El Nino watch

by Judith Curry

All eyes are on the tropical Pacific Ocean

El Nino events have major impacts on weather in many regions across the globe.   Californians are hoping for an El Nino to end their drought.  Many climate scientists are also hoping for an El Nino to put an end to that pesky ‘pause’.  So what are the prospects for an El Nino in the coming year?

The following signals in the observations portend an El Nino this summer:
  • Increased warming in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean
  • Positive thermocline slope index (between the western and eastern Pacific)
  • Westerly wind bursts and Kelvin waves helping to push the warm water eastward.

Background information on El Nino and how it is forecast is provided at:

What the experts say

See here for a comprehensive list of forecast pages for El Nino.
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The Australian Bureau of Meteorology  estimates a 70% chance of developing an El Nino during SH winter (NH summer), in a brief issued April 8.
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The US NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued a new report today, stating that the chances of El Nino exceed 50% by summer.  The NOAA Report is very informative.
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Several experts quoted in the media are more bullish than the NOAA forecast.
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Spring ENSO predictability barrier
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ENSO forecasts issued in spring are highly uncertain, owing to the so-called springtime predictability barrier.  The canonical paper on the spring predictability barrier is a paper by Peter Webster entitled Monsoon and ENSO: Selectively Interactive Systems.
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Since this paper was published, coupled seasonal forecast models have improved, but this springtime predictability barrier remains, see this paper by Kim, Webster and Curry: Impact of Shifting Patterns of Pacific Ocean Warming on North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, especially Fig 3 and the associated discussion.  The punchline is that for ECMWF System 4 seasonal forecasts initiated April 1, forecasts of tropical eastern Pacific surface temperatures (NINO3) rapidly lose skill, whereas forecasts for central Pacific surface temperatures (NINO4) retain skill out for 6 months.  Forecasts initiated June 1 retain their skill out to 6 months, for both NINO3 and NINO4.
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Seasonal forecast models (see the NOAA report for a summary) predict an El Nino for summer, perhaps starting as early as May. Here are the ECMWF forecasts, initialized April 1:
Presentation1
A recent example of a fizzled El Nino forecast was summer of 2012; there was only the barest hint of an El Nino during summer, and then it fizzled out.
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Super El Nino?
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Some scientists are predicting a super El Nino, such as seen during 1997/1998, and 1982.  Mashable has two posts on this [here] and [here].
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Both of these two super El Nino events occurred during the warm phase of the PDO.  During the cool phase of the PDO (which we are currently in), overall the El Nino events are less frequent and of lower magnitude.  The strongest El Nino in a previous cool phase of the PDO was in 1972/1973.
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Apart from the difficulty of predicting the occurrence of an El Nino, predicting the strength and duration is even more difficult.
Which flavor of El Nino?
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The impacts of an El Nino vary substantially with its ‘flavor’, i.e. whether the warming is concentrated in the East Pacific (NINO3), Central Pacific (El Nino Modoki; NINO4), or mixed.    These impacts include tropical cyclone intensity and frequency [link] and [link], and drought and rainfall patterns.  For example, for a regular El Nino in the easter Pacific, California will get plenty of rain in the winter.  However, this is not the case for a Modoki El Nino, where warming is in the Central Pacific.  Look at the ECMWF forecasts above; there is a hint that towards winter, the Modoki could be dominant with a mixed El Nino type, with little rain in California.
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Pause buster?

Joe Romm is clearly looking for a Super El Nino to shatter global temperature records [link].   The 1998 El Nino clearly had a very large warming effect on global surface and atmospheric temperatures.    The 1982 and 1972/1973 El Nino events did not have much a an impact on global temperatures (although 1982 coincided with the eruption of El Chichon).

A new paper provides some insight into this issue:

The influence of different El Nino types on global average temperature

Sandra Banholzer and Simon Donner

Abstract.  The El Niño/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is known to influence surface temperatures worldwide. El Niño conditions are thought to lead to anomalously warm global average surface temperature, absent other forcings. Recent research has identified distinct possible types of El Niño events based on the location of peak sea surface temperature anomalies. Here we analyze the relationship between the type of El Niño event and the global average temperature anomaly, using three historical temperature datasets. Separating El Niño events into types reveals that the global average surface temperatures are anomalously warm during and after traditional Eastern Pacific El Niño events, but not Central Pacific or Mixed events. Historical analysis indicated that slowdowns in the rate of global surface warming since the late-1800s may be related to decadal variability in the frequency of different types of El Niño events.

Published online J. Geophysical Research [link to abstract]

So will a 2014/2015 be a pause buster?  Probably not, given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO.

JC reflections

It is likely that we will see an El Nino this summer.  However, the intensity, duration and ‘flavor’ are uncertain at this point.  In any event, we stand to learn something from whatever transpires.  If I am allowed to ‘hope’ for anything, I hope that there will be regular El Nino conditions next winter so that Californians will get some rain.

With regards to the pause, I don’t see a pause buster given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO.

Time will tell.

226 responses to “El Nino watch

  1. So CO2 is NOT a pause killer.

    WOW.

    The AGW Cult has finally thrown off their false god and returned to El Nino’s and the AMO and other ocean cycles.

  2. I predict no El Nino in 2014.
    Too cold too late in the year.

    • Jim Cripwell

      I agree, based on absolutely nothing.

    • John Carpenter

      “I agree, based on absolutely nothing.”

      Jim, that conclusion doesn’t appear to be based on any scientific method, I guess you only use it when it suits your needs.

    • Too central to know
      The vaporous aftermath.
      What heat to the deep?
      =============

  3. David Springer

    Trend since 1950 is 0.08C/decade.

    It’s not going to come off that number easily with 64 years of history behind it.

    The pause killed the CAGW cause.

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    James Hansen: PAUSE-BUSTER

    Global Temperature Update: A Discussion
    January 21, 2014

    “What are the near-term prospects? El Niño depends on fickle wind anomalies for initiation, so predictions are inherently difficult, but conditions are ripe for El Niño initiation in 2014.

    It appears that there is substantial likelihood of an El Niño beginning in 2014, and as a result a probable record global temperature in 2014 or 2015.”

    Hmmm … so the climate-change blogosphere is saying this spring, what James Hansen was saying last winter.

    Conclusion  As the seas keep rising, the oceans keep heating, the polar ice keeps melting, and CO2 keeps increasing, all without pause and without obvious limit, we are all seeing more-and-more plainly that James Hansen’s climate-change science is basically correct.

    That’s plainly evident, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • You want to bet on Hansen John?
      You want put money where your mouth is and wager for an El Nino in 2014?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn blusters “You want put money where your mouth is and wager for an El Nino in 2014?”

      DocMartyn, to me it seems more prudent to foresee that during the coming decade, and during the past five decades, the seas will keep rising, the oceans will keep heating, the polar ice will keep melting, and CO2 will keep increasing, all without pause and without obvious limit.

      That what the overwhelming majority of climate scientists foresee, ain’t that so DocMartyn? And insurance actuaries too? And governments of low-laying nations?

      As for juvenile bets regarding short-term localized climate phenomena (arctic sea ice, El Nino, etc), such bets are a favored playground of non-scientific, cherry-picking, quibbling, smearing, astro-turfing denialist cognition … ain’t that plain to everyone?

      Recommendation  Read the *REST* of James Hansen’s thoughtful, science-driven January 21 communication, DocMartyn!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Record temperatures. Sure he said that last winter, so what? That is his prediction, still not confirmed. The sea level rise is slowing down. The only thing left is ice melt (with the Antarctic ice growing) and maybe the oceans.

    • sea level rise is as fast as ever, acceleration

      • “as fast as ever” is both false, and proves your hanging clause, “acceleration”, false.

        Sea levels are still puttering around 1-3mm (as fast as they have been recently, not ever). In the past they have rising by 10-30mm and more. And ‘as fast as’ means it is NOT accelerating. “Faster” than ever would be accelerating.

    • lolwot

      sea level rise is as fast as ever

      The decadal variations in annual rate of rise over the 20th C varied from -1 to +5 mm/year, based on tide gauge records (measuring SL at selected shore lines).

      We are still within that range, lolwot, based on satellite altimetry (measuring the whole ocean except shorelines, which cannot be captured by satellites).

      So today’s “apples” are within the range of the 20thC “oranges”, and there is no need to head for high ground or panic.

      Max

    • Hansen acknowledges that the airborne fraction of human CO2 has declined. Good.

      The atmospheric CO2 growth rate does not continue to increase – it’s flat since ~1998 – his own graph shows it. Furthermore, it correlates much better with global temperatures than with global temperature change.

      “Amplification of the direct solar forcing is conceivable, e.g., through effects on ozone or atmospheric condensation nuclei, but empirical data place a factor of two upper limit on the amplification, with the most likely forcing in the range 100 – 120% of the directly measured solar irradiance change.”

      This is also an improvement, but his limit is nonsense.

      Together with the declining airborne fraction, he claims that forcing per CO2 increment decreases due to “partial saturation of absorption bands”. Since the airborne fraction is decreasing, it means that the ‘forcing’ per increment in human CO2 decreases even more. Even according to the ‘consensus’, we get nothing significant from the billions spent to mitigate CO2 emissions. Even if the mitigation is possible/effective (it’s not!). What a travesty!

      Roll on the next La Nina! I predict the big fat one in 2015/16, after the upcoming weak El Nino.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse:: Hmmm … so the climate-change blogosphere is saying this spring, what James Hansen was saying last winter.

      It looks now like the majority opinion is that Hansen was exaggerating. Besides, he has predicted strong el ninos three years in a row now.

    • Hansen has been predicting strong El Ninos for much longer than 3 years He didn’t usually refer to ENSO, which was a term his political and environmental activists didn’t know, but he has predicted year after year since 1988 that significant and accelerating warming would soon take place. Fan would need his fan to keep cool if Hansen had been correct. Now he needs it to hide his embarassment!

  5. Living in california makes me favor an El Nino. OTOH I would hope for a weak one for less warming. I’m not concerned with proof of AGW (there is adequate evidence IMO). I’d just perfer less rather than more for obivious reasons.

    • Yes, an El Nino will be good for California, as historically this pattern brings with it more moisture from the south Pacific.

      However, this may not be so good for Australia, as it “pulls” the moisture away, i.e. La Nina’s are better for down-under.

      Remember the rule of thumb is that these are zero-sum game oscillations, in that they have little global effect in the long run. Contrast that to the secular long-term effects of the relentless CO2 forcing.

  6. If this does not “kill the pause”, will it kill the CAGW meme? Probably not. Since nothing can disprove the meme.

  7. thisisnotgoodtogo

    FOMD says;
    “Hmmm … so the climate-change blogosphere is saying this spring, what James Hansen was saying last winter.”

    Fanny tries the old trick. Hansen actually did not say the same thing.

  8. Saddest part is the TAO buoy system is going out of commission due to lack of maintenance from budget cuts. Why not cut useless model budgets instead, to fund maintenance of an essential data gathering system …
    Climate alarmists believe in models, and don’t like data ( the pause, equatorial tropo hot spot, Antarctic ice, heck even Arctic ice… Darned polar bears are thriving, Tuvalu isn’t drowning, Pacific oysters will do fine if treated like estuarine species…) Best that inconvenient data disappear.

  9. According to CDIAC data:

    Approximately 2000 GtCO2 have been emitted by humans since 1850. 73% of this has come from fossil fuels; the rest from deforestation and cement production.

    Since 2001 around 440 GtCO2 have been emitted by humans from all sources; over this period 88% of the total emission has come from fossil fuels.

    IOW roughly 27% of all human CO2 emissions since 1850 have occurred since 2001.

    Yet there has been no warming of the global average temperature (in fact, a slight cooling) since the end of 2000.

    A travesty!

    How could this be possible?

    Now warmistas are praying to Gaia to save them from further embarrassment by sending in a super El Nino to halt the pause and save the CAGW premise.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Max

  10. Who cares?

    An El Nino, or even Super-El Nino is only about three or four times more significant as its La Nina or neutral equivalent, in a Bayesian sense, which isn’t all that much, so who cares?

    Now, an El Padre or Super El Padre lasting years or decades, that’d be Ooblek-level AGW evidence; but as we’re already beyond doubt of AGW, again, who cares?

