September 2013 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update

PRELIMINARY NOTES:

As a result of the government shutdown, the weekly data for the week of September 25th is still missing. So for the weekly data, I’ve simply averaged the values for the weeks before and after the missing data. I suspect (don’t know for sure) that the monthly data for September is complete. Based on my suspicion, I’m publishing the monthly update for September, 2013.

Also, I’ve eliminated the volcano adjustments to the graphs of the East Pacific and “Rest of the World” sea surface temperature anomalies.

# # #

UNUSUAL WARMING EVENT IN EXTRATROPICAL NORTH PACIFIC HAS PEAKED

The sea surface temperature anomalies in the extratropical North Pacific (24N-65N, 100E-100W) spiked in July and August 2013. As a result the entire North Pacific warmed about 0.57 deg C since January. They’re retreating now as part of the seasonal cycle. We’ll just have to wait to see where the seasonal low bottoms out to try to determine if this was a response to a shift or a one-season event.

10 N. Pac. SSTa

(10) North Pacific Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(0 to 65N, 100E to 90W)

Monthly Change = -0.121 Deg C

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The unusual warming in the extratropical North Pacific, in turn, impacted the Pacific, Northern Hemisphere and Global sea surface temperature anomalies, making it appear as though an El Niño had taken place—during a period when ENSO has been neutral.

MONTHLY SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALY MAP

The following is a Global map of Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies for September 2013. It was downloaded from the NOMADS website. The contour levels are set at 0.5 deg C, and white is set at zero.

00 Map

September 2013 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies Map

(Global SST Anomaly = +0.285 deg C)

MONTHLY OVERVIEW

The sea surface temperature anomalies for the NINO3.4 region in the eastern equatorial Pacific (5S-5N, 170E-120E) are a commonly used index for the strength, frequency and duration of El Niño and La Nina events. We keep an eye on the sea surface temperatures there because El Niño and La Niña events are the primary cause of the yearly variations in global sea surface temperatures AND they are the primary cause of the long-term warming of global sea surface temperatures over the past 30 years. See the discussion of the East Pacific versus the Rest-of-the-World that follows.

Monthly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are still below zero. In the most recent month they warmed about 0.07 deg C. They’re presently basically zero (+0.007 deg C). They’re well within El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions, meaning they’re not El Niño or La Niña conditions. Also refer to the discussion of the weekly NINO3.4 data near the bottom of the post. (Also see the discussion of the weekly data toward the end of the post, because it also includes NINO1+2 data.

Global Sea Surface Temperature anomalies cooled about -0.02 deg C (-0.019 deg C) from August to September, with the Northern Hemisphere showing more cooling. The ocean basins that warmed in September were the North Atlantic, South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans. The monthly Global Sea Surface Temperature anomalies are presently at +0.285 deg C.

01 Global SSTa

(1) Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Monthly Change = -0.019 deg C

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02 NINO3.4 SSTa

(2) NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

(5S-5N, 170W-120W)

Monthly Change = +0.160 deg C

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THE EAST PACIFIC VERSUS THE REST OF THE WORLD

(Note: I have eliminated the volcano adjustments in the following presentations of East Pacific and Rest of the World sea surface temperature anomalies. The last month with the volcano adjustments was August 2013. See the post here.)

The East Pacific and the Rest-Of-The-World (Atlantic-Indian-West Pacific) datasets were first discussed in the post Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies – East Pacific Versus The Rest Of The World, and were discussed a few months later in How Can Things So Obvious Be Overlooked By The Climate Science Community?

They were also discussed in great detail in my recently published book Who Turned on the Heat? The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño-Southern Oscillation. 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. Also see the blog post Everything You Every Wanted to Know about El Niño and La Niña… for an overview. The book is only US$8.00. Please click here to buy a copy. (Paypal or Credit/Debit Card. You do not need to open a PayPal account.)

The global oceans were divided into these two subsets to illustrate a couple of facts. First, the linear trend of the East Pacific (90S-90N, 180-80W) Sea Surface Temperature anomalies since the start of the Reynolds OI.v2 dataset is so low it’s basically flat. (Note that the region also includes portions of the Arctic and Southern Oceans.) That is, there has been little to no warming of sea surface temperatures on the East Pacific (from pole to pole) in 31+ years. The East Pacific is not a small region. It represents about 33% of the surface area of the global oceans. The East Pacific linear trend varies very slightly with each monthly update. But it won’t vary significantly between El Niño and La Niña events.

03 E. Pac. SSTa

(3) East Pacific Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(90S-90N, 180-80W)

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And second are the Sea Surface Temperature anomalies for the Rest of the World (90S-90N, 80W-180). This region includes the Atlantic Indian and West Pacific Oceans, with the corresponding portions of the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Sea surface temperatures there warmed in very clear steps, in response to the significant 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 El Niño/La Niña events. It also appears as though the Sea Surface Temperature anomalies of this dataset September have made another upward shift in response to the 2009/10 El Niño and 2010/11 La Niña events. For those who are interested in the actual trends of the Sea Surface Temperature anomalies between the 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 El Niño events and between the 1997/98 and 2009/10 El Niño events refer to Figure 4 in Does The Sea Surface Temperature Record Support The Hypothesis Of Anthropogenic Global Warming? I further described (at an introductory level) the ENSO-related processes that cause these upward steps in the post ENSO Indices Do Not Represent The Process Of ENSO Or Its Impact On Global Temperature. And as noted above, it is discussed in detail in my recently published book Who Turned on the Heat? The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

04 ROW SSTac

(4) Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies For The Rest of the World

(90S-90N, 80W-180)

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The periods used for the average Rest-Of-The-World Sea Surface Temperature anomalies between the significant El Niño events of 1982/83, 1986/87/88, 1997/98, and 2009/10 are determined as follows. Using the original NOAA Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) for the official months of those El Niño events, I shifted (lagged) those El Niño periods by six months to accommodate the lag between NINO3.4 SST anomalies and the response of the Rest-Of-The-World Sea Surface Temperature anomalies, then deleted the Rest-Of-The-World data that corresponds to those significant El Niño events. I then averaged the Rest-Of-The-World SST anomalies between those El Niño-related gaps.

