Since 1982, Temperature Records Show No Warming Other Than That Due To Natural El Niño Warmth-Inducing Events

Over the course of years to decades, the heat contained in the ocean naturally undulates, with more or less upwelling cooler waters rising to the surface.  Naturally-occuring El Niño (wind current) events greatly influence the prevention of cooler waters from upwelling to the surface; this phenomenon, in turn, ultimately elicits an overall surface warming event (less cooling = net warming).

Below is a very simplified version of “How El Niño Works” from NASA:

NASA :

“During a normal year, strong, easterly surface winds (winds blowing from the east to the west) along the equator, cause upwelling of cold, nutrient rich water along the coast of South America. This keeps the waters of the central Pacific relatively cool. … When, for an as yet, unknown reason the easterly surface winds weaken, or reverse, the warm pool moves from the western Pacific to the central and eastern Pacific ocean basin. This situation is known as an El Niño, and when this happens, heavy rainfall occurs along the western coasts of Peru, Mexico and California instead. The warm water also acts as a cap that prevents cold water from upwelling along the eastern edge of the Pacific.”

Over time, net step-changes induced by each successive El Niño warming event may lead to an overall surface warming trend. The more frequent and/or powerful the El Niño event(s), the greater the net step change.  These internal ocean heat circulation processes that lead to more or less heat welling up to the ocean surface can significantly account for the warming trend since the early 1980s, meaning that the increase in temperature could be mostly explained by natural variability, not anthropogenic intervention.

This conclusion has been reached by scientists Large and Yeager (2012), who maintain that, over the 1984-2006 period,  the observed “diminished ocean cooling [i.e., warming] due to vertical ocean processes” imply that “natural variability” can explain the rise in sea surface temperatures since 1984 rather than anthropogenic climate change.

Large and Yeager, 2012

“Global satellite observations show the sea surface temperature (SST) increasing since the 1970s in all ocean basins, while the net air–sea heat flux Q decreases. Over the period 1984–2006 the global changes are 0.28°C in SST and −9.1 W m−2 in Q, giving an effective air–sea coupling coefficient of −32 W m−2 °C−1  …[D]iminished ocean cooling due to vertical ocean processes played an important role in sustaining the observed positive trend in global SST from 1984 through 2006, despite the decrease in global surface heat flux. A similar situation is found in the individual basins, though magnitudes differ. A conclusion is that natural variability, rather than long-term climate change, dominates the SST and heat flux changes over this 23-yr period.

Below is an extremely simplistic illustration of the step-change influence of El Niño events on surface temperature.  Notice that between each El Niño-induced warming event, the temperature declines or flattens until the advent of the next El Niño event.

natural-el-nino-influence

El Niño-Induced Warming Events Are Natural, And Not Influenced By Human Activity

While discussing the powerful 2015-’16 El Niño a few months ago, Dr. Fredolin Tangang — a Malaysian climate scientist, oceanographer, and the vice-chairperson of the IPCC —  maintains that the warming of the ocean surface which occurs with the onset of an El Niño event has not been linked to anthropogenic climate change, but is instead a naturally-occurring phenomenon.

The current El Nino phenomenon that has brought prolonged drought and sweltering heat to Malaysia is the strongest of the 20 over the last 60 years, but there is no concrete evidence to link its heat intensity to global warming, says an expert.  Climatologist and oceanographer Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said this year’s El Nino was even more extreme than the severe phenomena experienced in 1982/82 and 1997/98.

There is no conclusive evidence that the occurrence of El Nino (frequency and intensity) is influenced by climate change,” said Tangang, who had served from 2008 to 2015 as vice-chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations agency.

El Nino is a naturally occurring phenomenon, which is part of the inter-annual variability associated with oscillation of the atmosphere-ocean interaction in the Pacific Ocean that occurs in a two- to seven-year cycle.”

A few months before Tangang’s announcement, Mike Halpert, NOAA’s deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center, had also declared that anthropogenic climate change was playing an “insignificant role, if any role at all” on the warmth experienced during 2015-’16.

NPR interview with NOAA’s Mike Halpert:

SHAPIRO: OK. So El Nino plays a role [in the 2015-’16 warming]. The Arctic oscillation plays a role. What about climate change? Is that playing a role?

HALPERT: If it is, it’s probably fairly insignificant at this point. If it were to play a role, it would be more likely if, somehow, climate change is impacting either the Arctic oscillation or El Nino, and we’re not really aware that it is at this point. If you think about, maybe – the high temperature over the weekend was 70, so maybe without climate change, it would’ve been 69. I think it’s a fairly insignificant role, if any role at all.

