The 2015 major El Nino was predicted years in advance using a lunar cycle

By Javier Vinós

In 2007, two Canadian scientists studying the effects of this cycle on the Pacific coast of North America successfully predicted the occurrence of a major El Niño event in 2015 based on lunar data. Remarkably, their prediction proved accurate.

The Earth’s oceans contain a vast mass of cold water beneath a thin layer of warm water, and the limited amount of mixing between them plays a crucial role in our existence. Tides, primarily influenced by changes in the moon’s orbit, are the main force behind this mixing, which has the potential to cool the climate. Keeling, who pioneered CO2 measurements, believed in this theory and predicted a cooling trend for the next decade. The impact of the 18.6-year lunar cycle on climate has been known for some time, but more recent research has revealed its influence on the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

The potential uniqueness of the Earth-Moon system

When astrophysicists discuss the abundance of potentially habitable planets around Sun-like stars, they often overlook a crucial fact: Earth’s formation was probably an incredibly rare event. About 4.5 billion years ago, our planet was born from a chance collision between early Earth and a Mars-sized planet. This serendipitous event explains two extraordinary features of Earth that may be exceptionally rare among other Earth-like planets. The first remarkable feature is Earth’s large metallic core, which generates a strong magnetic field despite the planet’s size. This magnetic field plays an important role in protecting our atmosphere from the solar wind, preventing the loss of light gases. The second unusual aspect of Earth is that it has an unusually large satellite for its size. Normally, the mass ratio between a planet and its satellite is about 1:10,000. However, the Earth-Moon system has a mass ratio of only 1:81, so close that it is sometimes referred to as a double planet.

The presence of such a large satellite exerts a powerful influence on Earth. It may have been essential to the presence and maintenance of complex life over time. The gravitational pull of the Moon stabilizes the tilt of the Earth’s axis. If a small change in the tilt of as little as 2.4° leads to a glaciation, Earth’s climate may have been too unstable for complex life to evolve under much larger tilt changes without the Moon.

The main effect of the Moon on the Earth is thus mediated by gravity, one of the most powerful forces in the universe, which has the capacity to significantly affect climate through the tides it produces in the ocean, atmosphere, and crust.

Tides’ effect on climate

The Moon’s orbit is tilted by 5° relative to the Earth’s orbital plane, also known as the ecliptic. The points where the Moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic are called nodes. Eclipses occur only when the Moon is near a node and the line connecting the two nodes is aligned with the Sun. This alignment occurs approximately every six months, creating an eclipse season.

However, the Moon’s orbital plane around the Earth undergoes a gradual precession that causes one of the nodes to complete a full rotation relative to one of the equinoxes over a span of 18.61 years. This phenomenon is called the lunar nodal cycle. As a result of this precession, the 5° tilt of the Moon’s orbit is either added to or subtracted from the Earth’s axial tilt, resulting in a change in the Moon’s declination (its position relative to the equator). This declination varies from a maximum of 28.5° during a major lunar standstill to a minimum of 18.5° during a minor lunar standstill, completing a full cycle over the course of 18.61 years. These changes affect tidal patterns.

Tides are a complex phenomenon. As a result of the Moon orbiting the Earth in the same direction as the Earth’s axial rotation, it takes 24.84 hours for the Moon to be over the same position, so there is a semidiurnal tide every 12.42 hours. But this is only one of the many constituents of the tides, and it is called M2 (M for Moon and 2 for being semidiurnal). The next constituent in strength is due to the lunar-solar declination. It is diurnal with a period of 23.93 hours, and it is called the K1 constituent

Since the strength of this diurnal tidal constituent is directly related to the declination of the Moon over the Earth’s equator, we observe an 18.6-year cycle in the strength of the lunisolar diurnal tide. The semi-diurnal tides are also affected but to a lesser extent. For example, the amplitudes of the largest diurnal and semi-diurnal tidal constituents, K1 and M2, vary by 13% and 5%, respectively, over an 18.6-year cycle.

The lunar nodal cycle influences surface ocean temperatures through vertical mixing, which is influenced by increased or decreased tidal currents depending on the phase of the cycle. Numerous studies analyzing oceanic and atmospheric time series have identified an 18.6-year cycle in sea surface temperature and sea level pressure at various locations in the Pacific and other regions. There is a large body of literature on this topic.

In the Pacific, two notable low-frequency oscillations affect sea surface temperature and sea level pressure. The first and most widely known is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). However, there is also a shorter-period low-frequency oscillation known as the North Pacific Bidecadal Oscillation. This oscillation was first discovered in Alaska in 1998. A year later, in 1999, Shoshiro Minobe established a correlation between the PDO and the Bidecadal Oscillation, showing that both oscillations occur in synchrony.[1]

Figure 1a shows the North Pacific Index (NPI) during winter (December to February). The NPI serves as an indicator of sea level pressure changes in the Aleutian Low, a large region in the North Pacific. It has a strong correlation with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). When the PDO is reflecting colder temperatures, the NPI is showing higher pressure patterns and the other way around. The graph contains two data sets with Gaussian smoothing. The thick solid line emphasizes the long-term, multi-decadal variation, while the thick dashed line represents the shorter-term, bidecadal variation.

Screen Shot 2023-07-18 at 11.28.46 AM

Figure 1. Multidecadal oscillations of the North Pacific Index. (a) Winter NPI data and two Gaussian smoothing. (b) Wavelet analysis.

Figure 1b from Minobe 1999 shows a wavelet analysis of the data. The graph illustrates time on one axis and frequency on another, while the third dimension is represented by the color scale indicating the pressure anomaly measured in hPa. This analysis allows us to identify two prominent oscillations: one occurring every 60 years and another every 20 years. In particular, significant climate shifts that cause sudden changes in the climate and ecology of the Pacific, such as the one in 1976 that triggered global warming, coincide with a simultaneous phase change in both oscillations.

Dave Keeling’s little-known tidal research

The ocean plays a critical role in moderating surface temperature variations on our planet. This fact is evident when comparing the greater seasonal temperature variations observed in continental climates compared to oceanic climates. Our existence depends on the lack of significant mixing between a thin layer of warm water, only a few hundred meters thick, on top of an icy cold ocean with an average temperature below 4°C. Even a small increase in vertical mixing could be catastrophic. It is clear, then, that vertical mixing in the ocean has the potential to be a climatic factor. The only two forces that can influence this vertical mixing are the wind and the Moon, as they contribute the necessary mechanical energy to the ocean. The Moon contributes about 4 TW (terawatts) of energy, while the wind contributes about 2 TW.

Charles David Keeling (1928-2005) was an outstanding scientist. In the late 1950s, he established a meticulous system for accurately measuring the background concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Keeling’s dedication quickly led to the discovery that these concentrations were steadily increasing. Despite several attempts to shut down the Mauna Loa station due to budget cuts, he single-handedly ensured its continued operation. Many considered this ongoing effort costly and routine, but Keeling’s persistence prevailed. In recognition of his remarkable scientific achievements, he was awarded the 2002 National Medal of Science, the highest lifetime honor for scientific achievement in the United States. The atmospheric CO2 record at Mauna Loa, known as the “Keeling Curve,” was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark in 2015.

It is not widely known that Dave Keeling, in his later years of research, focused on the Moon as a means of understanding climate variability on Earth. While he firmly believed that CO2 increases were the cause of global warming, he sought to identify additional factors that could account for previous cooling periods that could not be explained by CO2 changes. Keeling theorized that changes in the Moon’s effect on ocean mixing could affect surface temperatures – a simple and scientifically sound mechanism. The only question is the magnitude of the effect of these changes.

Figure 2 is taken from a 1997 article by Keeling.[2] The strongest tides occur under certain circumstances: (1) during a Sun-Earth-Moon syzygy or alignment, (2) when the Moon is at its closest point to the Earth (perigee), (3) when the Moon is at one of the nodes of the Earth’s ecliptic, and (4) when the Earth is closest to the Sun (perihelion). On average, these conditions coincide about every 1800 years (1682, 1823, or 2045 years ± 18 years). However, harmonics and shorter periodicities occur when only a subset of these conditions are met.

The figure illustrates a 93-year cyclic pattern in tidal amplitude resulting from the succession of five nodal cycles. It’s important to note that tidal forcing does not increase continuously over decades. Rather, it increases on some days during a few lunar months when alignments occur, as indicated by the vertical lines in the figure. After that, the tidal forces may average out in the following years, only to regain strength 18 years later. The arcs connecting the peaks in tidal force are provided only as a visual aid to show the recurring pattern separated by an 18-year interval.

