Snowfan at wobleibtdieerderwaermung.de here recently reported on solar activity and ocean cycles. Today we will focus on the ocean cycle part of his post.
The oceans (SST) have cooled surprisingly over January to February 2016.
While during other El Niño events like in 2015/16 led to a time-delayed warming of the Earth’s atmosphere – as was the case this year, the global oceans have decoupled themselves from this time-delayed warming and are showing a surprising significant cooling from January to February 2016 when compared to the powerful 1997/98 El Nino event:
The plot from BOB TISDALE shows the course of the SSTA during the powerful 1997/98 El Niño and from 2015/16. The monthly mean SSTA from multiple data suppliers show a surprising drop in global SST in February 2016. Source: Global Sea Surface Temperature Responses to the 1997/98 and 2015/16 El Niño Events.
The North Pacific, which since 2014 had been parked off the west coast and known as the warm BLOB, saw the greatest share of the global sea surface cooling. By December 2015 it practically disappeared:
The plot from BOB TISDALE shows the course of the SSTA during the powerful 1997/98 El Niño and 2105/16. The monthly mean SSTA of multiple data suppliers show a surprising drop in global SST in February 2016. Source: Global Sea Surface Temperature Responses to the 1997/98 and 2015/16 El Niño Events.
Global temperatures fell in March 2016
In March 2016 the global temperatures have shown a clear retreat after their three to four-month highpoint February 2016 – time delayed after the El Niño peak at the end of October/start of November 2015. This has also been the case in the tropics as well:
The plot shows the measured/calculated temperature deviation global (black curve) and in the tropics (red curve). After a peak in February 2016, global temperatures have fallen sharply as of 28 March 2016. Source: weatherbell.com/temperature.php.
Therefore it is fully possible that the global temperatures have already begun to gradually ease back from the previous month’s record high in February 2016, although this was not expected to happen until April: Record warmth in the troposphere in February 2016 – Tropical sea surface starts to cool off.
“…With increasing cooling of the tropical sea surface, this means also a gradual cooling of global temperatures will set in by April 2016, which I described here: ENSO update February 2016: El Niño leaving– La Niña arriving…”
The water masses of the equatorial Pacific over the past months have released a considerable amount of energy into the atmosphere. From the end of October 2015 until the end of March 2016, the upper 300 meters have cooled strongly: by 2.6°K.
The plot above shows the course of the temperature anomalies down to 300 meters at the equatorial Pacific. The powerful positive deviations (orange) of the Downwelling-Phase reached their peak at 2.1°K deviation at the end of October/early November 2015 and have fallen 2.6°K to -0.5° K (blue): El Niño leaves– La Niña arrives! Source: www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/enso.shtml
We will have to wait and see to find out whether the global temperature anomalies will go negative already by the end of 2016, similar to what happened with the El Niño event 1997/98 – though the negative global temperature anomaly did not arrive until March 1999 – which we saw in the UAH satellite data: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data.txt.