Remember heat waves of the 1997-98 El Niño? And then, if you ignored the temperatures in central Africa and the Arctic, it seemed as if Global Warming had paused. The alleged pause is over, because the Super El Niño on our doorstep will be worse.
The mass of hot water reaching as deep as 150 meters below the ocean surface, traveling from the Indonesian Heat Pool toward the Americas, is just as large as the last one but instead of the maximum heat being 4.5°C hotter, this time the middle is 6°C hotter.
... world food security may well be about to receive yet one more staggering blow.
By March 19, the hot zone ... contained a hotter 5-6 C anomaly zone... The deep, hot water pool in the Western Pacific was now beginning to set up a kind of bridge in which it could transfer east, dump its heat into the atmosphere and disrupt global weather. Perhaps, somewhat more disturbing, it was linking to a deep pool of warmer water off the coast of South America.
Notice the warm water off of South America and that link on the lower right side of the chart.
El Niño conditions might begin as early as April. It'll be an "interesting" year.
Thanks (as I've said before) for both the reporting, and finding illustrations that help our emotional brains understand the impact!
Super El Niño might drive us to 1°C rise as early as 2015.... the coming El Niño could be enough to make 2014 the hottest year in recorded history, and 2015 could be even warmer than that. The 1997-98 super El Niño was enough to boost global temperatures by nearly a quarter of a degree Celsius. If that scale of warming happens again, the world could approach a 1ºC departure from pre-industrial times as early as next year.
Hurricane seasons in the Atlantic tend to be less severe under this kind of forecast. And people in drought-stricken California could be forgiven if they’re crossing their fingers for a strong El Niño, which is linked to some of the wettest years in state history. Still, it’s certainly no slam dunk that an El Niño would be enough to end the crippling drought there or even bring above normal rainfall. And if the El Niño ends up being as strong as current predictions indicate, there’s a chance it may even tip the scales from drought to deluge across the state, spurring damaging mudslides amid bursts of heavy rain. The two strongest El Niños in the last 30 years—1982-83 and 1997-98—both caused widespread damage from flooding in California. [emphasis mine]
Here's a comparison of the Pacific during the last Super El Nino year and 2014. Doesn't this year look hotter?
The maps above show the ten-day average of sea surface height centered on May 2, 1997 (left), and May 3, 2014. Shades of red and orange indicate where the water is warmer and above normal sea level. Shades of blue-green show where sea level and temperatures are lower than average.
The developing Super El Nino may be contributing to three streams of warmth penetrating the Arctic, to early heat in Russia (note the red zone over Russia in the map below) and extreme wildfires near Lake Baikal. This author gives the Arctic a 30% chance of being ice free by the end of this Summer.
... the two Jet Stream weaknesses have continued to provide heat transport and push Arctic temperatures above normal and into ice-threatening ranges. Now, a third hot ridge, this one over Western Russia and Eastern Europe, has emerged and strengthened to provide yet one more Arctic heat delivery engine...
... at least two of the three observed Arctic heat delivery zones are likely getting a kick from what appears to be a strong El Nino gathering in the Pacific.
... extreme and anomalous wildfires in the region of Lake Baikal, Russia. Ever since April, immense fires have been springing up in this regi....
Width of frame is about 2,000 miles.
Fires of this immense scope pose their own threat to ice in the form of delivery of very high volumes of black soot that darken sea ice and glacial ice sheets alike. This darkening is, yet one more, amplifying feedback to climate change in the Arctic and remains a suspected factor in the acceleration of Greenland ice sheet melt (See Dark Snow).
With current heat pulses and Arctic wildfires setting in place conditions that may well result in the ignition of widespread very early season melt pond formation...\Given observed and ongoing trends along these lines, we are increasing our risk for a near-zero sea ice event by end of this summer to 30%. Eyes turn to Greenland as well, since both loss of sea ice cooling and a proliferation of early season fires can result in compounding risks to the increasingly unstable glaciers of that thawing land. [emphasis mine]
Update! The forecast El Niño is not expected to develop until Autumn, and has been downgraded to moderate. Good news!
El Niño is ramping up again, and now seems likely to exceed the '77-'78 Super El Niño.
Forecast model averages predict a strong to potentially record-shattering event this Fall.
Model averages now show a 2.4 C departure for all the major runs. Such an event would be extraordinary — equaling or exceeding the 1997-1998 El Nino (which topped off at 2.2 C above average in the three month measure).
All this information generates a clear picture of a still intensifying El Niño. One that has an increasing potential to develop into a real beast come Fall. As a result, we can expect continued global record hot temperatures to continue, as El Nino combines with an egregious human fossil fuel burning to shove global temperatures into ever-more-dangerous ranges. In addition, storm track intensification come Fall could be quite extreme when one considers both the possible strength of El Nino and the powerful atmospheric moisture loading due to a ramp up of temperatures into the range of +0.95 C above 1880s averages.
Deaths in India and Pakistan from high wet bulb temperature have soared in 2015. This El Nino year will set new records.
More than 1,200 people have died in Pakistan of heatstroke and dehydration as temperatures soared far above 40C and power cuts crippled Karachi over the past week.
Officials said about 40,000 people have suffered heatstroke since Saturday and the number was expected to rise.
