2015 El Nino to Bring Back-to-Back Hottest Years on Record?

For the past six months, the Pacific Ocean has been very, very warm. A vast and unsettling expanse of record heat building from the tropics on through the mid lattitudes and into the Arctic.

Sea surface temperatures across a broad swath of ocean from the equator on north and eastward have consistently measured between 0.5 and 5 degrees Celsius above average. A lazy reverse C pattern of heat stretching from the equator running up along the west coast of North America and then re-curving westward just south of the polar zone.

It is a pattern that is indicative of a well developed positive phase Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A kind of pattern that results in very warm sea surface temperatures for much of the Pacific. And a pattern that tends to favor the formation of El Nino.

As of December 2014, PDO values had climbed to their highest on record. And with these high sea surface temperature values related to PDO, the Pacific also seemed to be quietly settling into what, at first, appeared to be a mild El Nino.

Chances For 2015 El Nino Rise

The key value for El Nino is a measurement for sea surface temperatures along a region of the Central Equatorial Pacific known as Nino 3.4. Stretching from about 160 West to 120 West Longitude, this expansive zone of ocean waters below Hawaii tends to warm with the onset of El Nino.

image

(Nino 3.4 zone in center of frame on the Earth Nullschool Sea Surface Temperature anomaly map for March 4, 2015 shows warm waters again building in the Central Pacific. Averages in the zone for this date are around +0.75 C above normal. Note the + 2 C hot pool just to the western edge of the zone [orange-yellow coloration] and the +4 C hot pools [yellow coloration] off the US West Coast. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: Global Forecast Systems Model.)

The threshold NOAA uses to determine El Nino is a sea surface temperature anomaly for this area of +0.5 degrees C above average. And ever since September of 2014, sea surface temperatures have been hovering above the +0.5 C line.

NOAA’s determination for El Nino requires 5 three month average periods in which Nino 3.4 exceeds this mark. And it looks like, so far, four out of five of those periods have met the El Nino requirement. September, October and November (SON) averaged +0.5 C. October, November and December (OND) averaged +0.7 C. And November, December and January (NDJ) averaged +0.7 C. With all weekly measures for February coming in near or above January values, it appears the DJF value will post somewhere near +0.6 C (please see NOAA’s Weekly ENSO Status Report).

Even if March values dropped to +0.4 C, a weak El Nino would emerge in the Pacific during Spring of 2015. However, sea surface temperatures for this zone are not falling as we enter March. They are instead ramping higher.

New Warm Kelvin Wave Forming

For beneath the Central Pacific a new pool of warm water is forming. It is rising to the surface, providing yet another shot of heat to an equatorial region teetering on the threshold of El Nino. A new Kelvin Wave that carries with it more than enough energy to tip the scales for a 2015 event:

El Nino Kelvin Wave

(Warm Kelvin Wave again forming in the Pacific. This event will likely be enough to push 2015 into El Nino. Image source: NOAA/CPC.)

The Kelvin Wave will slowly rise to the surface, elongate and transfer some of its latent heat to the sea surface and atmosphere. Driving this Kelvin Wave along are west wind backbursts that today were in the range of 25 mph sustained with gusts to 35. These gusts are continuing to drive warm water eastward and downward, providing more energy for the Kelvin Wave as well as any emerging El Nino. A set of winds that could well grow stronger as a weather pattern know as the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is predicted to ramp up, bringing stormy weather and more counter trade wind air flows across the Western Pacific equatorial zone.

These combined factors have spurred Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology to post a renewed El Nino Watch. NOAA is also showing a heightened chance for El Nino, with a near 60% probability for the event emerging late winter or early spring.

Meanwhile, some models for the Nino 3.4 region show continued warming along with a heightening El Nino throughout 2015:

2015 El Nino

(BoM Nino 3.4 sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) prediction model shows El Nino building throughout 2015. Note that the Australia BoM SSTA threshold is +0.8 C for Nino 3.4 while NOAA’s threshold is SSTA in excess of +0.5 C for seven months running. Image source: Bureau of Meterology.)

Back-to-Back Record Hot Years?

The +1.9 C peak and rising prediction for Nino 3.4 in the above graphic is indicative of a relatively strong El Nino by mid November of this year (for reference, the 1998 Super El Nino peaked at around +2.3 C for this region while 2010 peaked at +1.5 C). But even a far milder El Nino would likely have far-ranging consequences, especially in a world that has been pushed to keep warming and warming by the massive human fossil fuel emission.

All that heat again building along the equatorial Pacific would likely shove the Earth’s oceans and atmospheres again above record thresholds. And that would mean that 2014’s record as the hottest year for the Earth’s surface may only stand for but a few seasons more.

The risks for another record hot year for 2015 are, therefore, again rising.

UPDATE:

As of March 5, 2014, NOAA has now officially declared weak El Nino conditions for the Equatorial Pacific. Please see this related discussion LINK.

Links:

Bad Climate Outcomes

NOAA’s Weekly ENSO Status Report

NOAA/CPC

Australia’s Bureau of Meterology

Earth Nullschool

Global Forecast Systems Model

Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO)

Hat Tips:

Colorado Bob

Phil

Scientific Hat tip to Kevin Trenberth and Michael Mann

Wili

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137 Comments

  1. Pretty scary stuff. Not that I want you to think I’m crazy or anything, but what do you think about chemtrails? My son thinks we’re nuts, but it’s SOMETHING that wasn’t ever in the sky before…

    Reply
    • Condensation trails (CONTRAILS) form as a result of aircraft passing through water vapor at high speed. Contrail was the third word I learned to speak, as my father, an aviation buff, used to point them out to me all the time when I was very young.

      Chemtrails is conspiracy theory nonsense — misinformation that distracts from actual climate change discussion.

