Comparing 2010 temperature trends with 1998 as we come out of an El Nino

Readers have sent in data about this issue trying to get a feel for how global temperatures might cool as 2010 unfolds.
The salient points for me are;
[1] 1997-98 was an altogether greater El Nino event than 2009-10.
[2] The SOI went negative early in 1997 and stayed negative until April 98.
[3] This contrasts with 2009 where the SOI muddled around near zero until September and was positive again by April this year. (note I have plotted SOI over 10 to fit the chart better)
[4] [1] is reflected in the Nino3.4 monthly SST anomalies.
[5] The global satellite lower troposphere T anomalies are coming off a higher base in 2009 compared to 1997.
1997-98  and 2009-10 El Nino events
So I would not expect temperatures to cool as much this year as they did in 1998. But hey – the global system is vastly more complex than this.

4 comments to Comparing 2010 temperature trends with 1998 as we come out of an El Nino

  • David Brewer

    My guess – and it sure is a guess – goes like this.

    SOI has shifted positive about 1.5 months earlier this year than in 1998, and Nino 3.4 temps have also retreated to zero a little earlier (but only a week or two). So the transition out of El Nino this year is a little in advance of 1998.

    The 1998 El Nino was a doozie whereas this one was somewhere closer between moderate and strong. It also didn’t last as long as in 1998, especially as measured by SOI.

    Troposphere temps averaged 0.65 degrees C above average for the first five months of 1998, then 0.5 C above average for the next 5 months, before dropping sharply to around 0.2 degrees in November. So far, the first five months of 2010 are running at 0.59 C, which Roy Spencer says is statistically indistinguishable from the 0.65 C in 1998.

    My guess is the weaker El Nino this time means shorter after-effects, so that temperatures won’t hold up as high in the next five months as they did in 1998, and will average about 0.3 C above average for the rest of this year (June to December values inclusive).

    If Bob Tisdale or Erl Happe are tuning in I know they could give much more informed predictions. Chapeau to Erl for picking this last El Nino a lot better than I had guessed.

  • val majkus

    Nope, it’s the hottest year ever!!!!
    at least that’s the way GISS is seeing it

  • val majkus

    further to my comment above Steve Goddard has a post today Hansen’s “Hottest Year Ever” Is Primarily Based On Fabricated Data
    But there is a huge problem. Most of his hot areas are not based on thermometer data
    Goddard says Hansen’s hottest year ever is nonsense. He shows a sharp rise in temperatures after July – just as the coldest La Nina on record set in. This is horrifically bad science.

    I heard the MET is trumpeting ‘hottest year ever’ so maybe they’re relying on GISS

Leave a Reply