IRI Blog Post – Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña)

Yesterday, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) published a post about a number of mistaken beliefs about El Niño and La Niña events.

Misconceptions discussed:

  1. El Niño periods cause more disasters than normal periods.
  2. El Niño and La Niña significantly affect climate in most regions of the globe.
  3. Regions affected by El Niño and La Niña see impacts for the entire 8-12 months that the climate conditions last.
  4. El Niño episodes lead to adverse impacts only.
  5. We should worry more during El Niño episodes than La Niña episodes.
  6. The stronger the El Niño/La Niña, the stronger the impacts, and vice versa.
  7. El Niño and La Niña events are directly responsible for specific storms or other weather events.
  8. El Niño and La Niña are closely related to global warming.

See the IRI post Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña).

# # #

Yesterday I posted the Preliminary June 2014 Sea Surface Temperature Update.

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 2014-15 El Nino Series, El Nino-La Nina Processes. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to IRI Blog Post – Eight Misconceptions About El Niño (and La Niña)

  1. Bob Tisdale says:

    Oops, I forgot to note the author of the IRI blog post. It was Francesco Fiondella. Thanks, Francesco. Good post.

  2. Thanks for the link.
    Yes, Francesco Fiondella, produced a very good post.

  3. Alec, aka daffy duck says:

    Question from the peanut gallery… Been looking at a equatorial subsurface gif and it seems to me that the temps are not actually fading but moving/being pushed north out of view

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Alec, aka daffy duck, some of the remnants of the Kelvin wave are being spread poleward along the South and Central American coasts, but the warm water doesn’t appear to have traveled too far (about 10N, 10S). And some of the warm waters are rising to the surface along the equator and being pumped poleward, spreading out on the surface so that it can lose heat through evaporation more readily.

  5. Green Sand says:

    Bob, is the SOI not picking up the present trade wind scenario?

    There is a strong area of high pressure over Oz:-

    which has resulted in the daily SOI being negative for the last 10 days.

    But the trade winds do not appear to be weakening?,-2.56,497

    I could, as usual, be a little early with this question?

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Green Sand, the 30-day SOI turning negative may be a good early indicator if you’re looking forward to an El Nino.

    Regarding the maps, scoot over to the western tropical Pacific. It’s where we’d be looking for some more westerly wind bursts along the equator.


  7. David says:

    Hi Bob,
    You might be interested in my ENSO model. Feel free to do your own post on it (its really simple to replicate) if you have the time. I’d appreciate your opinion.

  8. Green Sand says:

    Thanks Bob,

    “scoot over to the western tropical Pacific”.

    It was the low MSLP in western tropical Pacific that led to my question re SOI:-,-0.51,497

    High pressure over OZ (Darwin) effecting the index, but low in the equatorial western Pacific, (lower than at Tahiti) means there are still relatively strong trades? Will keep watching!

  9. Bob Tisdale says:

    Hi David. Comparing the sea surface temperature anomalies of the NINO3.4 and SETIO regions, it appears the variations in SETIO are unusual responses to ENSO and that they are not consistent with the intensity of the El Nino event:

  10. Bob Tisdale says:

    David, PS: Considering the magnitude of ENSO, how does your model differentiate between variations in SSTa of SETIO versus their responses to ENSO?

  11. David says:

    Hi Bob,
    The ENSO model doesn’t use SETIO data. SETIO simply establishes ‘ENSO derivative’ could be important. The ENSO model confirms that it is.

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