>Mid-December 2010 SST Anomaly Update

>This mid-month update only includes the shorter-term NINO3.4 and global SST anomaly graphs; that is, the ones from January 2004 to present. There’s not much happening, other than both datasets appear to have reached their seasonal lows for this La Niña.

As noted in the November 2010 SST Anomaly Update, the global SST anomalies 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 misrepresented by some people as additional proof of anthropogenic global 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 (about 25% of the surface area of the global oceans) can warm in response to both El Niño and La Niña events. Refer to 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 the video included in La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos. In addition, the North Atlantic also remains at elevated levels during La Niña events in response to the ENSO-related warming of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension. This was discussed and illustrated in the recent post The ENSO-Related Variations In Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) SST Anomalies And Their Impact On Northern Hemisphere Temperatures.

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.

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NINO3.4

NINO3.4 SST anomalies for the week centered on December 15, 2010 show that central equatorial Pacific SST anomalies have risen slightly in the past two weeks after a small dip. In other words, they’ve apparently reached the low end of this La Niña and they’re simply varying slightly at the seasonal La Niña level. They’re at approximately -1.4 deg C.
http://i56.tinypic.com/rbn0js.jpg
NINO3.4 SST Anomalies – Short-Term

GLOBAL

Weekly Global SST anomalies may have reached their seasonal low. They are presently at +0.1 deg C.
http://i55.tinypic.com/16bhhz7.jpg
Global SST Anomalies – Short-Term

SOURCE

OI.v2 SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS system:
http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite

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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 >Mid-December 2010 SST Anomaly Update

  1. Anonymous says:

    >There seems that the "warm spot" in the South Pacific is forming again, as during last year El Niño:http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.12.20.2010.gifCould this make the SST in the South Pacific go up?And thsi is usual or unusual during La Niñas?

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous said, "There seems that the "warm spot" in the South Pacific is forming again, as during last year El Niño…"Last year's warm spot during the El Nino was a large isolated area:http://i47.tinypic.com/2mq9idk.pngThis one appears to be an extension of the South Pacific Covergence Zone (SPCZ):http://i56.tinypic.com/2r71xsi.jpgYou asked, "Could this make the SST in the South Pacific go up?"The anomalies are up in that area.You asked, "And thsi is usual or unusual during La Niñas?"Like the KOE, the SPCZ warms during La Nina events. Let's watch it for a few months before trying to determine what's happening with the portion over the central mid-to-high latitudes. It could be a passing combination of weather and seasonal noise, or it might develop into something else. Regards

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