April 2011 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update

WEEKLY NINO3.4 SST ANOMALIES

The weekly NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies have just risen above the threshold of a La Niña, and are just barely in ENSO-neutral territory. The NINO3.4 SST anomaly based on the week centered on May 4, 2011 is -0.495 deg C.

(15) Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies

MONTHLY SST ANOMALY MAP

The following is a map of Global OI.v2 SST anomalies for April 2011 downloaded from the NOMADS website. The contour levels are set at 0.5 deg C, and white is set at zero.

April 2011 SST Anomalies Map (Global SST Anomaly = +0.123 deg C)

MONTHLY OVERVIEW

Monthly NINO3.4 SST anomalies are continuing their rise toward ENSO-neutral conditions. The Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomaly is -0.67 deg C.

The SST anomalies in Northern Hemisphere rose about 0,03 deg C this month, and Southern Hemisphere SST anomalies remained flat. Global SST anomalies rose slightly (+0.012 deg C). The Global SST anomalies are presently at +0.12 deg C.

(1) Global

Monthly Change = +0.012 deg C

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(2) NINO3.4 SST Anomaly

Monthly Change = +0.253 deg C

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THE EAST PACIFIC VERSUS THE REST OF THE WORLD

As noted in the post Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies – East Pacific Versus The Rest Of The World,I have added these two datasets to the monthly updates. Both datasets have been adjusted for the impacts of volcanic aerosols, and both are smoothed with 13-month running-average filters to reduce the seasonal noise. The global oceans were divided into these two subsets to illustrate two facts. First, the linear trend of the volcano-adjusted East Pacific (90S-90N, 180-80W) SST anomalies since the start of the Reynolds OI.v2 dataset is basically flat. The East Pacific linear trend varies with each monthly update, so with ENSO-related SST anomalies varying from La Niña toward ENSO neutral, that trend will also rise slightly each month. But they won’t rise significantly up through the next El Niño.

(3) Volcano-Adjusted East Pacific (90S-90N, 180-80W)

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And second, the volcano-adjusted SST anomalies for the Rest of the World (90S-90N, 80W-180) rise in very clear steps, in response to the significant 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 El Niño/La Niña events. It also appears as though the SST anomalies of this dataset are making another shift in response to the most recent ENSO event. The “July 2009 to Present” average varies with each update. As noted in the linked post, it will be interesting to see where that SST anomaly average settles out, if it does, before the next significant El Niño drives them higher.

(4) Volcano-Adjusted Rest of the World (90S-90N, 80W-180)

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EAST INDIAN-WEST PACIFIC

The SST anomalies in the East Indian and West Pacific continued their drop 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.

(5) East Indian-West Pacific (60S-65N, 80E-180)

Monthly Change = -0.063 deg C

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Further information on the upward “step changes” that result from strong El Niño 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 animations included in the post La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videosfurther help explain the reasons why East Indian and West Pacific SST anomalies can rise in response to both El Niño and La Niña events.

NOTE ABOUT THE DATA

The MONTHLY graphs illustrate raw monthly OI.v2 SST anomaly data from December 1981 to April 2011, as it is presented by the NOAA NOMADS website linked at the end of the post.

MONTHLY INDIVIDUAL OCEAN AND HEMISPHERIC SST UPDATES

(6) Northern Hemisphere

Monthly Change = +0.028 deg C

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(7) Southern Hemisphere

Monthly Change = 0.0 deg C

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(8) North Atlantic (0 to 75N, 78W to 10E)

Monthly Change = +0.056 deg C

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(9) South Atlantic (0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)

Monthly Change = -0.129 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. It does not appear as though the South Atlantic will return to the level it was at before that surge, and where it had been since the late 1980s. That is, it appears to have made an upward step and continues to rise. Why? Dunno—yet.

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(10) North Pacific (0 to 65N, 100E to 90W)

Monthly Change = -0.001 Deg C

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(11) South Pacific (0 to 60S, 120E to 70W)

Monthly Change = +0.055 deg C

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(12) Indian Ocean (60S to 30N, 20E to 120E)

Monthly Change = -0.045 deg C

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(13) Arctic Ocean (65N to 90N)

Monthly Change = +0.015 deg C

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(14) Southern Ocean (90S-60S)

Monthly Change = +0.086 deg C

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WEEKLY SST ANOMALIES

I shifted the weekly NINO3.4 SST anomalies to the start of the post since they’ve reached ENSO-neutral levels.

The weekly global SST anomalies are at +0.121 deg C.

(16) Weekly Global

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SOURCE

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

http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

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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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6 Responses to April 2011 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update

  1. Pingback: >LINKS TO SST ANOMALY UPDATES | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  2. Pingback: Sea surface temperature anomalies…update | pindanpost

  3. Walter Dnes says:

    Bob; I notice a strong 12-year cycle in the ENSO34 data. If you take the data and compare it with data 626 weeks (i.e. 12 years) earlier, there’s a 90% correlation between Q2-2005 to Q1-2011 versus Q2-1993 to Q1-1999. I’ve uploaded a spreadsheet to my webspace at http://clients.teksavvy.com/~walterdnes/misc/enso12yr.xls to illustrate this. Take a look at the tab “ENSO34_weekly_overlay”. The correlation is eerie. I’m running linux, but the spreadsheet is Excel-compatable.

    I wonder if this correlation can be used for a 6-month or 1-year prediction of ENSO34 values.

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Walter: That’s an interesting find.

    And there’s the similarities in the multiyear aftereffects of the three strong El Nino events of 1971/72, 1986/87/88, and 1997/98.
    https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/similarities-of-the-multiyear-periods-following-significant-el-nino-events-since-1970/

    Thanks.

  5. Walter Dnes says:

    That’s interesting too. El Chichon is mentioned in that article but nothing about Pinatubo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pinatubo which blew its top June 15, 1991. Maybe the reason the correlation starts in mid 1993 is the Pinatubo explosion in mid-1991. I’ll also take a look at SOI data and see if I can find anything interesting there.

  6. Pingback: More ‘science’ fiction… | pindanpost

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