NCDC: Second hottest June on record — and once El Nino really kicks in, expect global temperatures “to threaten previous record highs”

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"NCDC: Second hottest June on record — and once El Nino really kicks in, expect global temperatures “to threaten previous record highs”"

Fast on the heels of the fourth warmest May on record, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reports:

Based on preliminary data, the globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the second warmest on record for June, and the January-June year-to-date tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest on record.

NCDC notes that the ocean temperature was the warmest on record.  In fact, it was a full 0.11°F warmer than the 2005 record.  This is almost certainly the new El Ni±o on top of the long-term warming trend (see NOAA says “El Ni±o arrives; Expected to Persist through Winter 2009-10″³ “” and that means record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record).

And no, I don’t think the monthly data tell us much about the climate.  But I know reporting it annoys the deniers.  Also, the deniers have been touting the supposedly cool June temperatures over parts of this country (although the lower 48 in fact had the 49th warmest June on record, and Alaska had the 21st warmest).  “Across parts of Africa and most of Eurasia,” however, “temperatures were 3°C (5°F) or more above average.”  Such warming may be coming to the US later in the year.  It typically takes several months for the El Ni±o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to impact global temperatures.

Once again, the geographical distribution of the warming continues to be really, really bad news for those worried about the permafrost permamelt, since temps are running upwards of 3°-5°C (5.4°-9°F) warmer than the 1961-1990 norm over much of Siberia, as NCDC’s figure shows:

NOAA NCDC June 2009 temperature anomalies

This is worrisome because:

As for what to expect in the coming months, NOAA explains:

If El Ni±o conditions continue to mature as projected by NOAA, global temperatures are likely to continue to threaten previous record highs

We can very safely say “this will be the hottest decade in recorded history by far,” and also that may well be on the verge of realizing NASA’s January prediction:

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.

I think 2010 is a better bet if this is a long-lasting El Ni±o.  Last winter’s La Ni±a makes it difficult for 2009 to set the global temperature record — that would require essentially every month for the rest of the year to be the warmest or second warmest on record (see NASS GISS data set here).

Stay tuned.  The heat is on — or, rather, it’s never been off.

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41 Responses to NCDC: Second hottest June on record — and once El Nino really kicks in, expect global temperatures “to threaten previous record highs”

  1. paulm says:

    Monthly data does tell us about the climate, especially if they are record data.

  2. Will says:

    Man that urban heat island effect is burning up the north pacific!

  3. Brewster says:

    It’s also frying northern Siberia… Did someone move Moscow?

  4. MarkB says:

    Statistically, June was tied for warmest (less than 0.02 off the record) in the NOAA record. But I agree that monthly data is of very limited value with regards to global warming.

    Deniers are already in full denial mode on this one. After eagerly touting monthly data during the mostly la Nina conditions over the past couple of years, they are now back full-throttled attacks on the data – claiming, with no basis of course, that NASA and that evil James Hansen are lying…er…wait…this is NOAA. They are in on the conspiracy too.

    NOAA recently and quite easily tore apart the political project of Anthony Watts in one nice blow, taking down his house of cards by doing a preliminary analysis on his data. One has to wonder why Watts has never attempted this himself, or perhaps he had but the results were never reported for obvious reasons. This seems worth blogging on if you haven’t done so.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf

    Watts could not come up with a remotely reasonable response. Still, photos of weather stations, random mud-slinging at distinguished scientists, and regular reports of cold or cooler weather somewhere (generally easy to find in any given week) will continue to have strong propaganda value, even if they clearly don’t add up to a scientific challenge on the surface record.

    “Such warming may be coming to the US later in the year. It typically takes several months for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to impact global temperatures.”

    “May” is a key caveat. There are still very large swings from region to region each year. What we can say with high confidence, IF el Nino persists (no guarantee) is that globally, we should be near or above record levels for the next year. NWS does forecast mostly warmer conditions through good chunks of the U.S. for August through at least the first half of next year, with no below average conditions (large areas of “equal chance”).

  5. dhogaza says:

    One has to wonder why Watts has never attempted this himself, or perhaps he had but the results were never reported for obvious reasons.

