PRELIMINARY June 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update


The sea surface temperatures of the equatorial Pacific continue be above the threshold of El Niño condition, though two regions  (NINO4 and NINO1+2) show recent drops in surface temperatures. The following are the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies for the 4 most-often-used NINO regions for the week of June 25th.  From west to east:

  • NINO4 (5S-5N, 160E-150W) = +0.72
  • NINO3.4 (5S-5N, 170W-120W) = +0.67
  • NINO3 (5S-5N, 150W-90W) = +1.06
  • NINO1+2 (10S-0, 90W-80W) = +1.38

I’ll present that weekly data in a number of ways later in the post.


The June 2014 Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data through the NOAA NOMADS website won’t be official until Monday, July 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 June 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 June 25, 2014, but I’ve shortened the span of the weekly data.  As noted in the recent mid-June 2013 update, I’ve started using 2001 for the start of the graphs of the weekly data 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 +0.34 deg C.  Based on the preliminary data, they warmed (an increase of about +0.016 deg C) since May.  Based on the preliminary data, the June 2014 sea surface temperature anomalies are higher than they were in 2010, when they were responding to the 2009/10 El Niño…and they are rivaling the values in response to the 1997/98 El Niño.  So we should expect some rumblings from the AGW crowd.  The high sea surface temperatures so far this year appear, primarily, to be based on two factors: (1) the apparent shift in the North Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies last year, and (2) the early evolution of El Niño conditions this year.

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.  See the illustration here for the location of the NINO3.4 region.  Based on the preliminary data, June 2014 NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies continue to be above the threshold of an El Niño event.  They’re presently at 0.64 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 +0.64 indicates the tropical Pacific has is in El Niño conditions based on the preliminary monthly data.  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 June 25, 2014 continue to be above the threshold of El Niño conditions.  The weekly NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies were approximately +0.67 deg C.  It appears they’re presently stalled about that value.

Weekly NINO3.4

Weekly NINO3.4 SST Anomalies


The weekly Global sea surface temperature anomalies had been basically above an anomaly of 0.3 deg C for more than 13 weeks.  They are presently about +0.35 deg C.

Weekly Global

Weekly Global SST Anomalies



The graphs that follow illustrate the weekly sea surface temperature anomalies for 4 primary NINO regions, starting with the NINO4 region and working east to NINO1+2.

Weekly ENSO Indices


And there are still news stories referring to the 1997/98 El Niño, so the following at the graphs comparing the evolution of sea surface temperatures so far this year to those of the two strongest El Niño events, those that occurred in 1982/83 and 1997/98.

Weekly Evolution ENSO Indices



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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6 Responses to PRELIMINARY June 2014 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Update

  1. Chuckarama says:

    I’m curious now, as the developing technical issues with the NCDC USHCN data come out this month and we see TOB adjustments of .5 – 1.5 and more – due simply to procedural and algorithmic problems, I don’t think there is any nefarious purposes in it – how it compares to satellite era data when the station drop-off and TOB are taken into account. Any thoughts, being the resident satellite temperature expert? We’re always told Satellite temp data doesn’t really count unless it’s observed by a station. But over land, how does the satellite data compare with ground observations, that aren’t overly damaged by the requisite adjustments?

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    Chuckarama, I’m staying as far away as possible from that controversy. But I’ll respond to a few points. Roy Spencer and John Christy are experts in satellite-based data. I present and report on data, primarily sea surface temperature data.

    I’m also interested in this statement: “We’re always told Satellite temp data doesn’t really count unless it’s observed by a station.” They’re two entirely different metrics. There are no “stations” in satellite-based TLT data. TLT data cover a range of altitudes from the surface to about 12500 meters above sea level, if memory serves.


  3. Pingback: IRI Blog Post – Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña) | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  4. Pingback: From IRI – Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña) | Watts Up With That?

  5. Thanks, Bob. It is your very good work that lets us follow this 2014 El Niño so closely.

  6. Pamela Gray says:

    I am hazarding a guess here. Please critique. Heat recharge events affect a fairly deep column of water and rather instantly as soon as the Sun’s rays hit the surface. It is therefore reasonable to say that recharge events are efficient even in a short period of time. Heat discharge events are a surface phenomenon. It is therefore reasonable to say that discharge events are inefficient and happen slowly in calm pulses, taking longer to get rid of the same amount of heat collected during the recharge event. During the recharge events, seasonal land temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere mid to high latitudes fall quickly but are short lived. During discharge events, seasonal land temperatures climb over a longer period of time. This might explain the mechanism behind short pulses of cold land temperatures interspersed between longer warmer episodes in the land temperature trends. In addition, the global ocean circulation pattern is different between the two hemispheres. That the Southern Hemisphere seems or is reported to be less affected by discharge/recharge driven land temperature trends would be simply due to the location of land and currents in that Hemisphere.

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