Mid-January 2013 Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Update

Sea surface temperature anomalies for the NINO3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific are a commonly used metric for the frequency, strength and duration of El Niño and La Niña events. For the week centered on Wednesday January 16, 2013, they’re below NOAA’s -0.5 deg C threshold for La Niña conditions—at about -0.56 deg C.

Weekly NINO3.4

Weekly NINO3.4

Global sea surface temperature anomalies responded quite quickly to the short-lived moderately strong El Niño conditions earlier this year. Then they cooled as abruptly in response to its decay. They’re likely to continue to cool in response to the present La Niña condition, but how far will they decline?  It surely does not look like there’s a lot of global warming going on.

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.) Simply scroll down to the “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” purchase option. 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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7 Responses to Mid-January 2013 Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Update

  1. John (in Oz) says:

    Thanks for your work and ‘Who Turned on the heat?’.
    Can you offer an explanation for the max/min of the NINO 3.4 SST anomaly more often than not being centred around Dec-Jan each year?
    As the region being measured lies along the equator, summer vs winter temperature variations would not, I suspect, be a major factor.
    Whilst the graph in this post is for a short period, Figure 4-16 of WTOTH shows similar peaks/troughs from 1980.
    Apologies if this is explained in the book, which I haven’t completed reading yet.

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    John (in Oz): I’m glad you reminded me that you had a copy of the book, because I can save myself a little time by referring you to Chapter 4.7, which starts on page 215. If I tried to provide an answer here, it would be a short version of what’s presented there, and it probably wouldn’t be as complete.


  3. John (in Oz) says:

    Thanks Bob,
    I really must get around to reading the entire tome.

  4. Kristian says:

    Have you seen the latest anomalies from the global surface datasets for December? HadCRUT3 and 4 plus NCDC all report almost unnaturally huge drops, GISS also sort of, though not AS large:

    Seems to be a little bit out of the ordinary, quite frankly, seeing there hasn’t been any major volcanic eruptions as of late, nor any strong La Niñas. A one month freak occurence? Or a new pattern in the making?

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kristian: The El Nino conditions in 2012 may have been short lived, but they were pretty strong. Also some of the current swings in anomalies might result of the base years the Hadley Centre uses. We’re a long time from those base years.

  6. Kristian says:

    The main reason why I don’t think this bears too much significance, because I don’t, is that most the entire drop must have happened over the continental landmasses. The global SSTs after all did not drop at all to the same extent, rather much more in line with NINO3.4 or even a bit less than proportional in December. And global sea surface temperatures (as you very well know) tend to lead the way when it comes to important turning of corners.

    But it is an interesting development nevertheless …

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kristian: Agreed! It sure spoiled any hopes of a record year.

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