El Nino Season Two?

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It is like that stabby lady in the bath tub in that movie.

Here, I’ll give you a more readable version of the graphic from NOAA:

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 3.10.43 PM

The chance of an the Pacific ENSO system being neutral, meaning, not adding extra heat to the atmosphere and not removing extra heat form the atmosphere, is about 50% from now through mid 2017.

But, the chance of a la Nina is pretty darn low, and the chance of an El Nino, which would add more heat to the atmosphere than the average year, is not only approaching 40% but it has been growing.

A second El Nino this close on the last one, which was a very severe El Nino, will not be as strong because there is that much heat stored up in the Pacific. A lot of it came out last time. But there is a fair amount left in there, so we could have a real, if not major, El Nino event this summer or fall.

Or not. This is really up in the air, as it were. But it is a little unusual to see a second El Nino this close in time, so I thought you might find this interesting.

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15 thoughts on “El Nino Season Two?

  1. It’s been a crazy winter here in BC Greg. I’m 67 and the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area has seen more snow than in my lifetime

    “It’s been an unusually cold and white winter across the region, and the latest storm has shattered historic snowfall records, said Environment Canada meteorologist Jennifer Hay. A new high was set at Vancouver’s airport Friday, when 12 centimetres fell, beating the record of 10.7 centimetres set in ” (www.theglobeandmail.com/news/…snowfall-records-in…vancouver/article33907961/)

    Here in Trail it’s been quite heavy snow – we’ve run out of places to move the snow to from off the sidewalks and street parking. I saw in one paper today the province is asking people to stay home tomorrow – I can’t ever remember that happening before.

    There is a lot of moisture coming in from the Pacific and I’m guessing it is running into this year’s polar vortex and dropping as snow rather than rain.

  2. “that stabby lady in the bath tub movie”? I take it you mean Janet Leigh in the shower scene in Psycho.

  3. Troubling that geoscientists can’t figure out the underlying long-term pattern of ENSO. Faraday and Rayleigh were on the right track in the 1800s with their pioneering work on oscillating waves, and probably would have figured it out if they lived long enough 🙂

    1. Paul, this is a pretty “figured out” phenomenon in many ways, though you are right in that there is much to learn. One problem is that to really characterize an ENSO event, you need to measure it from satellites and a lot of other instruments. For that reason, we have about a half dozen large events observed, which is a small sample.

      ENSO is a system that involves most of the major climatological features that exist, and that drive other features, on this planet. If you were thinking that we could predict El Ninos and La Ninas much more accurately than we can now, you might want to consider how we would predict the temperature and precipitation three Wednesdays from now in a North American city. Not perfectly analogous by any means, but a good metaphor. It isn’t that scientists haven’t figured out how to do that, as much as it is the case that it can not be done.

  4. Greg writes: “Not perfectly analogous by any means, but a good metaphor. It isn’t that scientists haven’t figured out how to do that, as much as it is the case that it can not be done.”

    Ummmm….. I think WHUT”s point was that ENSO *CAN* be done and that the necessary clues have been around for quite some time. I.e., it’s not chaotic, it’s deterministic.

    I’ve been following his blog for quite some time now and I think the science in general seems to have more and more people moving in the direction he believes in.

    You can view much of the material that went into his 2016 AGU presentation on his website. Presentation at 2016 AGU

  5. Thanks Kevin, I spent time talking with some scientists at NASA JPL and others at the AGU and discussed the predictability aspects of ENSO. Like Kevin says, if you start digging into the research literature on ENSO, you will find that a number of groups are looking at external forcing mechanisms. And the extra twist is that similar external forcing mechanisms are being applied to earthquake time series. Amazing the correlations to lunar phases, according to independent work by the USGS and Japanese groups.

    I don’t know why this is suddenly being discovered. Is it just because the time series have finally gotten lengthy enough that significance tests have become meaningful?

  6. ” I think the science in general seems to have more and more people moving in the direction he believes in.”

    What “He”?

    “With the Excel Solver”

    Oh dear.

    Here’s an idea. CO2 increases can account for more than all the warming seen.

    Just an idea.

    Another one is that I still have no idea what you’re trying to say in that presentation. Wiggling lines do not a presentation make. Try fixing that. Remember the rule of three.