      At some point, if human beings erroneously decide to dump sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere in a misguided attempt to COOL THE EARTH after having warmed it for so long through fossil fuel emissions, we may get a chance to see what chemtrails actually look like. But, for now, they are a faerie tale that oil company execs are more than happy to see perpetuated.

      Reply
      • dnem

         /  March 4, 2015

        > Contrail was the third word I learned to speak…
        Why am I not surprised?!🙂

        Reply
    • Jacob

       /  March 4, 2015

      Slightly off-topic from contrails, … but I thought that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 with all flights grounded we learned that exhaust from aircraft actually has a cooling effect on the atmosphere by reflecting heat away from the Earth’s surface.

      Reply
      • Condensation trails are likely to cause warming due to an insulating effect. The result is comparable to increasing cirrus cloud coverage. The aircraft generate condensation at high altitude and this increases cirrus cloud formation. This effect has nothing to do with aircraft dumping chemicals in an attempt to change the Earth’s radiative balance. It, if anything, is an unintended consequence of air traffic.

        Please see:

        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n1/full/nclimate1078.html

        The amount of warming is likely small compared to the human ghg heat forcing.

        It’s possible that aircraft exhaust aerosols have a bit of a cooling effect. But that would depend on the amount of black carbon those aerosols contain.

        Reply
      • I dunno, I’m not an expert on anything, only an observer of the sky during my 60 years on this planet.🙂

        Reply
      • And there are more aircraft generating condensation trails now than there ever were.

        World War 2 bomber contrails:

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 4, 2015

        Because of GW, global average humidity levels have increased by about 6% so far. I would think that this would make it more likely that the further increase in humidity that are contrails would be more likely to cross over the humidity levels to be visible. That may leave some with the impression that something has changed wrt to contrails. Plus, of course, there are a hell of a lot more planes in the sky than there used to be 40 years ago, and they mostly go along about the same paths, so if there isn’t a lot of wind, they are more likely to remain visible longer. (But do correct me if I’m way off in any of this.)

        Reply
      • I also read/heard about the “global dimming effect” that was talked about in regards to the clear skies immediately after 9/11. I saw a BBC Horizon episode about it, and if I recall they suggested that particulates from various human activities was reducing incoming solar radiation in certain wavelengths. It was also detected in evaporation rates when viewed in a multi-decadal context. But this is just from memory as I’m killing time until work starts, and I tend to value what Robert says over my own flawed memory.

        Reply
      • james cole

         /  March 5, 2015

        “results suggest that contrails can suppress both daytime highs (by reflecting sunlight back to space) and nighttime lows (by trapping radiated heat). That is, they can be both cooling and warming clouds. But what is the net effect? Do they cool more than they warm, or vice versa? “Well, the assumption is a net warming.”

        This is from a post 9/11 look at contrail effects. Makes perfect sense I guess!

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 5, 2015

      Listen to your son; he knows what’s up.

      Mick West’s Contrail Science site is the best online resource for debunking chemtrail nonsense, imo. Quite impressive, how maintains patience when dealing with some major loons in his forum. Great, sane debunkers posting there, too, including lots of other pilots.

      ‘How to Debunk Chemtrails’
      http://contrailscience.com/

      Mick West:
      ContrailScience.com is just a place where I write about both contrails and science – which also includes some looking at the “chemtrail” theory, and the pseudoscience associated with it.
      My name is Mick West, I have private pilot training up to long distance solo certification, and have flown a 400 mile solo flight. I’ve been training out of Santa Monica airport, so I know the airspace round here. I like writing, and figuring things out. I’ve been writing about contrails and the “chemtrail” theory since 2007.

      I’m not a scientist, or a meteorologist, but I try to ensure that what I post is comprised of independently verifiable facts. You can check these facts yourself. If you find ANY error on this site, then let me know and I will issue a correction immediately.

      I’m not paid for this. This site uses free software, and runs on a shared server, so costs very little. I do not work for anyone in conjunction with this site. I’m just some guy.

      His MetaBunk site great, too.

      Reply
  2. wili

     /  March 4, 2015

    The smart money over at neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Forums is that we are indeed gearing up for an El Nino. Here’s ASLR presenting one of his endless charts: “The third image shows the GFS MJO forecast from today through March 17 2015; indicating an extremely bullish forecast that a strong MJO may approach the International Dateline by the start of the third week in March; which, if combined with strong WWB activity, could possibly flip the Walker Cell into an El Nino pattern.” http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1064.msg46517.html#msg46517

    OF course, it’s pretty early in the year to know for sure, and like the Arctic itself, The Boy has been rather mischievous lately, doing headfakes and giving false signals.

    Reply
    • Great commentary, here Wili. Will be watching out for another head fake. But if those atmospherics line up, that current Kelvin wave is in for quite a boost. WWBs already decent now.

      Reply
  3. Kevin Jones

     /  March 4, 2015

    I sense a event driven sea change coming in the public discourse, one of these days. It will be something when the children of the deniers figure out the liars.

    Reply
    • I often wonder about this. With many parents about to be held to account by teenage kids just realizing those adults aren’t so godlike after all one can imagine how the exchange will go…

      Reply
      • Mine think the opposite – that I’m a climate obsessive. After all nobody else seems concerned.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  March 5, 2015

      “I sense a event driven sea change coming” The event may be the sea itself, and fairly close to the origin of the phrase:

      “Full fathom five thy father lies,

      Of his bones are coral made,
      Those are pearls that were his eyes,
      Nothing of him that doth fade,
      But doth suffer a sea-change,
      into something rich and strange..”

      Reply
  4. Mark from New England

     /  March 4, 2015

    Great article Robert. I was wondering what was up with the potential El Nino.