    A software engineer by the name of John Van Vliet did a similar analysis back when about 40% of the stations had been surveyed, discovered no difference, reported it, was essentially pooh-poohed. He’s apparently quiet on climate issues these days, his Open Temp project appears to be dormant. Don’t think he really enjoyed the reception to his statistical analysis of Watts’ amateur photography project.

    Watts claims that he’ll have professional statistics help in doing his analysis later (as far as can be determined, Watts has no degree whatsoever and it’s clear he’s statistically illiterate). But that hasn’t stopped him from issuing his photo-based report claiming that the US ground temp record is not reliable (odd to do that before the analysis, no?), appearing on Fox saying the same, etc.

  6. Dano says:

    Watts claims that he’ll have professional statistics help

    Pffft. That widdle site is all a stunt. A well-publicized and beloved-by-denialists site, but a stunt nonetheless. That’s all that needs to be said.

    Best,

    D

  7. MarkB says:

    “Watts claims that he’ll have professional statistics help in doing his analysis later”

    I’m sure he will. The tobacco industry also had “professional medical researchers” telling them there was no reliable link between smoking and lung cancer. Truly independent review is important in the process.

    Still, the facts always remain a challenge for political propagandists to get around.

  8. Sable says:

    “Still, the facts always remain a challenge for political propagandists to get around.”

    Hear hear! Sadly they don’t need facts, just enough people to buy the nonsense they’re peddling. And in this, they’re doing a heck of a job. As long as the battle is being waged on the denier’s terms it’ll be very difficult to push policy in a sensible direction.

  9. paulm says:

    Ready for the big splash!

    Manhattan-Sized Ice Chunk to Break Off Arctic Glacier (Update1)
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=aoH_QT2qLljM

  10. Gail says:

    paulm, I can always count on you to make me smile!

    (no srsly you have great links)

  11. Dave says:

    Even the deniers favorite data set at UAH is showing some big heat for July. Of course, they already have their excuse tailor made for that scenario. When temperatures are only a bit above normal, to them, it’s evidence that global warming isn’t real. When temperatures are way above normal, it’s El Nino and global warming is not a factor at all.

    Anyways, did anybody see this article?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/5835975/Arctic-sea-full-of-huge-blobs-of-floating-goo.html

    What’s this all about? Does this have something to do with climate change? It seems odd that this is the first time this phenomenon is being observed and it’s coinciding with another major ice melt summer.

  12. Mike#22 says:

    Has there been any success in the remote sensing of permafrost changes?

  13. dhogaza says:

    That widdle site is all a stunt.

    Yeah, guess I should’ve used explicit sarcasm tags :)

    What’s this all about? Does this have something to do with climate change?

    At this point they’re not even sure what it is (at least as when I read about it a day or two ago), so seems premature to say so.

  14. Gail says:

    GAWD, reading comments here at CP, and watching Barack Obama address the NAACP. The guy is on FIRE he is burning up the teevee! About EVERYTHING including clean energy.

    I think he just took off the gloves!

  15. MarkB says:

    Dave writes:

    “Even the deniers favorite data set at UAH is showing some big heat for July.”

    I’m curious as to where real-time public data is found for satellite and surface temperatures. The following maps and animations give a very rough overview of major warm/cool anomalies but doesn’t give a clear picture as to the global mean trend.

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/clim/glbcir_rnl.anim.shtml

  16. Dorothy says:

    Joe, thank you for posting this map of Temperature Anomalies for June. What a powerful image. It’s chilling. I mean frightening. To see that almost nowhere on our planet is the temperature below normal. Siberia is really scary, and the whole continent of Africa, with millions of people struggling to survive under all those red dots…Sorry…

    There was a story you all may have seen in The Independent on Sunday about the 6700 page report, “2009 State of the Future,” that will be published next month:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/the-planets-future-climate-change-will-cause-civilisation-to-collapse-1742759.html.
    This should certainly be compelling, maybe it will wake our politians up.

  17. Paul K says:

    Well, the WUWT guys have been having a good ole time, lampooning the June GISS report, comparing the NASA scientists to Laurel and Hardy. They are convinced there is a massive conspiracy to manipulate the temperature records. If you guys want a good laugh, then read the ridiculous comments there. (But make sure to come back here to post about it. Lets move the discussion over to Climate Progress.)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/14/giss-for-june-way-out-there/

    There are a couple of reasonable posters over there, so look for their posts (bluegrue and Flanagan) and I have some tongue and cheek posts over there suggesting we chase down the miscreants at UAH as well.