The “Nov 2010 to Present” average varies with each update. As noted in the post Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies – East Pacific Versus The Rest Of The World, it will be interesting to see where that Sea Surface Temperature anomaly average settles out, if it does, before the next significant El Niño drives them higher.

Of course, something could shift. Will the upward ratcheting continue when the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) decides to turn around and start its decline? The upward steps would not continue in the North Atlantic, but would the AMO impact the upward steps in other portions of the globe? For more information about the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, refer to the post An Introduction To ENSO, AMO, and PDO — Part 2.

The Sea Surface Temperature anomalies of the East Pacific Ocean, or approximately 33% of the surface area of the global oceans, have decreased slightly since 1982 based on the linear trend. And between upward shifts, the Sea Surface Temperature anomalies for the rest of the world (67% of the global ocean surface area) remain relatively flat. As discussed in my book, anthropogenic forcings are said to be responsible for most of the rise in global surface temperatures over this period, but the Sea Surface Temperature anomaly graphs of those two areas prompt a two-part question: Since 1982, what anthropogenic global warming processes would overlook the Sea Surface Temperatures of 33% of the global oceans and have an impact on the other 67% but only during the months of the significant El Niño events of 1986/87/88, 1997/98 and 2009/10?

STANDARD NOTE ABOUT THE DATA

Other than the East Pacific and Rest-of-the-World data shown immediately above, the MONTHLY graphs illustrate raw monthly OI.v2 sea surface temperature anomaly data from November 1981 to September 2013, as it is presented by the NOAA NOMADS website linked at the end of the post. NOAA uses the base years of 1971-2000 for this dataset.  I’ve added the 13-month running-average filter to smooth out the seasonal variations.

MONTHLY INDIVIDUAL OCEAN AND HEMISPHERIC SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE UPDATES

05 N. Hem. SSTa

(5) Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

Monthly Change = -0.033 deg C

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06 S. Hem. SSTa

(6) Southern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

Monthly Change = -0.008 deg C

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07 N. Atl. SSTa

(7) North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(0 to 70N, 80W to 0)

Monthly Change = +0.048 deg C

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08 S. Atl. SSTa

(8) South Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)

Monthly Change = -0.160 deg C

Note: I discussed the (now apparently temporary) upward shift in the South Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature anomalies in the post The 2009/10 Warming Of The South Atlantic. Prior to that shift, the South Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies had been relatively flat for about two decades. It now looks as though the South Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies have dropped below the level they were at before that surge.

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09 Pac. SSTa

(9) Pacific Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(60S to 65N, 120E to 80W)

Monthly Change = -0.039 Deg C

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11 S. Pac. SSTa

(11) South Pacific Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(0 to 60S, 120E to 70W)

Monthly Change = +0.047 deg C

####################################

12 Ind. SSTa

(12) Indian Ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(60S to 30N, 20E to 120E)

Monthly Change = +0.039 deg C

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13 Arctic SSTa

(13) Arctic Ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(65N to 90N)

Monthly Change = -0.037 deg C

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14 Southern SSTa

(14) Southern Ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

(90S-60S)

Monthly Change = +0.033 deg C

####################################

WEEKLY SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES

The NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature anomalies based on the week centered on September 4, 2013 are back below zero but well above La Niña conditions, which are defined by NOAA as being cooler than -0.5 deg C. They are presently at -0.26 deg C.

15 Weekly NINO3.4 SSTa

(15) Weekly NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

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Global sea surface temperature anomalies had been warming for a few months. They’ve peaked and are cooling quickly. They are at +0.251 deg C.

16 Weekly Global SSTa

(16) Weekly Global Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

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The NINO1+2 region is in the far eastern tropical Pacific. It is bordered by the coordinates of 10S-0, 90W-80W. Weekly sea surface temperature anomalies there are still very cool for an ENSO neutral period. They are presently at -0.78 deg C, so they’ve also warmed over the past month.

17 Weekly NINO1+2 SSTa

(17) Weekly NINO1+2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

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INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOW AND WHY THE GLOBAL OCEANS INDICATE THEY’VE WARMED NATURALLY?

Why should you be interested? The hypothesis of manmade global warming depends on manmade greenhouse gases being the cause of the recent warming. But 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 31 years, not manmade greenhouse gases. Scroll back up to the discussion of the East Pacific versus the Rest of the World. 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 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). You do not need to have a PayPal account. Simply scroll down to the purchase option Simply scroll down to the “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” purchase option. It’s only US$8.00.

SOURCES

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

http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

or:

http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite=

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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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3 Responses to September 2013 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update

  1. Kevin Hearle says:

    Hi Bob, did you see this from MPI in Germany
    http://notrickszone.com/2013/10/13/explosive-max-planck-institute-initial-forecast-shows-0-5c-cooling-of-north-atlantic-sst-by-2016/
    Interesting that the Germans are funding research in this direction, Needs must !!! realism begins to take hold when you can’t zip down the autobahn at any speed you like.
    By the way I found this buried in Jo Nova’s site links and having just returned from Germany Austria it had some meaning.

  2. Keith says:

    Bob, thanks for responding to my question about apparent cool S Atlantic on the WUWT thread about what triggers El Niño’s. As you point out it all looks very normal. Southern Ocean has come down, as has S Atlantic and Indian, but in the context your graphs provide not major events.

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