    How do you think a moderate to strong El Nino will influence the long-term blocking pattern near Alaska that has caused (or is associated with) the jet stream having its recent high amplitude pattern? Will California’s drought finally ease up a bit?

    Reply
    • The models show hot pool formation off the US west coast through end year despite ever more likely El Niño. My opinion is it would take a very strong El Niño to change the NEPAC temperature delta, transferring the imbalance to the equatorial zone. If that forecast holds, we have RRRs until year end at least.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  March 4, 2015

        Thanks Robert, but pray tell what a ‘RRR’ is? Just when I have WWB down…

        Reply
      • Jacob

         /  March 4, 2015

        @Mark… Robert mentioned what ‘RRR’ stood for a few articles ago. If memory serves, and please correct me if I am wrong, ‘RRR’ stands for “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge”.

        Reply
      • pccp82

         /  March 4, 2015

        @ Mark

        im pretty sure he is referring to the ‘ridiculously resilient ridge’ which has kept Cali dry, Alaska warm, and the warm pool of water to persist this winter and last.

        Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  March 4, 2015

        Thanks. I’ll add to my acronym dictionary.

        Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 5, 2015

        Remember to be FAC (Fully Acronym Compliant), just as one does in the military (Acronyms for groups of Acronyms subdivided into Acronyms).

        Reply
      • Andy — I think we’re getting there…

        Reply
      • With regard to climate change SNAFU is the only acronym that seems increasingly relevant.

        Reply
      • Within a few more years I think FUBAR will be the key acronym in regards to AGW and anything climate related.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 6, 2015

        Both acronyms, SNAFU and FUBAR, came out of World War II.

        Let’s come up with a new, apt acroynm.
        I like this one:

        Pinch Yourself; Still Kickin’; Endure

        PYSKE

        Hat tip to Robert Scribbler. 😉

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 6, 2015

        Thanks. And it’s thanks to you, Robert. ‘Pinch yourself, still alive’ can serve one wavering toward wretched capitulation quite well.

        As I’m sure you know, Psyche (self) was saved by Eros (love) first from the underworld and then from vanity, and they lived together happily ever after. That acronym was as close a fit as I could come up with in a pinch.

        Reply
  5. A Rambling Letter of Confession to Extinct Children in a Dying Climate

    http://windspiritkeeper.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-rambling-letter-of-confession-to.html

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 4, 2015

      Some deep insights there, but it needs a lot of editing, starting with the first sentence.

      Reply
      • Thanks, wili, but how so, on the first sentence. Quotes needed? “This is a letter.”
        DT

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 5, 2015

        dtlange, I get “this a letter” Many other function words missing. I have to assume not a native speaker?

        Reply
      • Thank you wili, that ole ‘is’ is missing, HA on me. My mind just filled it in.
        DT

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 5, 2015

      Good stuff, dt.

      “Let’s see — E equals emcee of my favorite quiz show squared by thirty-six easy payments of the tax and licenses minus sticker shock factored in after the added price of a multi million gallon petrochemical spill into the municipal water supply of my choice.

      Reply
  6. Ouse M.D.

     /  March 4, 2015

    Could con- theorians be right that the whole build- up for war between US- Russia is the Matrix’s last ditch effort to combat the unfolding abrupt global warming?
    Some speculate that a well- designed nuclear exchange (what a non- sense, I need to add!) could cool the atmosphere about 0,8 C by kicking up ground debris,
    And by detonating warheads only under 800 kt few kms up in the atmosphere, a severe fallout and EMP burst could be avoided?
    After all, 2056 nuke tests in the past- and the lunatics even launched warheads into the Van Allen belts- might there be a screenplay for this too?
    I’m confused and terrified, but this seems to echo the warning of the Atomic Scientists’ and the Doomsday Clock.

    Reply
    • Instability, thy name is climate change.

      RE the speculation… I sincerely hope not. The insanity just boggles the mind. Queue Dr Strangelove music.

      Reply
      • ROLL CLIP:

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        Alliteration (The End of the World)

        On a peaceful portion of a proud population the atom bomb fell
        Tall trees tormented by the tempest twisted and toppled
        Finned and feathered fauna fought with frenzy then fell
        Indigenous insects were immediately inculcated with their immense insecurity
        Big buildings bulged and buckled then burst and burned
        Slimy serpents stealthily slid beneath partially sunken stones
        Man was marred and mutilated
        Children were chopped and charred
        Woman was wantonly wasted
        Gone from the face of a forlorn world was man
        Along with his multitudinous achievements
        And at long last….
        Peace reigned the earth

        – Leo Gorcey, Bowery Boy, 1967

        Reply
  7. Kevin Jones

     /  March 4, 2015

    That would be: Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Something we probably shouldn’t have done….

    Reply
  8. There has been some good stuff on the BBC TV about climate in the last 2 days:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02jsdrk/climate-change-by-numbers

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b054fg05/climate-change-a-horizon-guide

    Much less equivocation and pandering to sceptics than before. Hopefully the mood is becoming more realistic, and an El Niño would certainly bring more real life experience into play.

    Reply
  9. Kevin Jones

     /  March 4, 2015

    Seriously (for any youngsters) , that really is the full title of Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy masterpiece…a must see.

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  March 5, 2015

      One of my favorite movies. I love the character names like “Lt. Bat Guano, General Ripper, Premier Kissoff”, etc. This movie has stood the test of time, perhaps unfortunately!

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        General Jack D. Ripper, General Buck Turgidson, and the ever-lovin’ Major King Kong.

        Yaaa Hooo!

        No monolithic ambiguity ^there^.

        Reply
    • Kevin, I absolutely agree. That film can still be enjoyed by today’s youngsters, as it feels like a recent film. Totally relevant and completely entertaining.

