NOAA: “A majority of ENSO models indicate El Ni±o will continue through March-April-May 2010″

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"NOAA: “A majority of ENSO models indicate El Ni±o will continue through March-April-May 2010″"

Ensemble mean forecast “predicts El Nino will last at least into the Northern Hemisphere summer 2010″

Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures Animation

We seem to have settled into a moderate to strong El Ni±o.  NOAA’s latest weekly update on the El Ni±o/Southern oscillation, “ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions” shows that the key region of the Pacific Ocean has stayed quite warm for all of November (see here for figures and data).

The question is how long it will stay fairly strong.  Last week I noted that NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center had asserted:

Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Ni±o is expected to continue to strengthen and last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.”

This week they tweaked that to say:

Based on current observations and dynamical model forecasts, El Ni±o is expected to last through at least the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10.

Today’s report notes:

Nearly all ENSO models indicate El Ni±o will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-10. The models disagree on the eventual strength of El Ni±o, but a majority indicate at least a moderate strength El Ni±o (greater than +1.0°C) through December-January-February 2009-10.

A majority of ENSO models indicate El Ni±o will continue through March-April-May 2010.

Last week, NOAA said its own CFS (Climate Forecast System) ensemble mean forecast “predicts El Ni±o will last at least through Northern hemisphere spring 2010.”

This week, the prediction is slightly different:

CFS 11-30-09

Summer 2010 is a long way off to make an ENSO prediction.  Next week, NOAA will release its monthly analysis, which should give a clearer picture of what the expert NOAA forecasters think is likely to happen next year.

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.”

We’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” and this is the hottest decade in recorded history by far, but it looks like NASA’s prediction is on track.

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2 Responses to NOAA: “A majority of ENSO models indicate El Ni±o will continue through March-April-May 2010″

  1. max says:

    Sorry unrelated, but care to comment on Jim Hansen’s latest email missive that I just received in my inbox?

    Never-Give-Up Fighting Spirit: Lessons From a Grandchild
    This note and an opinion piece submitted to The Observer in answer to the question: Is
    There Any Real Hope of Cutting Global Carbon Emissions? are available at
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20091130_FightingSpirit.pdf . My opinion piece
    was published in The Observer on 29 November, but with the wording of the question slightly
    altered.

  2. Chris Dudley says:

    Max (#1),

    That was an interesting read. I’m glad he felt well enough to play hoops. I disagree about a rising price for carbon. I think it is more direct to ration oil and coal use to drive the price down so that tar sand oil and coal-to-liquids are not worth exploiting. If the price of coal and oil can be driven to zero, there will be no further production of these fossil fuels. Domestic price controls and rationing for coal together with rationing for oil to give the Saudis 8 million barrels a day of spare capacity should do the job. And, we already have a congressionally approved gasoline rationing plan so that it can be implemented now. Forcing the price of oil and coal down also eases our transition by freeing up money to put towards superior energy sources.