Since 1982, Temp Records Show No Warming Other Than Due To The All-Natural El Niño Warming Events, With Cooling In Between Each Event

In the satellite record (UAH), the significant warming effects of moderate to strong El Niño events on temperature can be reasonably identified.  As mentioned above, notice the cooling or flattened temperatures that occur between each warmth-inducing El Niño event.

Graphs below are courtesy of woodfortrees.org.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/from:1983/to:1987/plot/uah6/from:1983/to:1987/trend

natural-el-nino-warming-83-87-copy

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/from:1988/to:1997/plot/uah6/from:1988/to:1997/trend

natural-el-nino-warming-88-97-copy

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/from:1998/to:2009/plot/uah6/from:1998/to:2009/trend

natural-el-nino-warming-98-09-copy

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/from:2010/to:2015/plot/uah6/from:2010/to:2015/trend

natural-el-nino-warming-10-15-copy

If we combine these graphs to illustrate the effects of El Niño events on temperature over the entire 1983 to 2015 period, a somewhat disorderly version of a step-change warming trend emerges that looks similar in scope to the neat and simplified El Niño-induced step-change graph shown above.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/from:1983/to:2015

natural-el-nino-warming-83-15-copy

natural-el-nino-influence

El Niño Events “Triggered” by Solar Activity

So if El Niño events can significantly explain the step-change warming trend in the temperature record since the early 1980s, what physical mechanism(s) may explain why El Niño events occur?  According to scientists, the Sun is the main catalyst.

Huo and Xiao, 2016

The impact of solar activity on the 2015/16 El Niño event

“Recent SST and atmospheric circulation anomaly data suggest that the 2015/16 El Niño event is quickly decaying. Some researchers have predicted a forthcoming La Niña event in late summer or early fall 2016. From the perspective of the modulation of tropical SST by solar activity, the authors studied the evolution of the 2015/16 El Niño event, which occurred right after the 2014 solar peak year. Based on statistical and composite analysis, a significant positive correlation was found between sunspot number index and El Niño Modoki index, with a lag of two years. A clear evolution of El Niño Modoki events was found within 1–3 years following each solar peak year during the past 126 years, suggesting that anomalously strong solar activity during solar peak periods favors the triggering of an El Niño Modoki event. The patterns of seasonal mean SST and wind anomalies since 2014 are more like a mixture of two types of El Niño (i.e., eastern Pacific El Niño and El Niño Modoki), which is similar to the pattern modulated by solar activity during the years following a solar peak. Therefore, the El Niño Modoki component in the 2015/16 El Niño event may be a consequence of solar activity, which probably will not decay as quickly as the eastern Pacific El Niño component. The positive SST anomaly will probably sustain in the central equatorial Pacific (around the dateline) and the northeastern Pacific along the coast of North America, with a low-intensity level, during the second half of 2016.”

Summarizing, scientists Lakshmi and Tiwari (2015) point out that climate changes are primarily driven by solar activity and El Niño events.  This leaves little to no room for anthropogenic activities to have a significant influence on the Earth’s climate.

Lakshmi and Tiwari, 2015

Introduction: Several recent studies of solar–geomagnetic effects on climate have been examined on both global as well as on regional scales.  The Sun’s long-term magnetic variability is the primary driver of climatic changes. The magnetic variability (mostly short-term components) is due to the disturbances in Earth’s magnetic fields caused by the solar activity, which is usually indicated by indices of geomagnetic activity. The Sun’s magnetic variability modulates the magnetic and particulate fluxes in the heliosphere. This determines the interplanetary conditions and imposes significant electromagnetic forces and effects upon planetary atmospheres. All these effects are due to the changing solar-magnetic fields which are relevant for planetary climates, including the climate of the Earth. The Sun–Earth relationship varies on different time scales of days to years bringing a drastic influence on the climatic patterns. The ultimate cause of solar variability, at time scales from decadal to cen tennial to millennial or even longer scales, has its origin in the solar dynamo mechanism. During the solar maxima, huge amounts of solar energy particles are released, thereby causing the geomagnetic disturbances. … The 11 years solar cycle acts an important driving force for variations in the space weather, ultimately giving rise to climatic changes. Therefore, it is very important to understand the origin of space climate by analyzing the different proxies of solar magnetic variability.”