Screen Shot 2023-07-18 at 11.30.09 AM

Figure 2. Timing of lunisolar tidal forcing since 1600 AD. Each event, indicated by a vertical line, gives a measure of the forcing in terms of the angular velocity of the Moon, in degrees of arc per day. The gray bars correspond to cool climate episodes.

This figure was reproduced in my book when I explained how tidal forcing is a likely candidate for triggering the Dansgaard-Oeschger events during glacial periods.[3]

Keeling and co-author Timothy Whorf made an interesting observation about the alignment of significant increases in tidal forcing over the last 400 years. They noticed a correlation between these periods and the cool periods documented in a separate publication by Phil Jones, the former director of the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCRU). These cool periods are represented by the gray bars at the top of Figure 2.

While it may be unreasonable to claim that the cooling climate of these periods was caused solely by the increase in tidal forcing, it is plausible to consider that tidal forcing played a role in enhancing the cooling effect beyond what would have occurred in its absence. They projected another peak in tidal forcing in the coming 2030s (labeled “D” in the figure). This should coincide with my projection of a temperature drop due to the coincidence of low solar activity and the transition of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation into its cold phase. Nature has yet to show its true strength to overconfident climate modelers.

The Moon as an El Niño predictor

In 2007, two Canadian scientists, McKinnell and Crawford, conducted a study examining the relationship between the lunar nodal cycle and various factors such as air temperatures, sea surface temperatures, and 400-year tree ring records along the Pacific coast of North America.[4] One notable finding they made was the correlation between winter sea surface temperatures measured at Scripps Pier in San Diego, California, and the tidal constituent K1, which influences diurnal tidal amplitude. Figure 3 shows this relationship.

Screen Shot 2023-07-18 at 11.31.25 AM

Figure 3. Mean January sea surface temperature anomalies at Scripps Pier superimposed on the diurnal lunar nodal cycle. Red circles, marking some El Niño years, have been added to the original figure.

Remarkably, the strongest positive January temperature anomalies at Scripps Pier consistently coincided with a lunar nodal cycle minimum. On the other hand, the lowest anomalies were often, though not always, observed within a year or two of a nodal cycle maximum.

McKinnell and Crawford also observed a remarkable synchronization between the lunar nodal cycle and some of the largest El Niño events of the 20th century, such as those in 1940/41, 1957/58, and 1997/98. Attributing the cause of El Niño solely to the Moon would be inaccurate, as there are instances (e.g., 1972/73, 1982/83) when El Niño events do not align with the nodal cycle.

Nevertheless, the relationship between the 18.6-year lunar cycle and El Niño had already been described in a 2001 article and has been further emphasized in recent studies.[5] [6] The explanation presented in the 2001 article suggests that tidal forces acting on the Pacific gyre modify the transport of cold water into the equatorial region, thereby influencing the likelihood and magnitude of El Niño events.

Even in the absence of a major El Niño event, the Scripps Pier data presented in Figure 3 show the presence of consecutive Niño episodes during lunar nodal cycle minimums. These are the Niño events of 1940/41 and 1941/42, 1957/58 and 1958/59, and 1976/77 and 1977/78.

Based on the available data, the authors suggest that the coincidence between the North American coastal sea surface temperature response to the lunar nodal cycle and El Niño events deserves greater attention, particularly if a strong El Niño occurs around 2015.

Given the challenges associated with predicting the occurrence of an El Niño event, let alone its magnitude, it is truly remarkable that the authors were able to successfully predict a major El Niño eight years in advance. Even more amazing is the fact that this prediction was based on the 18.6-year lunar cycle. It is recommended that anyone involved in ENSO forecasting take into account the accumulated knowledge of the Moon’s influence on ENSO. While not a hard and fast rule, it is apparent that the likelihood of a major El Niño event, or even successive Niño episodes, is higher for 2034. Such an event could potentially mitigate the expected cooling trend.

[1] Minobe, S., 1999. Geophys. Res. Lett. 26 (7), pp.855–858.

[2] Keeling, C.D. & Whorf, T.P., 1997. PNAS, 94 (16), pp.8321–8328.

[3] Vinós, J., 2022. Climate of the Past, Present and Future: A scientific debate. 2nd ed. Critical Science Also in French

[4] McKinnell, S.M. & Crawford, W.R., 2007. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 112 (C2).

[5] Cerveny, R.S. & Shaffer, J.A., 2001. Geophys. Res. Lett. 28 (1), pp.25–28.

[6] Yasuda, I., 2018. Sci. Rep. 8 (1), p.15206.

213 responses to “The 2015 major El Nino was predicted years in advance using a lunar cycle

  1. Javier,

    Your post is spot on brilliant !
    The moon clearly must affect the climate.

    • Thank you, Clive. I am glad you like it.

    • Yes the Moon ‘does’ Clive, but this is only ‘part’ of the overall ‘climate debate’. IMHO the interface between Earth’s surface and atmospheric ‘machinations’ should be more integrated for better a understanding of how Earth’s climate ‘may/may not’ alter.
      Full marks to Judith for her description of the conjoining between Thea and our Proto Earth, but that was estimated as 4.5 BYA and our ‘climate’ is ‘now’ (though historical introduction is helpfull)!

      Could you ‘please’ elucidate ‘surface interactions’ with our/Earth’s ‘atmosphere’ with at ‘least’ a description of how ‘climate cells’ work to produce ‘jet streams’ between the Hadley Cells and the Polar Cells which evolve ‘clouds’ at the altitudes which Earth actually ‘radiates’ energy/heat away from the Earth?

      Hint. Earth ‘radiates thermal energy to space’ at an altitude of ~1 to ~2 kilometres of altitude above sea level, so ‘how’ could CO2 values at/near the surface alter this? ‘Cloud’ and ‘evapourative cooling’ from ‘rainfall’ to the ‘surface’ ‘is/would mostly’ seem to be ‘the answer’ to any ‘alteration’ to ‘climate’, or am I mistaken?

      The pressence and propensity of ‘atmospheric water’ (as vapour) within Earth’s Climate Cells alters the planets ‘thermal atribute’ by way of the ‘evapouritive cooling effect’ to the/our planet’s ‘surface’ and its warming affect within the atmosphere.

      Kind regards, Ray Dart (AKA suricat).

      • Of course the moon today has a minor effect on climate. However we have to thank the moon for stabilising the earth’s tilt and allowing life to develop. The moon is the remnants of a collision between a “proto-planet” Thea and the Earth.

        I perfectly understand the greenhouse effect thank you.

      • Greg Goodman

        It is important realise that tides are essentially a HORIZONTAL movement of water. Though we conveniently measure it terms of height bulk mass displacement is sideways.

        I proposed in a WUWT discussion about 10y ago that tides may be the mysterious trigger for El Nino. Someone poo-pooed the idea, then came back later, said he had run a simplistic computer model and found that there was enough energy in the displaced water for that to be possible.

        What we see above is that the various lunar components cause a change in the amplitude of the tides ie higher AND lower tides at the same time.

        In the horizontal analysis this means more horizontal mixing , not more vertical mixing. ie more horizontal mixing into and out of the tropics.

      • When I started basin-by-basin spectral analysis of SST, I found solar an lunar periods. Everyone is still looking a one variable answer to climate be it AGW , “it’s the sun stupid” stupidity or it’s the tide !

        My first blog post was subtitles: On Zen and the Art of Climate Analysis.

        Strong 9.1y lunar plus a strong circa 13y, I was not able to identify.

        BTW if you modulate 9.1 with 10.8 you get a beat frequency of about 60y ;)

      • Moreover, the rate of which ‘rainfall’ atains Earth’s surface to be realised by the ‘pan accumilation’ that Ferenc Miscolciscy (please excuse any miscelling) based upon his theorom upon/of a ‘static radiative theorom’
        “Virgil Rain” ‘profounds’ the ‘radiative assumption’ by way of the inabillity to accurately/inabillaty to asses the ‘differentialation’ between ‘radiative’ and ‘convective’ ‘energy transport’!
        Kind regards, Ray Dart (aka suricat).

    • Steven Mosher

      you meant affect the weather. on climate scales it affects nothing

  2. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño Alert. When El Niño Alert criteria have been met in the past, an El Niño event has developed around 70% of the time.