  7. WOW- “Here’s an idea. CO2 increases can account for more than all the warming seen.”

    Inane non-sequitur. How do CO2 increases predict ENSO or the QBO? Non-sequitur? No, clueless.

    You really ought to read. The “wiggly lines” are basically tidal predictions. Do you deny that we can predict tides? Duh!

    Hey, but if you can’t be bothered to read the literature, much less P.P.’s page perhaps you should refrain from commenting and saving us all your ignorance.

  8. Part of the problem, Keith.

    The presentation was pretty much presupposing a shitload of pre-read to know what the hell the thing was about.

    The link you gave was pretty much nonsequitur.

    Hence the advice to put something around it to tell people what the fuck they’re reading to see what the hell it’s on about.

    Because it throws around “trend” and “moon cycles” and scores and scores of graphs, which, let me tell you, make a pretty shit presentation. Sure as a paper, it works (for some papers, it depends on what the hell it’s for), but for papers you get an abstract and a conclusion to read to find out whether there’s anything to read in it and why you’re supposed to go on and read it.

    Remember “rule of three” there???

    Tell them what you’re going to say
    Say it
    Then tell them what you said.

    I didn’t read it because there was no damn structure to it and there was so massive a digiporn section that there wasn’t any telling what the hell it was on about.

    Since I’m not paying to attend the AGU, and I don’t have the goddamned prospectus for the evening, the link was pretty much pointless to put up here and soley digiporn for graphs.

    Next time, like I said, consider this the middle part of the paper, and try to direct people to what the hell they’re reading and why.

    Just a hint to kids who don’t know what the hell they’re writing these days.

  9. Mr. Wow:
    Who’s Keith?

    Yup, presentations with a 15 minute time limit, conditioned on the conveners actually asking you to do it in 10 minutes (so the audience can get some questions in) is tough sledding.

  10. I keep typing keith when it;s kevin. Possibly because I have a brother kevin, and keep thinking I may be getting them confused.

    Sometimes I am.

    Sometimes not.

    It’s not in a 15 minute presentation now, though. So pad it out and make it comprehensible.

    And I would not have bothered with all the graphs in a presentation to begin with. There’s no way for the figures to be considered in half an hour or even an hour, let alone 15 minutes (I figured it was a 30 min presentation).

    Boil that bastard down. Drop the graphs and give the conclusion and then the graphs you have become the footnotes for people.

    Seriously, lots of presentations (and IMO the best thing to do if you have to give science presentations for the first time is to go to see a symposium with a lot of presenters. Somewill be great, but as a viewer, some will have you thinking “I can do better”, and you won’t feel as crappy and unworthy when you do your first) do it quite wrong. They present too much of what YOU found interesting when you were doing it.

    Remember, you had a lot longer, and an a priori interest. Your audience doesn’t.

    So give them a reason to look at your further notes, even if only to check your figures and reasoning. Present them with your findings and make them think that they want to read up the extra stuff you added that would be dry to sit there and just watch.

    And now it’s no longer a presentation, you have all the time in the world (to abuse the title of a song).

    If someone gets to the end knowing what you found and how robust your conclusion, and the possible future of this sort of investigation, AND GIVE THEM THE DETAIL LATER, they will, if they’re interested go and read it.

    Giving them the dry stuff, especially when they’re just passively sitting there and watching you read what’s up in the display, doubly so when they’re not going to be able to make it out (therefore have to divert attention to reading the handout, which they probably didn’t keep track of where you were in it) just makes them tune out.

    At best, they’ll keep thinking of what they want to ask about, based on the skim they gave of the handout while waiting for you to set up.

    Let them know why you’re there, why they want to listen and that there is more information there about proofs, evidences and calculations.

    Those uninterested in going deeper will know what’s going on and not feel like switching off. Those interested in going deeper will be clear in what you’re trying to do (and they may ask questions about things that come up in the graph. Guess what? You already have the info about their question right in front of them!).

    Be honest: nobody listening in 15 minutes will be able to ask deep questions or ask for verification of the maths.

    Give them the skeleton and the bits of the meat that you want everyone to know about. And leave the guts in the bucket, free to delve into in private.

    To extend the metaphor grossly.

    And if you get the idea out in 5 minutes and three graphs (and a couple of figures), then that’s 10 minutes to go through the graphs for those interested, and those not can just sidetrack on their own.

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