Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: 2014 El Nino?  (Read 730906 times)

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #100 on: February 28, 2014, 08:54:32 PM »
I would like to note that the ENSO is a classic example of a strange attractor in chaos theory, and while some aspects of the ENSO can be captured by GCMs; many important aspects of the ENSO cannot.   One aspect of the ENSO phenomena that captured in GCM projections is which I calling ratcheting quasi-static equilibrium cases associated with periodic strange attractors (or "ratcheting mechanisms" for short); as GCMs are calibrated to historical data that averages out the influence of such mechanisms.   The attached image provides a graphical comparison of a ratcheting mechanism to a more common periodic chaotic strange attractor (indicated by the butterfly type figures in the image) behavior, with both cases superimposed on a general trend of increasing climate change.  It can be seen that in the graphic with the ratching mechanism, a Super El Nino event, can kick one of the Earth's systems into a new higher quasi-static equilibrium state, which will remain in that higher state until another Super El Nino comes along and kicks that Earth system into a still higher state.  Examples of such ratching Earth systems, include: (a) the degradation of the permafrost, and (b) ice mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.  As Super El Nino events become more numerous, and more frequent,  such ratcheting mechanisms can increase the climate sensitivity of the Earth.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #101 on: February 28, 2014, 10:05:35 PM »
The following Wikipedia links, respectively, indicate that: (a) the North Pacific typhoons season from 100E to the 180th Meridian runs from May thru October (indicating that there is plenty of opportunities yet to come for Super Typhoons to form and contribute to a Super El Nino; and (b) the Southern Pacific cyclone season officially runs from November 1 to April 30, but that tropical cyclones can form at any time of the year (this helps to explain the multiple small tropical cyclones that are currently forming on either side of the equator [due to both the extant monsoon trough and the MJO], and that are currently contributing to the extension of the equatorial westerlies deeper in to the Eastern Pacific).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Pacific_typhoon_season

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Pacific_tropical_cyclone_season

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #102 on: March 01, 2014, 02:26:39 PM »
In the way of a status report, the attached image of the Albany University forecast for both vorticity (color scale) and wind speed (arrows) up to March 8.  This image shows a new low tropical pressure system forming around 175E and 15S; which may support the westerlies extent out to about 165W.  I imagine that this westerlies wind system is feeding more energy into the Kelvin wave as it migrates easteward; while I also imagine that the warm water up-well from the Kelvin wave warms the surface waters which in turn strengthens the MJO which creates more tropical low pressure systems which creates more westerlies; which supports a stronger Kelvin wave in a positive feedback mechanism.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JimD

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2270
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #103 on: March 01, 2014, 03:56:55 PM »
Dr. Masters has a blog post from yesterday afternoon on what ASLR has been posting about.

Quote
Two Pacific tropical storms form, boosting the odds of an El Niño
The atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the Equatorial Pacific are ripe for an El Niño event to develop this spring or summer. As detailed in a guest blog post by WSI's Dr. Michael Ventrice  on February 21, all that is needed to trigger an El Niño this spring or summer are strong and persistent bursts of westerly winds in the Equatorial Pacific to help push warm water from the Western Pacific Warm Pool eastwards towards South America. Two tropical storms capable of doing just that formed in the Pacific on Friday, boosting the odds that we will see an El Niño event this spring or summer. In the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Faxai formed Friday morning about 400 miles southeast of Guam. The minimal 40 mph tropical storm is located close to the Equator, at 9°N latitude, which means the the counterclockwise wind circulation around the storm will drive west-to-east winds along the Equator, giving a substantial push to warm waters attempting to slosh eastwards towards South America and start an El Niño event. Faxai is expected to intensify to a Category 1 typhoon by Monday, but is not a threat to any islands. In the South Pacific, Tropical Cyclone Sixteen formed Friday morning near the island of Fiji. This minimal 40 mph tropical storm is moving south-southeast at 10 mph, and is expected to slowly intensify to a strong tropical storm with 70 mph winds by Monday. The clockwise circulation of winds around the storm will also help drive westerly winds near the Equator that will boost the odds of an El Niño event. However, since this storm is farther from the Equator (16°S), it will not have a strong an impact on boosting El Niño odds as Tropical Storm Faxai will.


http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #104 on: March 01, 2014, 04:34:33 PM »
JimD,

Thanks for the information from the Wunderground blog (which was my source of inspiration for my past several posts).  As an update on Dr. Masters' status report, I provide the attached image as the following Cyclone Tracking report for March 1, 2014.  This update shows that not only are the two systems (TS03W [FAXAI] and TC16P [KOFI]) that Dr. Masters cites, picking up wind speed, but also a new tropical disturbance has formed near 11S and 157E:

