>November 2010 SST Anomaly Update


The map of Global OI.v2 SST anomalies for November 2010 downloaded from the NOMADS website is shown below. With the exception of the South Atlantic, all ocean basins showed a decline in SST anomalies in November.

November 2010 SST Anomalies Map (Global SST Anomaly = +0.097 deg C)


Monthly NINO3.4 SST anomalies MAY have reached their seasonal low value. The Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomaly is -1.46 deg C.

Global SST anomalies dropped in both hemispheres this month for a total decline of about 0.041 deg C. Over the past two months, global SST anomalies have declined almost 0.1 deg C.
Monthly Change = -0.041 deg C
NINO3.4 SST Anomaly
Monthly Change = +0.13 deg C


The SST anomalies in the East Indian and West Pacific made a major decline this month.

I’ve added this dataset in an attempt to draw attention to what appears to be the upward steps in response to significant El Niño events that are followed by La Niña events.
East Indian-West Pacific (60S-65N, 80E-180)
Monthly Change = -0.126 deg C

Further information on the upward “step changes” that result from strong El Niño events, refer to my posts from a year ago Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1 and Can El Niño 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 Niña Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Niño 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 Niño & La Niña Events

The animations included in post La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos further help explain the reasons why East Indian and West Pacific SST anomalies can rise in response to both El Niño and La Niña events.


The MONTHLY graphs illustrate raw monthly OI.v2 SST anomaly data from November 1981 to November 2010.

Northern Hemisphere
Monthly Change = -0.073 deg C
Southern Hemisphere
Monthly Change = -0.016 deg C
North Atlantic (0 to 75N, 78W to 10E)
Monthly Change = -0.069 deg C
South Atlantic (0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)
Monthly Change = +0.170 deg C

Note: I discussed the upward shift in the South Atlantic SST anomalies in the post The 2009/10 Warming Of The South Atlantic. Will the South Atlantic return to the level it was at before that surge or will it remain at a new plateau?

North Pacific (0 to 65N, 100 to 270E, where 270E=90W)
Monthly Change = -0.103 Deg C
South Pacific (0 to 60S, 145 to 290E, where 290E=70W)
Monthly Change = -0.097 deg C
Indian Ocean (30N to 60S, 20 to 145E)
Monthly Change = -0.023 deg C
Arctic Ocean (65 to 90N)
Monthly Change = -0.238 deg C
Southern Ocean (60 to 90S)
Monthly Change = -0.051 deg C


The weekly NINO3.4 SST anomaly data illustrate OI.v2 data centered on Wednesdays. The latest weekly NINO3.4 SST anomalies are -1.32 deg C. That’s an increase of about 0.5 deg C since the minimum of about a month ago.
Weekly NINO3.4 (5S-5N, 170W-120W)

The weekly global SST anomalies are at +0.071 deg C. They do not appear as though they will drop to the level they had reached during the 2007/08 La Niña, even if one were to account for the differences in NINO3.4 SST anomalies. This of course will be raised as additional proof the global oceans are warming. But the reason the global SST anomalies have warmed in that time is due primarily to the fact that the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans warm in response to both El Niño and La Niña events. Keep in mind, the warm water released from below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool doesn’t simply vanish at the end of the El Niño. Also, the unusual rise in South Atlantic SST anomalies has added to the trend.
Weekly Global


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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7 Responses to >November 2010 SST Anomaly Update

  1. Jurinko says:

    >There is an obvious 1-year lag between North Pacific and North Atlantic, Pacific being the first. Present AMO peak is equivalent of North Pacific SST peak in 2009. Strange that Pinatubo affected Atlantic, but not so Pacific record. Otherwise they can be overlaid pretty well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >What happened to South Atlantic (0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)?It appears the message from tinypic: "this image or video has been removed or deleted"

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous: I replaced the South Atlantic graph and link. I don't know what happened. It was there a few days ago.

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous: Thanks for the mercator link

  5. Alayne says:

    >What caused the persistent warm anomalies in 2010 in the Labrador Sea and around the southern tip of Greenland?

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Alayne: There are a number of things. The Reynolds OI.v2 has a seasonal component. It shows warm anomalies at high latitudes very summer (both hemispheres). You can see the seasonal shifts in the animations I have on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKMY4JRN0kkAdditionally, this year started in El Nino conditions, and the Arctic sea ice melt is greater during the Northern Hemisphere summers after an El Nino, as are North Atlantic SST anomalies in general.

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