    Sure, there’ll be flooding instead of drought — or not, as El Nino plus jet stream changes is nowhere near the same as El Nino fifteen years ago — in some places, and drought instead of flooding in others, or sometimes both in the same place within a narrow span of time, but as the global climate has passed so many tipping points since the last big El Nino phase ended, there’s no way to predict, so, again, who cares?

    You really need to up your game, folks. Stop living in the past. That got changed. Climate changed.

    • Bart R

      “Climate changed”

      Yep.

      And around 2000, it stopped changing, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels.

      That’s what became known as the “pause” or “hiatus” (or “travesty”).

      Now CAGW believers are praying for a super El Nino (like we had back in 1997/98) to stop the embarrassing “pause” before it blows the whole CAGW premise out of the water.

      (See lead post.)

      Max

    • manacker | April 14, 2014 at 5:13 pm |

      A plague on both their houses. It’s as ludicrous to hope for an El Nino as proof of something in climatology as it is to make claims of a trend of under seventeen years, or as making a claim that a single 17-year or longer period in twenty such periods is statistically meaningful.

      All of that thinking is bent, and it’s all pretty much useless.

      Sure, there’s information, and even useful science, that can be got out of observations and inferences on shorter periods.. but sloppy thinking like this topic doesn’t cut it.

    • Plus change chosen meme,
      Let adapt be how we roll;
      Who needs a punch line?
      ============

    • Bart R says

      “as it is to make claims of a trend of under seventeen years, or as making a claim that a single 17-year or longer period in twenty such periods is statistically meaningful.”

      Global temperature isn’t just a statistic, it’s the result of a multitude of physical processes such as changes in GHGs, solar, internal variability, etc etc. It seems to me you have to relate what has happened to global temperature for the past 17 (and 150) years to these things in order to understand climate. You won’t get much understanding from simply pulling out a statistic.

    • @bart

      You really need to up your game, folks. Stop living in the past. That got changed. Climate changed.

      Yea, and it changed in the past too!

    • HR | April 15, 2014 at 7:10 am |

      While it’s true you can get little understanding from a single statistic (arguably more if you use _all_ the valid statistics, which is one of the fundamental distinctions between trivia and the principles of Science), using invalid statistics gains only misunderstanding.

      Purposely cherrypicking only the sections of trends, or exaggerating the value of too-short series as trends (as those who speak of “The Pause” or try to abuse the immature TIKE) in discussions that by dint of mathematical necessity cannot consider so small a scale is simply propagating mistake.

      That said, a carpenter who doesn’t cut molecules with a tablesaw or drive atoms with a hammer can still benefit from understanding the chemistry of the molecules in a hickory plank or the physics underlying the nature of the atoms in a brass tack, so long as the distinction in scales is noted.

      As Lovejoy recently demonstrated to 99% confidence level, when we speak at climate scales, all those things you allude to are beneath our notice, and you won’t gain much understanding from internal variability limited to surface temperature, or solar changes, compared to GHG’s (and to a lesser extent, particulates).

      • @bart

        (as those who speak of “The Pause” or try to abuse the immature TIKE)

        I gather you then also think that global warming is immature? such short lives these fads live!

    • philjourdan | April 16, 2014 at 10:48 am |

      BEST, Lovejoy, and others have shown AGW to 95% to 99% (or higher) confidence.

      TIKE trends cannot be gotten much above the 50% confidence level.

      Hence we reject claims based on TIKE, but would be practicing a short-sighted exceptionalism or irrationality to reject AGW.

      Try to keep up.

      • @Bart – Show the math behind the confidence (and Best did not state that, just the IPCC).

        I did not link to any TIKE trends. I linked to the raw data. You can apply your own trend to it. However since the slope is negative, no amount of confidence is going to make it positive. math 101.

    • philjourdan | April 17, 2014 at 9:43 am |

      You link to the ‘raw’ (actually, derived from derived from derived) numbers; I use the data. Numbers don’t merit the name ‘data’ just by lying on the page, just like Big Liars don’t become honest by dint of lying on the internet. Numbers become data when valid analyses and inferences are performed on them.

      You want me to show the elementary arithmetic of confidence intervals? Pfft. http://www.wikihow.com/Calculate-Confidence-Interval for you!

      I refer you to the works of Santer (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00223722) and Schmidt (www.clim-past.net/10/221/2014/cp-10-221-2014.html), if you need examples pertinent to your question at both ends of the difficulty scale. Alternatively, if READing HARDER isn’t for you, I suggest you email the BEST team, as they’re incredibly helpful and somewhat knowledgeable.

      However, I _will_ give you a basic lesson in Statistics that will help you to get to the point where you’ll be able to grasp Santer’s reasoning and math: when a ‘trend’ is negative but the confidence in it is low, you can indeed construe it to be positive, at another low confidence. Ignoring flat trends, the two probabilities for the trend to be either negative or positive are complements summing to unity.

      • @bart – you appear to be getting even more psychotic. I said nothing about showing you any confidence intervals. I showed you the raw data of ACE and TIKE, which showed a decline. I did not compute nor state any confidence in the decline. The decline was more than enough to debunk chakra algore.

        Now you are going off on what I “wanted” to do? I am curious. When did you become a clairvoyant and are able to discern intentions through the internet (without even knowing a single aspect of your victim – er, subject)?

        I am sorry you insist upon childish name calling. I hope you grow up soon and are able to discuss things rationally. I enjoy a good discussion, but I do not like to participate in childish taunting games. They accomplish nothing and lead nowhere.

        If you would like to continue the discussion, I encourage you to respond. If your sole purpose is to play juvenile insulting games, I will tell you to not waste your time. I will not play such childish games.

    • philjourdan | April 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm |

      Which is it, debating, or discussing?

      I’m not really engaged in either with you, and have no interest in discussing things with a mudslinging dilettante on the internet.

      Well, actually, I’m quite ready to discuss things, or even debate, with an interesting mudslinging dilettante on the internet. Which is not happening here right now.

      You cannot call ACE or TIKE “raw” under any conditions, as they are not “raw”, but extracted figures concocted formulaically from indirect figures which themselves are concocted from indirect figures. No one counts all the ACE beans on the ACE stalk and delivers the “raw” number for ACE. No one compares the TIKE vine to a straight edge and counts the number of measures long the vine extends, or counts the whorls in the TIKE flower, either. Those would be raw numbers. You are misusing the term “raw”.

      But that’s okay, as you’re also misusing the term “data”. As you use it, you appear to mean ‘figures’ or ‘numbers’ or ‘collections of abstractions’. Until you can process the collections into something meaningful mathematically, or at the very least logically, you do not have data, though others who do such processing for the same collections might indeed have data.

      While you claim calling the figures “data points” make the points data, that claim too is faulty. To be data points one must accept the premises and parameters guiding charts and graphs and estimation. Especially, to claim a trend, one must accept that any collection of estimated data points is only as reliable as the observer. In this case, the observer is not very reliable. The collection cannot be accepted at face value, and we must resort to valid tests to verify claims about trends.

      That means the trend isn’t negative. It isn’t positive. It’s probably one or the other, to some degree of confidence. And the confidence for ACE and TIKE is not high enough to assert a valid claim of a trend. That’s bad news for your certain-sounding claims the trend is negative, but some comfort to your claim that intensity, as defined question-beggingly by ACE or TIKE, is not proven to be rising.

      So what? There are dozens of aspects to cyclones other than those captured by TIKE or ACE, which were both collections of numbers in a system manufactured by avid anti-AGW zealots who self-identify as such. These other aspects, requiring less equipment and fewer hundreds of millions of dollars to procure, are also more statistically reliable, and even better, can often be found for storms going back centuries, or even recognized in the geological record paleologically.

      Do I produce these numbers or references for you? No. I wonder at your monomania about measures that are dubious, and your overly certain pronouncements, while refusing to consider these other measures on the slim pretext of argumentum ad ignoratio; that because you don’t know them, they don’t exist.

      • @bart – what you do is your own affair. However, I have been debating you on a couple of issues, discussing things for other issues. Debate and discuss are not mutually exclusive.

        ACE and TIKE are considered Raw because they need no statistical inference to present their value or meaning. They are simple math, not statistical math. Should you want to create a trend with levels of confidence, then you are looking at working the data. Since I did not, and merely presented the RAW numbers, that is all you got.

        I noticed you never did challenge the numbers. Or the fact they were decreasing. I on the other hand, never made a claim of the slope of the decline or any future trends (i.e. I did not perform a statistical analysis nor create a model). Instead you seem to want to attack the data itself. You are free to do so, but that is not what the debate is about. The debate is about the trend.

        Anyone can claim that cyclones are increasing in number and strength. Yet there is no measure available that supports such heated rhetoric. ACE and TIKE are metrics that show the opposite to be true. Even as CO2 continues to increase, cyclones have not.

        And of course the AIT kerfuffle is the second point of contention. While you trot out desmog (a recognized biased source), I trotted out the Court records. You claim a victory for Gore. The court disagrees with you. I think that is called spin, Politicians are very good at it, scientists not so much.

        But as long as you continue to engage me, you are either arguing, or debating. The former is for those who have no facts, so must resort to ad hominems and insults. The latter is for reasoned individuals to discuss differences.

        You are welcome to call it what you want. But since I will not engage you in petty insults, I will call it debating. And I do not care about your insults. I would have to have respect for your opinion before they would affect me.

    • philjourdan | April 18, 2014 at 10:43 am |

      Firstly, let’s clear this ‘debating’ delusion up. You have not been debating me, nor discussing things with me. You’ve been flinging mud in blog comments at me, apparently merely because you enjoy insulting people to attack what they say. I’ve been correcting errors I see in the blog where the whim moves me. For discussion to happen, we’d have to demonstrate a meeting of the minds, and that just ain’t happening. For debate to happen, we’d have to follow the terms of debate, either informal or formal, and formally you’ve been so ad hom insulting you’d have long ago been tossed out of any level of formal debate while informally you’ve been so garullous as to be tossed out of even the seediest dives for being a troublemaker. My own conduct wouldn’t earn me much better, either, though I admit to falling far behind you in the ad personam; ironic since my topic is insulting, though I point out my topic is quality of insult, while your pursuit appears merely to aim for quantity.

      Second, just drop the ‘raw’ thing. You’re rationalizing and backpeddling shamelessly, and no one is fooled by it, and to no point. Pretending that because Statistics shows your claims to be meaningless therefore Statistics doesn’t apply is a bizarre defect of logic beyond fallacy and into pathology.

      Third, Statistics is the challenge to the numbers you seek. You merely turn deaf, dumb and blind to inference where it scuttles your foregone conclusion. You have no trend to debate, which ought suit you, as you aren’t in a debate. You’re in a self-imposed hallucination.

      The claim cyclones increase in number and strength is immaterial to me, really. Chaos Theory predicts the state of weather will inhabit more extremes due AGW Forcing; it does not specify how this will happen, but cyclonic shifts in frequency and intensity over what otherwise would have been is not an unreasonable guess, and for a time it was supported by limited and now likely obsolete peer reviewed papers. However, the opinions of Gray and Maue and the self-identified anti-AGW hurricane faction in hurricanology do not qualify as evidence, either, and no one is going to make TIKE-like numbers into statistically meaningful trends, which is to say into trends at all, for at least another seventy years of observation. How anyone is going to tell us what hurricane frequency and intensity would have been absent AGW, when GCMs are nowhere near being up to hurricane simulation at that level, remains moot. So you’re hairsplittingly arguing an unresolvable question.. but you’re not arguing it with me, because I’ve known better than to stoop to such questions for decades.

      I haven’t watched AIT. So I’m never going to debate AIT or its contents, nor discuss it as a viewer. I’ve read the Dimmock judgment. I observed that what you said about the Dimmock judgment was wildly exaggerated. I said so. That you persist in your biases is nothing to me. I’ve pointed out the error, so my work is done. Gore wasn’t a party to the legal proceeding, but Gore very definitely won, on publicity and the absolute and unqualified dismissal by the judge of all but nine claims by the plaintiff, in addition to a substantive passage by the judge praising AIT in the judgment itself, leaving no doubt of his opinion.

      Also in no doubt is that the judge used quotes around the word error at every point. We all know what air quotes mean, denoting sarcasm and mockery. The judge openly mocked the idea of AIT being in error; he merely made his judgment appeal-proof by going to lengths to document in the case of each ‘error’ (see, mockery and sarcasm) the legal niceties guaranteeing the letter of the law, precedent and the Daubert test. Reading it any other way betrays an ulterior motive or naivete and ignorance of legal matters. Which would not be the first time for you to do that.

