eBooks by Bob Tisdale

Sales of my ebooks (and tips) allow me to continue my research into human-induced and natural climate change and to continue to blog here at Climate Observations and at WattsUpWithThat?

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The 2014/15 El Niño – Part 4 – Early Evolution – Comparison with Other Satellite-Era El Niños

In the preceding post, we looked at the evolution of the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies in two regions of the equatorial Pacific (NINO3.4 and NINO1+2), comparing the data so far in 2014 to those of the strong 1982/83 and 1997/98 El Niño events. (See 2014/15 El Niño – Part 3 – Early Evolution – Comparison with 1982/83 & 1997/98 El Niño Events.)  We presented them because there are a lot of comparisons of this El Niño to those strong El Niños.

In this post, using the same two regions, we’ll compare the evolution of the sea surface temperature anomalies this year to the rest of the satellite-era El Niño events.   And we’ll also compare this year to the average, because someone was bound to ask.

This post serves solely as a reference.  What it illustrates very well is that there is a tremendous amount of diversity in the evolutions of sea surface temperatures during El Niño events. A tremendous amount of diversity.

Are you ready for some spaghetti?

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2014/15 El Niño – Part 3 – Early Evolution – Comparison with 1982/83 & 1997/98 El Niño Events

Comparisons are still being made of the 1997/98 El Niño with the El Niño forming this year. So I thought we should compare the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies for this year, in two NINO regions, with those during 1997 for the 1997/98 El Niño and 1982 for the 1982/83 El Niño. The 1982/83 and 1997/98 El Niño events were the two strongest single-season events of the late 20th Century. (The 1986/87/88 El Niño wasn’t as strong as the 1982/83 El Niño in terms of peak sea surface temperature anomalies, but the 1986/87/88 event remained an El Niño for more than one year, so it was likely comparable to the 1982/83 El Niño if duration is taken into account.)

First, the NINO3.4 region, see Figure 1. The NINO3.4 region is bordered by the coordinates of 5S-5N, 170W-120W. See the illustration here for the location.  It captures the sea surface temperature anomalies of the east-central equatorial Pacific. Sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region are a commonly used index for the strength, timing and duration of El Niño and La Niña events.   And as you can see, the weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies still have not reached the +0.5 deg C threshold of El Niño conditions. It’s still a little early. They are presently at +0.31 Deg C compared to the reference years of 1971-2000.

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Posted in El Nino-La Nina Processes, ENSO Update | 9 Comments

Checking Work

Bob Tisdale:

Of course it was Sou’s mistake. She has now corrected her error. The question now is whether Andy Skuce will correct the mistake he made in his tweet when he failed to check Sou’s work.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to an archived view of Sou’s original post:
Thanks for saving it, Brandon.

UPDATE 2:  Thanks ultimately to Sou’s mistake, I had a lot of traffic here at my blog today (Sunday), and a good number of book sales.  Of course, Anthony Watts’s link to this reblog in tweet today also helped. So I bought a lovely steak for dinner.  Hadn’t had one for a while. Thanks, Sou.  Thanks, Anthony.  Cheers!

Originally posted on Izuru:

It’s important to check your work. It helps prevent you from publishing stupid mistakes. It’s also important to check other people’s work. That helps prevent you from believing people’s stupid mistakes. Sadly, in the internet age of near-instantaneous communication, people often do neither.

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The 2014/15 El Niño – Part 2 – The Alarmist Misinformation (BS) Begins

I knew it wouldn’t take long. The 2014/15 El Niño has yet to form and there’s already a well-commented blog post about it that spreads more speculative nonsense than one would think possible. Even the title Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths: Nose of Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific is remarkable. (H/T to Ric Werme.) The article was written by Robert Scribbler, who appears to be fiction novelist Robert Marston Fanney. It seems appropriate since that blog post is filled with fiction. Robert has a follow-up post this week El Nino Update: Monster Kelvin Wave Continues to Emerge and Intensify. It appears as though the author, who has little understanding of El Niño processes, or how the data are presented, or the history of ENSO events, is trying to suck in some blog traffic from persons with even less knowledge.

Since Robert is a storyteller, let’s tell the tale of the data.

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El Nino Update: Monster Kelvin Wave Continues to Emerge and Intensify

Bob Tisdale:

UPDATE: I hadn’t realized that RobertScribbler had produced two El Niño posts recently. The first one is a doozy: Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths: Nose of Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific.

# # #

This post is filled with so much alarmist misinformation (aka Bullshit) I’ll have to write a post about it.
Bob Tisdale

Originally posted on robertscribbler:

Monster Kelvin Wave

(Kevin Wave continues to strengthen and propagate across the Pacific Ocean. Image source: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.)

