Niño is responsible for causing extreme temperatures in April 2016 in Southeast Asia.

The research, published on June 6 in the journal Nature Communications, shows that El Niño triggered the heat, causing about half of the warming, while global warming caused one-third and raised the heat into record-breaking territories, according to the team’s analysis. El Niño is a climate pattern that impacts the tropical Pacific, and usually brings warmer temperatures to Southeast Asia in April.

Satellite data shows that temperatures in April 2016 soared to as much as 6-7 degrees Celsius (about 11-13 degrees Fahrenheit) higher on Southeast Asia’s mainland than the average April temperature of the region during 2000-2006. CREDIT Kaustubh Thirumalai

In April 2016, high temperatures in mainland Southeast Asia broke all previous records, exacerbating energy consumption, disrupting crop production and causing severe human discomfort in Cambodia, Thailand and other countries in the region. The especially high temperatures of 2016 made the researchers interested in investigating the factors behind such extreme heat, including the impact of the record-breaking El Niño of 2015 and whether ongoing global warming played a significant role in the event.

The researchers used computer model simulations designed to disentangle the natural and human-made causes of the extreme heat. They also used observations from land and ocean monitoring systems and found that long-term warming has played an increasing role in rising April temperatures in Southeast Asia. Since 1980, this trend has caused a new temperature record each April following an El Niño.

This graph shows the relative contribution of El Niño (green bars) versus global warming (red bar) for the 15 hottest Aprils on record in mainland Southeast Asia. CREDIT Kaustubh Thirumalai

“The El Niño system primes mainland Southeast Asia for extremes, although long-term warming is undoubtedly exacerbating these hot Aprils,” said UTIG postdoctoral fellow Kaustubh Thirumalai, who led the study. UTIG is a research unit of the UT Austin Jackson School of Geosciences.

The researchers used statistical techniques to quantify the contributions from El Niño and from long-term warming. Their analysis looked at the 15 hottest April temperatures over the past 80 years. All of them occurred after 1980, and all of them but one coincided with El Niño. They found that while the impact of El Niño fluctuated over the years, the impact of global warming has steadily increased over time.

“Though almost 50 percent of the April 2016 event was due to the 2015-16 El Niño, at least 30 percent of the anomaly was due to long-term warming, and there’s definitely more to come in the future,” Thirumalai said.

Looking at the model predictions for the next 50 years, the researchers found that the impact of climate change could amplify the effects of each El Niño, leading to temperature records being broken more often.

“Because of long-term warming, even a weaker El Niño than the 2015-16 event in the mid-to-late 21st century could cause bigger impacts,” said co-author Pedro DiNezio, who is a research associate at UTIG.

Despite all the evidence pointing to worsening extremes, the researchers emphasized that preparedness could allow societies in this region to cope with climate change.

“The silver lining is that these can be predicted a few months in advance since they happen after the peak of an El Niño,” Thirumalai said.


Just a couple things:

  1. Only back to 1980? Hmm seems like cherry picking to me, While El Niño is a only recently known phenomenon, there are proxies that could indicate previous past ENSO strengths, which may have been even greater. To assume that 2016 is the largest because of a supposed [contribution] of global warming is pure folly, on many levels.
  2. They don’t know if the increase in SST is due to the previous Super El Nino and subsequent ones adding heat to the ocean in that area, or not. They don’t know if it’s a contribution of cloudiness (lack of it) or other factors. As many have observed, getting the atmosphere to heat the ocean is quite the trick. Direct solar insolation change is a far more likely candidate, as is wind patterns changing the surface albedo due to roughness. Have they considered algae, and turbidity too? How about population and infrastructure/land use changes in that area affecting temperature measurements over time?
  3. Here is what April 2016 looks like in that area, compared to April 2017, followed by the global map. Looks like SST cooling is imminent.

Now, look at the latest:


Bob Tisdale suggests that changes in the Pacific Warm Pool might be a factor:

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Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 10:31 am

I totally agree that starting at 1980 seems to be special pleading. What the bleep happened to records before 1980?

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 10:37 am

Tragically, since the onset of global warming, records now self-destruct.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 10:38 am

They are using sat. derived temps ?

Reply to  Greg
June 7, 2017 10:41 am

How can they use climate models to assess any of this when climate models do not produce a credible simulation of El Nino / Nina events. The underlying “trend” is attributed to AGW because that is the way the models were written.
They not discovered anything other than the assumptions of the modellers writing and tuning the models.