The another most important climate variation is El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, which impact the global oceanic and atmospheric circulations which thereby produce droughts, floods and intense rainfall in certain regions. The strong coupling and interactions between the Tropical Ocean and atmosphere play a major role in the development of global climatic system. The El Niño events generally recur approximately every 3–5 years with large events spaced around 3–7 years apart. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena has shown huge impact on the Asian monsoon (Cole et al., 1993), Indian monsoon (Chowdary et al., 2006, 2014) as well as globally (Horel and Wallance, 1981; Barnett, 1989; Yasunari, 1985; Nicholson, 1997). In particular, the El Niño, solar, geomagnetic activities are the major affecting forces on the decadal and interdecadal temperature variability on global and regional scales in a direct/indirect way.” 

64 responses to “Since 1982, Temperature Records Show No Warming Other Than That Due To Natural El Niño Warmth-Inducing Events”

  1. Ron Clutz

    Very thorough and explicit with strong references. My own post on this comes to the same conclusion with some other sources:

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/el-ninos-hottest-year/

  2. Roger Tallbloke

    Since 1900, apart from in one solar cycle in which there were two spikes and in the adjacent solar cycle four spikes, every solar cycle has contained three ‘El nino’ spikes in temperature. The strongest following solar minimum, another after solar maximum, and one halfway down the tail of the cycle.

    This is also synchronised with the Moon. El nino is triggered by alignements of the Moon with Earth and Sun when the lines of Apse and/or Nodes also align.

    Climate change is driven mainly by tides and insolation.

    1. Stephen Wilde

      The ENSO phenomenon (encompassing both warm El Nino and cool La Nina episodes) is a consequence of there being more ocean in the southern hemisphere.

      The greater volume of water in the southern hemisphere absorbs mopre solar energy than does the lesser amount of water in the northern hemisphere.

      Over time,an energy imbalance builds up between the two hemispheres until there is a discharge of energy across the equator in the form of an El Nino event.

      It is quite possible that the timing of the discharge is affected by lunar tidal influences.

    2. Bob Weber

      Roger I agree with you here because I found the same things.

      The post-solar minimum ENSO is a response to the rate of TSI increase at the onset of the cycle, mixed by lunar tides per IW. The post-solar max ENSO(s) result from high TSI spikes during the solar max, and the last ENSO imo, something I need to verify this cycle, is probably due to the high insolation under low TSI clear skies (an albedo effect), like in 2006.

      I think your F10.7cm 90sfu threshold for warming/cooling is “at the knee”, like we’ve reached during this year, as the F10.7cm flux for 2016 is now about 90. BUT, we reach 90sfu quite often and it doesn’t cool necessarily, and the reason for that is a longer term level must also be reached for cooling to start.

      The long-term F10.7cm flux threshold I calculated in mid-2014 is 120sfu. This month we are at 120.1sfu, and by Jan 2017 it’ll be 120.0, which incidently is the same time frame for cooling that David Evans’ notch delay predicts. I didn’t stop there.

      It was that summer when I witnessed that the sun did drive the ENSO, using F10.7cm, before I studied TSI. The 2014 ENSO was dropping off with solar flux into mid-summer, then flux went back up, firing up the ENSO again, as I predicted in mid-2014 before it happened.

      In August of 2015 I found F10.7cm of 120sfu is statistically equivalent to SORCE TSI of 1361.25 w/m2. In mid-March 2016, the daily TSI dropped below that threshold, and with it SSTs & OHC, right on time, concurrently. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/heat-last-year.gif

      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2016/anomnight.11.14.2016.gif

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/weeklyenso_clim_81-10/wkteq2_anm_55m.gif

      Back in mid-2014 I wasn’t sure if the F10 threshold was 120 or 121 sfu.

      When TSI crossed the line this year, the long-term F10.7cm average was at 120.5sfu. So, it seems we’re already there!

      There’s more too, especially about the modern maximum, ‘global’ warming, and extreme events…

      Kenneth has posted so many papers supporting these concepts. I credit you all, those authors, and so many others for also discovering the basic idea.

      Let’s face it, if there is a true objective reality, it’s logical and expected that so many of us would find it in our own way.

    3. David Appell

      “This is also synchronised with the Moon. El nino is triggered by alignements of the Moon with Earth and Sun when the lines of Apse and/or Nodes also align.”

      And Jupiter aligns with Mars.

      How exactly do these conditions cause an El Nino? Scientifically?

  3. tom0mason

    Dear UN-IPCC,

    Your goose is cooked, its over.
    Close the door on the way out!

    1. tom0mason

      Yes the UN-IPCC people have thrown a line to the media.
      And yes, the compliant media have announced that this year is ‘on course’ for being the hottest year ever on every news outlet — over, and over, and over… But of course this nonsense is endlessly repeated because so many listeners/viewers are freezing their asses off and are NOT convinced.

      The world needs a #UNFEXIT! movement now!