      What you ‘think’ is called spin?

      That wouldn’t be your first error. Notice, no air quotes there.

      Oh, and one of the rules of actual debating?

      You can’t do it without respect for the other side.

      • @bart – I will challenge you again. Put up or shut up. Show me the ad hominems and insults I have been flinging at you. At chakra algore? Yes! But unless you are chakra algore, then you have nothing to complain about.

        And perhaps you have no conception of a debate. Let me clue you in. You presented a point, I presented a point, you showed opinions, I provided factual rebuttals. That is a debate. I really do not care for your “newspeak”. And if you do not want to debate, leave! No one is forcing you to respond to me.

        But enough of your misunderstanding of what you are doing. If you have a rebuttal, bring it! I would love to continue the debate. If all you have is childish insults about “you lie, the big lie, you meany pants”, keep them to yourself! You have already been censured. Do not continue to violate the AUP here.

        Either debate, or whine. I do not care. But try to be adult about it.

  11. An interesting model of ENSO based on analyzing the quasiperiodic SOI.

    http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

    Only a matter of time that we will be able to predict its behavior years in advance.

    • Web, good info thanks, I will read it more thoroughly later. That’s the first I’ve heard of the Chandler wobble.

    • The Chandler Wobble is not so much a driver of the oscillations but an indicator. R. Gross of JPL isolated the wobble as originating in the ocean circulation patterns, with some contribution from the atmosphere.

      R. S. Gross, “The excitation of the Chandler wobble,” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 27, no. 15, pp. 2329–2332, 2000.

      The variability in the wobble’s frequency is the fingerprint match to ENSO. My analysis provides evidence that the wobble’s change in frequency maps to the sloshing frequency change in ENSO (via the SIO measure) over the past 130+ years.

  12. Oops i pushed the publish button accidentally, i am less than half through with the post.

    • Judith

      I had wondered then thought that perhaps it was your new, pared down style…
      Tonyb

    • That won’t stop the CAGW activists pushing the melodrama button

      The true value of a Nino event to these people lies in its’ “meeja” propaganda value – all varieties of “We told you so, It’s worse than we thought” headlines. It has nothing to do with objective science

  13. There will be very little that could happen in the troposphere in one year (as in warming from an El Nino) that would cause a change of perception about the robust longer-term energy accumulation that has been going on in the full Earth climate system. Should a full and robust El Nino materialize, as seems increasingly likely, a bit of the energy the IPWP has been storing up will be released form the ocean to the troposphere. Some of this will show up as sensible heat in the troposphere as it passes to other parts of the system or makes its way out to space. This has the potential then to create the warmest year or series of years (2014 & 2015) on instrument record. This will be a huge boost for those fighting the false-flag fight of looking for and end to the “pause”, and create equal protestations in the opposite direction from fake-skeptics. All in all if will be quite a spectacle (sad and funny at the same time). In the meantime, even with the IPWP releasing a bit of energy, the longer-term accumulation of energy in the Earth climate system from the steady accumulation of GH gases will march ever upward.

  14. I think Robert Scribbler deserves a mention here. His style is overly dramatic, but he was writing about this before most, and he presents the information well.

    • I love how heat from SW and IR light can penetrate 150 meters of sea water before becoming thermalized. I am sure that the physics of this process is all kosher, despite IR being unable to pass through 1 mm of sea water.

    • NIck Stokes says: “I think Robert Scribbler deserves a mention here. His style is overly dramatic, but he was writing about this before most, and he presents the information well.”

      “Overly dramatic”? Robert Scribbler’s ENSO posts are nothing more than alarmist tripe. Data do not support his “overly dramatic” hype:

      http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/the-201415-el-nino-part-2-the-alarmist-misinformation-bs-begins/

      Regards

    • He is a fantasist. No value.

    • Nick,
      Regardless of the implications, the science of ENSO is fascinating. The Holy Grail of climate-related geosciences is to fully understand the sloshing of the Pacific Ocean waters that leads to the quasipriodic oscillations of ENSO,

      What we have to remember is that this is still merely a perturbation — from a larger perspective the magnitude of the ENSO effect is small compared to the absolute temperature of the thermal bath. It’s just that we as puny human beings are sensitive to these seemingly subtle effects.

      As RG says, the ocean is the dog that is gently wagging its tail.

    • Nick Stokes

      While I do not always agree with your posts I often respect them and learn something. But in the case of Robert scribbler you are way out in left field.

    • dalyplanet,
      no, anybody that raises the ghost of john daly is in left field

    • It will be interesting to see the results. Scribbler is rather hilarious. He doesn’t seem a priest so he must be an acolyte. He writes great fiction.

    • I imagine Nick was just throwing that one out as bait.

  15. “All eyes are on the tropical Pacific Ocean.” Well, not all, mine are on the sub-tropical Pacific Ocean as Brisbane is at 27 degrees south. Not so pacific as the tail-end of Cyclone Ita passed by.

  16. Looks like Dr Kevin Trenberth was right

  17. Maria trades wind,
    Modokai not boil the sky.
    What goes up well down.
    ==================

  18. Sigh!
    Here we go again.
    California is hoping for an El Nino as it creates conditions for some decent rain so as to break their drought.
    A hope that is getting a lot of mileage in the media and blogsphere.

    The Southern Hemisphere, as usual just gets ignored as if it doesn’t even exist on this planet
    No mention in the media and the climate blogsphere that that very same El Nino when strong and in the right location in the Pacific and combined with the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole can and has led to some of Australia’s most devastating droughts in central, eastern and south eastern Australia.

    Fortunately for us here in SE Australia the IOD predictions [ JAMSTEC ] for this season ahead is for a neutral Indian Ocean Dipole situation so any drought conditions arising from a strong El Nino can still be quite severe and long lasting but probably not completely catastrophic for farmers and their greatly reduced crop yields due to an El Nino triggered drought conditions.
    This along with the run down of the urban and city, winter replenished dam water supplies due to greatly reduced winter rainfall will create a deal of angst here in south eastern Australia if the predicted El Nino conditions develop..

    • ROM,
      Wishes are not valid climate science.

      ENSO stands for El Nino Southern Oscillation. Note the word “oscillation”. What ENSO gives now it will eventually take later.

      So your wishes do not matter, and nature will naturally fluctuate, creating transient zero-sum games between regions that get extra moisture and regions that don’t.

      The bigger concern in climate science is the unrelenting forcing of man-made GHGs on the global climate.

  19. The OSCC tended toward the thought that an el Niño in the Modoki mode may be in the offing for this year…

  20. Judith said: “With regards to the pause, I don’t see a pause buster given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO.”
    _____
    I think it would be interesting to have a discussion about what constitutes a “pause buster”. If either 2014 or 2015 break all previous instrument records for tropospheric sensible heat on a global basis- is that a “pause buster”? It would seem to me if one year’s tropospheric sensible heat readings can have such an effect, then the reading must not really mean that much. AGW is a long-term proposition, and I completely agree that the cool phase of the PDO has much to do with the tropospheric “pause”. Of course, as everyone here knows, I am not a fan of thinking the “pause” really means much in terms of measuring the anthropogenic effects of increasing GH gases on the climate system. The pause has told us far more about the strong role that ocean to atmosphere latent and sensible heat flux plays over shorter-periods and that looking at decadal averages is probably the best route to take if one wants to use the troposphere to tell us anything about the effects of increasing GHG’s.

    • R. Gates

      What would be a “pause buster”?

      Let’s keep it real simple.

      If the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (let’s say HadCRUT4) reversed its current trend of slight cooling (despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels) and started warming again at the rate seen in the late 20thC.

      That would be an end of the “pause”.

      We could then all contemplate why the pause ended until we’re blue in the face, but first it has to end.

      As far as its significance is concerned:

      IPCC has repeated in AR5 that “most of the increase in the ‘globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly’ (i.e. global warming) since 1950 can be attributed to increases in human GHG concentrations (i.e. human GHG emissions)”,

      We now had roughly one-fourth of all the CO2 emissions made by humans since 1850 occurring since the end of 2000, a period during which this “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” cooled slightly. According to the same IPCC estimates which support the “most of warming since 1950″ premise, it should have warmed by 0.2C (but instead it cooled by around 0.05C).

      If this “lack of warming” continues for another decade or two, despite continued unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching even higher record levels, this will constitute a direct falsification of the IPCC “CAGW” premise (as outlined specifically in its AR4 and AR5 reports).

      Wouldn’t you agree?

      If not, what would it take in your mind to falsify CAGW?

      Max

    • “If not, what would it take in your mind to falsify CAGW?”
      ______
      I have no idea as I am not one who ascribes to C-AGW. AGW is a different story, and as I’ve repeatedly said, it would take 5 years of OHC declines and Arctic sea ice increases and continental glacial mass increases to get me to begin to doubt AGW. These would all indicate more than one El Nino does or even a cool or warm phase of the PDO.

    • About the ‘pause’ in warming, what’s ter explain, I’d have thought,
      is not its end, but why it happened in the first place if CO2 is such
      a big knob in town.

    • “I am not one who ascribes to C-AGW. AGW is a different story.”

      Really. So are you saying C-AGW is not scientific or are you saying it is, but isn’t happening yet?

      Andrew

    • I think that discussion would be useless, for reasons you’ve provided before. ENSO isn’t a simple oscillation, and we won’t know how it is affected by different regimes, particularly the likely -PDO phase we may be in, for decades.

    • (i.e., understanding the processes is more important than jingoism).)

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      R Gates said
      _____
      “I think it would be interesting to have a discussion about what constitutes a “pause buster”. If either 2014 or 2015 break all previous instrument records for tropospheric sensible heat on a global basis- is that a “pause buster”? ”

      Not in itself. High records are expected to be broken easily.

    • R. Gates said: “I am not one who ascribes to C-AGW. AGW is a different story.”

      Bad Andrew said: “Really. So are you saying C-AGW is not scientific or are you saying it is, but isn’t happening yet?”
      _________
      Currently AGW has much more data to support it, whereas C-AGW involves far more guess work and subjective evaluation of the data. Certainly it seems extremely likely we are headed for a warmer world, but whether those effects will actually be “catastrophic” for humans or “catastrophic” for all life, etc gets more uncertain. CAGW can’t be discounted, but the uncertainty surrounding specific effects is higher than with the high probability of AGW. However, the longer the Human Carbon Volcano continues to erupt the higher the probability of catastrophic effects, but whether that probability goes from 1% to 5% or 5% to 50% remains a huge unknown.

    • R. Gates

      Thanks for response.

      Agree with you that “AGW” would be quite a bit more difficult to falsify than the IPCC premise, which has come to be generally known as “CAGW”.

      First, let’s define “AGW” and “CAGW”:

      AGW = the hypothesis that increased atmospheric concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (principally CO2) can result in warming of the climate system. Based on “first principles” this could be adding 3.71 W/m^2 for a doubling of CO2, which would theoretically result in global warming of around 1C (as measured by the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly”), when “equilibrium” is reached.

      CAGW = the premise specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 (and later AR5) reports, based on the hypothesis that a doubling of CO2 would result in warming of 1.5C to 4.5C (mean value of 3C), including the specific claim that “most” of the observed global warming seen since 1950 can be attributed to the increase of human GHGs, plus the many specific claims of deleterious effects and impacts of AGW for the future listed in these reports, which conclude that AGW is a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment, unless actions are undertaken to dramatically reduce human GHG emissions, principally CO2.

      IMO the latter claim (of which I am rationally skeptical) will fall apart if the current “pause” in warming of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” continues for another decade or two, despite unabated human emissions of GHGs and atmospheric concentrations reaching record high levels.

      As of today, around 22% of all the CO2 that was emitted by humans since 1850 from all sources has been emitted since the warming stopped at the end of 2000.

      At the current rate of human emissions this percentage will be 35% by 2023 (10 years from now) and 45% by 2033 (20 years from now).

      So IMO (using IPCC wording) it is “extremely likely” that the CAGW premise, as specifically outlined by IPCC and the hypothesis upon which it rests, will have been falsified if the pause continues one more decade from now – and “virtually certain” that it will have been falsified if it continues two more decades from now, despite unabated human GHG emissions.

      And that is what the debate is all about, Gates.

      Agreed?