"Northwest Pacific Ocean
1. WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC AREA (180 TO MALAY PENINSULA):
   A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY:
      (1) AT 010000Z, TROPICAL STORM 03W (FAXAI) WAS LOCATED NEAR
8.4N 149.5E, APPROXIMATELY 418 NM SOUTHEAST OF ANDERSEN AFB, AND HAD
TRACKED EAST-SOUTHEASTWARD AT 03 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 35 KNOTS GUSTING
TO 45 KNOTS. SEE REF A (WTPN31 PGTW 010300) FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
      (2) NO OTHER TROPICAL CYCLONES.
   B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY: NONE.

South Pacific Ocean
2. SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA TO 135 EAST):
   A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY:
      (1) AT 281800Z, TROPICAL CYCLONE 16P (SIXTEEN) WAS LOCATED
NEAR 17.6S 178.9W, APPROXIMATELY 157 NM EAST OF SUVA, FIJI, AND HAD
TRACKED SOUTH-SOUTHEASTWARD AT 09 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 35 KNOTS GUSTING
TO 45 KNOTS. SEE REF B (WTPS31 PGTW 282100) FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
      (2) NO OTHER TROPICAL CYCLONES.
   B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
      (1) AN AREA OF CONVECTION HAS PERSISTED NEAR 11.4S 156.8E,
APPROXIMATELY 490 NM NORTHEAST OF WILLIS ISLAND, AUSTRALIA. ANIMATED
MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY DEPICTS FLARING CONVECTION NEAR A
BROAD LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC). A 282322Z METOP-A
MICROWAVE IMAGE REVEALS THE BULK OF THE DEEP CONVECTIVE BANDING IS
DISPLACED WEST OF A WELL-DEFINED LLCC, AS EVIDENT IN A 282319Z ASCAT
PASS SHOWING A 15 TO 20 KNOT CIRCULATION. UPPER-LEVEL ANALYSIS
INDICATES THE DISTURBANCE IS LOCATED IN AN AREA OF MODERATE 20-KNOT
EASTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AND FAIR OUTFLOW. SEA SURFACE
TEMPERATURES NEAR 29 DEGREES CELSIUS ALSO FAVOR DEVELOPMENT.
NUMERICAL MODELS INDICATE TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION WITHIN THE NEXT
TWO TO THREE DAYS. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT
15 TO 20 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR
1006 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL
CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS LOW."

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #105 on: March 01, 2014, 07:12:28 PM »
For those who want to check on the most current status of the tropical storms/cyclones in the Western Pacific, you can periodically check the earth wind map at the following link; which currently shows the status illustrated by the attached image which indicates clearly formed eye-walls for both FAXAI and KOFI confirming their Tropical Storm/Cyclone status; and which also shows the new tropical disturbance near 158E - 11S (which is projected to become a Tropical Cyclone in the next few days).

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-183.30,7.72,303
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #106 on: March 01, 2014, 11:03:14 PM »
Over in the Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 thread (Science folder), both crandles and Bruce Steele noted that during both of the most recent past Super El Ninos (1982-1983 and 1997-1998) that the MEI was negative early in the first year, probably as a result of large Kelvin waves at the beginning of both events:


monthly MEI
1982   -0.284  -0.146   0.086  -0.041   0.407   0.951   1.622    1.83   1.796   2.024   2.454   2.411
1983    2.689   2.904   3.039   2.876   2.556   2.167   1.725   1.122   0.428   0.002  -0.176  -0.177

1997   -.491   -.607   -.254   .493   1.119   2.307   2.741   2.994   2.999   2.358   2.517   2.316
1998   2.481   2.777   2.748   2.673   2.169   1.129   .258   -.441   -.668   -.848   -1.171   -1.015


http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/mei.data
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:05:07 AM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Bruce Steele

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 127
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #107 on: March 01, 2014, 11:10:13 PM »
Most of the pmel.NOAA  TAO buoys are currently not sending info but two of them at 110W and 155W still are working. The cold pool in the equatorial eastern pacific is ventilating Co2 with ~ 700 ppm surface water pCO2.
at the 110 W buoy. The last month has had Co2 levels that are the highest in the recording history of that buoy. If 110 W keeps working those high Co2 levels should drop as warm water suppresses the cold upwelled water should the El Nino develop over the next several months.
 Will the Mauna Loa Co2 records deviate from trend due to this change in ocean ventilation or does the anthropogenic signal totally dominate ?  Hope 110W holds in there for the next few months. 