    Now the NOAA data comes out, and the entire post and comments make Anthony Watts look ridiculous. He seems to be the real buffoon character, similar to Laurel and Hardy’s movie personnas.

  18. Gail says:

    Dorothy, how about this:

    http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/policy/climate_change/downloads/bp130_suffering_science.pdf

    which should be distributed far and wide.

    Climate change is here, now, and devastating. It’s not just far away from US elected officials – in the arctic, or in the tropics. It’s right in their own home base, imminent agricultural declines in productivity, and ecosystem destruction.

    Dust Bowl, anyone?

    We, us humans, need to stop fooling around about the science, and face the reality.

    Good luck with that, of course. Most everybody I see is trying to figure out how to raise their level of consumption in spite of the economic “recession”.

    Ugh.

  19. Gail says:

    Dave, Dave, that has nothing to do with climate change, or pollution.

    Sarah removed her makeup.

  20. Dorothy says:

    Gail, thank you. I hadn’t seen this Oxfam report. I’ll try to read it all tonight and will put an excerpt up on the West Coast Climate Equity site tomorrow. “A life behind every statistic.” So true.

    From the report: “In 2009, a year of ‘Climate Summits’ for scientists, businesses, and governments, there has been no formal ‘People’s Summit’. The reality of life under climate change is largely missing from the big debate. No court of justice would hear evidence and then make a ruling without representation from the wronged party.” Again, so true. We urgently need a People’s Summit, now, before the future climate crisis makes the world a place where we’re all at war with each other.

  21. Paul K says:

    As someone above noted, the deniers like to use UAH data. The UAH data is from satellite surveys, and is used to come up with temperature record that is sometime, and often erroneously, compared to the other temperature records. The UAH anomaly for June was 0.0, which may not be unusual, since the UAH anomaly data show a significant seasonal swing, with large anomalies in January and February, and small anomalies in May and June.

    For July, the UAH data is going to be very interesting, since clearly the raw satellite data is showing a significant upswing in the troposphere temperatures. This site shows the satellite data, but readers will need to select the satellite they want to look at. I suggest the Ch LT and then Ch 5, and look at the last couple of years of data… the big swing up in July 2009 that other posters have discussed, will be evident.

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    Also note that the temperature graphs compared to the 20 year average, and you can easily see the global heating of the troposphere.

  22. Paul K says:

    oops, that link did not work well. Try this, and select the ch 5 data to begin with (in the bottom left of the screen, and click “Draw graph”

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

  23. MarkB says:

    Thanks, Paul K. Does RSS have a similar daily tracker? That’s an interesting spike this week. It’s beyond record high territory the last few days. Their data is always suspicious to me, though, given the large nearly annual errors discovered and corrections over the past decade, although almost all have been in the same upward direction. As we remember, the satellite record at one point didn’t show warming, UAH (ironically managed by 2 skeptic types) being the worst offender. The NAS concluded at the time…

    “In an attempt to settle the controversy, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences conducted a full-scale review in 1999. The panel concluded that the satellites seemed reliable (balloon measurements, although far less comprehensive, also failed to find warming in mid-atmosphere). The satellite instruments simply were not designed to see the warming that was indeed taking place at the surface. ”

    “While the skeptics persisted, most scientists believed that although the computer models were surely imperfect, the satellite data analysis was too ambiguous to pose a serious challenge to the global warming consensus.

    This hunch was confirmed in 2004 when meticulous analysis of both satellite and balloon observations turned up sysematic errors. The mid levels had in fact been warming. It was one of several cases where computer modelers had been unable to tweak their models until they matched data, not because the models were bad but because the data were wrong. “This is the answer — I wish we had recognized it ourselves,” said the chair of the 1999 Academy survey. Contrarians in the public sphere continued to cite the satellites and other erroneous data (once an idea gets on the internet it can never be removed from circulation). But scientists were now satisfied that warming was underway pretty much as the models had predicted) ”

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/20ctrend.htm

  24. From Peru says:

    I was looking at the RSS and UAH lower thropopheric temperatures(LT) ( OK, I do it after seeing the Antony Watts comments about the “cool” 2009 june)and I saw that while the NOAA and GISS surface temperatures were up (as should be given the developing El Niño) the LT temperatures were going down.

