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Breaking: NOAA puts out “El Ni±o Watch,” so record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record

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ENSO Alert System Status: El Ni±o Watch

Synopsis: Conditions are favorable for a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Ni±o conditions during June ˆ’ August 2009.

So begins the monthly El Ni±o/Southern oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion issued by the Climate Prediction Center of NOAA’s National Weather Service.  This is a significant change from their recent predictions of ENSO-neutral conditions for the rest of the year (see “La Ni±a conditions end“).  You can read the basics about ENSO here.

Figure 3:  Area-averaged upper-ocean heat content anomalies (°C) in the equatorial Pacific (5°N-5°S, 180º-100ºW).

I’ll go through the report in some detail since this is potentially a very big deal for the climate debate.  After all, the La Ni±a conditions over the past 18 months helped temporarily mute the strong human-caused warming signal, allowing the global warming deniers to push their nonsensical global cooling meme with the help of the status quo media (see “Media enable denier spin 1: A (sort of) cold January doesn’t mean climate stopped warming“).

Remember that back in January, NASA had predicted:

Given our expectation of the next El Ni±o beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.

ENSO doesn’t change the overall warming trend, but it is a short-term modulation, what NASA labels the largest contributor to the “natural dynamical variability” of the climate system.  How are El Ni±o and La Ni±a defined?

El Ni±o and La Ni±a are officially defined as sustained sea surface temperature anomalies of magnitude greater than 0.5°C across the central tropical Pacific Ocean. When the condition is met for a period of less than five months, it is classified as El Ni±o or La Ni±a conditions; if the anomaly persists for five months or longer.

The following historical data are from NOAA’s weekly ENSO update:

As the planet warms decade by decade thanks to human emissions of greenhouse gases, global temperature records tend to be set in El Ni±o years, like 1998, 2005, and 2007, whereas sustained La Ni±as tend to cause relatively cooler years.

As a side note:  Roger Pielke, Sr.’s “analysis” of how there supposedly hasn’t been measurable ocean warming from 2004 to 2008 is uber-lame.  In the middle of a strong 50-year warming trend, any clever (but cynical) analyst can connect an El Ni±o-driven warm year to a La Ni±a-driven cool year a few years later to make it look like warming has stopped.  In fact, the latest analysis shows “that ocean heat content has indeed been increasing in recent decades, just like the models said it should.”

Human-caused global warming is so strong, however, that as NASA explained, it took a serious La Ni±a, plus unusually sustained low levels of solar irradiance, to make 2008 as cool as it was.  Yet, notwithstanding the global warming deniers and the status quo media, 2008 wasn’t actually cool.  Indeed, 2008 was almost 0.1°C warmer than the decade of the 1990s averaged as a whole.

So if we have an El Ni±o, then, as NASA says, record global temperatures are all but inevitable.  And this brings us back to NOAA’s prediction today:

… sea surface temperatures (SST) increased for the fifth consecutive month, with above-average temperatures extending across the equatorial Pacific Ocean by the end of May (Fig. 1). Accordingly, the latest weekly SST indices ranged between +0.4° to +0.5°C in all four Ni±o regions (Fig. 2). Subsurface oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean, Fig. 3) also continued to increase in response to a large area of above-average temperatures (+2° to +4°C) near thermocline depth (Fig. 4). These surface and subsurface oceanic anomalies typically precede the development of El Ni±o

There continues to be considerable spread in the model forecasts for the Ni±o-3.4 region (Fig. 5).

Figure 5:  Forecasts of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies for the Ni±o 3.4 region (5°N-5°S, 120°W-
170°W).

All statistical models predict ENSO-neutral conditions will continue for the remainder of 2009. However, most dynamical models, including the NCEP Climate Forecast System, predict the onset of El Ni±o during June ˆ’ August 2009. Current observations, recent trends, and the dynamical model forecasts indicate that conditions are favorable for a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Ni±o conditions during June ˆ’ August 2009.

A hot summer — how timely that would be for debating a climate bill!

Will we set a record this year for global temperature?  Too soon to say, especially since the strong La Ni±a this winter will no doubt partly offset whatever impact the El Ni±o has.

And not that there was any realistic chance global temperatures would collapse this year, but it is even safer to say that “this will be the hottest decade in recorded history by far.”  The 2000s are on track to be nearly 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s.  And that temperature jump is especially worrisome since the 1990s were only 0.14°C warmer than the 1980s.

Once we set the global temperature record, then the “no warming in 10 years” meme will die — at least until the next La Ni±a or major volcano and/or general lapse in coverage by the status quo media, as the “best climate blog you aren’t reading” depicted with this figure:

Global Warming ends every decade or so ...