    Central and eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are exceeding El Niño thresholds. Models indicate further warming is likely, with SSTs remaining above El Niño thresholds until at least the end of the year. The past month has seen the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) shift back to neutral levels, with the 30-day SOI at +3.9 for the 30 days ending 16 July. The 90-day SOI is outside El Niño thresholds at -5.2. Sustained changes in wind, cloud and broad-scale pressure patterns towards El Niño-like patterns have not yet been observed. This means the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere have yet to become fully coupled, as occurs during El Niño events. El Niño typically suppresses winter–spring rainfall in eastern Australia.
    “The Bureau reluctance to declare El Niño stems from the atmosphere refusing to respond to the abnormally warm waters sitting at the surface of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. This ‘coupling’ of the tropical Pacific Ocean and the overlying atmosphere are a critical part of El Niño and its associated impacts.”

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      At present, it seems that the impact of solar activity and the Moon are in a divergent phase. Changes in the atmospheric circulation will occur after the peak of solar activity, which is currently taking place.

  3. successfully predicted the occurrence of a major El Niño event in 2015 based on lunar data. Remarkably, their prediction correlated, not the same as proved accurate.

  4. This was written:
    The ENSO Outlook remains at El Niño Alert. When El Niño Alert criteria have been met in the past, an El Niño event has developed around 70% of the time.

    Only 70% proves there are other factors.

  5. Darlene Markos

    Such a great design by the Creator!

  6. I suspect there was a direct tidal influence on the Arctic Oscillation.

    However the connection of ENSO with the 18.6 year cycle looks more provable.

    • Greg Goodman

      Hi Clive , does that graph belong to a post. I’d like to see what you are showing and what “tractional tides” are about. I’ve long had a bug about horizontal heat transport by tides.

  7. Curious George

    I assume that the Canadian prediction you are referring to is Reference 4. Unfortunately, the link does not work.

  8. Javier

    Another nice post. There are quite a number of sea level rise studies acknowledging the 18.6 years and 60 years oscillations. The 60 years cycle seems to show up in the NOAA tidal gauge graphs, as well.

    • Clyde Spencer

      As indeed they should. Tide tables are based on long-term observations that led to the astronomical components being identified as a series of sinusoidals that re-construct the tides, sans the effects of winds and low-pressure cells.

  9. Thank you Javier! Very clearly presented, providing me with unequivocal evidence for why I should give the lunar tidal cycle more attention!

  10. Javier:

    The “prediction” of the 2015-16 El Nino by the 2 Canadian scientists is laughable. I am amazed that you believed them.

    First, ALL El Ninos are caused by decreases in the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, which increases the intensity of the sun’s radiation striking the Earth’s surface, causing enough warming to produce an El Nino..

    The 2015-16 El Nino was caused by a 2014 Chinese edict to reduce industrial SO2 aerosol emissions. Between 2014 and 2016, their emissions fell by 29 million tons, and global temperatures spiked because of the cleaner, more transparent air.

    A comparison of 2014 and 2016 SO2 satellite images clearly show the decrease in SO2 aerosol levels.

    (The 2023 El Nino which is now forming, is also due to reduced SO2 aerosol levels)

    • “The 2015-16 El Nino was caused by a 2014 Chinese edict”

      That’s very funny, but allow me to excercise my innate and acquired skepticisms.

      • Javier:

        Funny? You missed the whole point.

        Decreased SO2 aerosol emissions, for whatever reason, are ALWAYS associated with an El Nino.

        There have been 35 El Ninos reported since 1900, and all can be associated with reduced levels of SO2 aerosols

      • “all can be associated with reduced levels of SO2 aerosols”

        Out of control confirmation bias.

    • Clyde Spencer

      Looking at Fig. 3, and mentally extrapolating the sinusoid, strongly suggests that there should have been another set of warm waters about 2016, which there was.

      It is difficult to believe that all the SO2 lows are going to occur at 18+ years if they are the result of human activities. If there is a correlation between SO2 and El Ninos, I think you need to explain why the SO2 should have that period, especially when humans influence it.

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  12. Thanks, Javier, interesting. You say:

    Remarkably, the strongest positive January temperature anomalies at Scripps Pier consistently coincided with a lunar nodal cycle minimum. On the other hand, the lowest anomalies were often, though not always, observed within a year or two of a nodal cycle maximum.

    McKinnell and Crawford also observed a remarkable synchronization between the lunar nodal cycle and some of the largest El Niño events of the 20th century, such as those in 1940/41, 1957/58, and 1997/98. Attributing the cause of El Niño solely to the Moon would be inaccurate, as there are instances (e.g., 1972/73, 1982/83) when El Niño events do not align with the nodal cycle.

    Nevertheless, the relationship between the 18.6-year lunar cycle and El Niño had already been described in a 2001 article and has been further emphasized in recent studies.[5] [6] The explanation presented in the 2001 article suggests that tidal forces acting on the Pacific gyre modify the transport of cold water into the equatorial region, thereby influencing the likelihood and magnitude of El Niño events.

    Even in the absence of a major El Niño event, the Scripps Pier data presented in Figure 3 show the presence of consecutive Niño episodes during lunar nodal cycle minimums. These are the Niño events of 1940/41 and 1941/42, 1957/58 and 1958/59, and 1976/77 and 1977/78.

    I was able to reproduce the authors’ findings regarding the January SSTs at Scripps Pier. And a CEEMD analysis shows the strongest cycle in Scripps Pier SSTs at 18+ years. So that much is confirmed. Can’t remember if this site allows inline images, if not, click the link.

    However, there is no 18.6 year cycle visible in CEEMD analyses of the Multivariate ENSO Index, the NINO3.4 Index, the Southern Oscillation Index, or the ENSO index. And when we add the dates of actual El Ninos to your Figure 3, it’s obvious that there’s no connection between the lunar nodal cycle and El Ninos … sorry, but the data doesn’t lie …


    • You missed the point. There shouldn’t be a correspondence between the lunar cycle and ENSO, and the authors say it.

      “It is clear that one cannot attribute the cause of El Niños to the moon because some (e.g. 1972/73, 1982/83) are not in phase with the LNC but it might be instructive to explore their differences to resolve the nature of the lunar signal in the El Niño data that was first described by Cerveny and Schaffer [2001].”

      ENSO is not caused by lunisolar tidal forcing. But this does not mean tidal forcing has no effect on El Niño. What the data supports is that tidal forcing alters the odds and magnitude of El Niño by affecting water temperature.

      Other factors also affect ENSO. I already showed in a series of articles that the solar cycle also affects ENSO. Obviously, the conditions in the Pacific are the most determinant, as the PDO determines ENSO frequency.

      So it is not a question of finding if ENSO is caused by the Moon. We already know it is not. The question is to find if the Moon has an effect on ENSO, and the evidence supports it does. So much so that the lunar cycle allowed these researchers to predict a strong El Niño 8 years in advance. Nobody has been able to do that before.

    • Willis,
      Do I remember correctly that about 5 years ago you noted on WUWT that some/most El Ninos that you studied commenced in a particular month like November? If so, is this another factor for testing predictions?
      Geoff S

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Here we are
        Novembers from Willis.
        The dotted vertical grey lines are Novembers on this graph:
        The question arises whether phases of the moon are associated with Novembers.
        I do not know. Sometimes I do pattern analysis rather than physics.
        Geofgf S

      • ENSO is tied to the Northern Hemisphere winter atmospheric circulation. As such, it becomes very predictable in fall but very unpredictable in spring. This results in peak temperatures in the Niño region being reached some time after the autumnal equinox when winter circulation gathers strength and starts distributing the heat poleward. Peak temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are reached some time after the winter solstice, around February, when the winter circulation starts losing strength.

        In my opinion Willis is correct in seeing ENSO as a heat pump. I also see it that way, but most researchers don’t.

        It is all about heat transport, which is a big hole in our climate knowledge.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        I am still missing the mechanism on how CO2 global warming is related to these November starts.
        Can I assume that there is no connection known yet?
        Geoff S

      • As far as I know, nobody has been able to connect the increase in CO2 with any change in ENSO, so in principle we should be talking about natural phenomena.

      • Geoff,

        Based on the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), El Niño events do not start in any particular month, though the larger events do tend to start in the northern hemisphere springtime (or perhaps I should say the southern hemisphere autumn!). For example, the 1997-1998 El Niño started in the April/May/June period ( provides a useful classification system and plots based on the NOAA-published ONI data). The consistency that is seen in the data relates to the ONI peak, rather than the start of the process, and this does generally occur around November especially for the larger events. It is relevant to note that the ‘peak’ of La Niña events also occurs around this time.

        As you will be aware, ONI is the rolling three-month average of the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in the Niño-3.4 region in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It is quite instructive, in my opinion, to look at the measured SST values instead of simply focussing on the ONI (anomaly) values. In the plot below, the monthly SST values are shown by the red line and the climatology (average SST over a 30-year base period) is shown in blue. The difference between the two curves reflects the monthly anomaly values, which are then averaged over three months to obtain the ONI value.