      1. David Appell

        tom0mason wrote:
        “And yes, the compliant media have announced that this year is ‘on course’ for being the hottest year ever on every news outlet — over, and over, and over… But of course this nonsense is endlessly repeated because so many listeners/viewers are freezing their asses off and are NOT convinced.”

        As they say, the plural of anecdote is not data.

        1. tom0mason

          I’m in good company! just like you, data free.

          1. David Appell
        2. tom0mason

          Just tune into Australia’s ABC or the BBC domestic or World Service to hear for yourself. From there news agencies have replicated the item.
          So wake-up David Appell get tuned in and stop asking for others to spoon-feed you when you are too lazy to supply requested data links when asked, see http://notrickszone.com/2016/11/14/since-1982-temperature-records-show-no-warming-other-than-that-due-to-natural-el-nino-warmth-inducing-events/comment-page-1/#comment-1147208.

          1. David Appell

            That link is wrong.

            Ask yourself: why do El Ninos keep getting warmer?

            The 1997-98 El Nino peaked about about 0.4 C above the 1982-83 peak.

            And the recent El Nino peaked at about 0.4 C above 1997-98.

            Explain.

          2. tom0mason

            @David Appell 16. November 2016 at 4:38 AM said
            “That link is wrong.”

            You are in error again, that link at http://notrickszone.com/2016/11/14/since-1982-temperature-records-show-no-warming-other-than-that-due-to-natural-el-nino-warmth-inducing-events/comment-page-1/#comment-1147208 is entirely correct. Why do you continue to avoid responding to this question?

          3. AndyG55

            The rotten appell always AVOID, RUNS, HIDES when he knows he cannot back up anything he says.

            That is how he operates.

            He has NOTHING except EMPTY, BASELESS RHETORIC.

  4. Stephen Wilde

    I covered this subject back in 2008:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-real-link-between-solar-energy-ocean-cycles-and-global-temperature/

    and elaborated on the specific solar mechanism here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

    whereby solar effects on global cloudiness alter the balance between cool La Nina episodes and warm El Nino episodes.

  5. Roger Tallbloke

    an energy imbalance builds up between the two hemispheres until there is a discharge of energy across the equator – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2016/11/14/since-1982-temperature-records-show-no-warming-other-than-that-due-to-natural-el-nino-warmth-inducing-events/comment-page-1/#comment-1146940

    Hi Steven. Interesting. What’s your empirical evidence for this?

    1. Stephen Wilde

      Hi Rog.
      It makes sense in light of empirical observations.

  6. Bryson
  7. AndyG55

    “Since 1982, Temperature Records Show No Warming Other Than That Due To Natural El Niño Warmth-Inducing Events”

    I wonder how many hundred times I have said this ! 🙂

    1. Sunsettommy

      Have been saying it too Andy, as it is very obvious to see in the data.

  8. David Appell

    La Ninas play a big role too.

    You completely ignored them.

    1. AndyG55

      And you completely ignore providing any pictures of birds killed by coal fired power station

      I can only assume you were yet again LYING

    2. AndyG55

      How much of this warming was cause by CO2, appell grub?

      https://s19.postimg.org/bu42tbw1f/UAH_Australia_20_years.png

      Or how about this warming ?

      https://s19.postimg.org/pxr2p1rw1/UAH_So_Pol_All.png

      And Japan developed massively from 1950-1990. How much of its warming was caused by CO2?

      https://s19.postimg.org/6kzq5cxdf/japan1950_1990.png

  9. tom0mason

    All that nice El Niño warmth was just what the Pacific Phytoplankton enjoyed.
    Cool Pacific, less plankton, less initial CO2 up-take?(maybe)

  10. AndyG55

    Great post on The deplorable climate site.

    TH shows that the 8 month cooling since the peak of the El Nino has been the fastest, and deepest, cooling in the whole of the satellite data.

    I’ll use my graphs because I have UAH as well..

    https://s19.postimg.org/eb6iahzoz/RSS_8_month.png

    https://s19.postimg.org/54o7n7ugj/UAH_8_month.png

    1. tom0mason

      Wow! That’s a darn steep fall on both graphs. I also don’t see that rate of change moderating anytime soon, but lets hope, eh?

  11. sod

    the problem with this article is, that the main claim is false:

    “Over time, net step-changes induced by each successive El Niño warming event may lead to an overall surface warming trend.”

    There is simply zero support for this claim.

    The opposite is true: any positive trend with a random positive “spike” effect will look like “step changes” without the steps being real.

    1. Sunsettommy

      Surely you jest Sod!