It’s always cooling, except, of course, when it’s not.

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77 Responses to Breaking: NOAA puts out “El Ni±o Watch,” so record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record

  1. MarkB says:

    It’s doubtful this year will be a record-setting one, given the effects of the early la Nina conditions, but top 10 is a virtual guarantee and top 5 is possible, if not likely. Since there’s a 3-6 month delay between ENSO anomalies and global anomalies, a buildup of el Nino probably wouldn’t hit global temperatures until late summer or fall. Match up the 1997-1998 super el Nino and note when the temperatures substantially increased. If sustained and sufficiently strong, it would carry into most of 2010, making that year likely a record-setting one, passing 2005.

    The solar cycle is at a near century-long low, with TSI dropping – long enough to currently affect global temperatures. If we do set a record, all the “global warming is caused mostly by the Sun” enthusiasts will have some explaining (or spinning) to do.

  2. dhogaza says:

    Then there’s the “arctic ice has recovered” spin being pushed by the denialist community earlier this year.

    I think they’ll be quiet about it over the next four months.

  3. Joe says:

    Yes, I’ll do a sea ice post soon.

  4. I predict a spate of explanations saying something like “this isn’t global warming; this is El Nino.” The denialists move the goalposts the way NFL refs move the chains.

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    Yep, the denierbots will be dancing like Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle in the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” scene in Young Frankenstein when they try to adapt to changing reality. (Quick, somebody Photoshop Inhofe into a tux and add bolts to his neck.)

    Which makes me think–if the deniers are so incredibly limber (add your own mental image here), doesn’t that imply something about the ability of mainstream consumers and voters to adapt, as well? Hmm…

  6. MikeB says:

    Inhofe with bolts, is the smiling Marc Morano playing Igor?

  7. john e johnson says:

    We may even hear something about “more solar irradiation” from the deniers as well. For many deniers, they only proclaim whats in front of their faces. If there is another drought in the Southeast, we’ll hear less from the skeptics. It has to happen in their backyard for the yokels to get the big picture.

    Here in Boulder, you would think we’ve moved the the whole area to the Pacific Northwest its been so wet and mild. I can’t help but think this is part of the greater shift of weather patterns due to global climate change.

  8. MarkB says:

    “Then there’s the “arctic ice has recovered” spin being pushed by the denialist community earlier this year.

    I think they’ll be quiet about it over the next four months.”

    Nah, they’ll just say the alarmists are manipulating their alarmist data to show more alarmist alarmism.

  9. Dorothy says:

    The NSIDC graph for Arctic Sea Ice Extent is back up online: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    Have a look at this, and at the Cryosphere Today image for June 2, http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/, and then tell me that if we don’t exceed an atmospheric CO2 level of 400ppm or a global temperature of 2C, we’re going to be all right.

    Forgive me for redundancy, but I have to ask, what’s the matter with people? Can’t they understand that they’re being told an outright lie. The truth is staring us in the face. We can’t afford to ignore scientific facts just because we don’t like them.

    Most governmental leaders, and their constituents, could be compared to cancer patients who don’t want to be told their lump is malignant, even if by taking action their lives could be saved.

    Bill McKibben at 350.org has it right: We’ve got to cool our planet down, and we’ve got to do it fast.

  10. Erl Happ says:

    Sorry guys but you have it all wrong. And so do the ENSO models. The progression of warming and cooling cycles is dictated by the QBO in the stratosphere. We have just experienced the current warming cycle. Finito.

    Tropical warming and cooling cycles is climate change in action….or haven’t you noticed?

    Atmospheric pressure is rising off Chile and the trades will strengthen.

    Faith and hope are no substitute for careful observation. The change in CO2 content in the atmosphere is unrelated to climate change. Where is your observational evidence? Have you forgotten to look?

  11. Dave T says:

    Sounds like you guys are making a rock solid prediction concerning the soon fried Earth. That should simplify things. Will you be willing to admit there is no global warming when 2009 and 2010 turn out to have slightly cooler global average temperatures than 2008?

    There is no doubt the planet has been generally thawing since 11,500 years ago. The greatest warming rate will always be just before the ice cube completely melts, then the temperature stabilizes. However, since the source of our heat is going through (what I predict) a cooler period than even the Maunder Minimum, we will see a severe shift to cooler temperatures either in 2009 or 2010, just the opposite of what NOAA is predicting. I further predict the cooling period will be marked by swings between record lows and record high temperatures as the cold Arctic air mass builds up and drops periodically into lower latitudes.