        A number of interesting observations can be made on the basis of this plot (which can be shown back to 1950, but loses clarity with too much compressed data). Some points:

        La Niña events are largely (but not entirely) limited to lie within a single annual/seasonal cooler period identified in the climatology (i.e. less than a year), have a clear ‘spike’ for minimum SST around the end of the year and are always bounded to some degree by the effect of seasonal warming. Basically, they reflect an extension to cooler SSTs than usual for the seasonal drop in values around year-end.

        In contrast, the duration of El Niño events is highly variable with the smaller (weak) events lasting less than a year, while moderate (e.g. 2009-2010) and very strong events (1997-1998, 2015-2016) extend beyond a year encompassing two seasonal warmer periods based on the climatology. The key difference between these El Niño events and La Niña events is the fact that former show little or no seasonal cooling, with less of a sharp peak and high SSTs lasting many months. The peak seen in the ONI data is a consequence of the anomaly values reflecting the absence of this seasonal cooling. These observations are entirely consistent with David Wojick’s comment that upwelling cold waters are reduced during El Niño events.

      • Jim Ross:

        David Wojack is wrong!

        La Ninas and El Ninos are caused by volcanic eruptions.

      • Your hypothesis is interesting, not least because of the failure to fully explain the effect of Pinatubo. In my view, it led directly to a decrease in sea surface temperatures, which then led to the reduced gain in atmospheric temperatures and the observed decrease in the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2. A consequence that is very similar to that of a La Niña. It was not a driver of ENSO, rather a response. The major problem with your hypothesis is the obvious connection between ENSO events as identified from SSTs in the Niño-3.4 region in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and the later (by 4 months approx.) change in the global average temperatures and atmospheric CO2 growth rates.

  13. Javier, thank you very much for another well-presented post.
    Do you think Geoff Wilson’s old work has any relevance here?

    • I would say yes. Wilson’s articles are difficult to follow, but very relevant in the lunar-climate subject. Sadly, studying astronomical influences on climate is a difficult and unrewarding subject that will not give you respect from fellow scientists.

      Earth’s orbital movements are mainly determined by the Sun and the Moon, but its changes are most affected by Jupiter, the closest massive planet. So Jupiter decides whether there is a glaciation or an interglacial. Before Milankovitch’s theory was supported by evidence in 1976 most scientists would have considered this idea absolute madness, yet the Ancient Greeks were correct in placing him as the most important god in Olympus.

  14. See also this researcher – Yndestad:

    “Climate Signature from the Moon

    Mutual Earth-Moon-Sun (EMS) gravitation causes a spectrum of stationary tide periods in the Earth’s oceans. The period 18.61 is related to the 18.61-year nutation of the Earth’s axis (i.e., the Earth’s nutation causes a global 18.61-year tide between the poles and equator).

    Stationary long-period tides introduce vertical temperature mixing between warm surface temperatures and cold bottom temperatures, and thus, heat is redistributed throughout the large-scale oceanic thermohaline system.

    The lunar nodal tide signature in the global temperature spectrum reveals the lunar nodal tide as the source of global temperature variations. ”

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  16. I’d just like to comment that this was a particularly interesting and well written post. It has a clear narrative style and clear explanations.

    Maybe there is nothing new under the sun, but no one said anything about the moon.

  17. Hello Julia

    I just thought I’d mention that amongst the usual hysteria here in the UK over it being hot (not here but in southern Europe) that a guest on a Talk Radio discussion about this twice mentioned your new book as an antidote to the usual doom-laden prophesies about our future.
    I’m afraid I didn’t catch the guest’s name and the radio host didn’t pick up on or ask questions about the book but thought you’d be interested to know that you may be gaining some traction.

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  19. Bill Fabrizio

    Interesting post. Thanks, Javier.

  20. Pingback: How the 2015 Major El Niño Was Predicted Years in Advance using a Lunar Cycle – Andy May Petrophysicist

  21. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts,
    is the soul. (Emerson)

  22. Stanford University President ousted for manipulating data…? If this becomes a trend, there’s going to be a lot of global warming. alarmist/catastrophist grifters in academia that will be looking for a job in Demacommie politics.

  23. Curious George

    “Remarkably, their prediction proved accurate.”
    The prediction I found is: “This unlikely coincidence will attract greater attention if a major El Niño occurs around 2015.”
    Did I miss something?

    • I don’t know if you are missing something. They are clearly saying they expect a major El Niño in 2015. That is as far as a scientist would go in an article about something they are not sure. Counts as a prediction to me. They can claim to be right about it.

      • Curious George

        I am afraid I have stricter requirements for an accurate prediction. But then, I am not a climate scientist. My apologies.

    • Nice –

      A skeptical comment at Clmafe Etc.

      Good to see. 👍

    • Nice –

      A skeptical comment at Climate Etc.

      Good to see.

  24. Bill Fabrizio
    • I knew him from my years doing neurobiology at the University of California and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was a god in neurobiology. The best of the best.

      But I have to tell you. I saw things like that going on then. The pressure on students and postdocs to get the results was extremely high, so I know for a fact that at least in one occasion the results were forged. I could point exactly to the paper in a high-ranking journal with that problem, but it is better not to remove those things.

      • Bill Fabrizio

        It’s sad, actually. And that’s because the narrative of science in the greater society is that it somehow isn’t subject to human frailties. He certainly has responsibility for his own demise, but what part did the ‘science culture’ play? Like some gods in the past, this one was sacrificed. One wonders if the harvest will be better?

  25. Ulric Lyons

    1958 + 18.6 + 18.6 = 1995.2, that’s a few years short of 1998. Have you tried checking a longer sequence from the 1878 El Nino?

    • There was a moderate El Nino in 1995, and, of course, a really big one in 98.

      IMHO Javier’s has made a interesting point here, and he realistically supports that more than the diurnal lunar nodal cycle drives El Ninos. I just re-read Lin and Qian’s paper on sub-surface ocean waves in a new light (for me), and it makes much more sense to me now.

  26. Pingback: How the 2015 Major El Niño Was Predicted Years in Advance using a Lunar Cycle • Watts Up With That? - Lead Right News

  27. Pingback: How the 2015 Major El Niño Was Predicted Years in Advance using a Lunar Cycle • Watts Up With That? - Marca BBC - Marca BBC

  28. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The subsurface graphic shows that the circulation changes only in the equatorial eastern Pacific, while the temperature below the surface of the western Pacific decreases.
    SOI values for 20 Jul, 2023
    Average SOI for last 30 days 3.16

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      It can be seen that the subsurface wave is working, although the atmospheric circulation is not favorable. This means that there is a change from La Niña to El Niño below the Pacific surface, and the current is reversing.

  29. Apparently Javier didn’t notice the 1998 data point from his figure 4, taken from McKinnell & Crawford (2007), came one year after the 1997/98 El Niño was already underway.

    While the moon’s tides are undeniably important, they provide ocean mixing only, not more energy. Can anyone show how the El Niño conditions of today are related to recent lunar tides?

    I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Paul Pukite at the 2018 AGU fall meeting, where he was presenting a poster building on his 2017 lunisolar work. This came several years after I had followed along with WeatherAction’s Piers Corbyn and his monthly weather forecasting using Pier’s lunisolar method, which he didn’t explain very much. I have since learned that while the moon’s tidal forces are important to mixing, the sun’s energy is the climate driver.

    It was in 2014 that I had turned away from a modest lunar research interest to the actual source of energy changes from solar activity. To make a long story short, it’s been clear to me since then that the solar forcing of the present El Niño condition is in every respect following the solar cycle influence of this solar cycle just as the 2015/16 El Niño followed solar activity above my warming threshold of 95 SN during the last solar cycle.

    The 2015/16 El Niño was driven by the solar maximum of solar cycle #24, and ended from TSI falling below the decadal sun-ocean warming threshold I has established in 2014/15.

    How did the tidal influence cause either El Niño, when the pattern looks all solar to me, as it was in 2015/16. Below is the equatorial OHC anomaly indicating the first Kelvin wave of this solar cycle, along with last year’s sunspots and total solar irradiance.

    I can understand why someone might consider that these two El Niño instances coinciding with solar maxima could be a spurious correlation. However, ~1°C tropical solar warming happened at least nine times in a row (working on the tenth time now), along with tropical solar cooling, both in step with the last nine solar cycles. The odds against this happening any other way are 1.6×10^19 to 1, basically impossible odds that it wasn’t solar activity.

    Can anyone tell us how the moon’s tides exclusively could have caused the most recent Kelvin wave or the Kelvin waves in 2015/16 without solar forcing, without more solar energy input?

