Will this Year’s Flash-in-the-Pan El Niño Reform or Remain in ENSO-Neutral Conditions?

This post serves as the Mid-October 2012 Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Update


Sea surface temperature anomalies for the NINO3.4 region of the eastern equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 170W-120W) are a commonly used index for the strength, frequency and duration of El Niño and La Niña events. The weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies for the week centered on October 17, 2012 are approximately +0.39 deg C, still well below the 0.5 deg C threshold of official El Niño conditions. Last week, they rebounded a little after their precipitous 5-week decline.

Weekly NINO3.4

Global sea surface temperature anomalies may have reached a seasonal peak, but that’s tough to tell since we normally expect about a 3-month lag in response to NINO 3.4 sea surface temperature variations—then again, that’s in response to a full-fledged El Niño, not this year’s flash-in-the-pan El Niño. We’ll have to sit back and see what happens.

Weekly Global

Maybe that’s why the knucklehead dumped all of that iron sulphate into the Northeast Pacific, to change the optical properties of the North Pacific and cause some additional warming.


The next graph compares the evolution of the El Niño events (from the beginning of this dataset in November 1981). This year’s NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are well below the mid-October values for any El Niño that has formed since 1982.

NINO3.4 Evolution Comparison

The evolution of NINO1+2 sea surface temperature anomalies for the El Niño events that formed from La Niña events are shown in the last graph. The NINO1+2 region is in the eastern tropical Pacific, just south of the equator. The coordinates are 10S-0, 90W-80W. This year the NINO1+2 sea surface temperature anomalies warmed early, leading some to believe this would become an East Pacific El Niño, which are normally stronger than Central Pacific El Niños, but sea surface temperatures in the NINO1+2 region also cooled after the strong start. NINO1+2 sea surface temperature anomalies continue to be well below 0.0 deg C.

NINO1+2 Evolution Comparison


Why should you be interested? The sea surface temperature record indicates El Niño and La Niña events are responsible for the warming of global sea surface temperature anomalies over the past 30 years, not manmade greenhouse gases.

I’ve recently published my e-book (pdf) about the phenomena called El Niño and La Niña. It’s titled Who Turned on the Heat? with the subtitle The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño Southern Oscillation. It is intended for persons (with or without technical backgrounds) interested in learning about El Niño and La Niña events and in understanding the natural causes of the warming of our global oceans for the past 30 years. Because land surface air temperatures simply exaggerate the natural warming of the global oceans over annual and multidecadal time periods, the vast majority of the warming taking place on land is natural as well. The book is the product of years of research of the satellite-era sea surface temperature data that’s available to the public via the internet. It presents how the data accounts for its warming—and there are no indications the warming was caused by manmade greenhouse gases. None at all.

Who Turned on the Heat? was introduced in the blog post Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about El Niño and La Niña… …Well Just about Everything. The Updated Free Preview includes the Table of Contents; the Introduction; the beginning of Section 1, with the cartoon-like illustrations; the discussion About the Cover; and the Closing.

Please buy a copy. (Paypal or Credit/Debit Card). It’s only US$8.00.

You’re probably asking yourself why you should spend $8.00 for a book written by an independent climate researcher. There aren’t many independent researchers investigating El Niño-Southern Oscillation or its long-term impacts on global surface temperatures. In fact, if you were to perform a Google image search of NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies, the vast majority of the graphs and images are from my blog posts. Try it. Cut and paste NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomaliesinto Google. Click over to images and start counting the number of times you see Bob Tisdale.

By independent I mean I am not employed in a research or academic position; I’m not obligated to publish results that encourage future funding for my research—that is, my research is not agenda-driven. I’m a retiree, a pensioner. The only funding I receive is from book sales and donations at my blog. Also, I’m independent inasmuch as I’m not tied to consensus opinions so that my findings will pass through the gauntlet of peer-review gatekeepers. Truth be told, it’s unlikely the results of my research would pass through that gauntlet because the satellite-era sea surface temperature data contradicts the tenets of the consensus.


The Reynolds 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.
This entry was posted in El Nino-La Nina Processes, SST Update. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Will this Year’s Flash-in-the-Pan El Niño Reform or Remain in ENSO-Neutral Conditions?

  1. Pascvaks says:

    Bob –
    My “Calibrated Kentucky-Windage Eyeball” (aka ‘CKWE’) says the last part of this year is going to be a little like a combination of the 94-95 and 06-07 Nino 3-4 Sea Surface Temperature Anaomalies graph, nothing much. That is, nothing much if I got the squiggles right with my slightly blurry slightly color-blind slightly astigmatic old eyeballs and the feeling in my stomach was really a bit of inspiration and not a piece of undigested beef;-)

    I have to think that the eastward shift of tracks for hurricanes lately is indicative of something. Just a hunch;-)

    Have a Great Day!

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    Pascvaks, you’re in great form today. Thanks.

  3. wshofact says:

    Australian BoM bites bullet and calls off El Nino prediction – “…biggest turnaround in weather patterns since records began.”
    You read it first here Bob.

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, wshofact.


  5. Matthew Bailey says:

    I ordered a copy of “Who Turned on the Heat? – The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño-Southern Oscillation”. It was delivered by Paypal with a link that had already expired by the time I opened the email, less than 24 hours after receipt, therefore, no book. What’s up with that? Instructions said to contact the seller. This is all that I could find.

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Matthew: My records show you purchased the book over a month ago, on October 12. Is your question about the free update I sent the purchasers that included the typo corrections? Regardless, please check your email today. I’ve just issued you another copy.


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