Bryan A
Reply to  Greg
June 7, 2017 12:54 pm

What happens when you factor out the proposed gradual warming treng (the indicated Human signal per the Warm-mongers)? Looks like it might resemble statistical cooling save for the last El-Nino influence.
It also looks similar to the slope of warming since 1880, 1760, 1500?

Reply to  Greg
June 7, 2017 1:13 pm

You’ve nailed it Greg.
The whole alleged research is a classic distraction ploy.
Use just enough actual information to obscure the faked simulations.
Note the stacked “warming trend”, not measured or even calculated; just a bias assumption and hard coded into the model.
Nor do they present a rational explanation for how they determined “El Nino” effect. From the looks of their graph, that is another hard coded extrapolation apparently based on a strength of “El Nino” assumption.
Other was simply remaindered.
All assumptions from concept through confirmation bias modeling.

Reply to  Greg
June 7, 2017 6:36 pm

They have temperatures back to 1901, but they are using only temperatures since 1940 to determine the paper because that is when they added more monitoring stations.
The graph above which only goes back to 1980 includes the warmest fifteen years on record. In the data since 1940 all of the fifteen warmest years on record occurred since 1980 and most of them have a positive El Nino record. Note: there is a slight step up in the data beginning in 1980 which may explain why all of the warmest years occurred since 1980. It has the appearance of a one-time shift upward rather than a longer term trend.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 10:39 am

They don’t have models for them.
More seriously, I wish somebody would extend the microwave record back to the early 70s by digging up the NEMS and SCAMS data and re-analyzing them.

Tom Halla
Reply to  ShrNfr
June 7, 2017 11:44 am

Considering the amount of aviation activity the US was doing in SE Asia from the early 1960’s, the weather records once existed. Presumably the French also kept records.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  ShrNfr
June 7, 2017 12:08 pm

the French went on quire a bit about the blistering heat back then

Reply to  ShrNfr
June 7, 2017 12:54 pm

Looks like the after affects Agent Orange to me.
You can see the similarities in the colour compared to the head post map image.
Yes it is srac.

Reply to  ShrNfr
June 7, 2017 12:55 pm

Should be sarc.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 1:13 pm

This event has been taught in Oceanography since at least well before WWII. There was German work with data on the severe 1925 El Niño. Since it caused the failure of the fisheries and the guano industry there is data of sorts, and perhaps could be simulated based on guano production.

Old Englander
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
June 8, 2017 4:44 am

My father was taught about the El Nino in Physical Geography courses as a student in the 1950’s. Wed discussed it many times.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 1:32 pm

Doubtless the students used to research the project see 1980 as we probably perceived the 1920’s when we were 20 years old. Or at least me, I was born in 1957, so 37 years before was incomprehensible, I mean we had transistor radio’s, running water, TV’s, and shoes!
In the 1980’s there were no flat screen TV’s (4 TV channels in the UK), Computers, Internet, coffee bars (pubs were as cool as it got) CAT scanners, mobile phones, satellite phones, or Prosecco. Nor even AGW.
We poor souls were floundering, in recovery from the predictions of Global Freezing, what possible hope did humanity have with no cataclysmic fate to look forward to? After all, the western world (and some not so westernised) had endured The Great War; the war to end all wars, before WW2 happened along, bringing with it nuclear war, which spawned the Cold War, a battle of intellectual terror with little meaningful conflict. Yet somehow most of us survived. (I left out all the crap in between; too tedious to list).
But fear not, the scientist’s and MSM came to our rescue and cooked up another fear campaign and, to be honest, I fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
So now we have 20 year old university undergraduates doing studies into a subject seen to be hot property. A lefty green professor directs them towards the best marks and bingo, they pass, their final paper’s a hit and all is well in academia.
A load of old bollox. A lot of green behind the ears kids messing with scientific theory before they have touched a chemistry set or observed a physical phenomenon.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 1:58 pm

If you look closer the scary red graphic of the April 2016, the anomaly has a base period of 2000-2006. No wonder it is red, red for cherries!

Robert B
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2017 11:51 pm

I googled Thailand as I thought that it would the most advanced nation in the area.,amp.html
“April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, but this year’s scorching weather has set a record for the longest heat wave in at least 65 years…
Thai Meteorological Department’s weather forecast division. Thailand began keeping national weather records after 1950.”
What happened during the 40s blip?