    • Clyde Spencer

      “While the moon’s tides are undeniably important, they provide ocean mixing only, not more energy.”
      Are you saying that friction cannot increase temperature?

    • Ulric Lyons

      I worked with Piers just over 10 years ago, with his lunisolar thing, he is saying that solar cycles and semi lunar nodal cycles coincide at 132 years, and have a similar influence on imagined preexisting ‘circulation patters’. I proposed that daily to weekly changes in the solar wind dominate shifts in the jet stream via the North Atlantic Oscillation, which he argued against for a few weeks before accepting. I checked through 3 years worth of his UK monthly forecasts, and predictably around 50% were roughly right, as the method is specious.

      On ENSO, Piers had said that his mini ice age would have less El Nino conditions, but he deleted that from his website after I had explained how weaker solar wind states lead to negative NAO conditions, which are directly associated with weaker trade winds, and hence the observed increase in El Nino conditions during past centennial solar minima.

      In the solar wind observation since 1964, slow solar wind states are associated with all El Nino episodes, apart from those driven by major volcanic events, and the 2015-16 El Nino, which seems to be an extension of the 2014-15 El Nino.

  30. Per Strandberg has developed a artificial neural net (ANN) to work out lunisolar forcing, see “ENSO caused by high tidal pulses and by solar activity.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Perhaps it is that the Moon initiates the Kelvin wave, and high solar activity keeps the eastern circulation in the central Pacific, as it is today. The parallel jetstream associated with the strong solar wind favors such a circulation. When the solar wind weakens the atmosphere and the Kelvin wave will combine their forces. However, the current El Niño may remain weak, as solar activity may remain high for two more years.

    • Ulric Lyons

      Quote from Strandberg:
      “Strong solar activity favors more and stronger El Niños”

      Most El Nino episodes are associated with slower solar wind states.

      “I think that an important reason for the warming during the period between 1975 and 2000 can be attributed to this coupling between solar activity and ENSO”

      Weaker solar wind states from 1995 caused a warmer AMO, which then reduces low cloud cover.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        At the same time, energy escapes in winter at high latitudes, when the polar vortex weakens and water vapor passes behind the polar circle.
        So the Earth tries to maintain energy balance during weaker solar cycles. I wonder for how long.

  31. Thank you for a well written post, Javier. I had hoped the lunar cycle would solve a mystery for me. In my sunspot-based temperature predictions I noticed that strong El Niños follow sudden rises in predicted temperature, but that there was a time variant response. It makes sense that lunar cycles could act as a trigger, but looking at the plot below, I’m still a bit skeptical of the 18.6-year link.

    For this post I’ve created a new plot that is a bit different than the one on my github page. Here I’ve added more ENSO events and plotted a sine wave with a period of 18.613 years.

    As Ulrich was asking about the 1877 event, I’ve also extended the prediction back to 1850 by incorporating sunspot data reconstructed from proxy data. The predictions aren’t very accurate, but when I had done this once before I noticed a prediction anomaly in 1870 similar to those preceding 1940 and 1975. When I checked to see if there had been an ENSO event in the 1870’s I found out that there was, and it was a monster.

    Source code and a brief description of the model are available at:

    Javier, if Judith can provide you with my email address, I’d very much like your opinion on a paper I’m writing that describes the model.

    • My email address is in my book.

    • Robert Cutler:

      The monster El Nino of the 1870’s that you referred to was largely coincident with the American “Long Depression”. of Oct 1873 – Mar 1879.

      Since the start of the Industrial Resolution (circa 1850), global temperatures have always risen when there has been an American business recession or depression, because of reduced SO2 aerosol emissions from idled foundries, factories, etc.

      Near the end, there was also some volcanic-induced warming from the VEI5 ” Askja” .eruption of 1875, when its SO2 aerosols
      settled out of the air.

      ALL El Ninos since then have been caused by reduced levels of SO2 aerosol pollution in the atmosphere.

      All supposed lunar effects are lunacy.

      • David Wojick

        An El Niño is a temporary reduction in cold water upwelling. It was named by fishermen. How can this possibly be caused by a reduced atmospheric SO2 level?

      • David Wojack:

        First, El Ninos are NOT caused by a temporary decrease in cold water upwelling.

        They are always preceded by a large volcanic eruption (VEI4, or >) that injects SO2 aerosols into the stratosphere, which are reflective and cool the Earth, causing a La Nina.

        The volcanic aerosols, eventually settle out (in ~12-16 months), and usually result in the formation of an El Nino.

        The formation mechanism is that when volcanic SO2 aerosols (fine droplets of Sulfuric Acid) eventually settle out of the stratosphere, they tend to coalesce with others in the troposphere, flushing them out, so that there is less pollution in the atmosphere at the end, and due to the cleaner air, temperatures rise enough to form an El Nino. This El Nino usually exists until it is quenched by another volcanic eruption.

        As you would imagine, volcanic eruptions are random, so that of the 24 El Ninos that occurred between 1950 and 2019, for example, only 4 began between Sept and Jan. Between 1900 and 1950, there were 11 El Ninos, and 8 began between between Sept and Jan.

        So,ALL El Ninos are actually due to reduced SO2 aerosol levels.
        See: “The definitive cause of La Nina and El Nino events”.

      • David Wojack:

        The link does not appear to be active; here is another try

  32. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Circulation in the western Pacific is still easterly and another typhoon is forming in the Philippine Sea.

  33. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Another tropical storm is forming in the eastern Pacific. Eastern circulation.

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  35. I’m not in any way promoting or negating, but didn’t Theodor Landscheidt make el Nino predictions around the turn of the 21st century?

    Do any of the professionals engaging here have anything to say on his methods, whether they stand up to scrutiny or not and whether the key parameters he tended to focus on in his analyses have any logical relevance when discussing long-term climate regime predictions??

    • Yes he did, although he was not the first to point to a relationship between ENSO and solar activity. A guy of name Anderson is the first one I know about.

      Landscheidt method is not straight-forward to me and to my knowledge no one has reproduced it. He gave a couple of right ENSO predictions for the first years of the century. He suffered from a massive reputation problem due to his embracement of astrology, although that doesn’t matter to me. I only judge the science not the people. That said, I was unable to detect in proxy records the solar Jose cycle he supported.

  36. I can see the same sequence of weather patterns leading up to and through the super El Nino episodes of 1878 and 2016. Dec 1876 and Jan 1877 were very mild wet and stormy in England. and slightly wetter than Jan-Feb 2014. While the northeast US had two months deep cold. Suggesting a similar warm blob in the northeast pacific.
    California had drought due to the warm blob, millions of sheep died, followed by floods from the 1878 El Nino, then huge wildfires in 1879, like in 2017.
    It has nothing to do with lunar factors though, it’s a sequence of solar forcing caused by the relative positions of the three inner gas giants.

    • Ulric Lyons:

      While I agree with you that El Ninos are not caused by lunar effects, your offered explanation is also incorrect.

      ALL El Ninos are caused simply by decreased levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, due to either volcanic or industrial activity..

      See my post to David Wojak, above, and “The Definitive cause of La Nina and El Nino Events”.

      • Ulric Lyons

        Burl, the reverse is true, large tropical volcanic eruptions promote El Nino conditions.

      • Ulrich Lyons:

        Large tropical eruptions inject 200,000 or more tons of dimming
        SO2 aerosols into the stratosphere, causing a La Nina.

        How can you possibly say that it causes an El Nino? (a warm event)

        It actually does, about 3 years after the eruption as explained above, but your post suggests that it is the immediate, direct cause of an El Nino. You need to carefully read my post to David Wojack.

      • Burle Henry,

        You need to carefully read the recent literature on the subject.

      • Ulrich Lyons:

        “You need to read the recent literature on the subject”

        I would be happy to.

        Can you give me a link(s)

    • Scafetta and Bianchini have a recent paper on the topic of planetary forcing:

      “Overview of the spectral coherence between planetary resonances and solar and climate oscillations”

      • Ulric Lyons

        I found the correlation between solar cycles and Venus-Earth-Jupiter syzygies for myself in 2002. In 2013 I found that the addition of Uranus explained the variations in solar cycle lengths, and produced the timing and duration of each centennial minimum. Saturn plays no part. A 1726.62 cycle of all four bodies orders grand solar minima, with two grand solar minima series occurring through the cycle every 863 years. I have named it the Lyons Cycle, it renders the Eddy cycle redundant. I do not think that the mechanism is tidal, and no hypothetical beat periods are involved or invoked.