    What’s going on? How could the surface be warming and the low troposphere cooling (or not changing at all)?

    Is there some delay in the trotosheric response to a developing El Niño respect to the (inmediate) surface temperature response?

  25. From Peru says:

    Addendum:

    In the RSS website, some regions (like Africa) showed no warm anomaly like in the NOAA and GISS data, and even the eastern pacific was nearly neutral despite the El Niño conditions.

    Also, considering latitude paterns, some positive anomaly is observed in the tropics( still much less than the NOAA ones), but there were cool anomalies in the temperate zones( latitudes between 30º and 70º)of both hemispheres that offset this warming remaining a nearly 0 TL temperature anomaly.

    What could be the causes of those inconsistencies? Maybe some systematic error in the station or satellite data or a delay between surface and tropospheric warming, what do you think?

  26. Paul K says:

    I don’t know about RSS daily tracker, but RSS and UAH supposedly are using much of the same raw satellite information, although apparently UAH covers more of the Earth surface, if I understand correctly. I am not an expert in the temperature records, but ran across the seasonal swing in UAH anomaly at Tamino’s and Atmoz’s sites, and especially liked this Deep Climate post:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/06/05/uah-annual-cycle-continues-in-2009/

    As you can see from the first graph, the UAH monthly global anomalies fall below 0.10 in May and June in most recent years, and rise to about 0.35 in January and February each year. I noticed Anthony Watts loves to focus on UAH monthly data showing low anomalies, so I saw this train wreck coming back in early June when he first posted the May data. I knew eventually he would put out some kind of silly post, comparing UAH to GISS (which really shouldn’t be directly comparable). But I could hardly believe my eyes when he put up the post two days ago with the Laurel and Hardy comedy theme, and went after the GISS scientists virtually claiming they were intentionally fabricating the results.

    He augmented that mistake, by mixing in US temperature record data in a standalone analysis, when the subject really was the global anomaly. He put up a ridiculous “blinking graph” that showed the impact of revisions to the US record made by GISS some time ago, and known fat and wide, and implied those revisions impacted the global record. In fact, the impact of the US data revisions on the global record is negligible, and most real scientists, and really anyone who has followed the recent global temperature records, know that. He exposed himself as a complete charlatan.

    Mr. Watts was completely unaware of the seasonal shift in the UAH data, which should be surprising since he touts that temperature record, and pushes the work of Spencer and Christy. But he doesn’t seem to understand their data very well, which gives a clear indication of his incompetence to be one of the chief skeptical critics of the published temperature records.

    The whole affair reflects extremely negatively on Mr. Watts, and if you read the ‘kill the messenger’ mentality of the WUWT comments, it makes all the deniers look like idiots. They quickly jumped on some kind of mass conspiracy bandwagon.

  27. MarkB says:

    “What could be the causes of those inconsistencies? Maybe some systematic error in the station or satellite data or a delay between surface and tropospheric warming, what do you think?”

    I was thinking about this same question recently and this again sparks my interest. I also came up with the same plausible explanations. It could be one or both. Clearly, the satellite record has a history of not capturing the true warming trend (see above) but over the long haul, RSS now matches up pretty well with the surface record. Some re-analysis indicates that even RSS might still be biased a bit low after the bulk of the corrections. Wikipedia entry for Satellite Temperature Measurements:

    “An alternative adjustment introduced by Fu et al. (2004)[5] finds trends (1979-2001) of +0.19 °C/decade when applied to the RSS data set.[6] A less regularly updated analysis is that of Vinnikov and Grody with +0.20°C per decade (1978–2004).[7], although it must be noted that RSS also has a higher trend when taken only to 2004 (+0.186 °C/decade).”

    As for the delayed atmospheric impact of ENSO events, let’s look at the massive el Nino of 1997-1998. I’m just throwing out ideas here so take this with a grain of salt. I’m adjusting GISS to the 1979-1999 baseline used in the satellite record (offset about 0.24) and starting in the month where positive anomalies began building, ending a few months after dissipating. I realize the analysis here is crude and limited to one case study. It’s also focused on a very strong el Nino event. The changes associated with this year’s el Nino are likely to be more modest in comparison. Statistical significance might be an issue as well. Feel free to poke holes in it.

