Tracking the 2°C Limit - December 2015

Holy frijole!

Okay, I'm not surprised that December beat November as the warmest anomaly in the entire GISS temperature record, but I was taken a little aback by how much. 

For a full size image click here.

One thing I note from this graph is the consistency between the peak (assuming we're likely near the peak of the surface warming due to the current super El Nino) and previous El Nino peaks in the GISS data. You essentially find the same trend as the trend in the full data set. Same follows for La Nina periods as well.

Many contrarians hold to the false notion that the current warming is "just" a function of the El Nino, whereas the current anomalies are clearly fully consistent with the long term rising trend is surface temperatures.

I'm also continuing to track the Ocean Nino Index (ONI) for this El Nino against the 1997/98 El Nino, and the ONI data is continuing on track. The ONI data goes all the way back to 1950 and the current 2.3 figure ties with 1997/98 as the highest in the entire data set. We will see next month if this El Nino breaks that record. Click here for a larger version of the graph below.

Below is the full ONI data going back to 1950.

The figure below comes from NOAA's weekly ENSO update and I think paints a nice full picture of the current El Nino over the past year. You can see one more surge of heat getting ready to hit the surface, so as Yogi Berra used to say, "It ain't over till it's over."

I'll add that, we're still not seeing much of a response in the satellite temperature data. We know quite clearly this El Nino has been just as strong at 97/98 but we're not seeing the same response that we did in the satellite temperature data during that previous super El Nino. Maybe January will show a big jump. If it doesn't this may be some indication of a problem with the AMSU sensors, as Eli Rabett has been hop hop hop hopping around lately.


Posted by Rob Honeycutt on Tuesday, 26 January, 2016

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