UPDATE 4 (February 13, 2013): I had used the weekly sea surface temperature data of the week centered on January 30th for the map in Figure 1 and for the time-series graph in Figure 2 in this post. Those sea surface temperatures were well before Nemo made its way across the Atlantic coastal waters, heading toward New England. I’ve updated those two illustrations for the week of February 6th here.
UPDATE 3: Joe Romm quoted Kevin Trenberth in a post at ClimateProgress:
The moisture flow into the storm is also important and that is enhanced by higher than normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs). These are higher by about 1 deg C [almost 2°F] than a normal (pre-1980) due to global warming and so that adds about 10% to the potential for a big snow.
Kevin Trenberth must not have bothered to look at long-term sea surface temperature data. Sea surface temperatures off the coast of New England were much warmer in the 1940s. Maybe someday Trenberth will explain how the cooler current sea surface temperatures are a sign of manmade global warming. (Thanks, Henry.)
UPDATE 2: It appears ClimateCentral has also failed to check the data before making bogus claims about the effects of manmade global warming on the sea surface temperatures of New England Coastal waters. (Thanks to Anthony Watts who introduced it in his cross post.)
UPDATE: If you should run into any alarmists over the next couple of days, remind them of the Northeast Blizzard of 1978.
This is a preliminary report. Sea surface temperature data for the week centered on Wednesday February 6, 2013 will not be available until Monday February 11. I’ll be happy to update this post then.
Global warming alarmists are predictable. If they see elevated sea surface temperature anomalies on a map anywhere close to a weather event, they immediately claim manmade global warming contributed, or will contribute, to the weather. They erred that way with Hurricane Sandy—sea surface temperatures along Sandy’s storm track haven’t warmed in 70+ years—and they’ve done it again with the blizzard threatening New England today. Refer to the WattsUpWithThat post Propagandist Brad Johnson of ‘Forecast the Facts’ tries to make the pending East Coast blizzard about the ocean ‘warming’ – Fails.
Anyone who has followed my posts over the past 4 years about the natural warming of satellite-era sea surface temperatures understands there is nothing in the data to indicate that manmade greenhouse gases played any part in the warming. That is, the data indicates Mother Nature, not manmade greenhouse gases, was responsible for the warming over the past 31 years. The same holds true for ocean heat content data.
Figure 1 is a map of the sea surface temperature anomalies (Reynolds OI.v2) for a portion of the North Atlantic. It captures the data for the week centered on Wednesday January 30, 2013. The map was created at the NOAA NOMADS website, using the Reynolds Optimum Interpolation sea surface temperature data. I’ve used the contour levels of 0.5 deg C, with white set at zero, which are settings often used by NOAA. Obviously, last week sea surface temperature anomalies were elevated near the New England coast, but the data, as we will see, reveals that there’s nothing unusual about those levels. We’ll use the coordinates of 35N-45N, 77W-67W for the data in the following graphs.
SHORT-TERM WEEKLY DATA
Figure 2 presents the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies off the New England coast, starting with the week centered on Wednesday January 3, 1990 and ending with the week of January 30, 2013. The base years for anomalies are the standard climatology of 1971-2000 from the NOAA NOMADS website. The horizontal red line represents the most recent weekly value of +0.55 deg C. Sure does look like it’s been warmer many times over the past 2+ decades.
LONG-TERM MONTHLY DATA
We have to switch datasets to NOAA’s ERSST.v3b for the long-term data. The data for the month of February 2013 will not be available until early in March, so we’ll use the January 2013 value for the most recent temperature anomaly for the New England coastal waters—the red horizontal line. The current anomalies were exceeded by a good amount in the 1940s. And they’ve regularly been exceeded as far back as the 1850s and 60s.
And to drive the point home, Figure 4 is a graph of the January sea surface temperatures (not anomalies) for the New England coastal waters from 1854 to 2013. Sea surface temperatures were much warmer during the 1930s and 40s.
It’s difficult to claim the recent increases in manmade greenhouse gases are responsible for the warm sea surface temperatures off the New England coast, when the those values were regularly exceeded 70 to 80 years ago.
Alarmists will take any opportunity to claim manmade greenhouse gases are responsible for weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy, and now the upcoming New England Blizzard. It’s often easy to illustrate the errors in their claims. Another example is the Russian heat wave of 2010 which Trenberth and Fasullo tried (and failed) to attribute to the warming of sea surface temperatures. Refer to the post here.
Alarmists, of course, will continue to make unfounded claims, and I will be happy to show how ridiculous those claims are.
DATA REVEAL THE OCEANS WARMED NATURALLY
Earlier I noted that satellite-era sea surface temperature data indicate the oceans warmed naturally, not via manmade greenhouse gases. NOAA’s ocean heat content data also do not support the hypothesis of manmade global warming. Refer to my recent essay titled “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge”, which is linked to my blog post here. Refer also to the two-part video series prepared for the WattsUpWithThat (WUWT-TV) special linked to the post The Natural Warming of the Global Oceans. And of course there’s my book Who Turned on the Heat?
Who Turned on the Heat? 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 31 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 and ocean heat content data that are 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. 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.