    Thankfully, this debate will decisively end one way or the other over the next two years. My bet is that you are going to lose spectacularly.

  12. paulm says:

    North Vancouver fire crews patrol parkland to lower risk of wildfires

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/06/04/bc-north-vancouver-parks.html?ref=rss

    “It has been an unusually dry and hot late spring, so we are probably a month — even in some cases two months — ahead of where we typically would be at this time of year,” deputy fire chief Victor Penman said Thursday.

  13. Gail says:

    I have been looking in vain for statistics about precipitation that are comparable to the record for temperatures. Do they exist? I would be grateful for any links.

    I can see that vegetation in the eastern US has clear symptoms of a long-term drought – but I can’t find any scientific studies that reflect that. Does anyone keep track of the amount of snowfall, for instance?

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2009/06/going-al-techy-chlorosis-necrosis-and.html

  14. MikeB says:

    Gail,

    You can get actual precipitation for many stations in the Northeast going back to 1900 at the Consortium for Atlantic REgional Assessment site: http://www.cara.psu.edu/caraviz/

    Start the CARAVIZ application, and click on location and choose “historical climate data”.

  15. Gail says:

    Thank you MikeB! I’ll check it out as soon as I’m finished wading through this report. I already put up the link on the CP Moron/Air France post but I’ll add it here too, it is so good (which I found this morning at Mossy’s website):

    http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/sap4-2/sap4-2-final-report-all.pdf

  16. PaulK says:

    Gail,
    “I can see that vegetation in the eastern US has clear symptoms of a long-term drought – but I can’t find any scientific studies that reflect that.”

    Perhaps because there is no drought, long-term or otherwise, in the eastern US. Check out US Drought Monitor

  17. ChuckL's says:

    Watch as the El Nino fades away by the winter. NASA’s modelling predicted a strong El Nino for 2006:

    We suggest that an El Nino is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a “super El Nino”, rivaling the 1983 and 1997-1998 El Ninos, which were successively labeled the “El Nino of the century” as they were of unprecedented strength in the previous 100 years.

    How did that work out?

    “It started late, ended early, and was below average strength” from climatologist Mike McFadden.

    You never know, maybe they will be right this time.

    There is almost no chance of a warmer than normal summer in the Midwest and East due to the excessive rainfall that is occurring and NOAA’s long-range forcast for the next nine months is for normal to below normal temperatures for the Eastern 2/3 of the United States with a similar forecast for Canada.

  18. gmo says:

    Why does ChuckL’s treat the El Nino forecast so dismissively then apparently basically accept the NOAA long-range forecast? Could it be simply that the former would project warmer anomalies and the latter cooler?

    I am curious though what long-range NOAA forecasts ChuckL’s is talking about. What I see does not project below normal temps being likely across the US over the next several months.
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day

  19. ChuckL's says:

    “Why does ChuckL’s treat the El Nino forecast so dismissively then apparently basically accept the NOAA long-range forecast? Could it be simply that the former would project warmer anomalies and the latter cooler?

    I am curious though what long-range NOAA forecasts ChuckL’s is talking about. What I see does not project below normal temps being likely across the US over the next several months.”

    GMO – Here is link:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/images/usT2mMon.gif

    The point is that the NASA model-predicted “Super El Nino” of 2006 never happened and almost no climate forecast model other than NASA predicts a “Super El Nino.” So why would anyone think that they might be right this time, especially with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in its cold mode. If there is, in fact, a ‘Super El Nino,” that would be very troubling but I doubt it’s going to happen. In the next 2 – 3 years, everyone will see whether NASA’s forecast was correct.

    To be accurate , the prediction of cooler than normal temperatures was made by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) of NOAA.

  20. Richard M says:

    I look forward to checking back next year to read the wild explanations of what previously unknown factor has “masked” the dramatic warming that everyone knows “really” occurred (because the models predicted it) but perversely refused to manifest itself in real world data. Should be fun.

  21. MarkB says:

    ChuckL,

    Looks like NASA’s model was pretty accurate. Notice the terminology used:

    el Nino: “likely”

    super el Nino: “good chance”

    If we use IPCC definitions, “likely” is defined as 66-90%. In this context, “good chance” would be less than that. As it turned out, we had an el Nino but not a super el Nino. Seems like a pretty reasonably accurate prediction, even if the odds given weren’t definitive.

    The problem with contrarians is they tend to think in binary terms – no gray areas or nuance – which explains why they are zealously opposed to the possibility that human-induced GHGs are warming the climate.

  22. Gail says:

    PaulK, From a tree’s perspective, there is a difference between short heavy infrequent rain that runs off parched soil and lighter more frequent rains that saturate.