June 7, 2017 10:37 am

computer model simulations designed to disentangle the natural and human-made causes…..
Stop right there…..this can’t be done

Reply to  Latitude
June 7, 2017 10:38 am

It doesn’t have to be “done”. It merely has to be asserted.

Tom O
Reply to  Latitude
June 7, 2017 11:00 am

All weather records are limited, since the El Nino broke the pause, to the previously disdainful satellite data era that had created the pause. Had they always trusted the satellite data, they wouldn’t have had to manipulate the earlier data. But now that el nino got rid of the problem, they can just ignore the previous data in their search for “the hottest evah!” by using ONLY satellite era data.
I would like to see real data on high temperature readings, not anomalies and “averages,” since it appears overnight lows have gone up, raising “average temperatures” and the anomalies based on them. If nights are warmer, days should be showing far more record breaking highs than they seem to be. After all, if you start warmer and are getting the same amount of heating energy, the day time highs should be steeply rising too, not staying flat or falling.

Reply to  Tom O
June 7, 2017 11:28 am

It’s all bullcrap….
The highest recorded temp was in 1983…they started in 1980
The most they can say is it’s stayed the same………

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Tom O
June 7, 2017 1:27 pm

Tom O June 7, 2017 at 11:00 am

If nights are warmer, days should be showing far more record breaking highs than they seem to be. After all, if you start warmer and are getting the same amount of heating energy, the day time highs should be steeply rising too, not staying flat or falling.

Right on, Tom O, …… an intelligent deduction resulting from the logical reasoning of observable evidnce.
And likewise, ……. if Wintertime’s are warmer, Summertime’s should be showing far more record breaking highs than they seem to be. After all, if you start warmer and are getting the same amount of heating energy, the Summertime highs should be steeply rising too, not staying flat or falling.
To wit, commentary I authored ……. like fifteen (15) years ago, …….
If one looks at most any multi-year Annual Average Temperature graph it will show an increase in the Average Temperatures for the specified time frame, …… but how does one know if said increase is due to an increase in the Average Winter Temperatures or an increase in the Average Summer Temperatures? THEY DON’T KNOW.
If the Average Winter Temperatures were steadily getting less cold (warmer) over the past 60 years …. which we know is an observational fact …… and the Average Summer Temperatures remained about the same, ……. then wouldn’t that produce an increase in Average Temperatures over said 60 year time frame? ABSOLUTELY IT WOULD.
And if so, wouldn’t that rule out the presumed “greenhouse” effect of atmospheric CO2? ABSOLUTELY IT WOULD.
If the atmospheric CO2 is increasing but the Summer temperatures are not getting hotter then atmospheric CO2 is not affecting near earth temperatures.
If the Average Summer Temperatures had been increasing at the same rate as the Average Winter Temperatures, which they should have been if atmospheric CO2 is the culprit, then 100+ degree F days would now be commonplace throughout the United States during the Summer months. But they are not commonplace and still only rarely happen except in the desert Southwest where they have always been commonplace.
Now, instead of saying that “the Earth is warming” it is more technically correct to say “the earth has not been cooling off as much during its cold/cool periods or seasons”.
One example of said “short term” non-cooling occcurs quite frequently and is commonly referred to as “Indian Summer”.
Given the above, anytime the earth’s average calculated temperature fails to decrease to the temperature recorded for the previous year(s), it will cause an INCREASE or spike in the Average Temperature Calculation results for that period ….. which is cause for many people to falsely believe “the earth’s surface temperatures are getting hotter”.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Tom O
June 7, 2017 2:48 pm

Samuel C
You don’t seem to understand something basic: CO2 doesn’t work in summer. It likes cold weather so it only works in winter. The rest of the year it collects Unemployment from the Wynne government.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Tom O
June 8, 2017 3:59 am

@ Crispin
+10 🙂 🙂

Nigel in Santa Barbara
Reply to  Latitude
June 7, 2017 11:47 am


June 7, 2017 10:39 am


June 7, 2017 10:42 am

We know for a fact that it was “hot and sh!tty in Southeast Asia back in the 1960’s…

Sea weather reports at 2:57 and 6:36… 😉

Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2017 11:17 am

Thanks for the video, David. It’s damn hot! he says.

Dave Fair
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2017 11:35 am

Yes, David. I was there.