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/TAO+0%C2%B0%2C+110%C2%B0W

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/TAO+0%C2%B0%2C+155%C2%B0W


AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #108 on: March 01, 2014, 11:54:10 PM »
Bruce,

Your last post about CO2 ventilation from cool Pacific water is very interesting. 

While a different El Nino phenomenon is addressed in the following link which leads to an article that presents a theory explaining: "Why does El Niño always peak around Christmas and end quickly by February to April?"


http://phys.org/news/2013-05-rhythm-el-nino.html


The first attached image is from the article and has the following caption:

"This is a schematic figure for the suggested generation mechanism of the combination tone: The annual cycle (Tone 1), together with the El Niño sea surface temperature anomalies (Tone 2) produce the combination tone. Credit: Malte Stuecker"


The second image is the NOAA North Pacific forecast for March 5 2014, which projects that Tropical Storm FAXAI will grow to have sustained wind speeds of 50 knots, and will be positioned near 22N and 156E by March 5th.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2510
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 93
  • Likes Given: 47
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #109 on: March 02, 2014, 12:28:45 AM »
Meanwhile, the ensemble mean at
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/imagesInd3/nino34Sea.gif
isn't getting to weak el nino 0.5 level until October.

using data to 8 Feb:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/imagesInd1/nino34Sea.gif
it was getting there as early as May.

suggesting quite a bit longer in neutral territory.

With a Spring/May barrier to forecasting such swings are possible and could of course swing back again... or not....or ....

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #110 on: March 02, 2014, 01:54:38 AM »
crandles,

I really enjoy reading your posts, and it is an excellent point that you are making that we all need to remember that this is a volatile time of year with regards to ENSO forecasting. 

On the other hand, the first tropical storms/cyclones that I have been referring to did not form until the afternoon of Feb 28, therefore it seems likely that the ensemble mean forecast using initial conditions from Feb 19 to Feb 28, does not include the influence of the series of tropical storms (NH) and tropical cyclones (SH) that the Albany University projects out until March 8.  It will be interesting to see the ensemble mean projections in a couple of weeks time.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

deep octopus

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 551
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #111 on: March 02, 2014, 02:06:30 AM »
Reading Wunderground comments on the present weather patterns of the past few months in the United States, especially in the context of their El Niño discussion, has jogged some thoughts (anecdotal, nonetheless.) Winter 2013-2014 has so far, along the eastern United States, behaved as though in a positive/warm PDO phase. We're seeing by far more precipitation (snow, in particular) than what we have seen in winters 2010-2011, 2011-2012, or 2012-2013, in addition to the dichotomous temperature set-up where the eastern US is cooler than average while Pacific North America is much warmer than average. This is typical in warm PDO years. The mild, relatively dry winters of 2010 through 2013 were reminiscent of La Niña/cool PDO, and were followed by similarly hot summers (2010 to 2012, especially). But this year has seen a dramatic shift.

I believe this set-up is looking to persist for much of 2014, if NOAA's ensemble forecasts for a cool spring along the eastern US hold. The eastern US seen similar set ups like this as precursors to El Niño before. In 1997, 2003, 2004, and 2009, we had cool, wet springs and summers, followed by El Niños of varying intensities. I realize this is somewhat oversimplifying the trends, and is not a predictor of El Niño, but I cannot help but notice these changes and their points in time. La Niña years are typically warm and dry for the southeastern US: 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2012 are key examples. The summer months prior to a developing El Niño are often wet and cool, while summers immediately tapering from El Niño (perhaps in part as a result of El Niños typically, quickly transitioning to La Niña shortly afterwards) are hot and volatile periods. Just some thoughts from my corner of the world. I'll be curious from a personal standpoint (should El Niño arrive by summer), how conditions appear prior to such an event. It would certainly support my hunches if this should be the case...

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #112 on: March 02, 2014, 05:30:54 AM »
The first attached image is from NOAA (see following link) compares the MEI index for the largest seven past El Nino events with the last meaningful El Nino event from 2009-2010.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

And I would like to note that the article at the re-posted following link indicates that on average El Nino events happen about 5-years apart, and five years from 2009-2010 is 2014-2015, which provides some limited support for the idea that we are headed for a two-year El Nino event.  Furthermore, deep octopus states that: "The eastern US seen similar set ups like this as precursors to El Niño before. In 1997, 2003, 2004, and 2009, we had cool, wet springs and summers, followed by El Niños of varying intensities."  As these particular El Nino events are all roughly 5-years apart (if you group 2003-2004 into one event), this supports that idea that following the 2009-2010 event we are primed for a 2014-2015 El Nino event:

http://phys.org/news/2013-05-rhythm-el-nino.html

The second attached image of the March 9 2014 forecast from the Albany University shows that the westerlies may penetrate well into the Eastern Pacific by that date.  Which may keep feeding energy in to the Kelvin wave.

