VERY PRELIMINARY August 2013 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update

Note: I’ll take a closer look at the curious upsurge in North Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies when I finished writing my book about climate models.


The August 2013 Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data through the NOAA NOMADS website won’t be official until Monday, September 9,, 2013. Refer to the schedule on the NOAA Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis Frequently Asked Questions webpage. The following are the preliminary Global and NINO3.4 SST anomalies for August 2013 that the NOMADS website prepares based on incomplete data for the month. I’ve also included the weekly data through the week centered on August 21, 2013, but I’ve shortened the span of the weekly data. As noted in the recent mid-April 2013 update, I’ve started using January 2001 so that the variations can be seen AND so that you can see how “flat” global sea surface temperature anomalies have been since then.

The base years for anomalies are 1971-2000, which are the standard base years from the NOAA NOMADS website for this dataset.


The preliminary global sea surface temperature anomalies are continuing to show seasonally high sea surface temperature anomalies. The global sea surface temperature anomalies are presently at about +0.29 deg C. That of course will change a little when the full month of data is reported in two weeks. In some respects, the current values look warm for an ENSO-neutral period. The spikes in global sea surface temperature anomalies in 2003 and 2005 (up to anomalies of about 0.3 deg C) also took place during ENSO-neutral conditions, but they took place during the decays of the 2002/03 and 2004/05 El Niños, while the 2012/13 ENSO season did not include an El Niño. Then again, there were El Niño conditions earlier in 2012.

Monthly Global

Monthly Global SST Anomalies


The sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 region in 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. Based on the preliminary data, August 2013 NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are still well below zero (about -0.17 deg C), but nowhere close to being in La Niña conditions. Also refer to the weekly data that follows.

Monthly NINO3.4

Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies



Weekly NINO3.4 region (5S-5N, 170W-120W) sea surface temperature anomalies for the week centered on August 21, 2013 are well below zero. The weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies were approximately -0.33 deg C.

Weekly NINO3.4

Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies


The weekly Global SST Anomalies are continuing upwards. They are presently about +0.35 deg C.

Weekly Global

Weekly Global SST Anomalies



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 ocean heat content records for more than 3 years, and I can find no evidence of an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signal in either dataset. 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 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 have to open a PayPal account. Simply scroll down to the “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” purchase option. It’s only US$8.00.


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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1 Response to VERY PRELIMINARY August 2013 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update

  1. crikey says:

    +0.346 deg anomaly on global sea surface temps.. wow. Third highest since 2000?
    So the heat isn’t hidden in the depths. That seems warm for a globe that has been cooling since 2007.
    PDO has turned a little more negative lately..
    I guess if AMO,PDO , Indian ocean and Pacific all have a positive/ neutral value, the overall effect would be additive
    During a solar downturn the heat should escape the oceans.? and leave via the surface and escape into the atmosphere? and into space?
    I guess we will find out
    I think l noticed the Indian ocean looked warmish on both dipoles..
    Good luck with your book Bob..
    Thanks for the update

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