      Reply
  10. Cape Town Photos Today as Fires Continue on Hottest Day in 100 Years! – See more at: http://www.sapeople.com/2015/03/03/cape-town-photos-today-fires-continue/#sthash.RmxvagFX.dpuf

    Reply
  11. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    A good bet.

    Reply
  12. doug

     /  March 5, 2015

    To add to the comments re: the thought of using nuclear weapons as a cooling agent to slow down global warming, people ought to watch the video below. It was presented at the 2013 AGU conference by one of the scientists who worked on nuclear winter theory back in the 1980’s.

    He says that now they think that Nuclear Winter could be brought about by even less nuclear explosions than they thought in the 1980’s. He says that not too long ago Pakistan and India almost had a nuclear war and if each side had used only half of their very small weapons, the world would have lost 10% of it’s agriculture. He also says that if ONE of the U.S. Trident subs fired off all of it’s nuclear weapons, the smoke rising from all of those explosions would circle the globe, and wipe out all agriculture on earth for 10 years!

    Think about that…. One Trident sub would cause mass starvation, maybe even bringing about this “near term extinction” people have talked about.

    We are truly playing with fire on so many levels.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017130174

    Reply
  13. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 5, 2015

    Central Texas Drought Is Worst on Record

    At the bottom the part regarding “The rule of capture” is interesting. It shows the cannibalization of the aquifers. It is fine to slurp up your ground water, even if it draws in your neighbors and kills their water table. Best if you buy up water rights from a swath of landowners, then drill / pump it out and sell to cities.

    http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/central-texas-drought-worst-record/

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 5, 2015

      From the comments:
      “There is another culprit in this problem that isn’t mentioned here. Almost every body of water in my area of North Texas has fracking wells under the water. These wells literally siphon out millions of gallons daily for the water injection process. Why does the media omit this fact when talking about our water shortages?”

      Reply
    • Thanks for this Andy. I think it’s high time for another drought piece. Lots to cover…

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  March 6, 2015

      Thailand too.

      According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, about 36-thousand rice farmers in the central region are taking substitution jobs offered by the government to compensate revenue loss as they are unable to do off-season farming due to widespread drought.

      http://news.thaivisa.com/thailand/36000-rice-farmers-in-central-thailand-are-taking-alternative-employments-due-to-drought/34974/

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  March 6, 2015

        And, irony of ironies “palm oil production has also been hit by ongoing drought prompting the government to import around 50,000 tonnes of crude palm oil due to a domestic shortage.”

        http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/05/us-thailand-drought-idUKKBN0L917F20150205

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 6, 2015

        Thailand’s military government has said it plans to invest $7.5 billion in urgent water management projects over the next two years.

        The projects are part of a 10-year water management plan across the country after the military government scrapped a 350-billion baht water plan initiated by the previous administration.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 6, 2015

        SE Asia PME exports to remain subdued in Q1 on weak demand 02 March 2015
        http://www.icis.com/resources/news/2015/03/02/9858887/se-asia-pme-exports-to-remain-subdued-in-q1-on-weak-demand/
        Discussions in southeast Asia’s palm methyl ester (PME) export market may remain limited for the rest of the first quarter amid soft demand and a general weakness in energy prices, market sources said on Monday….

        PME prices have largely been on a downtrend since early July, tracking the sharp falls in the energy markets, with some volatility attributed to the movement of feedstock crude palm oil (CPO) prices.

        Between July 2014 and end-February 2015, PME prices have fallen by $140-200/tonne or by more than 20%.

        PME is a type of biodiesel – a clean burning alternative fuel produced from renewable resources – that is mainly produced in Asia, particularly, in Indonesia and Malaysia….

        European and Chinese importers – the major export markets for southeast Asian PME – have not been active in procuring cargoes amid the winter season, which makes using the biodiesel in cars difficult, industry sources said….
        PME producers, meanwhile, would rather run at low rates or keep their plants shut than base their selling prices on gas oil prices, which tracks crude prices….
        “I’d rather remain shut, no problem,” said a source at another southeast Asia-based producer, adding that its PME exports will only resume when crude prices go back to $80/bbl….

        Integrated producers have a clear advantage over smaller peers, market players said.
        “As long as the price of crude oil and gas oil is down, we’ll remain shut. We still have refineries, we produce [other chemicals], so PME is optional,” said a source from one of the producers.

        Reply
  14. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 5, 2015

    Infographic: Too Warm to Snow in California, Oregon, and Washington

    http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/infographic-warm-snow-california-oregon-washington/

    Reply
    • Yes, AiSD. It’s been way too warm here in PDX. So far, we’ve had maybe 3-5 days of winter weather here. People are starting to understand (barely) the seriousness what is going on.
      A good piece from circleofblue.
      Thanks

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 5, 2015

      Good piece, though doesn’t mention the Olympic Mts.

      http://www.weather.com/news/news/snowpack-cascades-west-northwest
      In the worst shape was the Olympic Mountains of northwest Washington, where snow water content was just seven percent of average.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        ‘BAD SNOW YEAR: Snowpack in Olympic Mountains is at record low —
        and authorities are worried about water woes this summer [VIDEO and GALLERY]’
        February 15. 2015
        http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150215/NEWS/302159980
        …The Olympic Mountain snowpack had melted down by Saturday to 3 percent of average — the lowest in the state — possibly endangering the area’s summer water supply and river flows for salmon runs.

        The snowpack at Hurricane Ridge was measured Saturday at a mere 7.9 percent of average — 7 inches at the measurement station.
        That location’s annual average is 88 inches of snow on the ground on Feb. 15, according to data from the Northwest Avalanche Center in Seattle.
        The previous record-low snowpack for Feb. 15 was 17 inches in 2005, said Kenny Kramer, director of the avalanche center…
        There is plenty of rain, Kramer said, but the snow level has remained consistently at about 8,000 feet — just above Mount Olympus’ 7,979 feet, the highest peak in the range.