        My comment you replied to above, refers to seasonal to inter-annual scale ordering of solar variability, peaking at syzygies and quadratures of the four gas giants. With both positive and negative signals, and a very curious logic.

  37. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Strong monsoon in India driven by strong south polar vortex in southern Indian Ocean.,-15.77,281

  38. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A high is forming in the central North Pacific, which could bring precipitation to the west coast of North America.

  39. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Still high over Tahiti.
    Date Tahiti (hPa)
    22 Jul 2023 1014.10

  40. Ireneusz Palmowski
  41. Ireneusz Palmowski

    We are currently seeing a strong anomaly in the distribution of ozone in the upper stratosphere within the southern polar vortex. It is this anomaly that is causing strong ripples in the polar vortex and will move into the lower layers of the atmosphere.

  42. Ireneusz Palmowski

    If we look at Zharkova’s prediction of the strength of the solar magnetic field we can see that it is of the same magnitude in cycles 24 and 25 and decreases dramatically in cycle 26. This works perfectly in the latest Stanford WSO update.

    • Ireneusz, Zharkova’s model may well be capable of predicting a few years into the future, but I’m skeptical of any claims beyond that. Her model is a harmonic model, and these models are inherently limited by both by the ability to accurately estimate the frequencies, magnitudes and phases of the components, of which there are many in her model, and by the stability of those parameters in the real world, even if one assumes that they’re driven by planetary gravitational forces.

      While Zharkova’s use of solar magnetic field data gets around some of the limitations of sunspot data, it comes with a very significant limitation in the very short amount of time over which the data was collected. That’s why I’m skeptical of the long-term predictions. I’d be just as skeptical of a road-slope calculation using data points separated by a few centimeters.

      Your second graphic simply shows that solar activity is declining. I don’t think anyone is denying that. In fact, that’s one of the arguments used by the proponents of GHG warming. You can also see this as color fading in my butterfly plot of solar magnetic fields. The plot you included shows what’s happening in the poloidal fields (top and bottom of my plot)

      The program that created this plot is on my github site. It downloads all of the same Wilcox Solar Observatory data used by Zharkova. For anyone who wants to play with solar magnetic field data, this program can save a lot of time because the data is spread across a lot of files on the WSO website.

    • Solar cycles outside of centennial solar minima come in three basic types, with Jupiter either roughly in quadrature, superior conjunction, or inferior conjunction with Uranus near cycle maximum. SC 26 will be the latter, as with cycles 16 and 20, suggesting lower than average sunspot numbers, but likely stronger solar wind states than in cycles 24 and 25, as it will be the first solar cycle after this very short centennial minimum. Leif has mentioned a fourfold pattern in solar cycles which pops up here and there, this is the astronomical reason for it. It breaks down during centennial minima though because the Venus-Earth-Jupiter triplet are then focusing on Neptune rather than Uranus at each cycle maximum.

    • Except that SC25 already has more activity than SC24, as I predicted in 2016. It doesn’t mean I am correct, but it means Zharkova is wrong.

  43. Pingback: Wie der große El Niño 2015 anhand eines Mondzyklus‘ Jahre im Voraus vorhergesagt worden ist | EIKE - Europäisches Institut für Klima & Energie

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  45. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A powerful typhoon in the Philippine Sea is reaching the stratosphere. The temperature at the tops of the clouds drops to -80 C. At this altitude, the clouds radiate infrared into space.

    • “In 2007, two Canadian scientists studying the effects of this cycle on the Pacific coast of North America successfully predicted the occurrence of a major El Niño event in 2015 based on lunar data. Remarkably, their prediction proved accurate.”

      Even more remarkably they noticed that a Triple La Niña would occur a mere 7 years later.
      The correlation of these two incredible predictions based on laundry cycles is well….. incredible.

      • Sorry, meant lunar cycles but perhaps autocorrect and AI is even more perceptive than I had thought.
        Wash, rinse, repeat.

      • Angech:

        La Ninas and El Ninos result from VEI4 or larger volcanic eruptions, and, at this time, are impossible to predict.

        So much lunar lunacy on this thread!

  46. Global warming caused by Hunga-Tonga is significant.

    The eruption of Hunga-Tonga increased the water vapor mass in the stratosphere by 13%, and it will remain there for many years to come.

    “The unique nature and magnitude of the global stratospheric perturbation by the Hunga eruption ranks it among the most remarkable climatic events in the modern observation era.”

  47. It’s fascinating to see how natural phenomena like the 2015 major El Nino can be influenced and predicted by celestial cycles, such as the lunar cycle. This highlights the interconnectedness of our planet and the universe, reminding us of the wonders of science and how understanding these patterns can lead to better preparedness for future events. Nature’s secrets continue to unfold, and it’s a testament to human ingenuity that we can decipher some of its mysteries through research and observation. Also Visit

  48. The El Niño La Niña occurrences are simply due to the amount of sunlight getting through to the ocean surface.
    This in turn is due to slight variations in the suns output of energy and secondly due to cloud formation and persistence.
    As such it is constrained by the amount of cloud able to form and the amount of energy trying to enter the system.
    It is a zero sum game with random walks between the two boundaries as the amount of solar energy variation is small but random to human assessment and cloud formation causing larger variation but even seemingly more random variation.
    El Niño is more likely to occur around the start of the year and La Niña in the second half of the year.
    Overall, on the criteria used, 20%, El Niño, 20% La Niña and 60 percent neutralise.
    As such it is very pleasing to see the SOI return from very negative levels to a low but positive level over the last 4 weeks.
    This should be followed by reasonable temperature drops in the ocean temperatures over the next 2 and 4 weeks if it persists.
    What excuses then?.
    As for the moon, as Clive says, very important component of the climate mix but using it to predict a weather pattern 8 years into the future?
    If it was that good they should have predicted all the other changes in between which they most assuredly could not have done so.

    Will I be right?
    At least with a random walk I am guaranteed a 50% chance.
    Watch and see.

  49. Pingback: Science, Climate, Energy and Political news roundup 2023 July | wryheat

  50. Ireneusz Palmowski

    In two days, a cold front from the northwest will reach Greece.

  51. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Two typhoons in the Philippine Sea.

  52. As red-hot oceans amplify deadly heat waves, storms and floods on land, exactly what’s going on beneath the waves remains a big unknown. Over 80% of these bodies of water remain unmapped, unobserved and unexplored.

    While a small army of underwater robots, sonars on the sea surface and satellites in space have in recent years allowed researchers to better understand how greenhouse gas emissions are impacting ocean dynamics, they’ve barely scratched the surface. “We don’t really know the why and the how of some very interesting things happening in the deep ocean,” said Nathalie Zilberman, an oceanographer at the University of California San Diego. “We don’t know because there’s no data.”

    Among the biggest mysteries is why there’s an Argentina-sized chunk missing from the sea ice on the Antarctic ocean, which reached by far its lowest level for any June on record last month. Sea ice there has shrunk 2.6 million square kilometers (1 million square miles) below the average between 1981 and 2010, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.

  53. There is always the Planet Surface Rotational Warming Phenomenon.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      “Indoors the enclosed air is in thermal equilibrium with surrounding it walls. Thus the indoors temperature thermometer measures we rightly consider as the air temperature too.

      When thermometer measures outdoors temperature, the outdoors air temperature is not in thermal equilibrium with its surroundings.

      Thus it is impossible to measure the outdoors air temperature with thermometer.”

      • Thank you, Ireneusz, for your respond.
        It is again a hot weather in Athens, Greece. Almost impossible to work on the subject. We use only one air-conditioning unit (we have three units in our apartment) but we use only one in a single room.
        It is the cost of electricity and, also, the risk of overloading the national grid.
        We had problems when producing electricity mostly by burning lignite, but, at least, the cost was much lower.

  54. Javier, in your book from last year you said that a big shift in the climate took place in 1997–98. This resulted in latent heat being transferred to the poles (in particular to the Arctic). I hope I’ve got this right.
    You then say that ,in these circumstances, more heat will be lost to space during the polar winters. And that this took place during the LIA and was the main cause of this global cooling.
    But this shift took place 25 years ago. How long do you think it will be before we see significant falls in temperature in England? (which seems to have been getting hotter as all this hot air passes over us on the way to the Arctic). I am assuming that the Meridional Transport takes place in the Troposphere as well as the Stratosphere. (Forgive me if I have got this wrong as I am not a scientist.)

    • Hi Mark,

      Since 1998 the only increase in temperature took place in 2015-16 due to the big El Niño. For the past 7 years the trend has been slightly down. I expect the AMO to turn into its cold phase in 2024-26. We might see a 0.2-0.3ºC decrease between now and the early 2030s.