    I’m not a scientist so I can’t tell you where and how the NOAA methods of compiling data could be missing some critical factors or perhaps, don’t go far enough back in time.

    All I know is, all the trees here are wilted. So if it isn’t climate change induced drought, it’s ozone or acid rain or too much CO2 in the atmosphere or something else. Personally, I think it’s (mainly) due to drought.

    So your snarky comment merely begs the same question. Where are the scientific studies documenting the causes of severe tree decline?

    Try reading this:

    http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/sap4-2/sap4-2-final-report-all.pdf

    Which has fancy talk like this (which pretty well explains what I’ve been talking about):

    “Systemic” risk, or risk that affects the whole ecosystem rather than just isolated
    parts of the system, provides a useful analogy. Systemic risk corresponds to widespread
    change in an ecosystem characterized by a break from previous trends in the overall state
    of the system. Runaway changes are propagated by positive feedbacks (nonlinear
    instabilities) that are often hidden in the complex web of interconnected parts. Recovery
    may be much slower to achieve than the collapse, and the changes may be irreversible, in
    that the original state may not be fully recoverable (Chapin et al. 1995). Our concept of
    threshold transitions include so-called bifurcation cascades where, for example, small
    changes in a controlling variable, such that the nature and extent of feedback change,
    leads to a sudden destabilization of the system.”

    Or just go and LOOK at trees:

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2009/06/today-i-am-felled-by-sore-throat.html

  23. PaulK says:

    Gail,

    I assure you I wasn’t being snarky. From reading your comments here and visiting your website, you seem to be a sincere, caring person.

    I don’t know what is stressing the trees in your area. I do know that it is not drought because there is no drought. I doubt it is excess CO2. Plants thrive on CO2. CO2 levels in the average greenhouse are kept at twice the current atmospheric levels. Acid rain or other pollutants could be the cause or maybe insects.

    Have others in your area noticed the same poor condition of the trees. You might try contacting your county extension service for info on conditions and causes. Good luck and I hope you feel better.

  24. Gail says:

    PaulK,

    As for CO2 being good for plants, see this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFGU6qvkmTI&feature=channel_page

    Further, it’s not just my area, I’ve been from Rhode Island to Virginia and it is the same all the way.

    From the standpoint of evolution, the ecosystem must ultimately collapse when a fundamental component is altered, as described in the government report linked to in my last comment.

    Sorry for misinterpreting as snarky your statement “There is no drought.” which
    I would rephrase, “There is no drought being reported by current methods of measurement.”

    I’m interested to know that greenhouses use extra CO2 to grow produce. Perhaps that explains why it lacks the flavor and substance (and no doubt vitamins) of backyard garden produce, as CO2 makes plants grow faster but weakens them. Thank you for that tidbit! A good reason to go out and pull some weeds.

  25. tehdude says:

    I will bet you 10,000 USD that the next two years will not be the hottest on record. You got the nuts?

  26. tom says:

    I don’t what the ‘denialist’ camp will say, but I know what I’d say.

    The integrity NOAA data is seriously compromised by the well documented problem with the station sites , the station droput and the unquestionably misguided failure to account for urbanization.

    So, we have no accurate past data for a baseline. And we don’t have accurate current data. Thus, any conclusions are naturally unreliable.

    As are any predictions.

    This is not ‘denying’ anything; this is just stating the obvious- we don’t know.

  27. KW says:

    Lets assume that human emissions are contributing soley to warming.

    Won’t C02 lose some of its effect as it rises higher or will it cause temperatures to exponentially increase?

    Let’s assume that the temperature will rise 5-10C by the year 2100.

    Now, let’s assume that we are entering into a drastic ice age in the next 90 years. The temperature will drop 5-10C by 2100.

    Which one…5-10C of warming or cooling would be the most difficult for human survival?

    Now ask yourself. Are the alarmists and deniers both hoping for the same thing in essence? We both want it to stop warming or to start cooling.

    We want it colder?! I see nothing wrong with how warm it is now. IMO it beats the contrary of colder. :)

    But that’s me not focusing on all the aweful things that may or may not occur drastically like coastal flooding, malaria, hurricanes wipening out cities, drought and wildfire coming like judgement day and goodness knows what else.

  28. The “unquestionably misguided failure to account for urbanization” is itself an urban legend.

  29. gmo says:

    ChuckL’s seems keen on “Super El Nino” for some reason, but even something moderate will notably increase the odds of record high global average temp anomaly in one’s favorite data set.