    Year/Mo. GISS RSS Diff

    1997:
    4 0.09 -0.063 0.153
    5 0.07 0.025 0.045
    6 0.25 0.018 0.232
    7 0.01 0.166 -0.156
    8 0.12 0.202 -0.082
    9 0.15 0.191 -0.041
    10 0.26 0.22 0.04
    11 0.31 0.159 0.151
    12 0.28 0.303 -0.023

    1998:
    1 0.28 0.55 -0.27
    2 0.55 0.736 -0.186
    3 0.31 0.586 -0.276
    4 0.31 0.858 -0.548
    5 0.37 0.668 -0.298
    6 0.44 0.568 -0.128
    7 0.46 0.606 -0.146
    8 0.39 0.573 -0.183
    9 0.18 0.494 -0.314
    10 0.15 0.461 -0.311
    11 0.19 0.196 -0.006
    12 0.25 0.312 -0.062

    Analysis:

    The Diff column shows how much more sensitive to large magnitude ENSO anomalies the satellite temperatures are. As far as response goes, what’s notable here is how the satellite record (RSS) actually responded faster in the first 6 months of Nino anomalies increasing (see 1997, months 4 through 9). I haven’t shown it here, but I repeated this analysis for NOAA and HadCrut. Averaging the 3 surface records for the 6 months brings a clear positive trend. but clearly less than the satellite trend. This is counter to our proposed reason for the divergence but maybe the greater inherent sensitivity to large ENSO events that the satellite record shows explains it. It still could indicate a problem with the satellite products. Or it could be margin of error / statistical noise. We’re only talking a few months of data here, restricting our analysis to 3 months gives a different view, and month to month, there are variances that are more short-term than ENSO events.

    Moreover, the divergence between surface and satellite since Nino anomalies increased has only been for a mere 2 months, and indications are that it might be reversing in July. First 6 months of 2009:

    GISS RSS
    0.29 0.325
    0.20 0.242
    0.23 0.194
    0.22 0.202
    0.32 0.09
    0.39 0.075

    UAH shows a stronger divergence and for 3 months, but as we know, they are generally the outlier.

    It’s also notable that from the 1997/1998 event, it was quite a long time before global mean temperatures peaked from their “ENSO neutral” status. We’ve barely gotten started. If this winter’s el Nino is of any real strength (no indication how strong or lasting it will be) this might shatter records through much of next year – not just beat them.

  28. Gail says:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713085248.htm

    “using the increase in average global air temperature as a measure of global warming is an inadequate measure of climate change. They suggest that scientists must also take into account the total energy of the ground, ice masses and the seas if they are to model climate change accurately.”

  29. Carl Wolk says:

    Slow down…SST drives the whole thing.

    Here’s an animation of recent SST maps.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/ani-weekly.html

    It seems that the Southern Hemisphere has cooled off, but the North Atlantic is really heating up.

    This month’s SST anomaly will likely be cooler.

    And don’t get too excited about ENSO. SOI is back to moderately positive.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    [JR: Let me quote the second link: "Indicators suggest an El Niño event is developing across the Pacific Basin. Conditions have reached a point that, should they persist at such levels through the remainder of the southern winter and into spring, 2009 will be considered an El Niño year. Leading climate models indicate that warming of the Pacific will continue for the next few seasons, with very little chance of the current development stalling or reversing. Continuing El Niño signals include central Pacific Ocean surface temperatures around 1°C above average, and supporting sub-surface temperatures up to 4°C warmer than normal."]

  30. Carl Wolk says:

    JR:
    “Conditions have reached a point that, should they persist at such levels through the remainder of the southern winter and into spring, 2009 will be considered an El Niño year.”

    …This sentence doesn’t make sense.

    [JR: Uhh, it came from a source you were touting.]

    Let’s consider what metrics we can use to look at ENSO. SST; barely positive. Pressure; SOI moderately negative. OLR; slightly positive. Trade Winds; tending slightly to El Nino.