Finally, I would like to say that after thinking about Bruce Steele's post that TAO buoy 110W has just reported the highest CO₂ readings in its history; which indicates to me that the upwelling in the Eastern Pacific is stronger than in many years; which supports the idea that a very strong Kelvin wave is moving across the Pacific.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #113 on: March 02, 2014, 02:54:48 PM »
While keeping in mind crandles' reminder that we are currently in a period of uncertainty (and volatility) with regard to ENSO forecast; nevertheless, I offer the following updated information and thoughts about what I see as the increasing probability of an El Nino event by late Spring or early Summer:

The first attached image from the linked NOAA website, uses satellite measurements of tropical Pacific sea level to show the location of the Kelvin wave on Feb 22 2014 (centered on the 10cm anomaly area in the image near the equator at the international dateline).  This Kelvin wave is moving eastward, and is in a location that should receive energy from the westerly winds forecast by the AlbanyU; however, I would like to note that the AlbanyU forecast for March 9 (so somewhat unreliable) has the trade winds increasing along the equator east of the dateline.

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

The second attached image shows the Cyclocane tropical storm forecast issued on March 2 2014; and this forecast shows increase areas of tropical disturbance with increasing probabilities of tropical storms/cyclone; which are very much in keeping with the AlbanyU forecasts.  Also, note that for the area near 10S and 160E, what was a tropical disturbance yesterday is now a tropical low pressure system.  Also, FAXAI and KOFI are still strengthening, but are both moving away from the equator, thus they are both having less influence on the Kelvin wave.

The Australian BoM should release an update on the MJO status in a few days, so we will soon see whether that factor remains strong, and that same report normally gives an update on the condition of the monsoon trough in the Tropical Pacific.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #114 on: March 02, 2014, 03:24:44 PM »
The following gets back to wili's question about the consequences of El Nino events (and my idea of quasi-static equilibrium climate states ratched upwards by strong El Nino events), and information comes from Jim Hunt, in the AVOID thread in the Science folder:

"He may also have been thinking of some of the work of Prof. Peter Cox, such as "Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model"
Quote
We find that under a `business as usual' scenario, the terrestrial biosphere acts as an overall carbon sink until about 2050, but turns into a source thereafter. By 2100, the ocean uptake rate of 5 Gt C yr-1 is balanced by the terrestrial carbon source, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations are 250 p.p.m.v. higher in our fully coupled simulation than in uncoupled carbon models, resulting in a global-mean warming of 5.5 K, as compared to 4 K
without the carbon-cycle feedback.


not to mention:

During El Nino conditions the model simulates an increase in atmospheric CO2; this increase results from the terrestrial biosphere acting as a large source (especially in Amazonia), which is only partially offset by a reduced outgassing from the tropical Pacific Ocean."

The above quote from Dr Peter Cox indicates that during an El Nino: (a) on average there is drying in tropical rain forests (including Amazonia) which both reduces CO₂ absorption and increases CO₂ release from dying forests (also note that more drying in the tropical rain forest corresponds with more rainfall in the oceans and thus temporary eustatic SLR during an El Nino); and (b) as we saw from Bruce Steele's post a warming of the tropical Pacific during an El Nino means temporarily less CO₂ release from that area of the ocean.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #115 on: March 02, 2014, 06:53:17 PM »
The following reference brings into better focus the seriousness of the issue of last post, in that El Nino events on average induce drought conditions in most tropical rainforests (see attached image), as the reference looked at about 50-years of data and found "a two-fold increase of carbon cycle sensitivity to tropical temperature variations" primarily due to droughts.  As the average carbon cycle sensitivity of tropical lands is twice what our models are assuming, and we have been in a 15-year period without any strong El Nino events (due to the negative PDO); we can all well imagine what combine global warming and increasingly frequent strong El Nino events will do to the tropical rainforests for the coming positive phase of the PDO.  Also, remember that in the future when we transition to a negative PDO phase again, all that dead wood in the drought stricken tropical rainforests will be submerged in rain run-off causing more methane emissions (with a GWP 35 times that of carbon dioxide):


Xuhui Wang, Shilong Piao, Philippe Ciais, Pierre Friedlingstein, Ranga B. Myneni, Peter Cox, Martin Heimann, John Miller, Shushi Peng, Tao Wang, Hui Yang & Anping Chen, (2014), "A two-fold increase of carbon cycle sensitivity to tropical temperature variations", Nature, 506, 212–215, doi:10.1038/nature12915


