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The La Nina shark rises to bite

UPDATED (below)

Does this herald the end of this years warm spell?

Frank Lansner has been watching the Southern Oscillation Index and noticed it’s rapid climb out of El Nino territory. He’s found graphs showing how the warm water is displaced from below and I’ve pasted them into a brutally rough animation.

la nina el nino

Graph SOI

See Franks full post

I wouldn’t use a single season to debunk AGW (and nor does Frank) but we all know that the crowds are swayed by weather, and Frank’s point is that the weather is possibly not going to help The Big Scare Campaign.

McLean, De Frietas, and Carter published a paper last year pointing out how much influence the La-Nina-El-Nino system has on the global climate. In an El Nino, the surface of the Pacific doesn’t churn as much because there is not as much wind, and so warm waters stay on the top and satellites record high temperatures. But in a La Nina the winds resume, surface mixing increases, deep cold waters from below displace the warmer water on top, and so the ocean surface cools.

If you’ve wondered why, during the 1998 El Nino, the satellite records “spiked” up so high compared to the surface records, it’s because of the influence of ocean temperatures. Satellites measure the surface temperature of the planet, and 70% of the surface is ocean. So when warm water is “stalled” on the surface, it shows up in the satellite records. But deep down, the oceans presumably are not getting that warming effect (or at least it is delayed).

There is roughly a 5-7 month lag between the SOI and global temperatures.

John McLean makes a guesstimate on the run (from an airport lounge):

I think UAH LTT’s [lower trophosphere satellite measurements of temperature] will remain on the high side until around October then a cooling off. Maybe we’re looking at another cold northern winter at year’s end.

Thanks to William Kininmonth for advice (over the last year), and Frank Lansner for his work


UPDATE: There’s become quite a debate about the likelihood of a La Nina.

Frank writes in comments –

Met Ofice predicts La Nina soon, in fact already from around June (!) and then obviously for many months ahead : http://hidethedecline.eu/media/Death%20og%20GW/3.jpg

SOI appears to align to this prediction and the the water temperatures below surface for The Pacific ENSO area shows hardly any warm water left. Only cold benieth surface.

The point: A La Nina now will prolong the period of no rise in global temperatures.
By now, RSS gives a flat trend 12 years and 11 mths back:

– So what going to happend to the global warming agenda with a few more years of La-Nina-No-Warming??
If the GW croud has had a hard time, the coming time appears deadly.
Therefore the SHARK :-)

Actually it does look as though a somewhat significant La Nina is underway.


Billy b p informed us of Bob Tisdales well informed view on Watts UP that La Nina’s rarely follow El Nino’s.


Frank Replies

Billy p, Yes, Bob Tisdale adresses Steven Goddard and this writing and more about the ENSO. I wrote at Watts: @Bob An impressive investigation you made , thankyou.

In this article above, I mostly rely on the Metoffice prediction. The Metoffice concludes La Nina, actually a stronger La Nina in just a few months. But obviously, The Met Office has been wrong before! – And I’m sure a lot of your considerations where never thought of by the Metoffice.

However, the Metoffice´s La Nina prediction seems to go hand in hand with the marked change in the SOI index.

And then of course, the fact that under the Nino area of the pacific, most warm water has vanished.

I allways respect 100% your analysis, Bob, and in this case i think i will conclude nothing, and follow the pacific closely :-)

The thing is: One more La Nina, and the period of No global warming will be too long for many GW believers to accept. A La Nina could be the end of GW.



Baa Humbug:

Billy and frank

Hi, it’s really hard to tell this one. A running 30 day average SOI index below -8 is an El Nino, above 8 is a La Nina.  Looking at the DAILY values, the SOI rose as high as 20+ right up until early March, pulling us out of an El Nino. Although since then the 30day average has entered La Nina territory (since 17th April actually) and has stayed there, (currently 11.56) the daily values are all over the place without much of a pattern to them. Prediction will be more difficult than usual (imho)



I thought this years El Nino was an El Nino Modoki where it forms in the central Pacific instead of the east or the west. Modoki in Japanese means similar but different.



Frank writes

In bird-perspective one could say that we have a global warming idea that is extremely dependent on El Ninoes to survive. This is perhaps my main point.

The SOI index is above 10, but has not been for long, and the deep water situation:

– Im not really sure what to make of this. But the fact that we by now only have a small layer of slightly warm water do suggest that the El Nino is saying farewell. (But yes, normally i would look west of South America for La Nina signs. Perhaps we will see these soon.)

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