        The National Resource Conservation Service tracks snowpack water storage at three North Olympic sites: Waterhole, near Hurricane Ridge at an elevation of 5,110 feet above sea level; Dungeness, south of Sequim at an elevation of 4,110 feet; and Mount Crag in East Jefferson County at 3,960 feet.
        On Saturday, the snowpack at Waterhole had melted to 5 percent of average, and Dungeness had no snow at all at the measuring station. Mount Crag’s snowpack was 2 percent of normal.
        At the same time, the total precipitation — rainfall — at Waterhole was 104 percent of average, with 49.1 inches; at Dungeness, 37 inches, or 130 percent of average; and at Mount Crag, 53.7 inches, or 116 percent of normal…

        Although Hurricane Ridge lacks historical temperature data, the weather station at Quillayute Airport on the West End reported average daily temperatures of 44.5 degrees in December and 45.6 degrees in January.
        That compares with historical averages of 40.6 degrees and 40.9 degrees, respectively.

        Reply
      • That report is just stunning…

        Reply
      • The PNW is in deep trouble on many fronts. Sea water is acidic. Freshwater becoming, or is, too warm for salmonids et al. ( I used to raise trout in BC, and was always aware of water temp.) Bakken crude et al transiting land, river, and sea. The polar jet routes overhead wreaking havoc on the atmosphere.
        I’m having trouble in PDX breathing from the 2.5 particulate pollution. The whole Willamette Valley is a pollution corridor due to Interstate 5 (A mainline on the NAFTA emissions highway.)
        Otherwise, all is well.🙂

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        Stunning and mindboggling. If you’ve ever been up to Hurricane Ridge in February, or even April, 7″ of snow on the ground is near-incomprehensible.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        dt, sure you know about the Vancouver, WA port ‘they’ are trying to build to faciliate shipments of Bakken crude overseas.

        And here we go, on cue: article published today:
        Controversy Surrounds Proposed Washington State Oil Terminal
        3/05/2015
        http://www.manufacturing.net/news/2015/03/controversy-surrounds-proposed-washington-state-oil-terminal
        San Antonio-based petroleum company Tesoro Corp. and Utah supply chain firm Savage Companies back the Vancouver Energy Project, a proposal to construct the country’s largest rail terminal for oil in southwestern Washington State.

        The Port of Vancouver, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, is the easiest Pacific Coast rail destination for crude from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and eastern Montana. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway already ships crude to the port, but the proposed terminal would more than double the current rail traffic through the area.

        Supporters said the terminal would mean jobs—more than 300 construction jobs and 200 long-term terminal workers, according to Vancouver Energy Project estimates—and more economic activity for the city of Vancouver.

        Critics, however, argued the terminal would jeopardize other development near the port and present serious safety issues.

        As rail carloads of oil have increased to keep up with stronger domestic production, a result of the U.S. fracking boom, safety advocates worry about the possibility of derailments in highly populated areas.

        One Vancouver resident cited a 2013 derailment in Quebec that killed 47, but closer to home, a recent oil tanker explosion sparked massive fireballs in rural West Virginia. There’s particular concern about Bakken crude, which experts say is considerably more volatile than traditional crude.

        The alternative to rail transport has its own issues, too. Although reports suggest worker injuries and fatalities from rail oil transportation are more likely than those from oil pipelines, a rash of recent ruptures raised concerns about both structural weaknesses in the pipeline network and a lack of sufficient regulatory oversight.

        Reply
  15. Andy in San Diego

     /  March 5, 2015

    THE WATERS OF THE THIRD POLE: SOURCES OF THREAT, SOURCES OF SURVIVAL:

    A great read on the Himalayas and Asia in general for water vulnerability from lack to sea level encroachment.

    https://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/third_pole_full_report.pdf

    Reply
  16. Near 120W 40N

     /  March 5, 2015

    Didn’t Trenberth theorize that global warming happens in stair step fashion, with the recent “pause” a time when oceans absorb heat, followed by strong ENSO’s that act of heat release mechanisms to the atmosphere? If he’s right (and my paraphrasing of Trenberth is right) then a strong 2015 El Nino might be the next step up the staircase, with temperature staying high even after the 2015 El Nino dissipates.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  March 5, 2015

      “Didn’t Trenberth theorize that global warming happens in stair step fashion”
      Interesting. I had been thinking the same thing recently.

      It really comes out when you look at the long term graphs–not much increase from 40 – about 70 then a bump up, then again till the late ’90’s and another bump up.

      But I don’t remember any such statement from Trenberth off the top of my head. Any chance you can find a linky for that reference?

      Certainly the recent work by Mann suggests that cycles of ocean currents may have something to do with that pattern…

      Sorry to be rambling. Getting late for me. Any light anyone can throw would be appreciated.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  March 5, 2015

        The recent items Mann & others put out regarding PDO / ADO tie into this.

        Reply
      • 12volt dan

         /  March 5, 2015
        Reply
      • 12volt dan

         /  March 5, 2015

        That should read Mann

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 5, 2015

        Thanks, Andy. There seems to be another study out now along the same lines:

        http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/03/04/global-warming-study

        “A new study in the journal Science by a University of Minnesota Duluth professor argues that a recent slowdown in global warming is caused by decades-long variations in ocean temperatures.

        The rate of global warming has slowed by nearly half since the late 1990s. Temperatures are still rising, but not at the rate that climate change models have predicted.

        That in turn has fueled a debate between climate change scientists and those who deny a human link to global warming.

