PRELIMINARY March 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update


The March 2014 Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data through the NOAA NOMADS website won’t be official until Monday, April 7,, 2014. 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 March 2014 that the NOMADS website prepares based on incomplete data for the month. I’ve also included the weekly data through the week centered on March 26, 2014, but I’ve shortened the span of the weekly data. As noted in the recent mid-April 2013 update, I’ve started using March 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 presently at about +0.23 deg C. Based on the preliminary data, they warmed (an increase of about +0.02 deg C) since February.

01 Global Monthly

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. See the illustration here for the location of the NINO3.4 region. Based on the preliminary data, March 2014 NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are still below zero (about -0.16 deg C). The threshold for an El Niño is considered to be warmer than or equal to +0.5 deg C and for a La Niña, it’s cooler than or equal to -0.5 deg C. So the reading of -0.16 deg C indicates the tropical Pacific is in ENSO-neutral conditions. Also refer to the weekly data that follows, because the weekly NINO3.4 data shows a good amount of warming there in recent weeks as the apparent El Niño evolves.

02 NINO3.4 Monthly

Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies



Weekly NINO3.4 region (5S-5N, 170W-120W) sea surface temperature anomalies for the week centered on March 26, 2014 are above zero and working their way toward El Niño conditions. The weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies were approximately +0.31 deg C.

03 NINO3.4 Weekly

Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies


The weekly Global sea surface temperature anomalies have warmed a little over the past week. They are presently about +0.28 deg C.

04 Global Weekly

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 naturally occurring, sunlight-fueled, coupled ocean-atmosphere processes, not anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

Last year I published an ebook (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 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 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. (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 marked down to U.S.$5.00.


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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3 Responses to PRELIMINARY March 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks Bob

  2. Thanks Bob. Excellent article.
    Yes, it sure looks like El Niño is beginning to brew.
    Time will show more; Will it break the current temperature stoppage? For how long?

  3. Steve Keohane says:

    Thank you Bob.It will be interesting to see how strong the El Nino becomes.

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