    [JR: Shame on you for introducing a link and then dissing/misrepresenting what it said. Let me quote YOUR bible again: "The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) rose over the past week to near zero. However, this would appear to be a response to local weather conditions near Darwin and Tahiti, rather than a long-term climate signal, and hence the SOI is likely to fall again in the weeks ahead."]

    If these conditions “persist,” it’s not clear the tropical Pacific is heading anywhere anytime soon.

    Then again, if you really want to place any faith in ENSO model projections, go right ahead.

    I’m just saying everyone needs to slow down with all this El Nino excitement. It’s far to uncertain right now to make any predicitons.

    [JR: Uhh, that's what models are for -- making predictions. So far, as I've reported, they are dead on.]

  31. Caitlin says:

    El Nino will not only change temperatures. What’s interesting to me about El Nino is how it creates positive change to certain parts of the world and negative for others. The change may even hurt the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Canada: http://www.newsy.com/videos/el_nino_between_love_and_hate

  32. paulm says:

    Good link Gail,
    Oxfam’s Suffering the Science, really sets out the here and now of Climate Chaos.

    eg..

    Risk to small islands
    The nine coral atolls that make up the island nation of Tuvalu are home
    to 12,000 people. Most of the land is less than 1 metre above the sea. In
    50 years it will be gone. The only thing that will remain of Tuvalu is its …. Already, 3,000 Tuvaluans have resettled in Australia.

    These are among the territories that the world has already effectively
    consigned to oblivion. Even if the most intensive carbon-emitting
    countries do manage to agree the policies that will keep warming to
    around 2ºC this century, the sea-level rise of 1 metre forecast by 2100
    (and more subsequently) will overrun these islands, or make life on
    them impossible.

  33. dhogaza says:

    I don’t know about RSS daily tracker, but RSS and UAH supposedly are using much of the same raw satellite information, although apparently UAH covers more of the Earth surface, if I understand correctly.

    A few years ago it was discovered that ice, which apparently is a rich source of microwave radiation, was tripping up the satellite temperature reconstructions to some degree.

    Apparently, in response RSS stopped using data from higher latitudes in the Antarctic, while UAH apparently still does so and presumably tries to compensate. This is where the “UAH covers more of the Earth’s surface” bit comes from. It’s true, but many believe it makes their reconstruction a bit suspect.

    That’s an interesting spike this week. It’s beyond record high territory the last few days.

    Keep in mind that UAH is releasing preliminary data in its daily update, and that the full month’s dataset will be subjected to post-processing which will undoubtably cause these spikey numbers to change (probably downward).

    The UAH team has repeatedly cautioned people into putting much confidence into their running daily numbers, but this hasn’t kept Roger Pielke, Sr from making a silly blog post. WIth comments, as usual, turned off of course.

    I highly recommend the DeepClimate post linked to above by Paul K. UAH has problems with its annual drop in anomaly in late-spring/summer. RSS, GISS, and HadCrut show a small drop in anomaly in summer months but nothing at all like UAH.

  34. MarkB says:

    Carl Wolk writes:

    “This month’s SST anomaly will likely be cooler.”

    If you are jumping to this conclusion entirely based on the NCDC animation map you linked just prior, you are mistaken, unless you are remarkably able to tally up the color-coded sections, make accurate assumptions about the -0.5 to +0.5 grey areas (and others), and forecast what the rest of the month will be (ironic since you appear to distrust forecasts).

    “Let’s consider what metrics we can use to look at ENSO. SST; barely positive.”

    The latest Nino 3.4 region, the primary el Nino metric, as of Monday’s report, is +0.8 C, which is more than “barely positive”.

    Your website (littered with the term “alarmist”) appears to indicate you support the “PDO explains most everything” argument which seems to indicate why you might not want el Nino to emerge. No reason for concern, though. PDO negative phases, if predictable, don’t eliminate el Ninos. They are just associated with somewhat less el Ninos and somewhat more la Ninas – enough to affect the trend during transitional periods but not much longer. Most imporantly, an el Nino won’t refute the notion that the PDO phase is negative, although a super el Nino would mount a strong challenge the notion. There’s also the hypothesis that global warming may be influencing ENSO in varying ways, and interesting and still very much open scientific question. Regardless, let the facts decide things. Don’t seek to spin them.