        The new research by Byron Steinman, an assistant professor of geological sciences at UMD’s Large Lakes Observatory, concludes that the slowdown in warming is caused by natural oscillations in ocean temperatures similar to the cycle of El Niño and La Niña, but takes place over several decades.

        ‘The slowdown is largely a result of a negative trend in the Pacific Ocean, Pacific sea surface temperatures,’ he said. ‘When this trend reverses, we’re very likely to see an accelerated rate of warming.'”

        Reply
      • wili

         /  March 5, 2015

        Oops! I just realized that the study I just cited is the same as the Mann study–Mann is the second-named researcher on it.

        Reply
      • It’s been pretty clear for some time that ocean variations, particularly PDO, have an effect on global temperature variability. In a warming world, these phases appear to have retarded warming in the cooler swings and accelerated warming in the warmer swings. Trenberth and Mann have both been very vocal on this issue, especially over the past few years.

        Reply
  17. “A lazy reverse C pattern of heat stretching from the equator running up along the west coast of North America and then re-curving westward just south of the polar zone.”

    Good description, Robert.
    From here in Portland, OR USA, it’s obscenely warm. The skies of the Pacific Northwest are dirty and dense. The air, and winds, are lethargic like some still life.
    There must be a huge mass, and volume, of hot/warm air, water, and land mass involved, And I fear it may dominate for a long time to come.
    The jet stream moved away with no forwarding address.
    El Nino better have a big brother or two if it wants to energize.

    Reply
  18. Reblogged this on jpratt27.

    Reply
  19. Tom

     /  March 5, 2015

    That’s some bad news Robert – good essay and research. i’m re-posting this on NBL.

    Here’s another factor to add to the inaccurate climate models we’re using:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/03/in-high-carbon-dioxide-world-canopy.html

    In a high-carbon dioxide world, canopy damage from insects limits forest growth – ‘This is the first time, at this scale, that insects have been shown to compromise the ability of forests to take up carbon dioxide’

    [begins]

    In a high carbon dioxide world, the trees would come out ahead. Except for the munching bugs.

    A new study published today [Monday, March 2, 2015] in Nature Plants shows that hungry, plant-eating insects may limit the ability of forests to take up elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing their capacity to slow human-driven climate change.

    The finding is significant because climate change models typically fail to consider changes in the activities of insects in the ecosystem, says Richard Lindroth, a professor of ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the leader of the study. The research suggests it’s time to add insects to the models. [read the rest]

    Reply
  20. eleggua

     /  March 5, 2015

    ‘Lake Nicaragua: See this massive lake now before it’s changed forever’
    March 4, 2015
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/04/travel/lake-nicaragua-tour/
    Headed by Hong Kong-based consortium HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND), the $50 billion Nicaragua Canal (also called the Nicaragua Grand Canal and Interoceanic Canal) would create a gargantuan new shipping route through Nicaragua by connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans….
    At up to 1,700 feet wide and 90 feet deep, the canal, if completed, will be deeper and wider than the Panama Canal….

    “Dredging of the lake for the construction of the canal will render the lake a ‘dead zone’ because of hypoxia, eutrophication and turbidity.”
    In January, London-based scidev.net reported that an independent commission of experts — including scientists from the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science, Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences and International Council for Science — had reached similar conclusions, warning of “unintended adverse consequences that could do economic, environmental and social harm.”

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  March 5, 2015

      What a horrible proposal! Isn’t one canal enough? This project must be stopped. Is the govt. of Nicaragua so desperate for revenue that they’re willing to kill their most unique natural area for a damned canal? I wonder if there’s World Bank money involved…

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        The craziest thing about it is the possibility – the likelihood, even – that it won’t ever be completed.
        Some skeptics doubt the hyper-ambitious canal is realistic.
        Pedro Alvarez, chairman of civil engineering at Rice University, has expressed doubts that it will ever be completed.
        He worries that it will be abandoned. His greatest concern is severe damage to Lake Nicaragua.

        ^^^That’s from the CNN piece. Just found this:

        ‘Scientists question rush to build Nicaragua canal’
        March 4, 2015
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150304124135.htm
        …this plan will force the relocation of indigenous populations and impact a fragile ecosystem, including species at risk of extinction, according to Rice University environmental engineer Pedro Alvarez and other members of the consortium.

        Alvarez is co-corresponding author of an article that includes 21 co-authors from 18 institutions in the United States and Central and South America who gathered at a multidisciplinary international workshop in Managua, Nicaragua, last November to discuss the project. The paper, titled “Scientists Raise Alarms About Fast Tracking of Transoceanic Canal Through Nicaragua,” was published this week by the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology……

        Reply
      • I think we all know the reason for this canal, and that is modern fossil fuel addicted growth at all costs. The Panama Canal is “too slow” and a canal the size described above is enormous. Enough to get many mega-tankers through simultaneously. It’s so sad, we could be growing smarter and ever more sustainable. Instead, we grow exponentially with no foresight like bacteria in a Petri dish.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 6, 2015

        That’s exactly the reason.

        ‘Opposition Grows To Nicaragua Canal Connecting Atlantic And Pacific’
        February 26, 2015
        http://wfae.org/post/opposition-grows-nicaragua-canal-connecting-atlantic-and-pacific
        Then there’s the issue of the water surrounding Ometepe Island. Lake Nicaragua is Central America’s largest and provides drinking water to dozens of towns. But to make way for supersized oil tankers and container ships, blueprints call for part of the lake bottom to be dredged to create a shipping lane. The soil, rocks and muck dug up from the bottom will be used to create three more islands…

        Manuel Coronel, who heads the Nicaraguan Canal Authority, argues that the canal will be good for the environment. He says the government will use profits from the waterway to strictly enforce green laws….