      I don’t know if this qualifies as a significant cooling. It is certainly a completely opposite projection to those of models that predict relentless warming.

      • Javier:

        Both the 1997-98 and 2015-16 El Ninos were man-made events. You cannot make climate inferences or predictions based upon their warming.

        The 2023 El Nino that is now forming is also man-made.

      • Burl

        I think you vastly overestimate the impact of man. In what sense were these events man made?

        At what point did they stop being natural and become man made?

      • Tony B:

        All El Ninos are caused by a reduction in the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, primarily in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.

        However, for the 1997-98 El Nino, there was a 6 million ton decrease in industrial SO2 aerosol emissions between 1996 and 1997, due to global “Clean Air” efforts, and a 23 million ton decrease between 2014 and 2016, due to a 2014 Chinese edict to decrease industrial SO2 aerosol emissions.

        A VEI4 volcanic eruption, on average, puts 0.2 million tons of SO2 into the stratosphere, and a natural (volcanic induced) El Nino typically forms after their SO2 aerosols have settled out of the atmosphere. So natural and man-made El Ninos can easily be distinguished by the amount SO2 aerosols.involved.

        The 2023 El Nino that is now developing also appears to be man-made, since there is no volcanic eruption involved, and Chem maps of global SO2 aerosol emissions show a dramatic decrease.


      • Burl, stratospheric aerosol levels were a their peaks during the 1982-1983 and 1991-1992 El Nino episodes. The other El Nino episodes were during slow solar wind periods, which causes negative NAO/AO conditions.

  55. Ireneusz,
    I would love to hear your thoughts on the climate effects of the Hunga-Tonga volcano.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      The addition of large amounts of water vapor certainly raises the temperature of the troposphere, probably locally. Much more water vapor is released into the troposphere during El Niño, when there is a huge increase surface of strong evaporation in the Pacific. During La Niña, all the heat is concentrated along the equator. Typhoons in the Philippine Sea show that the energy is not dissipated over a large area of the Pacific.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      In the case of hurricanes, it can be assumed that satellites detect very strong infrared radiation of the troposphere. At the same time, under of a hurricane, the temperature of the sea drops significantly.

    • “I would love to hear your thoughts on the climate effects of the Hunga-Tonga volcano.”

      I’m not Ireneusz, but since it is my article, I’ll give my opinion.

      According to what is known of the effects of changes in water vapor in the stratosphere, the increase in water vapor there as a result of the Hunga-Tonga eruption should cause surface warming.

      “Increases in stratospheric water vapor act to
      cool the stratosphere but to warm the troposphere,
      whereas the reverse is true for stratospheric water
      vapor decreases.”

      • Javier, Thanks for your clear and concise response.
        I apolgizse for not including you, as author, or making it an open question.
        So, we can say the general effect of Hunga-Tonga is to warm the troposhere.
        Has anyone determined the relative warming for north and south hemispheres?
        Has anyone attempted to quantify the step-change in warming due to Hunga-Tonga (or is it too soon to tell?)

      • I don’t think we know. Most stratospheric water vapor remains in the Southern Hemisphere. There are already over 2,800 papers on the eruption, but most of them on issues not directly related to global climate.

        The situation in the stratosphere is better known. For example:

        With respect to the surface it is mostly model-based speculation. The famous Nature Climate Change paper proposes a 0.3ºC warming as a result of the eruption.

      • Thanks Javier for your second response and links.
        If anyone else is interested in the Hunga-Tonga effect, I attach a link to a recent blog post with some details;

      • Poly:

        In studying El Ninos, I have found that ALL of them are due to decreased levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, with the majority of them being volcanic-induced.

        For them, the mechanism is that when their SO2 aerosols (fine droplets of sulfuric acid) are injected into the stratosphere by a VEI4 or larger eruption eventually settle out, many coalesce with industrial SO2 aerosols in the troposphere, flushing them out on the way down, and temperatures rise enough to form an El Nino, because the cleaner, more transparent air increases the intensity of the sun’s radiation striking the Earth’s surface, causing more warming..

        It would follow that the same mechanism is the cause of the El Nino that is now forming, with the descending moisture from the Hunga-Tonga eruption flushing out tropospheric SO2 aerosols, thus causing temperatures to rise.

        Global NASA/GMAO “Chem Maps” show much less SO2 in the atmosphere for May 31, 2023, as compared to Feb 2, 2022, for example..

  56. I’m told that the earth’s magnetic poles swap positions every couple of hundred thousand years. If that is true, then it seems reasonable that there would be periodic periods when the earth’s magnetic field would be weaker during the swapping process.

    During that process, wouldn’t the production of Carbon 14 dramatically increase? Are there any studies that trac the earth’s magnetic strength and the amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere? Wouldn’t that be of interest to people measuring man’s Carbon 14 footprint?

    My interest is generated by the recent movement of the North Pole. I understand it is now moving at a rete of about 25 miles per year.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Both the weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind magnetic field cause an increase in GCR radiation and secondary GCR radiation in the form of neutrons, which increases C14 production in the stratosphere.
      Carbon-14 is produced in the upper troposphere and the stratosphere by thermal neutrons absorbed by nitrogen atoms. When cosmic rays enter the atmosphere, they undergo various transformations, including the production of neutrons.

    • Nobody can predict a geomagnetic excursion like the Laschamps event 42,000 years ago. It shot cosmic rays and 14C levels through the roof.

      The recent geomagnetic poles movement could lead to a bigger change or not, nobody knows.

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Both the weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind cause an increase in GCR radiation and secondary GCR radiation in the form of neutrons, which increases the production of C14 in the stratosphere.
      “Carbon-14 is produced in the upper troposphere and the stratosphere by thermal neutrons absorbed by nitrogen atoms. When cosmic rays enter the atmosphere, they undergo various transformations, including the production of neutrons.”

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Both the weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind cause an increase in GCR radiation and secondary GCR radiation in the form of neutrons, which increases the production of C14 in the stratosphere.
      “Carbon-14 is produced in the upper troposphere and the stratosphere by thermal neutrons absorbed by nitrogen atoms. When cosmic rays enter the atmosphere, they undergo various transformations, including the production of neutrons.”

    • Curious George

      The term is Geomagnetic Reversal, see Wikipedia.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Earth’s magnetic field is vital to life on our planet. It is a complex and dynamic force that protects us from cosmic radiation and charged particles from the Sun. The magnetic field is largely generated by an ocean of superheated, swirling liquid iron that makes up the outer core around 3000 km beneath our feet. Acting as a spinning conductor in a bicycle dynamo, it creates electrical currents, which in turn, generate our continuously changing electromagnetic field.

        This field is far from static and varies both in strength and direction. For example, recent studies have shown that the position of the north magnetic pole is changing rapidly.

        Over the last 200 years, the magnetic field has lost around 9% of its strength on a global average. A large region of reduced magnetic intensity has developed between Africa and South America and is known as the South Atlantic Anomaly.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        Launched in November 2013 by the European Space Agency (ESA), the three-satellite Swarm constellation is providing new insights into the workings of Earth’s global magnetic field. Generated by the motion of molten iron in Earth’s core, the magnetic field protects our planet from cosmic radiation and from the charged particles emitted by our Sun. It also provides the basis for navigation with a compass.

        Based on data from Swarm, the top image shows the average strength of Earth’s magnetic field at the surface (measured in nanotesla) between January 1 and June 30, 2014. The second image shows changes in that field over the same period. Though the colors in the second image are just as bright as the first, note that the greatest changes were plus or minus 100 nanotesla in a field that reaches 60,000 nanotesla.

  57. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Between 1990 and 2005 magnetic north accelerated from its historic speed of 0–15 km a year, to its present speed of 50–60 km a year. In late October 2017, it crossed the international date line, passing within 390 km of the geographic pole, and is now heading south.

    In fact, recently, the World Magnetic Model had to be updated urgently because of the speed at which the pole is moving.

  58. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Another powerful typhoon will reach the east coast of China.

  59. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Interestingly, strong waves in the polar vortex can be seen, which could bring weather anomalies to the southern hemisphere.

  60. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Continuous highs in the central Pacific, which means an easterly circulation. Atmosphere does not respond to Pacific temperature rise at the equator.

  61. Ireneusz Palmowski

    During El Niño, the global sea surface temperature rises by about 0.1 to 0.15 degrees C.

  62. Ireneusz Palmowski
  63. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The beginning of August will bring relief from the heat in Greece.
    The rainy season in Central Europe begins.

  64. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A typhoon in the Philippine Sea is gaining strength.