Reply to  Dave Fair
June 7, 2017 12:50 pm

From a grateful ally, thank you for your service.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2017 1:47 pm

Sgt. Major Dickinson = Sgt. Major Mann

Reply to  HotScot
June 7, 2017 1:48 pm

Sorry, Dickerson…..No, I’m not stifling hysterical laughter, my face always looks this way.

June 7, 2017 10:43 am

There is no statistical technique that can reliably sort natural (El Nino) from AGW causes of land warming in that region. Not without a host of unsupportable assumptions.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  ristvan
June 7, 2017 11:48 am

They are called heroic assumptions. These days we need climate heroes to tell us what is happening. No sense checking ourselves because none of us are heroes. Ask them. They will tell you.

Reply to  ristvan
June 7, 2017 10:12 pm

They’re called academic assumptions. Assumptions made by professors, students, and other theoreticians who either never have to suffer consequences for being wrong, never have to worry about being proven right or wrong, or both. These are the kind of assumptions that are made and promptly forgotten as being made.
In this case, the assumption was that the entirety of any long term warming trend in the data must have been due to mankind; without making that assumption, the authors can’t proceed to make any conclusions. Since the entire point of the paper rests on that assumption, they won’t even expressly acknowledge it.

June 7, 2017 10:47 am

The settled science of “Global Warming” is always where ever the weather happens to be warmer than average or their is drought, or a wild fire, or tropical storm, etc…..! . It wonders the world constantly from one place to another and is manifested in many ways. Sometimes it’s even manifested as a blizzard. But it never stays put! Last year it was in California. Now it’s in SE Asia. Where will it be next?

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 7, 2017 10:48 am

Latitude beat me to it – how exactly do you disentangle El Niño and allegedly human caused global warming? This requires detailed proofs – or are we back to carefully selected proxies which fit the requirement while ignoring those that , don’t lashed up with more creative modelling. Now who can we all think of who created this novel way of turning the reputation of climate scientists to something lower than crocodile urine?

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 7, 2017 6:53 pm

There is no “proof” offered in the paper. They run a correlation between the DJF El Nino 3.4 value each year and temperature. That gives them a factor of 0.44 times the ENSO value. Then they run a quadratic correlation between GISTEMP temperature and year to determine the model. That’s all they do — no further analysis required.
In this model, there are only two effects which cause temperature increases — the calendar year and El Nino. There is also no error term on the calculations. The “other” is simply the difference between the calculated estimate and the actual temperature.comment image

Reply to  lorcanbonda
June 7, 2017 9:23 pm

“In this model, there are only two effects which cause temperature increases — the calendar year and El Nino.”
Time marches on, and since about 1976 (with the possible exception of the last few months), the calendar and increasing surface temperature correlate well.
Any serious student knows what El Nino does, yet nobody understands why it does it, and particularly what schedule it follows. El Nino anomalies in the stratosphere are as impressive as they are at the surface.
One might forgive this model as a quick and dirty approximation. The error is the presumption that it results from CO2.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 8, 2017 10:22 am

Right — so if you look at the ENSO DJF value for 2016, it is basically the same as 1998 & 1983. He subtracts 0.44*ENSO number to get the adjusted temperature. (The blue bar in the graph above repersents 0.44*ENSO.)
He has no assessment for the relative ENSO strength, except the ENSO 3.4 value. If the characteristics of this past ENSO were different (let’s say that the center of the El Nino peak may be different than 1998), then he has no way to adjust for those differences.
Finally, they develop a best fit quadratic equation. This equation will be dominated by the 2016 value because that’s how quadratic correlations work. The trend is only temperature by year — it’s not based on CO2 or solar energy emissions or any other scientific variable — just year.
Later in the paper (not cited above), he extrapolates the quadratic temperature increases into the future. In other words, any error in his quadratic equation that occurred because of high 2016 temperatures grows exponentially.
That’s where sections from the article cited begin to look ridiculous. For instance, “definitely more to come in the future”:
“Though almost 50 percent of the April 2016 event was due to the 2015-16 El Niño, at least 30 percent of the anomaly was due to long-term warming, and there’s definitely more to come in the future,” Thirumalai said.
“Looking at the model predictions for the next 50 years, the researchers found that the impact of climate change could amplify the effects of each El Niño, leading to temperature records being broken more often.
“Because of long-term warming, even a weaker El Niño than the 2015-16 event in the mid-to-late 21st century could cause bigger impacts,” said co-author Pedro DiNezio, who is a research associate at UTIG.

