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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

December 2010 SST Anomaly Update

I’ve moved to WordPress.  This post can now be found at December 2010 SST Anomaly Update
MONTHLY SST ANOMALY MAPThe map of Global OI.v2 SST anomalies for December 2010 downloaded from the NOMADS website is shown below. There was a mix of variations in ocean basin SST anomalies this month. Some rose, some fell. The result was a very minor rise in global SST anomalies (+0.002 deg C). They are presently at +0.099 dg C.
December 2010 SST Anomalies Map (Global SST Anomaly = +0.099 deg C)


Monthly NINO3.4 SST anomalies continue to vary at or near the seasonal low for this La Niña. The Monthly NINO3.4 SST Anomaly is -1.53 deg C.

The drop in Northern Hemisphere this month (-0. 019 deg C) was countered by an equal increase in the Southern Hemisphere, so globally, as noted before, rose slightly (+0.002 deg C).
Monthly Change = +0.002 deg C
NINO3.4 SST Anomaly
Monthly Change = -0.070 deg C


The SST anomalies in the East Indian and West Pacific cycled back up this month.

I’ve added this dataset in an attempt to draw attention to what appears to be the upward steps in response to significant El Niño events that are followed by La Niña events.
East Indian-West Pacific (60S-65N, 80E-180)
Monthly Change = +0.060 deg C

Further information on the upward “step changes” that result from strong El Niño events, refer to my posts from a year ago Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1 and Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 2

And for the discussions of the processes that cause the rise, refer to More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO - Part 2 – La Niña Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Niño Events AND...During Major Traditional ENSO Events, Warm Water Is Redistributed Via Ocean Currents -AND- More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO - Part 3 – East Indian & West Pacific Oceans Can Warm In Response To Both El Niño & La Niña Events

The animations included in post La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos further help explain the reasons why East Indian and West Pacific SST anomalies can rise in response to both El Niño and La Niña events.

The MONTHLY graphs illustrate raw monthly OI.v2 SST anomaly data from December 1981 to December 2010.

Northern Hemisphere
Monthly Change = -0.019 deg C
Southern Hemisphere
Monthly Change = +0.019 deg C
North Atlantic (0 to 75N, 78W to 10E)
Monthly Change = -0.123 deg C
South Atlantic (0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)
Monthly Change = +0.057 deg C

Note: I discussed the upward shift in the South Atlantic SST anomalies in the post The 2009/10 Warming Of The South Atlantic. Will the South Atlantic return to the level it was at before that surge or will it remain at a new plateau?

North Pacific (0 to 65N, 100 to 270E, where 270E=90W)
Monthly Change = +0.106 Deg C
South Pacific (0 to 60S, 145 to 290E, where 290E=70W)
Monthly Change = +0.067 deg C
Indian Ocean (30N to 60S, 20 to 145E)
Monthly Change = -0.025 deg C
Arctic Ocean (65 to 90N)
Monthly Change = -0.139 deg C
Southern Ocean (60 to 90S)
Monthly Change = -0.080 deg C

The weekly NINO3.4 SST anomaly data portray OI.v2 data centered on Wednesdays. The latest weekly NINO3.4 SST anomalies are -1.48 deg C.
Weekly NINO3.4 (5S-5N, 170W-120W)

The weekly global SST anomalies are at +0.082 deg C.
Weekly Global

The following is a repeat of a discussion from earlier updates.

As noted in the November 2010 SST Anomaly Update, the global SST anomalies do not appear as though they will drop to the level they had reached during the 2007/08 La Niña, even if one were to account for the differences in NINO3.4 SST anomalies. This of course will be raised by alarmists as additional proof of anthropogenic global warming.

But the reason the global SST anomalies have warmed in that time is due primarily to the fact that the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans (about 25% of the surface area of the global oceans) can warm in response to both El Niño and La Niña events. Refer to Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1 and Can El Niño Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 2, and the video included in La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos. In addition, the North Atlantic also remains at elevated levels during La Niña events in response to the ENSO-related warming of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension. This was discussed and illustrated in the recent post The ENSO-Related Variations In Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) SST Anomalies And Their Impact On Northern Hemisphere Temperatures.

Keep in mind, the warm water released from below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool doesn’t simply vanish at the end of the El Niño.

The Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Temperature Data (OISST) are available through the NOAA National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System (NOMADS).


David said...

The BOM's "around Australia" anomalies that they published recently, here:


(near the very bottom)

Don't line up too well with those southern ocean SST anomalies. I expect they don't cover exactly the same area, but any comment?

Bob Tisdale said...

Hi David: I'll confirm the BOM's claim that Annual SST anomalies around Australia were at record levels.

Note the 6-year decay between the 1997/98 El Nino and the initial minimum in 2004. That's an indication of an area that warms in response both an El Nino and a La Nina event when the strong La Nina follows the strong El Nino. Same thing happened after the 1986/87/88 El Nino & 1988/89 La Nina. And it's likely to happen again.


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