    If ChuckL’s or anyone else thinks cool temp anomalies over the US and enhancing El Nino conditions cannot coincide, check out the below link. It includes the link ChuckL’s provided (the “Anomaly column in the “UST2m” row), then see the “Monthly Nino3.4″ and compare it to the ENSO forecasts in this post. I wonder if ChuckL’s would now dismiss the forecast of cool over much of the continental US through the rest of this year since the same forecast calls for the development of a substantial El Nino episode.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfs_fcst/

  30. ChuckL's says:

    Weak to moderate El-Nino episodes during the cool mode of the PDO usually do not last long and typically result in normal or colder than normal winter temperatures in much of North America and Siberia as were the cases in 1965-66 and 1976-77. As I posted previously, in 2-3 years we will know whether NASA’s forecast was correct and there will be 2-3 years more of global temperature data to see if the current ccooling trend continues or temperature start rising again.

  31. gmo says:

    I do not understand the emphasis on the NASA forecast. Do you mean the dynamical model ENSO forecast or the “record high” projection? Are you assuming a “Super El Nino” is required to for their projection?

    The talk of a “current cooling trend” and “2-3 years” of data making a big difference in how to view the long-term variability suggests lack of understanding of key aspects of the issue of climate change.

    Personally I do not like that people have to anticipate an El Nino because it is likely to produce record temps and thus more attention and chatter. Unfortunately that is perhaps needed when others tout completely expected fluctuations like a few years of flat temperature records as supposed evidence against the continuing long-term warming trend.

  32. ChuckL's says:

    10 years and counting of flat and now cooling temperatures while CO2 continues to increase. Does it prove that AGW has stopped? No, but is should give some pause to those who extol the accuracy of the global climate models that predict continuing and accelerating global warming.

    [JR: An absurd denier talking point. This is the hottest decade on record by far.]

    Coming back to point, yes, I am focusing on the NASA model which predicts a stronger El Nino than over 20 other climate prediction models

    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/SST_table.html

    and has been proven be inaccurate in predicting the strength of El Nino

  33. gmo says:

    ChuckL’s resorts to potshots on GCMs as though the anthropogenic effect on climate is simply based on global average temperature time series and computer models.

    The last decade in the temperature record is statistically consistent with a continuing trend of near 0.2C/decade plus usual short-term variability. A record temp anomaly in 2010 should not suddenly convince people climate change is real, and flattish temperature trends from the last several years should not have people questioning whether climate change is occurring. Yet here we are.

    What is important is something is done to address the climate change issue because it is a real issue. Many people who “get it” do not much understand the science and related statistics. But the focus has to be on the people who do not “get it” because they do not understand the science and related statistics and hope that in trying to explain it to them that others catch on.

    Even though an El Nino-induced record temp anomaly would be completely unsurprising (as would an El Nino and no record), it almost has to be hoped people who do not “get it” over-interpret such a record the way recent La Nina-influenced conditions were mischaracterized.

  34. Les J says:

    The forecast for western Canada includes snow and frost tonight. Its currently snowing in parts of Calgary.

    As long as weather like this continues, especially in months like June, political support for climate change will continue to fall.

    This loss of political capital is quite evident on the local weather forums.

    I suspect that this forecast could come back and haunt Mr. Romm.

  35. Gail says:

    Les J,

    An essential point of climate CHAOS is that average temperatures rising do not imply the same rate of rise everywhere.

    In other words, the average rate is rising, but over land it rises faster than over the oceans and also, it is rising faster at the poles than closer to the equator.

    This differential creates gigantic changes in the behavior of wind, which drives the weather.

    I am not a scientist so I cannot explain it but enough should be obvious in just this explanation.

    I hope you will take the time to learn more about these facts by reading up here on Mr. oops that’s Dr. Romm’s site, buy his book too!

  36. Les J says:

    Gail: I understand very well, thank you. Thats why I emphasized weather and climate.

  37. Gail says:

    Les J – oh sorry, I get it! I misread!

    Will you come to the Climatestock picnic? Do you realize I have two potential sons-in-law who are from Canada, from whence my garden is being devoured by invasive CANADIAN THISTLE??

    Just kidding.

  38. Les J says:

    better Canadian thistle, than Russian thistle….

  39. Carl Wolk says:

    This statement, while it represents the majority opinion, I believe is false:
    “ENSO doesn’t change the overall warming trend, but it is a short-term modulation…”
    My article here argues that ENSO is radiative: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/ten-questions-for-alarmists-about-the-el-ninosouthern-oscillation/

  40. 27 KW: Take a look at the example of Venus. CO2 is denser than water at the surface of Venus and the rocks glow a dull red.