      This article quoted a number of recently published science papers showing evidence of step warming,that matches very well with El-Nino events.

      One of the points of the post was this you manage to miss:

      “SHAPIRO: OK. So El Nino plays a role [in the 2015-’16 warming]. The Arctic oscillation plays a role. What about climate change? Is that playing a role?

      HALPERT: If it is, it’s probably fairly insignificant at this point. If it were to play a role, it would be more likely if, somehow, climate change is impacting either the Arctic oscillation or El Nino, and we’re not really aware that it is at this point. If you think about, maybe – the high temperature over the weekend was 70, so maybe without climate change, it would’ve been 69. I think it’s a fairly insignificant role, if any role at all.”

      Natural events,NOT “climate change” are the dominant cause of warming trends. Once again CO2 is left out in the cold with no demonstrated ability to drive the weather or climate.

      You as usual look dumb.

    2. wert

      Sir sod is, regrettably, totally right. This post is simply misguided.

      Not that I’d believe sod’s or my comment made any difference.

      1. AndyG55

        Wert is also WRONG

        Don’t tell me we have yet another brainwashed AGW psychophant !!

    3. AndyG55

      “There is simply zero support for this claim. :

      sop is, AS USUAL, totally WRONG

      Let’s look up the FACTS

      1. No warming in the UAH satellite record from 1980 to 1998 El Nino

      2. No warming between the end of that El Nino in 2001 and the start of the current El Nino at the beginning of 2015.

      3. No warming in the southern polar region for the whole 38 years of the satellite record.

      4. No warming in the southern ex-tropicals for 20 years.

      5. No warming in Australia for 20 years, cooling since 2002

      6. No warming in Japan surface data for the last 20 years, No warming from 1950-1990.. ie, a zero trend for 40 years through their biggest industrial expansion

      7. No warming in the USA since 2005 when a non-corrupted system was installed, until the beginning of the current El Nino.

      8. UAH Global Land shows no warming from 1979-1997, then no warming from 2001 – 2015

      9. Iceland essentially the same temperature as in the late 1930s as now, maybe slightly lower

      10. British Columbia (Canada) temperatures have been stable, with no warming trend, throughout 1900-2010

      11. Chile has been cooling since the 1940s.

      12. Southern Sea temperatures not warming from 1982-2005, then cooling

      13. Even UAH NoPol shows no warming this century until the large spike in January 2016.

      That is DESPITE a large climb in CO2 levels over those regions and time periods.

      There IS NO CO2 WARMING effect.

      The ONLY warming has come from REGIONAL El Nino and ocean circulation effects such as the PDO and AMO.

  12. David Appell

    “Over time, net step-changes induced by each successive El Niño warming event may lead to an overall surface warming trend.”

    Where does the increased warmth come from?

  13. Stephen Wilde

    During a period of prolonged low solar activity I would expect to see cooling step changes after successive La Ninas.

    1. sod

      “uring a period of prolonged low solar activity I would expect to see cooling step changes after successive La Ninas.”

      That is an absurd claim.

      1. Sunsettommy

        Sod,

        Steve,made a statement expecting something,your reply was to ridicule him.

        You have NOTHING to counter or discuss it with him. You are all wind and water here.

        1. sod

          “Steve,made a statement expecting something,your reply was to ridicule him.

          You have NOTHING to counter or discuss it with him. You are all wind and water here.”

          sorry, but you are wrong. El Nino is not the cause of the increase in temperature, but at least an El Nino can indeed warm the atmosphere.

          Things work a little different with la nina and those will definitely not cool the planet.

          Though it might look like it does, to the uneducated searching for step changes in a graph that has none.

          1. Sunsettommy

            Sod,

            apparently doesn’t know the difference between OPINION and Evidence.

            Steve, made an interesting unsupported statement,but you didn’t care,as you you made an unsupported reply to him,ridiculing him in the process.

            Why are you still here Sod,when you don’t provide real evidence to support your assertions? You have been asked questions,you don’t answer them,just make unsupported assertions instead,which doesn’t help you at all.

            I have seen you post many empty,inane comments for over 10 years now,no improvement in sight in all that time.

          2. AndyG55

            Poor sop, perpetually WRONG

            and totally IGNORANT.

            El Nino is THE ONLY cause of the increase in temperature.

            You can IGNORE the data as long as you like.

            That does not change the FACT. !!

            You have NOTHING to counter the FACTS.. and you know it.

      2. AndyG55

        Poor sop, just because you don’t have the slightest clue about how climate works, doesn’t make the claim absurd.

        All your lack of any climate knowledge does, is display your ignorance, yet again.