Australian scientists have warned of a “substantial” El Nino effect that started in May.
The phenomenon ... is still in its early stages but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world,...
The deaths in Pakistan come after last month’s heatwave in India, which had killed 2,500 people by the start of June.
A Super El Nino is on the way, folks.
... forecast model response to the most recent westerly wind burst is an overall shift toward predicting a record event. Models are starting to settle on at least a strong El Nino come fall (1.5 degree Celsius anomaly or greater for Nino 3.4) with many ensembles predicting something even more intense than the super El Nino of 1998.
NOAA’s CFSv2 ensembles now predicts a peak sea surface temperature anomaly in the range of 2.5 degrees Celsius above average to 3.1 degrees Celsius above average. An El Nino of this strength would be significantly stronger than the monster event of 1998.
You might almost imagine the super El Nino ramping up as a monster fighting with The Blob and the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, Japanese Horror Movie Style.
The numbers along the left edge of the above chart are standard deviations, and the central horizontal line represents an ENSO neutral state. Two standard deviations above the neutral state is a normal El Nino, and "... ever since June we’ve been in the 3 standard deviation or about top 10 percent of El Nino response range."
But it pales in comparison to what’s being predicted. Looking ahead, the Euro weather model then pushes us all the way up to a 4 standard deviation event (or top 1 percent of atmospheric response rates) by early-to-middle August. This is an extreme response to El Nino. One that could have some amazing impacts come Fall, or possibly sooner...
They say that a picture can paint a thousand words. How about a graph that exceeds 100 El Ninos? It may not jump out at you at first, but that’s what we’re looking at above. [emphasis mine]
So that's monster number one.
Sadly, the atmospheric response to El Nino is not pushing forecasts for a wet winter for the US West Coast. Monsoonal moisture ... barely touches California in the forecast.
This pattern appears to indicate that the NOAA models are calling for the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and the hot Blob of water off the US West Coast to mostly remain in place. An overall very bad forecast considering El Nino’s predicted intensity...
It may be that cooling in the North Atlantic associated with Greenland melt and Gulf Stream weakening is having such a powerful impact on the Jet Stream that El Nino cannot over-ride...
And for such an El Nino to fail to over-ride the West Coast block would have some very serious added impacts on down the line. [emphasis mine]
The odds favor The Blob and RRR! California looses!
Thanks for keeping us informed, Ruth! I must cost you a lot of time and work!
A series of category-4 Pacific storms might overcome the RRR , to deluge the West. While this would fill reservoirs, it wouldl also cause massive erosion.
As of Tuesday, September 1, a whopping four tropical systems were churning northward out of an extremely hot El Nino zone.
It’s a full court atmospheric press. One that, ..., will push for the generation of upwelling and related cooling of the Northeastern Pacific waters beneath the RRR.
If this happens, a good portion of the RRR’s atmospheric inertia will fail — opening wide the door for a powerful west to east storm track development...
The 2015 El Nino is starting to look like one of the very intense events some climat....
... chances for some very intense storms beginning to slam into the US West Coast starting during October, November and December are on the rise. For those looking to a possible end to the droughts, wildfires and water shortages in the Western US, this potential change in conditions may be seen as a relief.
Powerful rains associated with El Nino will likely increase erosion and further damage soils in regions already impacted by the severe droughts, mass tree deaths, and wildfires related to human forced climate change and fossil fuel burning.
In order to break the drought, 2015’s monster El Nino would have to set off severe flood conditions during Fall and Winter.
A switch from persistent, crushing drought to flash flood that could be extraordinarily disruptive.
Sea surface temperature anomalies in the Nino 3.4 zone of the Pacific, ranging from 180 to 120 East Longitude, already exceed those from the last Super El Nino, and this one is not expected to peak until October or November. This raises concerns that released ocean heat will propagate north across Alaska, into the Arctic. The heat could even cross the Southern US, into the Atlantic where, by intensifying the south to north heat gradient to the cold spot from melting Greenland ice it would increase storms.
As of this week, readings had hit a +1.9 C anomaly in that benchmark. In other words, the current El Nino just rocketed past the 1.8 C monster event threshold without so much as a blink.
It’s a very high reading for August when we’re still supposed to be building toward an El Nino predicted to peak in October or November. A reading that is already in the range of a monster event in the weekly monitor. A reading that, even if it were to simply maintain, would mark one of the most intense El Ninos on record.
But the heat build into Nino 3.4 appears to be steadily ramping up. The warm Kelvin wave and powerful upper ocean heat anomalies continue along their path of rebound to mid ocean. An upper ocean heat pulse as strong as it’s ever been throughout 2014 and 2015. All of it on a rendezvous with the Central Pacific over the next 4-12 weeks.
The hot blob in the Northeastern Pacific remains firmly entrenched and a related south to north heat transport over Alaska and into the Pacific side of the Arctic remains firmly in place. With these conditions so dug in, there is rising risk that the heat plume coming off a near record El Nino may be headed north. This could have severe implications for an already terrible set of polar amplification related conditions in the Arctic. Such a powerful heat plume would also reinforce storminess along a broad band from the south and eastern US and on across the North Atlantic where a climate change related cool pool (associated with Gulf Stream slowdown, AMOC weakening, and Greenland melt) is already in the process of intensifying the storm track.