      Max

    • manacker, I don’t think Gates would agree to that. You have put in your own personal assumption that a possible 4 C rise is Catastrophic. While that may be true, the scientific definition of “catastrophic” is yet to be seen anywhere, which is why the consensus is usually just called AGW.

    • Jim D

      You are missing the point.

      “AGW” is AGW (as defined in my comment): 3.71 W/m^2 for 2xCO2 based on “first principles”, resulting theoretically in around 1C warming.

      “CAGW” is simply the name commonly used for the IPCC premise as specifically outlined in its AR4 and AR5 reports. This is different from “AGW”. It includes a lot of model predictions on feedbacks, etc., which hypothetically triple the warming expected from 2xCO2, various assumptions on future CO2 development plus a bunch of direct and indirect effects and impacts of this warming on our environment and human well-being, all of which has nothing to do directly with “AGW”.

      This is the premise, which is being debated, no matter what you call it.

      And it is different from “AGW” itself

      Call it “potentially inconvenient AGW” if that makes you happier – but it does not change the premise, as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports.

      Max

    • David Springer

      A pause buster is irrelevant at this point. The decadal trend since 1950 0.08C/decade. Raising that up to the IPCC scare-mongering number of 0.2C/decade will take many contiguous years of rapid warming.

    • “CAGW can’t be discounted”

      If it were scientific, it could be.

      So were AGW for that matter.

      But neither one rises to the level of science at this point.

      The are both speculations.

      Andrew

    • And here I thought “a year” was weather. Wonder when it changed to “climate”?

  21. Gov. Jerry (a.k.a. “Moonbeam”) Brown is watching this development anxiously.

    A monster El Nino could bring rain back into his parched state.

    But, to cover all bets, plans are going ahead for a billion dollar reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant near San Diego.

    The last one (a smaller unit built near Santa Barbara in 1990) got constructed but never really commissioned, because the drought stopped and its incremental cost was several times the cost of collected rainwater. Over the years, the plant got cannibalized (with pieces being sold to Saudi Arabia and Arab Gulf states) – it is now being re-commissioned.

    So we have (at least) two groups that are praying for a big El Nino:

    – Californians (who are hoping for an end to the current drought)
    – Climatologists (who are hoping for an end to the current pause in global warming)

    Let’s see if Gaia reacts to their prayers.

  22. Thanks for the link to my blog, Judith.

    You wrote: “Both of these two super El Nino events occurred during the warm phase of the PDO.”

    The 1982/83 and 1997/98 El Niño events are in part responsible for the warm phase of the PDO, because the PDO (which is only a spatial pattern…warm in the east and cool in the west and central extratropical North Pacific for a positive PDO) is an aftereffect of ENSO. But the PDO (a spatial pattern) is also influenced by the sea level pressure of the extratropical North Pacific (and corresponding wind patterns).

    You continued, “During the cool phase of the PDO (which we are currently in), overall the El Nino events are less frequent and of lower magnitude.”

    The PDO is positive (has been for three months) and growing more positive …

    http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest

    …so any hypothetical feedbacks associated with a cool phase of the PDO presently do not exist.

    You continued, “The strongest El Nino in a previous cool phase of the PDO was in 1972/1973.”

    Keep in mind that the JISAO PDO index is comprised of 2 obsolete sea surface temperature datasets before 2002. For 1972/73, they were using a spatially incomplete dataset from UKMO. Now JISAO is using the Reynolds OI.v2 dataset.

    And lastly, with respect to the PDO, you wrote, “So will a 2014/2015 be a pause buster? Probably not, given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO.”

    See above comments about the PDO. Kevin Trenberth appears to believe the 2014/15 El Niño will be sufficient to cause another “big step” in global surface temperatures. If the 2014/15 El Niño turns into a strong El Niño and drains the Pacific Warm Pool, then I’ll agree with him. But a lot of ENSO-related feedbacks are yet to happen before we see a strong El Niño.

    Regards.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “Kevin Trenberth appears to believe the 2014/15 El Niño will be sufficient to cause another “big step” in global surface temperatures.”

      I’m sure he’d come to believe this after much sober and dispassionate analysis. After all, it’s not as if he’s got the slightest vested interest in whether the global surface temps rise or not.

    • “Kevin Trenberth appears to believe the 2014/15 El Niño will be sufficient to cause another “big step” in global surface temperatures. If the 2014/15 El Niño turns into a strong El Niño and drains the Pacific Warm Pool, then I’ll agree with him.”
      ______
      Several interesting ideas here, all of which hint at the really important underlying dynamics of what’s going on.

      First, for a few years now we’ve heard that the majority of the extra energy from AGW has been “going into” the oceans. This is exactly correct, as the largest single ocean energy reserve, the IPWP, has been steadily growing larger and warmer for 60+ years. El Ninos only drain a bit of that extra energy out of the IPWP, passing it both to other parts of the climate system as well as out to space. But during this “draining” of the IPWP, it does not go down below where is was prior to the El Nino event– hence the longer-term increase in energy of this important reservoir. Thus, should Trenberth be correct and somehow 2014 or 2015 set new tropospheric sensible heat records, it really does tell us as much about the longer-term effects from anthropogenic GH gas increases and the very regular and steady build up of energy that’s been going on in the IPWP for many decades. It will create an interesting side-show, with both sides slinging the requisite mud at each other, but the real story of AGW is in the oceans and so it will remain.

    • Judith, additionally there was an unusual warm event in the extratropical North Pacific last year (that was overlooked by the PDO data):

      http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/about-the-unusual-warming-event-in-extratropical-north-pacific-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/

      Up-to-date graph of sea surface temperature anomalies for the extratropical North Pacific:

      And the March data show the sea surface temperatures in the extratropical North Pacific are still elevated, even for data after the late 1980s upward shift:

      But even more important due to feedback with the eastern tropical Pacific is the eastern extratropical North Pacific. March 2014 sea surface temperatures there are still elevated there:

      It’s blatantly obvious the PDO data do not describe what’s happening with the sea surface temperature anomalies of the extratropical North Pacific. What value do the PDO data have in a discussion of ENSO? Little to none.

      Cheers.

      • Bob, my understanding is that there are two separate multidecadal modes in the Pacific: PDO and NPGO. ENSO is a high frequency expression of PDO, and Central Pacific Modoki is high frequency expression of NPGO. (a paper by DiLorenzo, can’t find it at the moment). Circulation patterns in a cold PDO are more conducive to La Nina (fixed).

        The stadium wave model includes all of these.

    • curryja says: “Bob, my understanding is that there are two separate multidecadal modes in the Pacific: PDO and NPGO…”

      The PDO is the first PC of the detrended sea surface temperature anomalies of the extratropical Pacific, and, if memory serves, DiLorenzo’s NPGO is the second PC. Neither represents the variability of the sea surface temperatures of the extratropical North Pacific. The PDO, in fact, is inversely related to the sea surface temperatures of the extratropical North Pacific.

      Both the PDO and the NPGO are abstract forms of the sea surface temperatures of the extratropical North Pacific. Global surface temperature anomalies, on the other hand, are not abstract forms of data; they’re data.

    • curryja says: “Circulation patterns in a cold PDO are more conducive to El Nino.”

      The PDO is positive, not negative. See earlier comment.

      curryja says: “The stadium wave model includes all of these.”

      But, as far as I know, the stadium wave model does not include the actual sea surface temperature data of the North Pacific, just abstract forms of the sea surface temperatures. Global temperatures respond to the actual temperature of the North Pacific, not to abstract forms of it.

      Regards

      • Fixed the cool PDO is conducive to La Nina

        My point is about the circulation patterns, these are a big driver IMO, not just the temperatures themselves

    • P.S.: curryja, for the actual multidecadal variability of the North Pacific SST data, see the following:

      It’s from the following post:

      http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/multidecadal-variations-and-sea-surface-temperature-reconstructions/

      Maybe you can answer a question: why does the climate science community insist on using abstract forms of the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific when they can use the actual sea surface temperatures there, or detrend it as is done for the North Atlantic? Then you’re using a surface temperature subset to describe its contribution to the global data, where with the PDO and NPGO you’re not.

      Cheers.

    • curryja says: “My point is about the circulation patterns, these are a big driver IMO, not just the temperatures themselves”

      I see we’re writing at the same time.

      The PDO and NPGO are not circulation patterns, they’re spatial patterns. If you’re concerned about circulation patterns the sea surface temperature anomalies of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (30N-45N, 150W-150E) dominate the North Pacific. Sea surface temperatures there are also inversely related to the PDO. Again, that’s known, so why use an abstract when the KOE SST data are available? Just wondering.

      Regards

    • Bob, Judith
      Following both with great interest. Also affects US regional drought. See McCabe et. al. Pacific and Atlantic Ocean Influences…PNAS 101: 4136-4141 (2004). Statistical study from the USGS.

    • curryja says: “Bob, the circulation patterns reflect climate regimes, whereas an absolute temperature does not.”

      The multidecadal variations in the sea surface temperatures of the North Pacific show the actual climate regimes, not the abstract form of it:

      Gotta go.

    • Curry is right and Tisdale is wrong on this matter. It really is the difference between someone applying science and someone manipulating the data to slant the results.

    • Bob T. said:

      “The PDO and NPGO are not circulation patterns.”

      “What value do the PDO data have in a discussion of ENSO? Little to none.”
      _____
      Certainly this must be an error on Bob’s part? The cool phase of the PDO is characterized by a strong circulation pattern changes reflected in La Nina conditions prevailing over El Nino’s as strong easterlies dominate and prevail over the equator leading to more vigorous NH and SH gyres (a spinning up of these, so to speak), greater downwelling of warm water in those areas, and of course a more persistently deeper thermocline in the western Pacific. The climate shifts in 1976-77, and the again in 1998-99, though nearly exactly opposite in effect, we marked by large scale changes in the circulation patterns over the Pacific, in the first case leading to greater latent and sensible heat being pulled from the Pacific, and in the second case to less being pulled and more being stored.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) says: “Curry is right and Tisdale is wrong on this matter. It really is the difference between someone applying science and someone manipulating the data to slant the results.”

      I presented data; you presented nothing to support your claim. If you believe my presentation of data is incorrect, show the data that refutes it.

      Adios

    • R. Gates, of course you took two quotes out of context. Read and understand them as they appear in the comments from which they came.

      Have a good day.

    • R. Gates says: “Certainly this must be an error on Bob’s part? The cool phase of the PDO is characterized by a strong circulation pattern changes reflected in La Nina conditions prevailing over El Nino’s as strong easterlies dominate and prevail over the equator leading to more vigorous NH and SH gyres (a spinning up of these, so to speak), greater downwelling of warm water in those areas, and of course a more persistently deeper thermocline in the western Pacific.”

      To expand on my earlier reply: There’s no error on my part, R. Gates. But there is obviously a misunderstanding on your part of what the PDO represents. The PDO has nothing to do with the tropical Pacific, R. Gates. It only pertains to the extratropical North Pacific. The PDO represents the ENSO-like SPATIAL pattern of the sea surface temperatures in the extratropical Pacific, nothing more, nothing less, but that spatial pattern is also governed by the wind patterns there, so the PDO data has a different pattern in time than ENSO. The PDO does not represent the strength of the equatorial trade winds, nor does it have anything to do with the South Pacific gyre (you’re in the wrong hemisphere, R. Gates.)

      R. Gates says: “The climate shifts in 1976-77, and the again in 1998-99, though nearly exactly opposite in effect, we marked by large scale changes in the circulation patterns over the Pacific, in the first case leading to greater latent and sensible heat being pulled from the Pacific, and in the second case to less being pulled and more being stored.”

      Maybe you should look at the sea surface temperature anomalies of the extratropical North Pacific, from which the PDO is derived, R. Gates. The climate shifts in the extratropical North Pacific take place in 1976 and 1988. See Trenberth and Hurrel (1995):

      http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.394.8869&rep=rep1&type=pdf

      Have good day.

    • Bob T said:

      “The PDO has nothing to do with the tropical Pacific, R. Gates. It only pertains to the extratropical North Pacific.”

      Sorry Bob, no sale on your narrow view of the PDO. I rather refer to a group of experts who see the teleconnections between the tropical and extratropical N. Pacific, including the NPGO. They write:

      “In this study we show that central tropical Pacific SST variability associated with the CPW El Niño drives the decadal-scale NPGO pattern through an atmospheric teleconnection involving large- scale sea-level pressure (SLP) anomalies in the central North Pacific. It is well known that tropical Pacific warming reshapes large-scale atmospheric circulation in the North Pacific.”

