Mid-December 2012 Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Update

NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are a commonly used metric for the frequency, strength and duration of El Niño and La Niña events. For the week centered on Wednesday December 12, 2012, they’re close to zero—at about 0.02 deg C. As has been apparent for a few weeks, it looks like this year’s ENSO event will be a La Nada.

Weekly NINO3.4

Weekly NINO3.4

Global sea surface temperature anomalies appear to have responded quite quickly to the stronger El Niño conditions earlier this year. Then they cooled as abruptly in response to its decay. Now they’re around 0.2 deg C. Will global sea surface temperatures make a secondary rebound as they had during the 2009/10 El Niño, or will they hover, varying with seasonal and weather noise, waiting for the next El Niño or La Niña?  And what will it be, another La Nada–or an El Niño or La Niña?

Weekly Global

Weekly Global


Why should you be interested? Sea surface temperature records indicate 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 searched sea surface temperature records for more than 4 years, and I can find no evidence of an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signal. That is, the warming of the global oceans has been caused by Mother Nature, not anthropogenic 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. The book was updated recently to correct a few typos.

Please buy a copy. (Credit/Debit Card through PayPal. You do NOT need to open a PayPal account.). It’s only US$8.00.


For those who’d like a more detailed preview of Who Turned on the Heat?, see Parts 1 and 2 of the video series The Natural Warming of the Global Oceans. You may also be interested in the video Dear President Obama: A Video Memo about Climate Change.


The Sea Surface Temperature anomaly data used in this post is available through the NOAA NOMADS website:




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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8 Responses to Mid-December 2012 Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Update

  1. Leonard Weinstein says:

    Please search: Arctic Hurricanes Play Large Role in Climate
    This is a study that seems to indicate a source of possible interaction and drivers for some of the long term ocean variations. their current predictions indicate a likely cooling of Northern hemisphere in the coming years.

  2. Green Sand says:

    Bob, you have probably seen this before, but just in case:-

    State of the Climate Global Analysis
    November 2012
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    “Additionally, the weak-to-moderate La Niña that was present at the beginning of the year had dissipated by April, with above-average ENSO neutral conditions prevailing by July. If this anomalous warmth continues through the end of the year, 2012 will surpass 2011 as the warmest La Niña year since at least 1950, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.”


    Quite an amazing claim as ENSO 3.4 Sea Surface Temperatures have been positive since April.

    People seem to put a lot of faith in their arbitrarily derived Indexes and ignore actual data.

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    Green Sand: NOAA’s just playing games. They define a La Nina year as once that begins with Jan-Mar in La Nina conditions.
    “A La Niña (El Niño) year is defined here as occurring when the first three months of a calendar year are classified under La Niña conditions. With La Niña conditions present through April before transitioning to ENSO-neutral and trending toward warm El Niño conditions, 2012 is on track to potentially break 2011’s annual temperature of 0.53°C above average.”

  4. Green Sand says:

    Thanks Bob, 3 months a year makes! Wonderful creativity!

  5. Pingback: weather, El Nada … | pindanpost

  6. Espen says:

    Green Sand, interesting comment about that NOAA report. They say: “The greatest anomalous warmth was observed across parts of far eastern Russia, where temperatures were at least 5°C (9°F) above average for the month.”

    I was curious how there could be “anomalous warmth” in far eastern Russia in November, and had a look at Wunderground. What NOAA calls “warmth” was actually temperatures around the freezing point even in the Sea of Okhotsk port city of Magadan: http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/UHMM/2012/11/20/MonthlyHistory.html – and inland in e.g. Sejmchan (-43 C today!) NOAA’s “warmth” was really waay below freezing conditions (around -20 C).

    The interesting thing about this, is of course that the excess energy in the air corresponding to a +5 C anomaly at those low temperatures is only a small fraction of the excess energy corresponding to a +5 C anomaly in a moist tropic place. It is radiated away in one single clear night… (as it probably has, now that temperatures are down at -43 C!).

  7. Green Sand says:

    Thanks Espen, winter sure seems to have arrived in Russia:-

    “Down to -50C: Russians freeze to death as strongest-in-decades winter hits ”


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