June 7, 2017 10:54 am

Isn’t that one o they there, um, local events the history den1ers are always banging on about? What would that have to do with global warming? Also is there any evidence to support the hypothesis that there is a link between this local warming event and anthropogenic carbon dioxide? Any evidence at all?

Reply to  cephus0
June 7, 2017 11:20 am

“Also is there any evidence to support the hypothesis that there is a link between this local warming event and anthropogenic carbon dioxide? Any evidence at all?”
No. None. I can say that without fear of being contradicted.

Bob Denby
June 7, 2017 10:59 am

This deserves to be framed and posted in every scientific ‘study’:
Blind Men and the Elephant – A Poem by John Godfrey Saxe
Here is John Godfrey Saxe’s (1816-1887) version of Blind Men and the Elephant:
It was six men of Indostan,
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approach’d the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” -quoth he- “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” -quoth he,-
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said- “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” -quoth he,- “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean;
And prate about an Elephant 
Not one of them has seen!

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Bob Denby
June 7, 2017 1:24 pm

Thanks, this was used in a scientific sense by Joel Hedgpeth, who was among other things, Editor of the Geological Society of America Treatise on Marine Ecology and Paleoecology (1957). Do not recall seeing the whole poem before and have lost his reference. Nowadays there are so many hands working they must get in each others way, especially since they hang out so much together.

June 7, 2017 11:02 am

What the world needs is a good computer model that can predict the accuracy of other computer models. Then we would know which to trust and which to pitch?

June 7, 2017 11:06 am

Why only go back to 1980? Simple, the record is 114 F set in 1960, and they only have records going back to 1950.
And what if it is due to a global warming trend that just about everyone agrees has happened since 1980? That’s exactly what you’d expect. The only constant is change, and yet it’s still not as warm and wet as during the Holocene Climate OPTIMUM.

the greyfoxx
June 7, 2017 11:13 am

The City of Austin, TX, is a hotbed enclave of Democrat political activism and Illegal Immigrant Sanctuary City tolerance. So why should we be surprised with an assertion that anthropological endeavors MUST have some unusual influence, like a 1* C temperature increase anomaly once in 36 years.
Maybe those Chinese smokestacks are contributing way too much H2O moisture and other pollutants into the atmosphere. The UNIPCC should mandate they curtail their emissions severely.

Jimmy Haigh
June 7, 2017 11:23 am

I live in Pattaya in SE Thailand. Last year’s hot season was as hot as hell. This year’s? Normal. Muggy, sweaty…

Phillip Bratby
June 7, 2017 11:45 am

Use of unvalidated computer models is not science – it is junk science.

Nigel in Santa Barbara
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
June 7, 2017 11:48 am


Joel Snider
June 7, 2017 12:15 pm

So… pardon my laymen’s density… I assume the claim that ‘global warming’ caused 1/3 of the warming, means ‘Anthropogenic’, so how does a 3% contribution to C02 get you 33%?
Or is this just a word game to allow the reader to confuse the two?

June 7, 2017 12:22 pm

Everything you ever wanted to know about El Niño and La Niña events but were afraid to ask is discussed in my FREE 500+ page ebook:

Gunga Din
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 7, 2017 1:14 pm

A solid work. And Bob Tisdale’s style communicates. He’s not out to dazzle the reader with what he knows. He wants the reader to understand.

June 7, 2017 12:22 pm

Why do we continue to have record lows? How many record highs are there in comparison to record lows? And what is the land mass trend of overnight lows? How much jungle is there today compared to 1980? If the earth is slowing in rotation, will we see an increase in both record lows and record highs simultaneously, and is the opposite true?
How much cloud cover has there been?

Steven F
June 7, 2017 12:26 pm

They only went back to 1980 because the best El Nino data is from satellites. Prior to 1980 satellite data for the ocean is very limited and no El Nino’s were observed. In fact most scientist didn’t know El nino existed and the few that had heard of it though it was isolated to south america. That changed in the early 80’s when the first observed El Nino occurred. Since then we have looked over past records and can see evidence of El Nino’s to about 1940. If they had used the surface temperature record of El Nino’s they probably would only sen a correlation with El Ninos.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Steven F
June 7, 2017 6:04 pm

In Sverdrup’s et al., (1942) The Oceans there is a page long discussion that includes these statements after establishing that El Niños were associated with current changes and excessive rainfall in the Peru area. “In the 140 years from 1791 to 1931 twelve years were characterized by excessive rainfall …” and “The records reveal no periodicity because the interval between the two disastrous years varies from one year to thirty-four years.” I learned about them in a 1957 graduate school oceanography course. As noted above, at least the 1925 episode was studied. While historical records have serious problems, ignoring them, so common nowadays, is worse as oceanography may be losing the proper concept of scale.