  41. Denying climate change is a severe form of GAMBLING. It is gambling with our own extinction. I wonder if gambling addiction or extreme risk-taking has anything to do with being a denialist?

  42. Bill Hunter says:

    Gail,

    I would wager that greenhouse foods taste worse than backyard grown for probably just about every reason but CO2. Chemical fertilizers and dim sunlight are the two things I have found make the most difference in taste.

  43. Joe Monahan says:

    Bill,

    I’ve grown vegetables in a green house with and without CO2 injections. I find no difference in the taste, quality or quantity of the food. The only difference is the rate at which the food matures. I find that food grown with natural fertilzers and in soil taste better.

  44. mgr39 says:

    Dear Mr. Romm:

    Can you explain to me, or point me to where I can find the answer, as to what caused global temperatures to increase from about 1908 to 1941? (as depicted in the global temperature record chart shown above)

    The slope of the increase appears to be exactly the same as the global increase in temperatures from 1979 to 2002 or so.

    Thanks,

    mgr39

    [JR: This was mostly steady warming from GHGs PLUS recovery from the huge volcanoes of the previous two decades. Robock has a good piece on this.]

  45. Ed says:

    Finally some good news! After the winter of ‘08-09 with unusual cold and snow in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Seattle and Spokane, we could use some warming. With Obama set to have our utility rates skyrocket it would be great to see some winter heat! Let’s hope that NOAA has it right.

  46. tom says:

    “Denying climate change is a severe form of GAMBLING. It is gambling with our own extinction”

    Extinction?

    Such preposterous statements do nothing but HELP cast doubt on the AGW theory.

    It’s alarmist in the extreme and makes people not listen to rational arguments.

  47. Gail

    You can get precipitation data and see how well the GCMs modelled it (not very well actually) at:

    http://www.climatedata.info/Precipitation/precipitation.html

    They present graphs and you can download data.

  48. Gail says:

    Thank you for the link, Julius St Swithin! It does not appear to break down to regions though unless I’m missing something. I will keep checking back.

  49. MikeN says:

    Hansen predicted that 2009 will be a new temperature record. Are you guys saying this won’t happen?

  50. gmo says:

    Is MikeN trying to set some sort of gotcha trap? Perhaps MikeN is confused by this statement from Hansen from an article dated Feb 23, 2009:

    “Given our expectation that the next El Niño will begin this year or in 2010, it still seems likely that a new global surface air temperature record will be set within the next one to two years.”
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=37253

    So Hansen says 2009 or 2010, “likely” (meaning not certain), and couches it in the expectation of coming El Nino conditions. Without rereading the comments I think the “you guys” are saying the same thing. And I am sure that the OP is saying the same thing because there is a link to the same article and use of the same quote.

    I assume I will not have to bother, but if MikeN could dig up some quote of Hansen simply declaring 2009 will set a new temp record, then I would be happy to explain why that statement would not matter.

    For now I will simply point out that MikeN’s post looks like just another case of someone throwing out something with only the slightest link to reality then trying to use that warped to misrepresented to inaccurate information in order to try to attack the science of anthropogenic climate change.

  51. Monkey boy says:

    I recall Hansen predicting the 2007 El Nino would also beat the 1998 El Nino and he was proven wrong – no one has a magic crystal ball.

  52. KW says:

    ‘“Denying climate change is a severe form of GAMBLING. It is gambling with our own extinction”

    Extinction?

    Such preposterous statements do nothing but HELP cast doubt on the AGW theory.

    It’s alarmist in the extreme and makes people not listen to rational arguments.’

    Indeed. Peter deserved to be aten by the wolf. No more whining!

  53. Gail says:

    Google it! We are in the 6th mass extinction event on earth, which started when humans began exploiting species 10,000 years ago. In geologic time spans, compared to past events caused by volcanic activity or asteroids, this is actually a more rapid loss of biodiversity. 30,000 species per year are currently going extinct thanks to pollution and loss of habitat due to human activity.

    Horrific, and tragically unnecessary, yes. But not preposterous.

  54. Matt Bergin says:

    Gail
    Making a statement like ” 30,000 species per year are currently going extinct thanks to pollution and loss of habitat due to human activity.” you should be able to back it up. Do me a favor and name just 100 of those 30,000 species that have gone extinct last year. If you can’t you should retract that satement.

  55. Gail says:

    Oh for crying out loud. I said, GOOGLE IT. I just typed into my yahoo search:

    “extinction 30,000 per year”

    which turned up 5,040,000 links, one of which is this

    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Largest_mass_extinction_in_65_million_years_underway,_scientists_say

    I suggest you try it and read all 5,040,000 links.

