February 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update

MONTHLY SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALY MAP

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

CTEST139533450924246

February 2013 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies Map

(Global SST Anomaly = +0.207 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 have just dropped below the -0.5 deg C threshold of La Niña conditions.  But that appears it might be a temporary condition…just a little modulation at the end of an ENSO-neutral period.  It’s a little late in the 2013/14 ENSO season and way too early in the 2014/15 ENSO season for a full La Niña to form…especially when the models are leaning toward an El Niño for 2014/15.  See the NOAA weekly ENSO update here.   Also refer to the discussion of the weekly NINO3.4 data near the bottom of the post.

Global Sea Surface Temperature anomalies remained basically the same as last month, with a slight increase (+0.006 deg C) from January to February…with the warming taking place in both hemispheres.   Only two ocean basins showed cooling in February—the North Atlantic and the South Pacific—but the cooling in the South Pacific outweighed the warming in the North Pacific, so the Pacific cooled slightly as a whole. The curiosity this month was the sharp increase in the South Atlantic.  The monthly Global Sea Surface Temperature anomalies are presently at +0.207 deg C.

01 Global SSTa

(1) Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Monthly Change = +0.006 deg C

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02 NINO3.4 SSTa

(2) NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

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

Monthly Change = -0.043 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, recently lowered to US$5.00.  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 32 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 East 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 February 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 ebook Who Turned on the Heat? The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

04 ROW SSTa

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

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

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

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 shown little to no long-term warming 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 NOTES ABOUT THE DATA

The MONTHLY graphs illustrate raw monthly OI.v2 sea surface temperature anomaly data from February 1981 to February 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 No Hem SSTa

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

Monthly Change = +0.002 deg C

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

06 So Hem SSTa

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

Monthly Change = +0.010 deg C

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

07 No Atl SSTa

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

(0 to 70N, 80W to 0)

Monthly Change = -0.063 deg C

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

08 So Atl SSTa

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

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

Monthly Change = +0.167 deg C

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

09 Pac SSTa

(9) Pacific Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

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

Monthly Change = -0.017 Deg C

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

10 No Pac SSTa

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

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

Monthly Change = +0.023 Deg C

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

11 So Pac SSTa

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

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

Monthly Change = -0.064 deg C

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

12 Indian SSTa

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

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

Monthly Change = +0.021 deg C

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

13 Arctic SSTa

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

(65N to 90N)

Monthly Change = +0.036 deg C

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

14 Southern SSTa

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

(90S-60S)

Monthly Change = +0.013 deg C

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

WEEKLY SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES

The NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature anomalies based on the week centered on February 5, 2014 are now warmer than the -0.5 deg C threshold of La Niña conditions.  They are presently at -0.37 deg C.

15 Weekly NINO3.4

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

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

Weekly global sea surface temperature anomalies are at +0.22 deg C.

16 Weekly Global

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

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

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 32 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 “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” purchase option. It’s now sale priced at US$5.00.

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=

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.
This entry was posted in SST Update. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to February 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks Bob

  2. joefreeman says:

    Thank you, Bob.

  3. Espen says:

    Thanks, Bob! I noticed that the Arctic Ocean summer SST anomalies were very high during the years with the lowest minimum sea ice cover (2007, 2011 and 2012). I tried to find out how they actually compute SSTs in the Arctic where large areas are covered with ice, and found out that they compute “SST’s simulated by sea-ice cover” – do you know how they simulate that?

  4. Ibrahim says:

    Bob,

    Isn’t the change in global temperatures expained by the MEI?

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ibrahim says: “Isn’t the change in global temperatures expained by the MEI?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by change: long-term, short-term, month-to-month.

    The MEI is one of many ENSO indices. Basically the Multivariate ENSO Index is the sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3 region (5S-5N, 150W-90W) that has been adjusted by multiple other variables to slightly change the duration and magnitude of El Nino and La Nina events.

    Regards

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Espen: As far as I know, when there’s sea ice in a grid, NOAA uses the freezing temperature of sea water. If a grid contained ice year round during the 1971-2000 base period, then any sea surface temperature anomalies due to the recent sea ice melt are calculated as the difference in the observed sea surface temperature and the freezing point of sea water. It’s a logical way to address the problem.

    Regards

  7. Pingback: On Chylek et al (2014) – The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation as a Dominant Factor of Oceanic Influence on Climate | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  8. Espen says:

    Thanks, Bob! That sounds somewhat fishy to me. Since sea ice (at least multi year ice) contains almost no salt, wouldn’t it require water that is significantly warmer than the freezing point of salt water in order to melt from below? So in the years with higher sea ice extent, large areas of sea ice could have been covering sea water with a temperature of – say -0.5C, which is a whopping (as far as AGW-scare anomalies goes) 1-1.5C warmer than the freezing point of ocean water!

  9. Espen says:

    I think it would have been an interesting experiment to mask out – for each date or month – those areas that were ice covered at some time on that date or year. I.e. only compute anomalies for ocean areas that are never have ice on the respective dates.

  10. Pingback: On Chylek et al (2014) – The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation as a Dominant Factor of Oceanic Influence on Climate | Watts Up With That?

  11. Crashex says:

    That’s February 2014, right?

  12. Bob Tisdale says:

    Crashex, thanks. Fixed it.

    Regards

  13. Doug says:

    The first pic headlined Mar 2014 still has a caption of February 2013?

  14. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Doug. I’ve corrected it.

    Regards

  15. Pingback: April 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomaly Update | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

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