      The full study is found here:

      http://ocean3d.org/web/alex-ke/Di%20Lorenzo-2010.pdf

      You cannot conveniently separate out parts of the Pacific to narrowly define something for your point of view– it’s called cherry picking Bob.

    • R. Gates: Because you somehow believe that the PDO influences the trade winds of the equatorial Pacific, I have an exercise for you. To simplify things, we’ll look at the satellite era of sea surface temperatures (Nov 1981 to Mar 2014). Take the weighted average of the NOAA trade wind index anomalies, basing the weighting on the longitudes included. The West Pacific Trade Wind Index anomalies are here, the Central Pacific Trade Wind Index anomalies here and West Pacific Trade Wind Index anomalies here. (The second of the three datasets on each page) After you’ve determined the weighted average of the trade wind indices, standardize it. Then, to your spreadsheet, add NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies (Reynolds OI.v2) from the NOAA NOMADS website. We’ll use that as our ENSO index. Standardize it as well. Now add the JISAO PDO data. It’s already standardized so you can save yourself a step.

      Now determine how well the weighted average of the trade wind data correlates with the PDO and with the ENSO index. The correlation coefficient of the trade wind data with the PDO is about -0.36. Not very good. The correlation coefficient of the trade wind data with the ENSO index is about -0.82. Much better.

      Now plot them. The trade wind data are noisy, so if you like, smooth all three datasets with 12-month running-average filters. Your graph should look something like this:

      http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/pdo-nino3-4-weighted-average-trade-wind-indices.png

      We can see that the trade wind indices are inversely related to the ENSO index and the PDO. So invert the standardized trade wind data. Your result should look like this:

      http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/pdo-nino3-4-inverted-weighted-average-trade-wind-indices.png

      Note how poorly the PDO data agree with the trade wind data before the 1997/98 El Niño, while the ENSO index and the trade wind data mimic one another over the term of the data. That pretty well sums up the differences between the PDO and ENSO.

      If you’d like, you’re more than welcome to continue to believe that the PDO influences the trade winds of the equatorial Pacific, but your beliefs will not be supported by data.

      Gotta get back to work.

      See ya’

    • R. Gates provided a quote from DiLorenzo:
      ““In this study we show that central tropical Pacific SST variability associated with the CPW El Niño drives the decadal-scale NPGO pattern through an atmospheric teleconnection involving large- scale sea-level pressure (SLP) anomalies in the central North Pacific.”

      Than you for confirming that ENSO drives the NPGO. How thoughtful of you!

      Adios.

      • Actually, the so called central pacific El Nino is a different beast from ENSO; CPW El Nino is linked to the NPGO, while regular El Nino is linked to the PDO

    • R. Gates: We really wouldn’t expect the NPGO to agree with an ENSO index because the NPGO is an aftereffect of only central Pacific El Niño events, but just in case… Same exercise as above, but using the NPGO data in place of the PDO data.

      No similarities between NPGO and the trade wind indices/ENSO index:

      http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/npgo-nino3-4-inverted-weighted-average-trade-wind-indices.png

      Inverting the NPGO data does not help:

      http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/inverted-npgo-nino3-4-inverted-weighted-average-trade-wind-indices.png

      Have a good day.

    • curryja says: “Actually, the so called central pacific El Nino is a different beast from ENSO; CPW El Nino is linked to the NPGO, while regular El Nino is linked to the PDO”

      Sorry to disagree again, Judith. Central Pacific El Nino events are still a part of ENSO. Very similar processes in fact. A central Pacific El Nino event is simply located more towards the central equatorial Pacific, while the East Pacific El Nino events occur in the eastern equatorial Pacific as well. And you appear to have cause and effect backwards. The PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO, and the NPGO is an aftereffect of central Pacific El Nino events.

      Regards

    • Judith/Bob

      Thanks for the very interesting exchange.

    • curryja says: “All of this is rather speculative at this point, there are obviously different views on this”

      My views are based on data.

      Cheers.

    • Is the use(and misuse) of the derivative indices simply because they were the easiest, and first, to find correlation?
      =============

    • Heh, Judy, I ran it through googletranslate and the interpretation it spat out was just a bunch of numbers, and not wholly sensible, law-abiding integers at that.
      ================

    • Judith said:

      “Actually, the so called central pacific El Nino is a different beast from ENSO; CPW El Nino is linked to the NPGO, while regular El Nino is linked to the PDO.”
      _____
      Thanks for this clarification Judith. Just to make sure the terminology is clear to myself and others: CPW El Nino=El Nino Modoki? Also, your statement of linkage between regular El Nino and the PDO is one of large scale circulation, yes? So called “teleconnections”?

    • curryja, sorry if I appeared argumentative. I’ve been having these discussions of what the PDO does and does not represent for years. My understandings of the PDO are supported by data, as are my understandings of ENSO.

      Cheers

  23. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    Don’t know what to root for. Weak el nino/cold pdo spells another rotten winter in much of the U.S., including south Florida where we’re headed in January for a few months. OTOH, a strong el nino will likely cause cool/stormy weather down there as well.

    Plus, there’s possible implications for the pause, which of course is why the alarmists are salivating at the prospect of a super el nino. Never seen a bunch of people more willing to see us all fry just so they can be proven right. Elevates narcissism to a whole new level.

    • Cutting off their nous to spite their case.
      ===============

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “Cutting off their nous to spite their case”

      Otherwise known as a Pyrrhic victory.

    • “Never seen a bunch of people more willing to see us all fry just so they can be proven right.”

      Ah, right. So global warming is caused by a group of humans wishing it to happen against your personal wishes. Got it….

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      “Ah, right. So global warming is caused by a group of humans wishing it to happen against your personal wishes. Got it”

      I think rather, its got you. I like the sneer though.

    • It doesn’t matter what happens. The pause is already dead. It was born dead. One of the dumbest analyses since Moody AAA’d MBS full of subprime.

    • David Springer

      The pause reduced the long term trend of decadal warming to a value of 0.08C/decade since 1950. Try to scare anyone into wasting money on that.

  24. For what it’s worth:

    Much has been made about the possible development of an El Niño later this spring and into the summer. Sea surface temperatures have been warming at a rapid rate across the Pacific, but recent trends have been indicating some cooling has occurred along the South American coast and near Indonesia… In the middle, near the International Date Line, warming continues to accelerate. The interspersed warm and cool areas of the Pacific may indicate the development of El Niño Modoki Pattern… if this ENSO condition is more of a Modoki Pattern, it may dissipate more quickly than forecast by the models… either way, a positive ENSO condition often leads to wetter than normal conditions in the Southwest United States.

    ~OSCC Predictive Services

  25. In about 1999, I pulled out of the Oxford Uni/Hadley experiment to use ‘grid’ computing to validate their climate models. I pulled out when I learned that there was no attempt to model ENSO effects, when every one in Australia knew that ENSO and the SOI had a primary effect on our climate. It seems we have no better understanding of ENSO now than we did then. This is extraordinary slow progress in a vital climate process.

    How do we measure PDO? How do we separate it from ENSO?. Surely it is not just the Southern oceans sloping around in some sort of periodic motion? These interactions can only be solved by better modelling. So Hansen took a pot shot at modelling, but at least he tried. Now we need a better shot. All the IPCC supported models exaggerate global warming, probably because they are based on being fitted into a continuous model straight-jacket process.

  26. Strong El Nino’s typically mean lots of flooding here in Oregon. The majority of Oregon’s population lives in the Willamette Valley. This valley is fairly flat and has a hard time discharging large volumes of water fast enough so it backs up. I’ve lived through several of these flooding cycles. As others have mentioned above, these storm patterns that hit the USA west coast can be nick-named “the pineapple express” and it doesn’t always hit us in just one place. The worst one I have seen hit pretty far north and the entire Columbia River backed up into the city of Portland.

    It amazes me to see people successfully modifying building codes so they can build in known flood plains and rationalize it by saying it’s been a lot of years since it last flooded. The builder make a buck, they sell it off to unsuspecting new home owners, and then the next flood hits and destroys the (perceived) property value. This human behavior is a driving force behind ever increasing storm losses.

    The flip side of the coin is that right now our Oregon snow pack is below average throughout the state, critically so in Southern Oregon, putting this summer’s agriculture at risk. A local reporter studied the local snowpack data and published a report regarding Oregon’s snow pack trend by decade. It made front page news because it is such a clear trend, and it simply does not look good for our future.

    Weather weirding (or more severe weather swings)… Not a good thing for mankind.

    • And the link to that reporter’s report on snow pack trend?

    • Petwir: “Strong El Nino’s typically mean lots of flooding here in Oregon.”
      That surprises me.

      During the 2010-11 ski season, Mt. Bachelor had a record 665″ of snowfall, besting the previous record of 606″ set in 1998-99, both La Nina periods.

  27. Cycles all over, sort of like epicycles for planetary motion.

    Those were less bad science than reported, as they more or less duplicate Fourier coefficients.

    In the case of climate, a random process is nicely represented by sums of cycles. Conversely, you can’t get much more out of observations than sums of cycles.

    If you knew the physics of all the flows, maybe you could understand more, but at the moment it’s all epicycles.

    • rhhardin,
      Are seasons epicycles? Are days and nights epicycles? Are tides epicycles? There is nothing magical about any of these phenomena.

      Else, please speak in coherent english so we can understand what you are trying to imply.

    • In the absence of theory, you won’t get much out of observed cycles.


    • rhhardin | April 15, 2014 at 9:13 am |

      In the absence of theory, you won’t get much out of observed cycles.

      I have more of a theory regarding ENSO than you will ever approach in your lifetime:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim/

      The oscillations behind ENSO are likely not as random as they appear.

    • The mathematical fact is that the general stationary Gaussian random process is a sum of sines and cosines.

      The implication is that inversion from observation won’t get you understanding. You expect cycles no matter what, a priori.

      Having gotten a cycle, you can adjust the free parameters in your theory to match.

      A theory without free parameters, say you solved a genuine physics equation to get it, has the edge.

      Elliptic motion for instance did that. There were no free parameters there.

    • I did solve a physics equation JC SNIP. A periodically modulated wave equation generates the characteristic waveform. It seems as if you are way behind the scientific curve.

  28. Dr. Curry, perhaps some of your educated readers on the subject of ENSO can assist with a small request. I have been unable to find the answer to my questions so far.

    I have viewed much in the way of measurement comparisons to the EL NINO from the late 90’s as far as temperature at depth. Typically the TCHP measurment is used in the analysis.

    My question relates to the way they calculate the TCHP. The way that is actually measured has changed at least 2 times since late 90’s.

    My questions for anyone who can answer is:

    How do our measurements compare with historic records of same events by virtue of the changes in measurement technique?

    Can we actually compare what we have now with what was recorded in the late 90’s?

    Can the older data actually be processed for re-analysis?

    Reference:

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/cyclone/data/method.html

    TIA, great blog too>

  29. David Wojick

    Has anyone else noticed the nearly hysterical hype at the simple prospect of an El Nino? El Ninos are common but the press is treating them as catastrophic. Dangerous weather is the new meme.

  30. There was a comment over at WUWT about the Humbolt Current.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/12/your-chance-to-predict-future-el-nino-headlines/

    From that thread:
    *****
    J Calvert N(UK) says:
    April 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Nobody has yet metioned the Humboldt Current in all this. It has got to be a major component in the whole ENSO system – surely! Right now it seems to have ‘gone to sleep’. Is this this a regular occurence? Could it have resulted from some slackening of the West Wind Drift and the Westerly Winds (Roaring Forties etc.)? This doesn’t seem to have happened in the last couple of years.
    I’m wondering if the Roaring Forties etc. will become re-established in the looming Southern Hemisphere winter, and if they do, whether the Humboldt Current will get going again. And if the Humboldt Current gets going again, what effect that will have on the El Nino?
    *****

    Not knowing about it, seached and found:
    From the article:

    Periodically, the upwelling that drives the system’s productivity is disrupted by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event. When this occurs, fish abundance and distribution are significantly affected, often leading to stock crashes and cascading social and economic impacts. These events have led to sequential changes, where sardines and anchovies have replaced each other periodically as the dominant species in the ecosystem. These species changes can have negative consequences for the fishing industry and the economies of the countries that fish the system.

    So, I guess if we do get an El Nino and there is a die-off of fish, the CAGWers will start yelling that CO2 killed the fish.