  56. Gail says:

    Another primer on the current mass extinction:

    http://www.fieldmuseum.org/evolvingplanet/quater_5.asp

  57. Matt Bergin says:

    I wanted “you” to name them. Anyway Wikipedia doesn’t count as a reference just ask any university science teacher. Of course it goes without saying that well over 95% of all species that have ever existed are extinct and new species have evolved to fill the empty space. It’s called evolution, an ongoing process and yes one day it will be our turn.

  58. Paul says:

    Hey I am a DENIER……I deny that man did not land on the moon, I deny there was no holocaust, I deny the world is flat.
    I deny the grassy knoll, and the lochness monster, ghosts, god(s) and UFO’s

    I believe in Climate Change…….I say again I BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE there is overwhelming evidence
    that the climate changes, it has changed over Millions of years, Thousands of years and Hundreds of years.

    I do not however believe AGW global warming….ITS NATURAL. AGW’ers go get a life.

  59. Krusty Krab says:

    dhogaza:

    Then there’s the “arctic ice has recovered” spin being pushed by the denialist community earlier this year.

    I think they’ll be quiet about it over the next four months.

    I see dhogaza is still pushing data from a broken satellite. When he starts relying on accurate satellite readings to make his case, I’ll be impressed.

  60. Patti says:

    Posted by MarkB, “If we do set a record, all the “global warming is caused mostly by the Sun” enthusiasts will have some explaining (or spinning) to do.”

    And if we don’t set a record you Human-induced global warming, anti-capitalists will make up some lame excuse for why the earth’s climate isn’t participating in your wild claims of rising sea levels, an ice-free arctic, fire and explosions! By the way, N.Dakota had it’s first June SNOWFALL in 60 years. That’s inconvenient isn’t it? If it had been a record heat day, the story would be the opener on NBC news. The sin of omission is glaring. Your agenda is so transparent it is laughable.

  61. Les J says:

    Sorry, Gail, but the IUCN Red List, has only 869 species extinct, since 1500, in its 2008 report. This is up slightly from 844, in its 2003 report.

    This includes both EW (extinct in wild) and EX (extinct).

    Check tables 3a and 3b of the Red List.

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/2008RL_stats_table_3a_v1223294385.pdf

    http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/2008RL_stats_table_3b_v1223294385.pdf

  62. Gail

    A better site might be the one run by the Dutch Met Service (in English) at :

    http://climexp.knmi.nl

    They have a lot of data download options.

  63. Les J says:

    Sorry, Gail, but the IUCN Red List, has only 869 species extinct, since 1500, in its 2008 report. This is up slightly from 844, in its 2003 report.

    This includes both EW (extinct in wild) and EX (extinct).

    Check tables 3a and 3b of the Red List.

  64. Curtis Lund says:

    Question:

    The El Nino prediction is important to me as I reside in Southern California, which back in 97-98 during the last main El Nino event almost washed out to sea.

    My question is this: Does the absence of sunspot activity help or lessen the sea surface temperature that would calculate into an EL Nino prediction?

    If so, since our Sun seems to be taking a break from solar surface storm activity, you would think that would have an influence.

    I would appreciate your comments.

  65. gmo says:

    The comment above by Patti exemplifies some of the worst of what Joe here calls “anti-science”. First the claims are at best caricatures of the actual projections related to anthropogenic climate change (who is claiming “explosions”?) or way off base (how is a year with no temperature record evidence against rising sea levels?).

    But the most ridiculous is that there not being a new record in a year is evidence against anthropogenically-induced warming. I assume that Patti would move the goalposts again and say that if indeed there was a new record it would still not be evidence for anthropogenically-induced warming.

    Nobody (except perhaps in Patti’s imagination) is claiming that cold events will no longer occur, but rather they will become less likely with the continuing warming trend. Check out the link below comparing “warm” records and “cold” records from the last several years for the US. The overall clear greater number of warm than cool is what one would expect.
    http://www.extremeweatherrecords.com/Records/

    Note that I do not endorse anything else one may find through that site, though it can be interesting if one likes highly faulty analyses that love periodicity and sine waves. What they get right is probably still for the wrong reasons, so I recommend reading only for entertainment.

  66. gmo says:

    Another fun site for viewing recent US daily record weather events…
    http://mapcenter.hamweather.com/records/7day/us.html?c=maxtemp,mintemp,lowmax,highmin

    Strange that I do not remember stories about the warm records from the Pacific Northwest and Appalachia leading NBC news this week.