        …the protesters are persistent. At the Ometepe march, I meet Octavio Ortega, who was attacked by anti-riot police in December. His face is full of scars and his arm is still in a sling, but his voice is firm.
        “My doctors have ordered me to rest,” he says, “but I am recovering by organizing more and more protests across Nicaragua.”

        Reply
      • Thanks Eleggua. That’s a great link…as always🙂

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 6, 2015

        You’re welcome, Ryan. Thank you.

        Reply
  21. danabanana

     /  March 5, 2015

    @ wili
    / March 4, 2015 post re; contrails.
    That is exactly what we are seeing. More moisture in the atmosphere plus more air traffic equals perennial milky skies.

    Reply
  22. One of the climate behaviors that the deniers can’t get through their thick skulls is that the oscillations in the Pacific — that of the ENSO that drives El Ninos — works on a continuum. That is, each of the peaks and valleys of the ENSO map to global temperature variation. This correspondence is so good that after mapping the ENSO on to a global temperature series such as GISS, it is hard to distinguish the two:

    Hint: the green curve is the GISS data and the blue is a model based on significant CO2 emissions with ENSO and volcanos fitted. I have to ask, #WHUT pause?

    As Robert said, another strong El Nino spike and temperatures are through the roof again.

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2015

    Irony 101 –
    Drought-Stricken São Paulo Battles Dengue Fever Outbreak

    Dengue is a persistent problem in Brazil, particularly during the peak of the rainy season, which is January and February in the nation’s populous southeast. But health officials blame human behavior for this year’s surge. While drought-ravaged São Paulo has yet to declare official water rationing, the main water utility has reduced pressure in the pipes to force conservation, a strategy that has cut off running water to millions of customers for hours, even days at a stretch. Residents have responded by hoarding water in open buckets, watering cans and other makeshift containers. Paradoxically, they’ve created a water-borne paradise for mosquitoes to breed in the midst of an epic drought.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/drought-stricken-sao-paulo-battles-dengue-fever-outbreak-1425420508

    Reply
  24. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2015

    I recall, CB , a near identical story some time ago regarding malaria. Rainy season + people = disease and drought + people = disease….

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 5, 2015

      ‘NRDC: Climate Change threatens health
      Serious threats where you live and what to do about them
      Infectious Diseases: Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and Lyme Disease’
      http://www.nrdc.org/health/climate/disease.asp Communities across the nation must educate themselves about the risks from climate change and spreading infectious diseases and learn how to protect their most vulnerable residents.

      Eleven states and several local governments have developed preparedness measures to address the spread of infectious diseases associated with climate change. The most frequent recommendation is improving statewide surveillance for vectors such as mosquitoes, and the presence of vector-borne diseases.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        ‘Climate change and insect-borne disease: Facts and figures’
        09/09/09 http://www.scidev.net/global/policy/feature/climate-change-and-insect-borne-disease-facts-and–1.html
        Priya Shetty explains the links between climate change and insect-borne disease, and outlines priorities for developing country policymakers.

        …some scientists estimate that by 2080, six billion people will be at risk of dengue, compared with 3.5 if the climate does not change. If the global population grows to about 10 or 11 billion by then, as some estimates suggest, over half the planet could be at risk…

        Reply
  25. wili

     /  March 5, 2015

    NOAA officially calls it: We are in El Niño conditions.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

    Reply
  26. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2015

    Thanks for the tip, wili. Just googled El Nino news and the MSM has jumped all over it.

    Reply
  27. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2015

    And the winner in the most original headline category for MSM goes to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “El Nino finally here: but this 1 is weak, weird and late”.

    Reply
  28. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2015

    Respecting proper attribution it appears the headline belongs to AP.

    Reply
  29. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2015

    Meanwhile: Cryosphere Today is showing arctic sea ice area maxing out at second lowest (2011 lowest max.). NSIDC extent continuing down as lowest for date yet….

    Reply
  30. Kevin Jones

     /  March 5, 2015

    WebHubTelescope: That is the most perfect correlation I’ve seen since the Antarctic Ice Cores temp/GHG’s. Did GISS put that together, or you?

    Reply
    • I used the GISS temperature data and put the model together myself. Others have done similar work — Foster&Rahmstorf, Cowtan, Lean et al, Hansen et al, etc.

      Reply
  31. Apneaman

     /  March 5, 2015

    The climate denial state of Oklahoma-Jim “Snowball” Inhofe- turns to geo engineering to fix it’s climate change consequences. You couldn’t make this shit up ROFLMAO!

    Lawton Turns to Weather Manipulation To Aid Drought-Stricken City Water Supplies

    http://kgou.org/post/lawton-turns-weather-manipulation-aid-drought-stricken-city-water-supplies

    Reply
    • God, did we call this or did we?

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  March 5, 2015

      The article makes claims about previous success but does not identify what was done. Shady.

      Krick was one of the country’s first commercial meteorologists and a member of the team that forecasted the weather for the D-Day invasion. He was a controversial character who was often at odds with an academic establishment that doubted his rainmaking methods. In 1953, M.B. Cunningham, Oklahoma City’s water superintendent at the time, praised Krick’s work to reporters at WKY-TV.

      “We have received some benefits,” Cunningham told WKY-TV. “And, of course, we don’t know whether the benefits all came as a result of his work, but at least a review of the projects where he has worked offers very convincing evidence.”

      “Whatever he did worked,” Jackson says about Krick’s efforts above Lawton more than 40 years ago. People were convinced. “Even a lot of the old skeptics — you know, the farmers, the people who are normally skeptics of rainmaking.”

      Reply
  32. – On a more buoyant note from the US Congress, and an amendment from West Virginia:

    This congressman doesn’t want a federal science board to be allowed to consider science

    …. It comes by way of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), a far-right, coal-country, climate-denying conservative of the old school.