  31. Robert I Ellison

    The PDO and ENSO reconstructions rely on rainfall proxies of one sort or another.

    ‘Reconstructed PDO since 1660. Correlation between instrumental (dashed) and reconstructed PDO is 0.64 from 1925 to 1991. During warm periods, the eastern North Pacific is warmer than usual, and the central North Pacific is cooler (viceversa during cool periods). Warm and cool PDO phases are qualitatively similar to warm and cool ENSO events, but different because of slower temporal dynamics and stronger midlatitudinal responses.’ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/biondi2001/biondi2001.html

    ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

    The 2 are interconnected and inevitably driven by the same external forcing pattern in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres facilitating more or less cold upwelling in the eastern Pacific. Wind patterns that influence the strength of the eastern arms of the north and south Pacific gyres.

    e.g. http://www.o3d.org/npgo/

    Top down forcing of polar wind and current fields through statospheric ozone/ solar UV interactions seem as likely as not. The strength of the Peruvian Current for instance depends on the state of sub-Antarctic pressure fields. Positive AO and AAO over the past couple of months fit the current Pacific pattern – weaker Californian and Peruvian currents, an emerging El Nino and a warmer north Pacific.

    The essential La Nina pattern is shown here.

    We know that these phases of linked PDO and ENSO = IPO go back at least 1000 years. So the current cool phase seems likely to persist for decades – with less frequent and intense El Nino – driven as it must be by an external control variable. But as we are at a 1000 year peak in EL Nino activity – perhaps not unconnected with a solar grand maxima – the next phase may be to yet cooler conditions rather than an assumed return to another warm phase.

  32. Robert I Ellison

    Splitting the comment for convenience – this is a repeat Judy.

    The PDO and ENSO reconstructions rely on rainfall proxies of one sort or another.

    ‘Reconstructed PDO since 1660. Correlation between instrumental (dashed) and reconstructed PDO is 0.64 from 1925 to 1991. During warm periods, the eastern North Pacific is warmer than usual, and the central North Pacific is cooler (viceversa during cool periods). Warm and cool PDO phases are qualitatively similar to warm and cool ENSO events, but different because of slower temporal dynamics and stronger midlatitudinal responses.’ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/biondi2001/biondi2001.html

    ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

  33. Maybe start by accepting climate as a fantastically complex flux, not to be explained mechanistically by the latest “finding” or, God help us, publication.

    Why did the climate of the US change so profoundly after 1825? Why did Eastern Australia become a wetter place after 1950? Why does nobody get to grow up in the climate their parents grew up in? Why are those who bark loudest about Climate Change so utterly uninterested in actual climate change? (Really, an actual climate change could bite them on the back side and they wouldn’t notice.)

    Maybe ENSO is not a neatly operating mechanism opposed or enhanced by other neatly operating mechanisms and massively interrupted by a man-made brawl between particulates and GHGs (also portrayed as neat mechanisms). Maybe, like the PDO, ENSO is just a rough but handy guide or observation set, only useful in the hands of adults. More like running a car, less like running a computer game.

    • mosomoso says:

      “Why did the climate of the US change so profoundly after 1825?”

      I see a pattern emerging. The Aussies commenting here are dealing in hearsay and innuendo. Why is that?

      Please show evidence of USA-specific climate change after 1825.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Decadal drought was particularly common over the Southwest in the nineteenth century (64 yr from 1801 to 1900 were included in drought regimes; Figs. 5c, 6d–h). Only the long pluvial of 1825–40 (Fig. 4c) interrupted this nineteenth-century pattern of long-lasting drought.

      http://www.uark.edu/misc/dendro/PUBS/2003_BAMS_Fye.pdf

      I think I see a pattern emerging – bombastic, aggressive, and facile.

    • Americans deal with scientific citations, not with innuendo.

    • Webby

      Depends on the “Americans” involved.

      Some (like your Secretary of State) make unfounded claims of future disaster from AGW, classifying it as the most serious global terrorist threat we face.

      That’s got nothing to do with “facts”, Webby, as I’m sure you will agree.

      Max

    • Robert I Ellison

      Does not knowing American history and dressing it up as American jingoism strike rational Americans as cringe worthy?

    • What is special about 1825?

      Show it in a measure or shut up.

    • “not knowing American history” is one of the central goals of the progressive education system in the US. From kindergarten to graduate school, historical revisionism is de rigueur. Actual American history is politically incorrect.

      All those dead, white males of European extraction, dontcha know.

      For an example, if the Democrats let their campaign workers in the teachers’ unions teach the true history of slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and racism in general in the United States, the Dems would never win another national election.

    • Robert I Ellison

      If one were curious – one might wonder what caused the century long drought – or the 15 year pluvial from 1825 to 1940.

      If one were a bombastic, aggressive and facile American jingoist – I guess it doesn’t matter.

    • mosomoso

      I wrote about the interesting older US records here;

      http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/triplets-on-the-hudson-river/

      This link goes into more details on the apparently warmer than today 1820’s

      http://www.c3headlines.com/2009/06/krugmans-hysterical-outburst-never-underestimate-the-ignorance-pomposity-of-the-chattering-class.html

      Part of the long pluvial occurred in the distinctly cold 1830 to 1840 period, which then warmed up again. Thought it was interesting that a noted rainfall event happened during a cold rather than warm period (see Julia Slingo’s remarks on warmer atmosphere trapping more water) as the greatest rainfall events here in Britain occurred during the LIA rather than the modern warmish period.

      tonyb

    • While the Pluvial in the US coincided with what may (or may not) have been Australia’s sharpest drought in the historical period – the drought of the late 1830s actually dried the Murrumbidgee – it’s of interest that our driest known decade, the 1930s, coincided with the Dustbowl in the US. Amazingly, while definitions differ, the BoM defines no El Nino events between the mid-1920s and 1940. Go figure. The extreme heat/drought/fire of 1938-9 occurred during a La Nina. Positive PDO would appear to explain some of that, but it seems there’s a lot to know about this climate thingy!

      An interesting thing about neg PDO is that the one we know a lot about, the mid-20th century one, really did make a difference to Australia. The east got wetter after 1950 and the north got much wetter post 1970. However if you look back to see a similar effect for the early 20th century in the north and east you just run into long term rain deficit post 1895, with some good years and bad floods chucked in, just because it’s Oz. Seems you don’t just get a regular cool-down every thirty years, courtesy of PDO. Not only is there no such thing as a stable climate, you don’t even get stable instabilities. (My God, did I just sound deep?)

      PDO is another interesting indicator, but a Swiss watch it ain’t.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT): “ENSO is an oscillation. Do you now want to call it ENSNO? for El Nino Southern Non-Oscillation?”

      ENSO stands for El Nino-Southern Oscillation. Do you see the hyphen? It separates El Nino from Southern Oscillation. That’s not to say that an El Nino is not part of an oscillation; it’s the discharge mode of a chaotic, sunlight-fueled, coupled ocean-atmosphere, recharge-discharge oscillator. Someday you’ll understand, but probably not in my lifetime.

    • “.. or the 15 year pluvial from 1825 to 1940. ”

      These rednecks from Australia can’t even do basic arithmetic.

    • Robert I Ellison

      What? You want to call it 16 years? These things have conventions – but don’t let that stop you from making a trivial comment.

  34. Robert G Shaw

    Prof Curry
    A strengthening of trade winds in the tropics is surely more likely to create a permanent ever stronger La Nina with a capability of rolling over the Pacific Ocean top to bottom and losing all the TOA measured global warming trapped heat in the deep ocean.
    The TOA trapped heat is roughly 8 to 16 zetajoules per year but the heat capacity of the oceans is 5600 zetajoules per degree C. We have somewhere around 90 years of fossil fuel left at the present rate of consumption. 90 years at 16 zetajoules per year would warm the oceans of the world 0.25 degrees.( not too frightening)
    Perhaps this trade wind strengthening will make the pause permanent!
    Regards Rob Shaw

    • ENSO is an oscillation. Do you now want to call it ENSNO? for El Nino Southern Non-Oscillation?

      bizarre

      Deniers will adopt any argument, even going as far as saying that a historical oscillating pattern will stop oscillating, just for the sake of adopting an ABCD pose.

      ABCD = Anything But Carbon Dioxide.

    • Webby

      Again you are missing the point Robert G Shaw makes.

      The TOA trapped heat from all the fossil fuels left on this planet (his estimate) would warm the ocean by 0.25C, if all this heat went into the ocean as it supposedly does during La Nina conditions.

      Even the little fishies down there wouldn’t notice this, Webby.

      Got it now?

      Max

    • Robert Shaw, no not the actor from Jaws, claims La Nina will become permanent, thus eliminating ENSO as a future phenomena.

      What a fish story!

    • Robert I Ellison

      ENSO causes climate extremes across and beyond the Pacific basin; however, evidence of ENSO at high southern latitudes is generally restricted to the South Pacific and West Antarctica. Here, the authors report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high-latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequent reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD. Over the last 1010 yr, the LD summer sea salt (LDSSS) record has exhibited two below-average (El Niño–like) epochs, 1000–1260 ad and 1920–2009 ad, and a longer above-average (La Niña–like) epoch from 1260 to 1860 ad. Spectral analysis shows the below-average epochs are associated with enhanced ENSO-like variability around 2–5 yr, while the above-average epoch is associated more with variability around 6–7 yr. The LDSSS record is also significantly correlated with annual rainfall in eastern mainland Australia. While the correlation displays decadal-scale variability similar to changes in the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), the LDSSS record suggests rainfall in the modern instrumental era (1910–2009 ad) is below the long-term average. In addition, recent rainfall declines in some regions of eastern and southeastern Australia appear to be mirrored by a downward trend in the LDSSS record, suggesting current rainfall regimes are unusual though not unknown over the last millennium.

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=152

      Two basic facts about ENSO are the 20 to 40 year regimes of La Niña or El Niño dominant conditions – and the 1000 year peak of El Niño activity in the 20th century. Most of the last millennium – 1260 to 1860 – is strongly La Niña dominated in a 2 to 5 year period. As opposed to the current 2 to 7 year periodicity. Why ENSO behaves like this I speculate is related to solar activity – but the details remain elusive.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Here is another ENSO proxy – this time from a South American Lake and Holocene spanning.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=211

      There are several things of interest here. Megadroughts and megafloods. El Nina or La Nina dominance over centuries. Shifts between dominant states with a quasi millennial beat. Perhaps most interesting of all – in the context of the development of human culture – is the shift from infrequent and small El Nino – almost permanent La Nina – to the modern state some 5,000 years ago. This coincided for very good hydrological reasons with the drying of the Sahel.

    • Web, The Chief has handed your lunch to you so many times you must be thinking he is your personal Meals on Wheels.

    • Wow, we have people named Robert Shaw and Peter Yates commenting here. They should get together and remake The Deep, a fictional story about how deniers think ENSO will save them.

    • The problem with the Aussie’s argument is that he claims that only one lobe of the ENSO can impact global temperatures. On the contrary, all credentialled climate scientists realize that both negative and positive excursions compensate global temperatures:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/11/the-cause-of-the-pause-is-due-to-thermodynamic-laws/

      Take the SOI as a contributing factor to a global temperature measure and you will find it is statistically significant, INDEPENDENT of whether it is in a long-term cool mode or long-term warm mode. He doesn’t understand this because he doesn’t do the analysis .. he just speculates and asserts.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There is a NASA site – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 – I link to repeatedly that discusses alternate warming and cooling from these decadal regimes – not merely from individual La Nina and El Nino..

      I have quoted myself – http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2010/02/ellison/https://www.google.com.au/#q=ellison%20american%20thinker

      I have quoted many people on this natural mode of cooling and warming.

      The residual warming in the 20th century – after these regimes are accounted for – is some 0.07 degrees C/decade. It provides a maximum rate – but the pattern is unlikely to be repeated this century.

      The cause of the pause was identified long ago – and someone coming late to the party and making a song and dance on a fringe blog that no one visits makes no impact at all. You will find moreover if you look nothing but fractured math and fantasy physics.

      Webby says any nonsense that comes to him – it is far from honest discourse.

  35. and then wait for that immense store of murderous heat to rise up from the ocean deep burning everything and everyone; all of you deniers wait for that heat hiding in the ocean, and wait and wait and wait…..till Godot comes home.

