>January 2010 SST Anomaly Update

>UPDATE (3-8-10): Corrected South Atlantic graph.
Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies Have Peaked. Have Global Temperature SST Anomalies?


The map of Global OI.v2 SST anomalies for January 2010 downloaded from the NOMADS website is shown below.

January 2010 SST Anomalies Map (Global SST Anomaly = +0.29 deg C)


Global SST anomalies dropped slightly (-0.021 deg C) between December and January. The rise in the Southern Hemisphere (+0.018 deg C) was overridden by the decrease in the Northern Hemisphere (-0.071 deg C). The equatorial Pacific remains in El Nino conditions (Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomaly = +1.55 deg C and Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomaly = +1.21 deg C). Monthly NINO3.4 SST anomalies dropped -0.27 in January, while the weekly data NINO3.4 SST anomalies have dropped (-0.73 deg C) from their peak over the past six weeks. NINO3.4 SST Anomalies appear to have reached their peak for the season.
Monthly Change = -0.021 deg C
NINO3.4 SST Anomaly
Monthly Change = -0.267 deg C


I’ve added the East Indian-West Pacific SST Anomaly data more than one year in advance of when any evidence of a step change would occur. (I’m trying to draw attention to the atypical response.) Using the 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 El Nino events as references, East Indian-West Pacific SST Anomalies peak about 7 to 9 months after the peak of the NINO3.4 SST anomalies, so we shouldn’t expect any visible sign of a step change for almost 18 to 24 months. We’ll just have to watch and see. I’ve also revised the blocked question in the illustration to include “& 2010/11 La Nina”, since the rise would actually occur during, and be caused in part by, the La Nina event.
East Indian-West Pacific (60S-65N, 80E-180)
Monthly Change = -0.058 deg C

Further information on the upward “step changes” that result from strong El Nino events, refer to my posts from a year ago Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1 and Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 2

And for the discussions of the processes that cause the rise, refer to More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND…During Major Traditional ENSO Events, Warm Water Is Redistributed Via Ocean Currents -AND- More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 3 – East Indian & West Pacific Oceans Can Warm In Response To Both El Nino & La Nina Events


The MONTHLY graphs illustrate raw monthly OI.v2 SST anomaly data from November 1981 to January 2009.

Northern Hemisphere
Monthly Change = -0.071 deg C
Southern Hemisphere
Monthly Change = +0.018 deg C
North Atlantic (0 to 75N, 78W to 10E)
Monthly Change = -0.006 deg C

South Atlantic (0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)
Monthly Change = +0.202 deg C
North Pacific (0 to 65N, 100 to 270E, where 270E=90W)
Monthly Change = -0.093 Deg C
South Pacific (0 to 60S, 145 to 290E, where 290E=70W)
Monthly Change = -0.011 deg C
Indian Ocean (30N to 60S, 20 to 145E)
Monthly Change = +0.003 deg C
Arctic Ocean (65 to 90N)
Monthly Change = -0.032 deg C
Southern Ocean (60 to 90S)
Monthly Change = +0.038 deg C


The weekly NINO3.4 SST anomaly data illustrate OI.v2 data centered on Wednesdays. The latest weekly NINO3.4 SST anomalies are +1.21 deg C, down from a peak of 1.94 Deg C six weeks ago.
Weekly NINO3.4 (5S-5N, 170W-120W)


The Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Temperature Data (OISST) are available through the NOAA National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System (NOMADS).

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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2 Responses to >January 2010 SST Anomaly Update

  1. John says:

    >Hi Bob -Any thoughts on the warm UAH reading? Dr Spencer posited that some of it may be to weakening of circulatory patterns over the ocean.Just wanted to see if you had any thoughts. While the OI.v2 readings are high, they aren't nearly as high as the satellite readings are this month.Thanks in advance.-John

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    >John: As of 3:30PM today (Monday, Feb 6th) UAH still had not posted the official January 2010 temperature. RSS has posted theirs… http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt…and it’s far short of the preliminary value Dr Spencer gave. That’s not to say that RSS won’t jump next month. And while the preliminary reading Dr. Spencer gave was a record high for a January, it is not a record high for the dataset. That still happened in 1998. If memory serves me well, UAH switched satellites this year. That may be a factor — might be a major factor. Then there is always the long-term effect, step change, of the 1997/98 El Nino… http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/rss-msu-tlt-time-latitude-plots.html…which has to be considered. It shifted Northern Hemisphere TLT anomalies higher. Same reason the 2000s were warmer than the 1990s:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/global-temperatures-this-decade-will-be.htmlRegards

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