Record global temperatures, extraordinarily severe storms for the US West Coast and telegraphing on through the Central and Eastern US, a disruption of the Asian Monsoon and various regional growing seasons, record heat and drought in Northern Australia, severe drought and fires in the Amazon, the same throughout Eurasia and into the Siberian Arctic, another potential blow to Arctic sea ice. These and further extreme impacts are what could unfold if the extraordinarily powerful Kelvin Wave now racing toward the Pacific Ocean surface continues to disgorge its heat.

The most recent update from NOAA shows that the monster Kelvin Wave we reported on last week has continued to grow and intensify even as it shows no sign of slowing its rather ominous emergence from waters off the west coast of South America.

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The 2014/15 El Niño – Part 1 – The Initial Processes of the El Niño

The title of the post, of course, assumes that an El Niño event will form this year and carry over into the next.

This post is intended for persons new to the topic of El Niño events—and for those who are familiar with them. It should help provide a number of different perspectives on the evolution of an El Niño and supplement our earlier post An Illustrated Introduction to the Basic Processes that Drive El Niño and La Niña Events.

For this post, we’ll primarily be discussing animations of data maps and subsurface cross sections from the NOAA Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (GODAS) website.  We’ll also be looking at subsurface temperatures and anomalies from a couple of ECMWF reanalyses.  Because there are a number of gif animations, the post may take a few moments to download.  Also, you may need to click start the animations, especially if you’d like a closer view.


If we look at an animation of NOAA GODAS sea surface temperature anomaly maps (Reynolds OI.v2 data), starting in January 2014 and produced at 5-day intervals, we’d be hard-pressed to tell that a moderate to strong El Niño event may be evolving. See the left-hand maps in Animation 1. But when we look at the (right-hand) maps of the subsurface temperature anomalies for the depths of 0-300 meters, we can see that something is happening below the surface. That something, traveling eastward along the equator, has caused subsurface temperature anomalies to increase.   That something is called a downwelling Kelvin wave. And, yes, that’s Kelvin wave as in Lord Kelvin.

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March 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update


The following is a Global map of Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies for March 2014.  It was downloaded from the NOMADS website. The contour levels are set at 0.5 deg C, and white is set at zero.

00 Global Map

March 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies Map

(Global SST Anomaly = +0.230 deg C)

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El Niño Residuals Cause the C-Shaped Warming Pattern in the Pacific

In the recent model-data comparison of satellite-era sea surface temperature anomalies—appropriately titled Maybe the IPCC’s Modelers Should Try to Simulate Earth’s Oceans—we compared trend maps of modeled and observed sea surface temperature anomalies from 1982 to 2013. See Figure 1.  The models showed a general warming of the Pacific with the highest warming rates in the tropics and in the northwest North Pacific. In the real world, the data showed a C-shaped warming pattern, with extensive warming along the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension east of Japan and along the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) east of Australia and New Zealand, and with little to no warming in the tropics or the Eastern Pacific.  It has come to my attention that some persons believe the start and end dates are responsible for the C-shaped pattern; that is, they think the C-shaped pattern appears in the data trend map because the Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature data start in an El Niño development year and end with an ENSO-neutral year (which was preceded by back-to-back La Niña events).  Their assumption is wrong, of course.  The warming pattern does not depend on the start and end years I’ve used for the trend maps. The warming pattern is caused by what Kevin Trenberth and others called “ENSO residual” effects in their 2002 paper The Evolution of El Niño and Global Atmospheric Surface Temperatures.   It might be easier to think of El Niño residuals as leftovers from strong El Niño events.
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New paper links warm Atlantic oscillation with cold winter extremes

Bob Tisdale:

Interesting conclusions about the multidecadal variations in the sea surface temperatures of the North Atlantic impacting weather extremes.

Originally posted on Tallbloke's Talkshop:

There is a new open access paper published in Environmental Research Letters by Yannick Peings and Gudrun Magnusdottir entitled ‘Forcing of the wintertime atmospheric circulation by the multidecadal fluctuations of the North Atlantic ocean’. It’s another blow to the ‘bad winter weather is caused by us wicked humans’ doom mongers such as Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo. 
Click for larger image

Click for larger image

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PRELIMINARY March 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update


The March 2014 Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data through the NOAA NOMADS website won’t be official until Monday, April 7,, 2014. Refer to the schedule on the NOAA Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis Frequently Asked Questions webpage. The following are the preliminary Global and NINO3.4 SST anomalies for March 2014 that the NOMADS website prepares based on incomplete data for the month. I’ve also included the weekly data through the week centered on March 26, 2014, but I’ve shortened the span of the weekly data. As noted in the recent mid-April 2013 update, I’ve started using March 2001 so that the variations can be seen AND so that you can see how “flat” global sea surface temperature anomalies have been since then.

The base years for anomalies are 1971-2000, which are the standard base years from the NOAA NOMADS website for this dataset.


The preliminary global sea surface temperature anomalies are presently at about +0.23 deg C. Based on the preliminary data, they warmed (an increase of about +0.02 deg C) since February.

01 Global Monthly

Monthly Global SST Anomalies

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