    • ‘What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed
      in this, that we happen to know the answer. :-) Yes, in the immense confusion one thing is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come …’

  36. Well my predictions are very accurate just by listening carefully to the expectations/hopes of climate scientists and predicting the exact opposite so I expect no significant el nino but a fairly strong la nina in the coming years that will drop us back down to a lower plateau. I further predict that Hansen will blame this on Chinese emissions based on his long track record of blaming both warming and cooling events on emissions.

  37. Robert I Ellison

    Jay Currie says:

    April 12, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Hot water sloshes back.
    Bathtub model of the Pacific confirmed!

    Wait for slightly damp Godot finally over.

  38. WBT says: “Deniers will adopt any argument, even going as far as saying that a historical oscillating pattern will stop oscillating, just for the sake of adopting an ABCD pose. ABCD = Anything But Carbon Dioxide.”

    As opposed to OCD I presume.
    This “Denier” jibe is from someone who yet still denies that there is a pause or hiatus despite the majority of the climate science community having finally admitted it and giving us numerous explanations as to why it happened contrary to their expectations. The most honest answer is of course that they don’t know. A scientific answer would be that the models are obviously inadequate and their inputs too pessimistic.

    And of course it was these “Deniers” (including myself on Andy Revkins blog) who pointed out many years ago that the hike in temperatures was due to the PDO being in the hot phase which meant that we could expect a plateau and then a dip pretty soon. Alas only the skeptics get the science right and the other play catch up all the time. Some, like WHT, bring up the rear.

    Alas the reward for being right is to be called childish names by “the end is nigh” activists. The rewards for being wrong are a continuous source of grant funding, prestigious prizes, lucrative invitations to speak drivel, travel to exotic climes just to tell others not to do the same and generally act as holier-than-thou as you like without anyone telling you to walk the walk.

    • Yes, the real (natural) climate change deniers are catching up, asymptotically approaching ABCD.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      JamesG complains “[Scientists/activists] act as holier-than-thou.”

      Hmmm … Hanson? … Berry?? … Francis???

      Conclusion  Objectively speaking, leading scientists/activists *ARE* notably more holy (and foresighted too) than denialists!

      That’s common-sense, eh Climate Etc readers?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • JamesG said:


      This “Denier” jibe is from someone who yet still denies that there is a pause or hiatus despite the majority of the climate science community having finally admitted it and giving us numerous explanations as to why it happened contrary to their expectations.

      I don’t deny a pause, in fact I welcome it because I can use it to explain how ENSO can compensate warming trends transiently:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/11/the-cause-of-the-pause-is-due-to-thermodynamic-laws/

      Remember that the cause of the pause is due to thermodynamic laws.

  39. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The quibbling, ranting, willfully ignorant, paranoid abuse that Climate Etc’s denialists are posting amounts to an article of ideological faith: “Were it not for the liberal conspiracy, the future would resemble the past.”

    But everyone can see multiple, strong, reinforcing scientific reasons why a high-CO2 future will NOT resemble a low-CO2 past.

    That’s common sense, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Conclusion  This guy is worried about the right things.

    Good! Take a scientific, economic, and moral lesson, Climate Etc denialists!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  40. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    “The quibbling, ranting, willfully ignorant, paranoid abuse that Climate Etc’s denialists are posting amounts to an article of ideological faith:”

    I like the “ranting” especially. I had an aunt who was always going on rants. Not sure of her politics as her rants were usually of a personal nature, but she could really bring it. Aunt rant, we used to call her. She died of a stroke, which surprised no one.

  41. It all depends on the magnitude of a temperature spike that a possible 2014/2015 El Nino provides, and how big a drop after. If it goes like 1998 and the temperature doesn’t drop back to pre El Nino levels by about 0.1 C, that will certainly have a large effect on the short term trends, “the pause”
    But it is well know that end point effects on short term OLS calculations affect the robustness of such calculations.

    In other words, an El Nino may bust the pause, but the pause never was a robust thing anyway.

    Another effect of an El Nino might be a short term improvement in the model to data agreement issue. A big one could easily overshoot the model projections at the 95% level.

    What effect it will have on the long term trends is the issue anyway, and the answer to that would be not much.

  42. El Niño predictions?
    Basically useless as it is chaotic or aperiodic.
    All one can say on a random walk is that we are slightly closer to an El Niño at the moment but there is no guarantee possible that one will occur.
    Hot upwelling currents and Kelvin waves are as good as chook entrails.
    If they could be any good for predicting El NIno we wouldn’t be talking about it (the floating ship model trademark angech).
    Reading the actual NOOA report it does not predict El Niño any time soon and says the chance is greater than 50% later in the year.
    That basically means they have no idea . It could be 50.001% chance of El Niño compared to 49.999 of not El Niño.
    That is not a prediction that is toss a coin territory.
    Can’t we all agree and move on?


    • Can’t we all agree and move on?

      Aussie losers like yourself give up and move on when faced with difficulties. Others of us show some tenacity and persistence when it comes to getting at the root cause.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/04/05/the-chandler-wobble-and-the-soim

      Do you really think that science is about throwing in the towel when things get too hard?

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘”The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold.” Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      Predictability of ENSO is an ongoing research activity – at this stage it is no more accurate than a random walk after some three months. It is especially the case at this time of year in the Austral Autumn predictability barrier.

      JC snip

    • Robert I Ellison

      Seriously Judith – the defense is that the statement was true. The site is a fringe blogospheric triple plus unscience site purporting to solve ENSO by badly fitting a curve to a time series using fractured math and fantasy physics. He then prattles and preens about this failed and ultimately theoretically useless methodology while bombastically abusing ‘Aussie losers’ in the most crassly American jingoistic manner.

      All the while touting a progress that he hasn’t made and is incapable of and using an obvious comment on ENSO predictability to habitually deprecate any and all ‘deniers’. What’s wrong with this picture?

      • The statement above is fine, the one i snipped wasn’t. I am also snipping/deleting WHUT’s inappropriate comments, trying to de-escalate the blogospheric warfare between you two

    • Matthew R Marler

      Angech: Basically useless as it is chaotic or aperiodic.

      At the present time, not enough is known to make accurate predictions wrt El Niño. However, in other fields such as neurophysiology, it has been shown that short-term predictions (up to 3 cycles out) are not intrinsically impossible in chaotic or aperiodic systems. “How far you can see depends on where you are.”

    • Robert I Ellison

      Fully deterministic systems are in principle predictable? That says a hell of a lot.

    • Too much evidence is accumulating that ENSO is mathematically a solution to a periodically modulated wave equation, most intuitively described as a sloshing of ocean waters east/west.

      JC SNIP

      Besides that, it is fun and not boring to look at the mathematics behind these geoscience phenomena. It is very much a piece of the larger puzzle whereby it all has to tie together.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I can believe that the too much accumulating evidence that the Pacific is a bathtub would come as a surprise to the many groups around the world who are developing complex, state of the art physics based models of ENSO. Why not model it as a bathtub on a fringe triple plus unscience site that no one visits and successfully predict ENSO through to the end of the century?

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/poama2.4/poama.shtml

      You will note the wide range of forecasts. They have 1 out of 2 things going for them. It is easier to predict in the growth phase of events than in the decay phase – but prediction is significantly poorer this time of year through the Austral Autumn predictability barrier.

      e.g. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ost/climate/STIP/38CDPW/38cdpw-TBarnston.pdf

      It is hard to believe webby is serious – he seems more like just another fringe blogospheric Galileos infesting CE with unscience – but in webby’s case with bombast and ‘trash talk’ as well. Relentlessly pushing a single utterly mad idea – it might be funny if it weren’t so tedious.

    • The Chandler Wobble and the SOIM

      Seth Carlo Chandler Jr was an actuary who studied his namesake wobble for thirty years.

      ENSO and the Southern Oscillation Index has confounded everyone with its unpredictability.

      Could a connection exist between the ENSO and the Chandler Wobble ? [1]

      Based on what I have been analyzing with respect to the ENSO data, I am leaning in that direction. In the first post on the Southern Oscillation Index Model (SOIM), my initial analysis lead to a fundamental Mathieu frequency T of 6.3 years, a value of a = 2.83 and q = 2.72 :

      The Southern Oscillation Index Model

      I followed that up with additional checks and analogies to other physical phenomena :

      SOIM and the Paul Trap

      That culminated with a trial fit of the SOI with a set of Mathieu parameters. Yet — even though the fit was decent — I was not satisfied with the result as it tended to overfit with respect to the adjustable parameters. The ideal situation would limit the number of fundamental frequency terms.

      Three observations lead me to a much simplified representation.

      The main Mathieu frequency of 6.3 years seemed to vary over the historical record.
      The pressure index of the SOI is essentially a differential measure, and so the derivative of the Mathieu function should be fit to the pressure, e.g. use MathieuCPrime and not MathieuC .
      The connection between the original fit of 6.3 years and the Chandler Wobble beat frequency of 6.39 years (= 1/(1-365.25/433)), and the fact that this measure has been known to vary over the past 100+ years.

      The excuse for the overfitting I believe was due to the slight variation of the characteristic Mathieu frequencies over the 130+ year time span of the SOI. When fit over smaller intervals, the convergence turned out much better with far fewer frequency components. However, unless a pattern is found for such a variation in frequencies, it makes it difficult to use for projections. So if we can pinpoint the origin of the fundamental frequency and its variability, we can start from there.

      The first step I took was to use a brute force approach to deduce the characteristic Mathieu frequency. We start with the Mathieu equation from the first post:

      d2?d?2+[a-2qcos(2?)]?=0

      Then if we plot the ratio of the SOI index measurement and its second derivative, we can conceivably extract the varying periodic factor from the graphed profile:

      -d2?d?2?=a-2qcos(2?)

      If we make the assumption that d?/dt is the SOI index, that means we can use the first derivative of the SOI and its integral to find any periodic values. The tricky part is that the integral wanders away from zero, so I filtered out the low frequency modulation, leaving behind only the subdecadal fluctuation. Although a bit messy with singularities, since the denominator passes through zero as the index wanders through inflection points, the fundamental frequency is clearly discernible, see Figure 1:

      The important point to note is that a sinusoidal component is clearly present, suggesting that this process does indeed reflect a nonlinear Mathieu equation, and that the main frequency definitely moves around, varying from double periods of 12.7 years paired with weaker indications of a 6.35 year period.

      Now if we model the SOI data via piece-wise intervals over the range using only the low-frequency terms (44.1 years and 146.5 years) and the slightly varying 6.35 year fundamental frequency, we get Figure 2 :

      Figure 3 is the differentiated form, which maps directly to the SOI. Though not close to perfect, enough correlation exists to strong SOI extremes (see 1983) to indicate that this is on the right track.

      The agreement is good enough that it becomes tempting to add in a few extra fixed periods arising from fundamental tidal beat frequencies of 6 years, 8.85 years, 18.6, and 16.9 years, corresponding to various combinations of the draconic, sidereal, and anomalistic lunar months [2], see Figure 4. In particular, Royer [3] has detected the 16.9 year period in air temperatures.

      At this point it is useful to understand how I came to apply the derivative of the Mathieu function, which is really the breakthrough in the analysis. Consider that the parametric plot of the result and it’s first derivative is very useful as a means to characterize a possible solution, as I showed in the initial post. Yet, I didn’t look closely enough at the phase relation, as one see the following figures. First consider Figure 6 and Figure 7 which are the index and the phase plot of the actual data.

      This is interesting in that the “binocular” effect in the phase plot of Figure 7 matches better the first and second derivative of the Mathieu function (Figure 8), rather than the main and its first derivative (Figure 9) shown below.

      Compare the above against the plain Mathieu phase plot in Figure 9. The difference is primarily in how the lissajous figure traces out in the vertical versus horizontal directions.

      The appendix is a rundown of some other Mathieu-like formulations that I looked at. The last one is important in that it shows the phase plot of a red noise model, created using an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Some climate scientists propose that the variability in the Pacific ocean indices is close to red noise [7]. This is plausible , as one model of an O-U process is of a random walker oscillating back-and-forth within a potential well.

      Yet, the evidence points to the even more plausible explanation of a limited set of periodic or quasi-periodic factors interacting with a nonlinear wave equation (i.e. Mathieu equation) to produce the fluctuating pattern in the SOI profile.
      Discussion

      This brings us to the Chandler wobble connection. As Gross suggested [1], the wobble itself is a result of a quasi-periodic oceanic disturbance, and so as a premise we somehow attribute it as a strong factor in the ENSO SOI evolution.