  67. gmo says:

    Curtis Lund,

    El Niño & La Niña is an internal mode of variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Changes in solar output like this valley in the solar cycle would not be expected to have measurable influence on the ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) phenomenon. Here is a site with a good overview on the mechanism of ENSO:
    http://www.ucar.edu/communications/factsheets/elnino/

    A big deal is made about it in some circles, but the current relative quietness in the sun does not translate to much of a decrease in insolation (received solar energy). Whatever difference in solar energy applies globally and is small compared to the other spatially-varying anomalies across the ocean-atmosphere system that drive El Niño and La Niña episodes. Similarly the slightly less than recent solar output will not be a factor in determining the number of hurricanes since other factors like ocean currents, upper level winds, and the occurrence of tropical waves that can develop into tropical cyclones are of much greater importance.

    Limits within the monitoring system (imprecision and sparsity of measurements that keep us from knowing the initial conditions more exactly) can be expected to have more effect on an El Niño forecast.

  68. Gail says:

    thanks again, Julius SS!

    Les J, I am aware of those lists, but they do not include the entire picture, not even close. Here is another site to noodle around for extinction information:

    http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0902-extinction.html

    The number of species that are going extinct annually is based on the known extent of habitat destruction, especially in the vanishing rain forest with its staggering rich level of biodiversity, and the number of species that are not catalogued by humans.

    Read up on it, if you really care.

  69. tom says:

    The main reason for extinctinction of species, of course, is encroachment into habitat by man. I.E.,population explosion.

    The only thing that climate change will do is SLOW that down, since it will kill off 40 trazillion humans( or whatver the lastest kook prediction is).
    No man-no encroachment.

    On behalf of the bengal tiger= DRIVE A COAL POWERED SUV !

  70. tom says:

    “This differential creates gigantic changes in the behavior of wind, which drives the weather”

    So why hasn’t this happened?

  71. Les J says:

    Gail: Studies on habitat destruction are conflicting. In Puerto Rico, habitat destruction was followed by an INCREASE in diversity. This source (below) suggests that for 1 acre felled, 50 acres of previously felled land is regrowing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/science/earth/30forest.html?_r=2&hp

    The IUCN Red List is the most authoritative list of DOCUMENTED extinctions, yet you discount this, in favor of PROJECTED extinctions, based on models using an UNKNOWN number of total species?

    I will take QUANTIFIED data anytime. If you have any quantifiable data, please show it.

  72. m says:

    NOAA weights their forecast somewhat more heavily by their model (CFS), but the rest of us don’t have to. This still looks like near-normal conditions; note that all the statistical models (which are generally a little better on average this far out) are still going near-normal to cold.

  73. Elroy Jetson says:

    Living in Juneau, I can say that we shared the same very warm and dry spring of those who live in SW British Columbia. However, we had just come out of our 3rd above average snowfall winter (just 12″ from the record set in 06-07) and have been dying for some nice weather. I don’t know about our cousins in the Vancouver area, but we have had a return to overcast, drizzle and cool weather over the last 10 days or so.
    I like to ski, and believe me, the snow conditions the last 3 years have been epic. “Global warming my a**!” has been our favorite expression here.

  74. Jenny says:

    First let me say Thank you to all of you who work for our planet.
    I have a question, not sure if there is one answer for it or not, but here I go.
    I am your average busy mom who doesn’t understand much of the tech talk on this site, I was looking to see if California was expected to see any rain this winter (2010), looks like it.
    I recycle and am healthy planet concious as much as I can be. Is all this recycling and changing to greener cars and such, doing any good at all for the earths temp?
    When should we expect to see results with respect to earth temps and ice coming back?
    I know we see instant results from not over loading landfills and such, but what about the big picture, our earth?
    Did we wait to long to start living green to make a differance?

  75. John says:

    The problem is simple, but nobody wants to look at it or talk about it. Too many people. We could all start driving smart cars today, and in a few years, the increased numbers of smart cars / human activity (because of exponential population growth) will have us right back where we are now. And this assumes that everyone will submit to the intolerant and tyrannical views of “progressives”. What do we do? Sincerely enjoy the time you have left on earth, which by the way, won’t miss us a bit when we’re gone.

  76. Cynthia says:

    Matt, Gail gave you over 5,000,000 links to corroborate her statement. YOU lost the debate. Foget it!

  77. Cynthia says:

    Jenny, the summer sea ice– once it’s gone, will not come back. That’s the problem. Once the arctic is gone, we’re in big, big trouble! That’s why Jim Hansen says that we can’t lose the arctic and is calling for zero emissions NOW and a further negative reduction. Will all the effort that’s being made to stop GW work? Who knows? It’s a race between ingeniuous capabilities of man and mother nature.