Reply to  H. D. Hoese
June 7, 2017 7:29 pm

Agreed re loss of concept of scale. We are seeing it in geology also. But one example uninformed people think mining consumes a large % of the earth surface, when in fact you can fly for hours over a place like Australia without even seeing a mine. Same applies to coal in Appalacia.
Thanks Geoff

K. Kilty
June 7, 2017 1:05 pm

Global warming contributed its “third” over 40 years, while El Nino did same over a few months.

Reply to  K. Kilty
June 7, 2017 3:04 pm

And that if you believe the models that exagerate AGW.

Peter Morris
June 7, 2017 2:46 pm

Oh my God! Breaking news!
Southeast Asia is hot!
Need more research dollars though, to tell whether or not it’s humid, too.

Richard M
June 7, 2017 3:59 pm

Does anyone know what “Other” includes? It seems like it might be whatever is needed to produce the actual temperature once all the computer generated values were added together. Notice how it changes year to year and in 2001 was very large.
If I’m right then 2001 pretty much destroys their entire argument. All you have to do is make “Other” bigger in many years and the warming trend could become zero.

June 7, 2017 4:04 pm

I’ve done careful research and determined that “El Niño and kitten fluffiness combine to cause record-breaking heat in Southeast Asia.” — As long as I include El Niño in the title, it is not wrong.

Steve Fraser
June 7, 2017 4:13 pm

I plotted april avg max, avg mean and avg min for 1997-2017 for phnom penh, Cambodia. Very narrow range for all 3 metrics, except for 2016, where each took a bump up, and came right back down for 2017. The avg high for the month in 2016 was 101, with max high 105. The sustained heat was unusual formthemperiod.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Steve Fraser
June 7, 2017 4:13 pm


June 7, 2017 4:16 pm

If it’s a freezing cold winter in the US, we’re told the United States is only 3% of the world’s land surface, and means nothing regarding AGW.
Southeast Asia is what percent of the world’s land surface?

June 7, 2017 4:21 pm

I wondered how they could determine that 1/3 of the problem was from global warming. Then I saw this- “The researchers used computer model simulations designed to disentangle the natural and human-made causes of the extreme heat.” Once again computer modelling is dictating all the information. GIGO

June 7, 2017 4:33 pm

This is what I don’t understand:
There is not a temperature on that graph below 0.7-0.8 deg C, so what is the zero point mean? The contribution of El Nino is (coincidentally) 0.7 deg C. Why not move the zero point up 0.7 deg C?
In fact, if you look at the temperature from 1980-2014, you would assume that it is +1.0C +/- 0.4C for that entire period. 2016 is simply an anomaly. The pink/red bars are an optical illusion created by the author. Has climate change increased temperatures by 0.7 deg C in Southeast Asia in 25 years? (why isn’t 2015 on the graph?)

Reply to  lorcanbonda
June 7, 2017 4:36 pm

35 years — not 25 years. Either way, the typical estimates seem to be an estimate of 0.1 deg C per decade with the tropics being much lower than the poles.

James at 48
June 7, 2017 5:29 pm

Ellllllllll ….. Ninyooohhhhhhhhhhh! It’s Ayyyyyyyyyy Geeeeeeeeee Doublllllllllle Yooouuuuuuuuuu!!!!!