      “Using calculations based on applying numerical models of the ocean to data obtained on the Chandler wobble between 1985-95, Dr Gross has determined the principles causes of the wobble. He found the wobble is due to fluctuating pressure on the bottom of the ocean, caused by temperature and salinity changes, and wind-driven changes in the circulation of the oceans.

      Like a top wobbling as it spins – only much much slower – the Chandler wobble takes 433 days or 1.2 years to complete one cycle. The amplitude of the wobble amounts to about 6.5 metres at the North Pole. But like a top, eventually the wobble should stop. This is what has puzzled scientists, who have calculated that the Chandler wobble would have stopped in just 68 years, unless some force was acting to keep it going.

      Dr Gross calculated that two thirds of the Chandler wobble is caused by changes in pressure at the ocean bottom, and the rest by fluctuations in atmospheric pressure. However, Dr Gross calculated that atmospheric winds and ocean currents had only a minor effect on the wobble. ” [link]

      The pole tide caused by the Chandler wobble is only a few millimeters in height, so is not the cause of the effect but a side-effect of the deeper water activity.

      The variations in the Chandler wobble have long been known and are best understood by a combination of a naturally damped sharp resonance (with a Q factor over 100) together with a semi-regular forcing factor which restarts the Chandler wobble at intervals of around 20 years, see Figure 10.

      Before becoming too speculative, it is important to remember the strong fundamental correlations between changes in angular momentum of the earth’s rotation and with oceanic and atmospheric fluctuations. Figure 11 below from Chao [6] shows how the LOD relates to ENSO, wind variations, and ocean tidal variations.

      These really are pieces of an interlocking jigsaw puzzle and it is important to keep that in mind.
      Zotov [4] has speculated that that the forcing is associated with the periodic 18.6 year tidal forcing (see figure to the right). This was based on spectral analysis of the Chandler Wobble data over different intervals.

      Gibert et al [5] have also isolated the phase and frequency shifts over different intervals using wavelet analysis.

      These approximately 20 year intervals map to the intervals that I use in the SOI Mathieu fit. This essentially provides a rationale for resyncing the fundamental 6.35 year frequency in the model fit along those same intervals.

      The reason that this was not discovered earlier (in comparison to the Chandler Wobble measurements) was that the nonlinear wave equation obscures the periodic elements underling the SOI, overlaying what appears to be a random or “chaotic” waveform. In fact, this is not chaotic at all, but an anharmonic waveform that is characterized by using the appropriate mathematical tools.

      Hmmm, what can I find if I work on it for 30 more years? The mind reels.

      References

      [1] R. S. Gross, “The excitation of the Chandler wobble,” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 27, no. 15, pp. 2329–2332, 2000.

      [2] W. H. Berger, J. Pätzold, and G. Wefer, “A case for climate cycles: Orbit, Sun and Moon,” in Climate development and history of the North Atlantic realm, Springer, 2002, pp. 101–123.

      [3] T. C. Royer, “High-latitude oceanic variability associated with the 18.6-year nodal tide,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (1978–2012), vol. 98, no. C3, pp. 4639–4644, 1993.

      [4] L. Zotov, “Analysis of Chandler wobble excitation, reconstructed from observations of the polar motion of the Earth.”

      [5] D. Gibert, M. Holschneider, and J. Le Mouël, “Wavelet analysis of the Chandler wobble,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012), vol. 103, no. B11, pp. 27069–27089, 1998.

      [6] B. Fong Chao, “Excitation of Earth’s polar motion by atmospheric angular momentum variations, 1980–1990,” Geophysical research letters, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 253–256, 1993.

      [7] D. L. Rudnick and R. E. Davis, “Red noise and regime shifts,” Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 691–699, 2003.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Less – the Mathieu solution is for an elliptical bathtub. All the rest is fractured math and fantasy physics. Gobbledegook in the service of badly fitting a curve to a time series. At the end of the day – there is only a very poorly fitted curve he promises to spend 30 years fixing. Is it too much to ask him not to inflict it on others before then?

      My point is pretty much proven – impenetrable narrative with some simplistic maths expressions thrown in. What fun. This is to prove that webby has solved a problem that has eluded the rest of a benighted humanity for – well – at least the last hundred years.

      Does this sound a familiar song and dance? Does this sound even remotely feasible? Will he like the actuary Chandler – who was a trained astronomer – and his wobble spend 30 years solving the puzzle of ENSO – with a bathtub model? A Galilean legend in his own lunchtime.

      This is what is being related to the SOI for mysterious reasons that seem more voodoo than science.

      The wobble is excited by water and atmosphere changes? So how does that make the water and atmosphere changes more predictable? This is the climatology version of homeopathy.

    • It’s called research JC SNIP.

      There really is nothing wrong with my thesis of linking ENSO to a periodically modulated wave equation, which then generates quasiperiodic oscillations. The physics says something similar to this should occur, it would only be surprising if it didn’t.

    • Robert I Ellison

      It is called badly fitting a curve to a time series using an elliptical bathtub metaphor and various pointless dodges.

      We have what is objectively an exceptionally poor fit – which he believes he might get right eventually using a bathtub theory of ENSO and trial and error parameter fitting. Published on a fringe triple plus unscience website and in no way resembling a physically realistic formulation. In the meantime prattling about taking science to new heights and battling the forces of darkness with ‘trash talk’. Facile nonsense.

      He fills threads with aggressive and bombastic attack gerbil rubbish and always has. It is utter ‘spew’ in the classic terms of the Webster – which apparently is de rigueur for rational critique on CE. I have had more than enough.

    • The model of a periodically modulated wave equation is the most parsimonious explanation of the ENSO behavior.
      MNFTIU

    • Robert I Ellison

      The bathtub model is extreme silliness that ignores the most basic ENSO dynamics.

  43. The only thing seemingly safe to predict is that the next El Nino, whenever it comes, will prove almost all predictions wrong.

  44. Matthew R Marler

    This is more exciting that following the annual Arctic Ice melt and refreeze.

    curryja: The statement above is fine, the one i snipped wasn’t. I am also snipping/deleting WHUT’s inappropriate comments, trying to de-escalate the blogospheric warfare between you two

    Many thanks. That isn’t a fun job.

  45. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Matthew R Marler asserts [without evidence] “The majority opinion is that Hansen was exaggerating [regarding the likelihood of a strong 2014 El Nino]. Besides, he has predicted strong el ninos three years in a row now.”

    James Hansen asserts (in 2011) “One sure bet is that this decade [of 2010-2019] will be the warmest on record.”

    Claims by Matthew R Marler … verifiable documentation by FOMD … Climate Etc readers can decide!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: James Hansen asserts (in 2011) “One sure bet is that this decade [of 2010-2019] will be the warmest on record.”

      No doubt Hansen has made many predictions besides his repeated predictions of strong El Nino. Besides predicting that this decade will the strongest on record, he has made predictions of the the mean temperature for the decade. Would you care to remind all the readers what those predictions have been, or are you content with accepting that his predictions have been too high?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Matthew R Marler asserts [without evidence] “No doubt Hansen has made many predictions.”

      Question by Matthew R Marler, answer by FOMD!

      James Hansen’s Predictions (at 15-Year Intervals)

      Hansen et al. (1981)  Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

      Hansen et al. (1981)  Forcings and Chaos in Interannual to Decadal Climate Change

      Hansen et al. (2011)  Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications

      Through Thirty Years  the sea-level has risen (without pause or evident limit), the oceans has heated (without pause or evident limit), the polar ice-mass has diminished (without pause or evident limit), CO2 levels have risen (without pause or evident limit), climate models have improved (without pause or evident limit), and moral concerns have increased (without pause or evident limit).

      Conclusion  Supposing that the decade 2010-2019 indeed proves to be “the warmest on record” (as James Hansen has predicted), that will be Hansen’s fourth consecutive decade of on-target climate-change prediction.

      In which event, there won’t be much left of climate-change denialism (save for smoking yet still-moronic rubble), ain’t that so, Climate Etc readers?

      It has been my pleasure to help slake your commendable hunger for scientific understanding, Matthew R Marler!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Matthew R Marler thirsts for knowledge  “No doubt Hansen has made many predictions.”

      Thoughtful question by Matthew R Marler, verifiable answers supplied by FOMD!

      James Hansen’s Predictions (at 15-Year Intervals)

      Hansen et al. (1981)  Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

      Hansen et al. (1981)  Forcings and Chaos in Interannual to Decadal Climate Change

      Hansen et al. (2011)  Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications

      Through Thirty Years  the sea-level has risen (without pause or evident limit), the oceans has heated (without pause or evident limit), the polar ice-mass has diminished (without pause or evident limit), CO2 levels have risen (without pause or evident limit), climate models have improved (without pause or evident limit), and moral concerns have increased (without pause or evident limit).

      Conclusion  Supposing that the decade 2010-2019 indeed proves to be “the warmest on record” (as James Hansen has predicted), then that will be Hansen’s fourth consecutive decade of on-target climate-change prediction.

      In which event, not much credibility will remain to climate-change skepticism, ain’t that so, Climate Etc readers?

      It has been my pleasure to help slake your commendable hunger for scientific understanding, Matthew R Marler!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Despite prognostications and predictions by fake-skeptics that some period of “global” cooling was going to descend upon us (and by globe, they mean specifically only tropospheric sensible heat of course), it is far more likely that indeed the period of 2010-2019 will be warmest decade on instrument record, continuing a string of one warmer decade following another. Even more likely is that the century of 2000-2099 will be warmest century in many thousands of years, perhaps since the Holocene Optimum, and that the period of 2000-2499 will be warmest 500 year period perhaps since the mid-Pliocene, going back 3.2 million years.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘Here we present a revised analysis of net radiation at the top of the atmosphere from satellite data, and we estimate ocean heat content, based on three independent sources. We find that the difference between the heat balance at the top of the atmosphere and upper-ocean heat content change is not statistically significant when accounting for observational uncertainties in ocean measurements, given transitions in instrumentation and sampling.’ http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n2/full/ngeo1375.html

      d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

      W&H is work and heat and approximates to ocean heat content. The change in ocean heat is consistent with changes in net flux at TOA implying that the net radiant imbalance is more delicately poised than usually assumed. That is – d(W&H)/dt = 0 for no change in energy in and energy out.

      In the past decade this has included an increase in energy in as the Schwabe Sun cycle peaked.

      And an decrease in net out at least until around 2010 – dominated by changes in reflected SW.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=23

      The lack of trend in CERES to December last year implies an actual plateau in planetary energy content as the earlier decrease in reflected SW is reversed since.

      A decrease of TSI in the Schwabe cycle for the rest of the decade – and more generally longer term – will be a cooling influence. What happens beyond the next few decades will depend on albedo.

      The assumption that the surface temperature pause will end anytime soon is definitely unsafe. The assumption that it is not a global energy pause seems questionable. The assumption that warming will resume after that is hugely speculative.

    • R Gates, It could even be that the next million years will be the warmest million-year period since records began.

    • Maybe the birds will get big again. Kewl!
      ===========

  46. pokerguy (aka al neipris)

    “James Hansen asserts (in 2011) “One sure bet is that this decade [of 2010-2019] will be the warmest on record.”

    Good one Fan. But as easy as it is to jump on a trend and predict it will continue, we’re not halfway through yet. Moreover (a word a try to use at least 3 times a day), the real issue is the lack of further warming in the context of the ongoing addition of great gobs of Co2. Continued warmth and additional warming are not the same things, eh Fan?

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  50. Say, WordPress has put me in moderay-shun and fer nothing. :(

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  52. An update from Joe Romm’s part of the Interwebs:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/22/3429380/el-nino-global-warming-temperature-record/

    I remain dubious of claims made that give more power or confidence to El Nino influence one direction or another than the actual record shows.

    There’s a continuum of plausible outcomes, ranging from A.) the likely two hot years possibly breaking previous records to Z.) an El Nino accompanied by plunging temperatures below 1997 levels. None of these as a single incident or pair of years taken alone, or without reference to the 30-year+ span of climate they occur in, means very much, at all.

    Now, if the (more likely than not) El Nino accompanies interesting extremes of weather outside what’s been observed to date in the modern record.. that’d be interesting. But so would extremes be in a neutral or La Nina year.

  53. Pingback: About the warnings of a monster super El Nino coming to you this year | Fabius Maximus