    Here’s the amendment. Its sole purpose is to prohibit the EPA’s Science Advisory Board from taking into consideration, for any purpose, the following reports:

    the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment
    the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
    the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order No. 12866 (which I wrote about here)
    the July 2014 Pathways to Deep Decarbonization Report, from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (which I wrote about here)

    So. When considering what to do about carbon pollution, EPA may not consider what America’s best scientists have concluded about it, what an international panel of scientists has concluded about it, how the federal government has officially recommended calculating its value, or the most comprehensive solutions for it. Oh, and it can’t consider Agenda 21 either…
    http://grist.org/politics/this-congressman-doesnt-want-a-federal-science-board-to-be-allowed-to-consider-science/?utm_campaign=daily_feed&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

    Reply
    • There are so many words for this… Insanity, chicanery, stupidity… blind greed.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 5, 2015

        Aren’t we great , we have opposable thumbs, that makes up for Insanity, chicanery, stupidity… blind greed.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  March 5, 2015

        I sneer at dogs they have no Insanity, chicanery, stupidity… blind greed. And opposable thumbs.

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        The opposable thumbs are currently stuck in ears. The ‘lalalalala’ syndrome: if one doesn’t hear it, it doesn’t exist.

        Reply
  33. American Conservatives take Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s word as gospel regarding the supposed futility of holding nuclear talks with Iran. Yet these same Conservatives dismiss the truest threat to Israeli security as a hoax. This is in direct defiance of Netanyahu’s beliefs concerning the existential threat posed to Israel by climate change.

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  March 5, 2015

    Quoting 231. SlabTown:
    Could climate change cause a more permanent eastern u.s. trough ?? If so, could this be a “cold pocket” when most of the world warms ??

    The richest deposits of Clovis artifacts are found on Chesapeake Bay, buried in blow sand that have been linked to the cold dry conditions of the Younger Dryas. A rapid climate change that just lasted around 1,300 years . The ice sheets were melting at the time. Dr. Alley at Penn State seems to think that when this thing ended , the temperature rose 11F degrees in as little as a decade.

    I was a guide at Clovis site years ago, 100 miles from Clovis , our blow sand deposit was over 6 feet thick. So there is there a great deal of geologic evidence, when we lose lots of ice, things get really crazy, really fast.

    SlabTown:

    “EASTERN STYLE” DEBERT/ CLOVIS POINT VAIL SITE OXFORD COUNTY, MAINE MAINE STATE MUSEUM COLLECTION

    Nobody ever made a better dart point in the stone age , and the Younger Dryas wiped them out. And nothing in the record that is recent, comes close to the Younger Dryas. Remember these people were us , not 40,000 years ago in a cave in Spain.

    It was warming as they lived their lives, then for just over 1,000 years it got very , very cold. Then, in just a decade it warmed 11F degrees. Then farming was invented . All that is linked to melting ice, because of Milankovitch cycles.

    Today we are melting ice because we are adding carbon into atmosphere that was buried 350 Million years ago along with carbon buried just 70 million years ago . Not because our dance around the Sun has changed . We are digging up every carbon atom we can find that Nature in her wisdom buried.

    Farming began after the Younger Dryas. Just 10.000 years ago. We are burning carbon atoms that are from shale that is 350 Million years old.

    There is nothing in Nature like us . To think otherwise , Is the mind of a fool.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  March 5, 2015

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  March 5, 2015

        Stumbled upon this last week. It’s been said that a generation has to die or retire before a new ideas based on new evidence becomes accepted. Climate science has moved much faster than anthropology and archeology, but there are still problems. It is hard to keep up with the speed of change, resistance from finical interests and human nature.

        Solutreans:First Americans:The Ice-Age Discovery of the Americas: Constructing an Iberian Solution

        Reply
      • eleggua

         /  March 5, 2015

        Good point, Bob. 😉

        Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  March 5, 2015

        CB, what blows my mind is that there is probably only a handful of people alive who could actually make (flint knap) a spear point like that.

        Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  March 6, 2015

    Apneaman

    Not without a possible thumb . Dogs don’t make arrowheads , but we own everything to them.

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  March 6, 2015

    The GOP’s climate change skepticism, in one groan-worthy video

    The cringe-inducing questioning by Sessions amounted to a series of “gotchas” aimed at an EPA administrator who not only isn’t a scientist but who obviously wasn’t going to prepare for a budget hearing by memorizing responses to all possible climate contrarian arguments. McCarthy deferred on most of Sessions’s questions, saying she was happy to provide answers in writing. “Well you need to know, because you’re asking this economy to sustain tremendous cost,” Sessions responded sternly.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/05/the-gops-climate-change-skepticism-in-one-groan-worthy-video/

    Reply
  37. wili

     /  March 6, 2015

    Meterologist Eric Holthaus on El Ninos.

    “Typical El Niños last only for six or eight months, but we could be in for a long one this time, spanning parts of two years or more.

    …borderline El Niño conditions have been around unofficially way back to last June.

    Finally, in February, the trade winds began to weaken across a vast stretch of the Pacific, causing an accumulation of subsurface heating.

    Forecasters now believe that the ocean and atmosphere have joined forces in such a way that further warming and shifts in global weather patterns are likely—and that was the key to declaring an official start to El Niño on Thursday.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/03/05/el_ni_o_it_s_here_and_it_will_boost_global_warming_to_record_highs.html

    Reply
  1. Weird 2015 El Nino Fed By Strong West Winds, Growing Kelvin Wave | robertscribbler
  2. 2015’s Cruel Climate Count Continues as NASA Shows July Was Hottest On Record | robertscribbler

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