June 7, 2017 5:55 pm

FWIW — it took me a while to find this paper —
There are a few things that are odd about the data:
1) When plotted in a histogram, most of the temperature data from 1901-2014 is a normal distribution. In other words, it is random variation. They also compare two time periods which varies depending on the source data. For the most part, the data in the first part of the century overlaps the data in the second part of the century. In other words, the data does not support that global warming is occurring in this region.
2) The data does show a difference in the histograms from “Post el Nino” when compared to “Post La Nina”. In other words, those are distinct populations.
3) The computer model for the global warming trend is a best fit of the quadratic equation after subtracting out the input of the El Nino using data since 1940. They use 1940 as a start date because that is the time when the station density increased. The r for this analysis is 0.83 (an r2 of 0.69), but they don’t give us any error terms. I would love to see a correlation with the temperature station adjustments. I bet it’s pretty high. the numbers are independent of carbon dioxide concentration or any other factor which could affect temperature. NOTE: This r value is comparing the projected data with the ENSO taken out to GISTEMP, but the projected temperature curve is only based on year. This is an odd way to develop a computer model.
4) The computer model is calculated with data that includes the final very high data point in 2016. Anyone who had conducted a quadratic correlation with data like this will confirm that a final data point will add a significant amount to the curvature of the t2 term. (The model is April Surface Air Temperature = 0.014t + (9.57e-5)t2 + 0.44T – 0.03 where t is the year and T is the ENSO 3.4 anomaly. The t2 term may look small, but 2016 squared is a pretty big number — I can’t imagine that it uses calendar year. It must use some number of years greater than a base year. I can’t figure out what the base year is
5) They use April data because that is the month with the lowest cloud cover and rainfall. That means that it is also the month with the highest temperature variation from year to year.
6) Assuming their analysis is correct, figure three of the supplementary data shows a huge hotspot only in South East Asia “with the ENSO component removed.” In other words, this analysis only applies to SouthEast Asia — it is not “Global Warming” in the least. It is only a local phenomenon.
7) The Zero for the graph is the average temperature from 1951-1980. The data is basically flat from 1940 to 1980, then there is an increase in 1981 to 2015 with the huge increase in 2016. In other words, had they not put the pink bars “estimating” the climate change component, then only 2016 would look like an anomaly. Anomaly

June 7, 2017 7:38 pm

A simple inspection of the anomalous temperatures shown over the study areas shows how ‘nuggety’ this heating is on a global scale. You can imagine selection of a point in the central part of this SE Asia map, then a correlation of temperature with distance from the center. Like a bulls eye, in concept.
I will remain a skeptic of global warming explanations until an explanation is given for this lumpiness of global temperatures. Why does the shape of the land appear to interact with the shape of the anomaly? Ab initio, one would expect global warming from CO2, if correct, to exert a more uniform rise all over the globe, not a selective jump from one location to another every couple of years. (Especially after subtraction of El Nino effects).
I do wish researchers would
(a) get the basics correct before waffling on about detailed minor aspects; and
(b) derive and show proper, formal error envelopes, showing both accuracy and precision, with all data.

June 8, 2017 5:30 am

Can somebody explain to me why our three thermometers (digital weather station and two mercury) consistently show as much as 7c lower than the UK met office official figures for our area during winter yet match them quite well in summer? It seems the colder the actual weather, the bigger the variance between our thermometers and the MO figures.
We live in rural area. At first I thought it may be caused by met office including UHI effect due to urban location of their measuring stations which would have a more pronounced effect in winter when everybody has heating on. However I have taken my own measurements outside the nearest station and it was only 2c warmer than our rural location in winter and still 1c warmer in summer.
Is there any independent verification that the data is reliable? I also personally know of several instances where measuring stations were relocated and yet people seem to be comparing the new data with the old, which should now be null and void for comparison purposes as it was a different location. Same is true for some stations that were historically rural but have since had thousands of houses and businesses built up around them. How can temperature data from today be compared with data from 30 years ago when the immediate environment has completely changed? Is this valid science? I was always taught to use controls in my school science, if the control was contaminated then the whole experiment was null and void.

Bill Illis
June 8, 2017 5:37 am

Average unadjusted temperature of 10 stations in Thailand and Laos.
Yeah, a few warm El Nino months but there is no “global warming” signal here. Highly correlated to the ENSO. This whole science has devolved into cherry-picking and data adjusting.

June 8, 2017 11:10 am

Randall Reeves 415 999 7698

June 10, 2017 5:01 am

I live in Bangkok and NO it has not been ‘hot’ the last few years. Most of the time it’s cloudy so it may be warm outside but not ‘very hot’. The cool seasons are getting longer not shorter, we get at least a month of cool air from the north in Dec-Jan despite being so close to the equator. I have been living here for 20 years ad I know it used to be hotter here in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s-there were many more ‘hot’ days. This is almost certainly more data manipulation bullshit.

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