El Niño 2014: Early strength fades

NOAA Climate.gov/June 2014 – El Niño 2014 strength fading compared to El Niño of 1997-98

Austin, June 12, 2014 — NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released its monthly El Niño report for May, on June 5th. The consensus probability there will be El Niño conditions for the Northern Hemisphere summer jumped to 70 percent, getting as high as 80 percent by late fall and winter.

Last March saw the highest subsurface ocean temperatures ever measured so early in an El Niño event. Speculation suggested this year’s event might be a repeat of the super El Niño of 1997-98. That one was the exclamation point at the end of the last massive global warming cycle that stopped 15 years ago.

However, it’s beginning to look like El Niño 2014 won’t be as strong as previously feared.

NOAA El Niño Report/June 2014: Consensus El Niño forecast

Forecasting El Niño is a consensus probability calculated from the average of 22 dynamic and statistical El Niño climate models.

It is the same basic principle as used by the IPCC in its climate models used to forecast global temperature rise. The IPCC has over 100 models. The difference, though, is that the IPCC has yet to achieve forecast reliability. The statistical “hiatus” from warming since 1998 has really messed up IPCC forecasting.

Indications that this year’s El Niño will not be as strong as previously thought comes from new data measuring sea temperatures down to a depth of 300 meters. El Niño is defined as a temperature anomaly ≥ +0.5°C in specifically defined zones.

Climate.gov: Upper 300-meter temperature of the equatorial Pacific comparing 2014-15 with 1997-98

Subsurface sea temperatures down to 300 meters depth, that had set an all-time record high in March, have now fallen way back to half the pace of the 1997-1998 super El Niño.

The trend appears to be toward a weaker, more normal event for 2014-15.

The PDO Effect

University of Washington: The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) matches earth’s temperature profile

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a new Pacific ocean phenomena, discovered in 1997, that affects ocean temperatures which, in turn, affects climate change and El Niño. It’s a 20-30 year alternating pattern between warming and cooling. We are about half way through a cooling cycle right now.

Statistically speaking, earth’s temperature stopped rising around 1998 when a down cycle in PDO began. PDO was in an up cycle in the great global warming years of the 1980s and 1990s. It was in a down cycle during the slight global cooling phase of the 1960s and 1970s.

Current speculation among scientists this month, based on the sudden drop in subsurface sea temperatures, is that PDO will mute the impact of El Niño this year. Many now believe it will not be a repeat of the super El Niño of 1997-98 that was at the end of the last up cycle in PDO.

Basically, PDO this year is sucking the heat out of El Niño 2014.


New model forecasts out this month suggest that the consensus probability of El Niño this summer and winter is higher than ever, up to 80 percent by midwinter.

However, those hoping El Niño 2014 will kick-start another round of global warming may be greatly disappointed.

The difference between now and the overheated super El Niño of 1997-98 is we are in a down cycle in PDO that will decrease the warming effect and other related climate effects associated with this year’s event.

What started out as a very strong El Niño early on is beginning to look more normal.

El Niños are not to be taken lightly, whether they are strong or weak. This year’s event can and will affect earth’s climate globally and preparations for it by those potentially affected should continue.

Both El Niño and PDO are completely natural phenomena affecting global warming that are unrelated to human emissions of greenhouse gases. Those who say otherwise are misinformed.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Jun 12, 2014, in Climate, climate change, economics, energy policy, environment, Government, news, Opinion, Politics, science, Thoughts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Excellent analysis from ‘Inform the Pundits’

    • Great display!! That is cool!

      I didn’t comment about trade winds but the ENSO report for this month says:
      “The lack of a clear atmospheric response to the positive SSTs indicates ENSO-neutral, though the tropical Pacific continues to evolve toward El Niño”.

  2. Rog

    There are several articles about pumice from underwater volcanoes washing up on the east coast beaches of Australia from late last year. I recall an unusual warm patch of water in the central Pacific in early May. We were on the beach about 100km north of Brisbane on 31 May and found many fist sized pumice “stones” on the beach.

    I would be interested in the amount of heating these underwater volcanoes cause?

    • Great question! Wish I had the answer. Subsurface oceanic volcanism is common and has got to have an impact of ocean temperatures which, in turn, affects climate change.

      That is especially true throughout the entire Pacific Ring of Fire. There are plenty of examples of continuous venting volcanoes off the northwest coast of United States when I’m from, opposite of you in Brisbane.

  3. azleader wrote in the post: “The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a new Pacific ocean phenomena, discovered in 1997, that affects ocean temperatures which, in turn, affects climate change and El Niño.”

    There’s nothing “new” about the PDO. Paleoclimatological data suggests it has existed for a long-time.

    Two problems with your comments about the PDO:

    (1) The PDO represents the spatial pattern of the sea surface temperatures in the extratropical North Pacific is actually an aftereffect of ENSO. The positive PDO spatial pattern (warm in the eastern extratropical North Pacific, and cool in the western and central portion) is a typical response to an El Nino, but because the sea level pressures (and interrelated wind patterns) also impact the spatial pattern there, the PDO can have a different variation in time than an ENSO index.

    (2) The PDO is positive and has been all year, not in the “down cycle” as you noted in your closing comments:


    • First off, comments from you about PDO are always welcomed. I follow your articles on WUWT.

      I should have made clearer that the phenomena was first recognized in 1997, but its history goes way back.

      I apparently haven’t paid close enough attention. I didn’t realize that PDO and ENSO are so closely intertwined and that ENSO is pulling the train.

      My comment on PDO being in a down cycle was speaking in general terms since 2000 or so, not just for the last year alone. I stand corrected. Does this mean that Trenberth might be right and we are ripe for a PDO switch?

  4. doug Proctor

    The west-east vertical X-section of last month seemed to show a 4-week remaining sluice of warm water rising. Was that you can story?

  5. JoNova and David Evans are in the process of discovering Earth’s climate is driven by the Sun’s deep-seated magnetic fields (and the X Force) from the Sun’s compact innards (Fe-mantle and/or pulsar core).


    That was also the conclusion of a paper by Professors Barry Ninham, Stig Friberg and I [“Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate”, Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002)]. http://www.springerlink.com/content/r2352635vv166363/ http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2003/jfe-superfluidity.pdf

  1. Pingback: El Niño 2014: Early Strength Fades | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  2. Pingback: Lexington Libertarian | Global Warming Hoax Is Redistributive-Based Social Justice

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