  35. Gail says:

    yes, paulm, it is heartbreaking to multiply those stories by many millions. Perhaps that is part of what motivates many deniers – the inescapable conclusion that we energy hogs owe a debt to the rest of the world. We will have to pay one way or another, sooner or later.

  36. Carl Wolk says:

    MarkB – June’s SST anomaly was so high because of the Southern Hemisphere. I think it’s pretty clear that it’s been cooling off over the past few weeks.

    Historically, +.8 anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region is nothing is fairly small and easily reversable.
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/getindices.cgi?NCEPData/nino5_daily+NINO3.4+i+someone@somewhere+366

    PDO doesn’t explain everything. The PDO is related to the long-term effects of ENSO, which I think explains everything since 1975. I see no convincing evidence that we will stay PDO negative permanently. Variation in the PDO over the past millenium is actually smaller than what we’ve seen over the past century, neutral periods of the PDO are possible. I also don’t refute the idea that we won’t be seeing El Ninos. If we see a strong El Nino during this solar minimum, we could very well see a long-term increase in temperature again. I find the idea of an El Nino during PDO negative conditions interesting, and the theories I present on my blog have no relevance to these El Ninos.

  37. MarkB says:

    dhogaza (#33),

    Thanks. That answers a couple of lingering questions for me. RSS doesn’t include the Antarctic region (below 70S) and that region has been quite warm the last couple of months. However, UAH does, but perhaps their compensation for the factor mentioned is flawed.

    Pielke’s post is interesting. He only presents for us 2 hypotheses. How about a 3rd one…

    Hypothesis #3: There’s something fundamentally wrong with the satellite measurements and in particular the UAH processing steps that they show a bias towards a smaller long-term warming trend.

    Clearly, their history supports this one. Pielke seems to be willing to repeat the history of the late 90′s if UAH remains a cooler outlier, when Spencer declared that his fatally-flawed data was strong evidence that every piece of conflicting data and models were wrong.

    http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd5feb97_1.htm

    “But the space-based measurements show a more complex vertical structure, with cooling in the lower portion of this deep layer and warming in the upper portion. Spencer and co-author Dr. William Braswell of Nichols Research Corporation have great confidence in the quality of their satellite data. “We’ve concluded there isn’t a problem with the measurements,” Spencer explained. “In fact, balloon measurements of the temperature in the same regions of the atmosphere we measure from space are in excellent agreement with the satellite results.”

    “Instead, we believe the problem resides in the computer models and in our past assumptions that the atmosphere is so well behaved. “”

  38. Carl Wolk says:

    JR #30,
    Are you serious? My “Bible”?? I introduced the link only to show the graph of the SOI, and you know that.
    And where have you shown that ENSO models work?

    [JR: Uhh, I don't know that. And I'm afraid the burden is on you to show that the world's leading experts on ENSO forecasting don't know what they're talking about. Seriously.]

  39. Carl Wolk says:

    #38,
    JR: I’m afraid that’s not much of a burden.
    The “leading experts” have been unable to identify the causes of ENSO; this is not under debate. If we listened to the ENSO models, the most recent La Nina would never have occured.
    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/modelviews.html

    [JR: Try again.]

  40. MarkB says:

    Paul K’s post (#26) is excellent. I just checked the recent WattsUp postings he’s referring to and Paul’s analysis is 100% correct. It’s important that when exposing frauds like Watts that facts are used and Paul’s post provides these.

    Now Watts has resorted to another post on a cold local weather event, routine propaganda that goes along with the “it’s not warming much & surface record is unreliable” claims that have been essentially refuted. What is even more pathetic is that this cited weather event happened 2 years ago. He’s just repeating it. Perhaps Watts is concerned about recent record June ocean temperatures and its effect on his political agenda.

    Reliable sources are important to me. If I find that a source is providing false and misleading information consistently (occasional errors can be tolerated, particularly if they are done in good faith), I simply stop reading and trusting that source. Watts supporters seem not to have this criteria. From the comments section, it’s apparent that very few, if any, of the comments echo any of the obvious issues Paul K mentioned above.

  41. Along these lines, NOAA has just issued an outlook for a high potential for coral bleaching and disease outbreaks in the Caribbean this year:
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090722_coralbleaching.html

    Water temperatures in many areas around Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are already at August-October levels and there are reports of coral disease outbreaks around Puerto Rico.