  65. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Some mistakenly believe that ozone is the source of infrared radiation in the upper stratosphere, but this radiation is released during the Chapman reaction, which involves the photolysis of an O2 molecule by photons of UVC radiation.
    “Ozone is naturally formed and destroyed by the following set of reactions.
    These reactions, proposed by Sydney Chapman in 1930, explain the presence of ozone in the stratosphere. Oxygen molecules can be photolyzed by UV radiation, forming oxygen radicals in reaction 1. In reaction 2, these reactive oxygen radicals can combine with an oxygen molecule to form ozone. M in this reaction is any third molecule: M absorbs heat from this reaction. The increasing temperature profile of the stratosphere results from this reaction. In reaction 3, ozone is destroyed by UV radiation, forming an oxygen radical and an oxygen molecule. Ozone can also be destroyed by combining with the radical, as seen in reaction 4.”
    Therefore, temperature changes in the upper stratosphere are a good indicator of solar activity because ozone production depends on UV photons at the highest energies. These photons depend on flares on the Sun.

  66. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A typhoon will pass over the Okinawa archipelago.
    The previous typhoon brought massive rainfall to eastern China.

  67. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Still high pressure over Tahiti. Typhoon approaches east coast of China.
    Date Tahiti (hPa)
    3 Aug 2023 1017.00

  68. Ireneusz Palmowski

    What do the satellites detect?
    Do surface and troposphere temperatures differ? Yes.

  69. Ireneusz Palmowski

    It is very interesting what happens to the temperature under the equatorial Pacific.

  70. It’s never too early to be prescient.

  71. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Where does the heat disappear below the surface of the Pacific Ocean? Is it into the troposphere?

  72. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Large increase in solar wind power since early August. The jet stream will accelerate.

  73. Ireneusz Palmowski
  74. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A typhoon in the western Pacific is blocked below the Japan Islands.

  75. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A hurricane in the eastern Pacific is moving rapidly westward.

  76. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Stronger solar winds accelerate the jet stream in the north, which becomes latitudinal.
    The analogy happens in the southern Pacific.

  77. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The hurricane is skirting Hawaii from the south.

  78. No meaningful comments in a couple of days. Time for a new post.

    • Joe - the non climate scientist

      Rob – I could mention that Skeptical science had a post on who renewables were saving the Texas grid from blackouts. They even cited renewable energy expert “lewin” who stated that texas can no longer depend on the “intermediacy of fossil fuels ” and therefore should go to 100% renewables because they were reliable.

    • crazy busy, but i’m working on a new one, ready in a few days

  79. 1. Earth’s Without-Atmosphere Mean Surface Temperature Calculation.

    R = 1 AU, is the Earth’s distance from the sun in astronomical units
    Earth’s albedo: aearth = 0,306
    Earth is a smooth rocky planet, Earth’s surface solar irradiation accepting factor Φearth = 0,47

    β = 150 days*gr*oC/rotation*cal – is the Rotating Planet Surface Solar Irradiation INTERACTING-Emitting Universal Law constant.
    N = 1 rotation /per day, is Earth’s rotational spin in reference to the sun. Earth’s day equals 24 hours= 1 earthen day. = 1 cal/gr*oC, it is because Earth has a vast ocean. Generally speaking almost the whole Earth’s surface is wet.
    We can call Earth a Planet Ocean.

    σ = 5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴, the Stefan-Boltzmann constant
    So = 1.361 W/m² (So is the Solar constant)

    Earth’s Without-Atmosphere Mean Surface Temperature Equation is: = [ Φ (1-a) So (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ /4σ ]¹∕ ⁴

    Τ = [ 0,47(1-0,306)1.361 W/m²(150 days*gr*oC/rotation*cal *1rotations/day*1 cal/gr*oC)¹∕ ⁴ /4*5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴ ]¹∕ ⁴ =
    Τ = [ 0,47(1-0,306)1.361 W/m²(150*1*1)¹∕ ⁴ /4*5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴ ]¹∕ ⁴ =
    Τ = ( 6.854.905.906,50 )¹∕ ⁴ = = 287,74 Κ
    And we compare it with the = 288 K, measured by satellites.

    These two temperatures, the calculated one, and the measured by satellites are almost identical.


  80. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Typhoon attacks in southern Japan and South Korea.

  81. Perhaps while we’re waiting, a few of you might comment on my model which accurately predicts global temperature from sunspots. I’ve been surprised, given the result, that there really hasn’t been any discussion on this when I’ve introduced the topic before in this post.

  82. Ireneusz Palmowski

    One typhoon in the western Pacific Ocean has made landfall in South Korea, the other will reach Japan.

  83. In a late cursory look at this thread something caught my eye. From the introduction of the subject this piece stuck out:
    “– The gravitational pull of the Moon stabilizes the tilt of the Earth’s axis. If a small change in the tilt of as little as 2.4° leads to a glaciation,–“.

    In around 2345bce the earth changed its axial tilt from about 14.5 degrees to possibly about 24-25 degrees. This was the first anomaly noticed in my research on a spinoff; megalithic calendar design. During that time there appeared on the net the work of G F Dodwell, who theorised that such tilt change did happen. That he picked the date 2345bce for the event was then somewhat of a curiosity. Repeating his work I could not get to that date with any confidence, and I had the benefit of that exact date from tree-ring data, and the initial tilt angle. That was eight years ago.

    Fast forward: I have since collected, collated and corroborated enough to prove Dodwell correct. There is now enough evidence. Also the mechanism of how that happened, and how it can happen.

    The moon is the Joker in the pack. It is actually, and contra the above, the destabilising element; the trigger of great events. The dynamics in the events have been known from way back in history. However historically the data had been obfuscated no end (perhaps as A Laoupi says, to hide the ugly truth; Quote “c) perhaps both the myth-teller and myth-hearer want the truth to remain concealed,” ). Only Plato had the decency to tell the truth with his “declination of the heavens” in Timaeus.

    Amanda Laoupi
    Dr Archaeoenvironmentalist / Disaster Specialist

  84. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The typhoon, along with the jet stream, has formed an extratropical cyclone over Japan, which means prolonged rainfall.

  85. Prediction- June 2021…

    Quote (Civil Beat, Honolulu)->

    About two-thirds of Hawaii’s acreage is abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, setting the stage for what local wildfire experts predict could be an extraordinarily active wildfire season in the islands.

    People tend to think of the western United States when conjuring images of devastating wildfires. But as a percent of total land area, Hawaii’s wildfires burn as much or more land each year than any other state, studies show.

    Last week a 1,400-acre brush fire that swept through guinea grass and eucalyptus trees in Paauilo on the Big Island did not torch any homes, but authorities said it was a close call.

  86. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A large increase in the temperature of the troposphere in the tropics is evident. This may have been influenced by the eruption of an underwater volcano, supplying large amounts of water vapor to the troposphere (in the tropics). This coincided with a weak El Niño. The effect of increased water vapor in the troposphere will be offset by a strong monsoon in India and the western Pacific.

  87. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Large decrease in the number of sunspots. Circulation in the upper troposphere will again slow down.

  88. My comment is not about this link in particular since I have no idea about the relevance to climate science or significance of these findings about muons.

    My comment is about the hubris of some who believe we are at the end of line of discoveries that could be affecting the earth’s climate.

    I’m sure the climate scientists of 2275 will forgive us for not having aced the exam about physics, just like we forgive Jefferson for not sitting in Paris wishing he could FaceTime his family in Virginia.

    We don’t know what we don’t know.

  89. Test

  90. Ireneusz Palmowski

    A slow-moving typhoon will pass over Japan to the north.

  91. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Another tropical storm will pass Hawaii from the south. The winds will pick up again. Fire danger will increase.

  92. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Warning of strong dry winds in Hawaii.

  93. Great analysis Javier!
    I saw the crescent – you saw the whole of the moon

  94. One question – does the work of Tziperman and others on the annual phase-locking of the ENSO (El Ninos happening at Christmas) by means of a delayed oscillator with annual forcing – fit in with your longer term lunar cycle model? Thanks.

    Tziperman E, Cane MA, Zebiak SE, Xue Y, Blumenthal B. Locking of El Nino’s peak time to the end of the calendar year in the delayed oscillator picture of ENSO. Journal of climate. 1998 Sep;11(9):2191-9.

    • Phil Salmon|

      I have done a study of La Ninas and El Ninos and find that, for the period 1950-22, all were caused by increasing or decreasing amounts of SO2 aerosols in our atmosphere, from random volcanic eruptions or industrial activity.
      Of the 24 El Ninos, only 2 began between Oct and Jan . No lunar effect..