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7487/full/nature12915.html#extended-data


Abstract: "Earth system models project that the tropical land carbon sink will decrease in size in response to an increase in warming and drought during this century, probably causing a positive climate feedback. But available data are too limited at present to test the predicted changes in the tropical carbon balance in response to climate change. Long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide data provide a global record that integrates the interannual variability of the global carbon balance. Multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that most of this variability originates in the terrestrial biosphere. In particular, the year-to-year variations in the atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rate (CGR) are thought to be the result of fluctuations in the carbon fluxes of tropical land areas. Recently, the response of CGR to tropical climate interannual variability was used to put a constraint on the sensitivity of tropical land carbon to climate change. Here we use the long-term CGR record from Mauna Loa and the South Pole to show that the sensitivity of CGR to tropical temperature interannual variability has increased by a factor of 1.9 ± 0.3 in the past five decades. We find that this sensitivity was greater when tropical land regions experienced drier conditions. This suggests that the sensitivity of CGR to interannual temperature variations is regulated by moisture conditions, even though the direct correlation between CGR and tropical precipitation is weak. We also find that present terrestrial carbon cycle models do not capture the observed enhancement in CGR sensitivity in the past five decades. More realistic model predictions of future carbon cycle and climate feedbacks require a better understanding of the processes driving the response of tropical ecosystems to drought and warming."


The caption for the attached image is (where CGR is "Carbon dioxide Growth Rate):

"CGR anomalies are from Mauna Loa Observatory and local MAT anomalies were derived from the CRU data set for the period 1960–2011. The correlation coefficients 0.23 and 0.28 are the critical thresholds at significance levels of 0.10 and 0.05 (n = 52), respectively."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #116 on: March 02, 2014, 11:55:07 PM »
I thought that some people would be interested in the latest status report on Tropical Storm 03W FAXAI, which comes from the following Stars & Strips website:

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/pacific-storm-tracker/pacific-storm-tracker-1.257110/tropical-storm-03w-faxai-4-1.270382

"1:15 a.m. Monday, March 3, Guam time: Finally, Tropical Storm Faxai appears to be gaining some direction definition, starting to move north and now appears as if she (Laotian lady's name) will pass further east of Guam than previous projections.

 Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest advisory now forecasts Faxai to pick up forward speed and track 325 miles east of Andersen Air Force Base by 7 p.m. Monday, packing significant tropical storm-strength winds of 63-mph sustained and 81-mph gusts as it passes east of the island. Local forecasts say tropical storm-strength winds extend 70 miles from Faxai's center.

 PST will advise of any changes. No watches or warnings are in effect at this time.

Tropical Storm 03W (Faxai), # 3

7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 2, Guam time: What a strange ride this is becoming. The center of Tropical Storm Faxai has traveled in a complete circle over the last three days. It remains nearly 400 miles southeast of Guam, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest forecast track has Faxai peaking at Category 1-equivalent strength, 75-mph sustained winds and 92-mph gusts, early Tuesday. JTWC also has Faxai tracking some 225 miles east of Andersen Air Force Base at about 2 a.m. Tuesday. Local forecasts say tropical-storm winds extend about 70 miles outward from storm's center. No watches or warnings are in effect for Guam at this time. Everything depends on whether and when steering influences will push Faxai onto a northerly path. As always, PST will keep a sharp eye on things."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #117 on: March 03, 2014, 12:59:41 AM »

The first attached image shows the latest Albany University forecast for March 10, 2014, indicating continued strong westerlies around 10S at least up to the dateline, which should push the tail end of the Kelvin wave.

The second image from the following NOAA website, shows the eastward propagation of the MJO from March 2 until April 11, 2014.  This eastward propagation indicates that the Kelvin wave should continue to receive energy input well past the March 10th condition indicated in the first attached image.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wd52qz/mjo/chi/ewp.gif

After April the official typhoon season begins in the western North Pacific, so it is possible that after April Super Typhoons might feed energy into any El Nino event that might (or might not) have initiated by then.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

werther

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 727
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #118 on: March 03, 2014, 08:41:20 AM »
Thanks ASLR, for all the info.
I'm wondering whether and, if so, the developing phase change in the Pacific could have anything in relation with the surprising stalling of tropospheric CO2 content. The measurements at Mauna Loa have been almost constant for at least six weeks now.
I've checked the graphs Oct 81-Feb 82 and the same for 96-97. The initial phases of the earlier large El Nino's. The Mauna Loa graphs show only limited stalling near the end of Feb for these periods.
It seems impossible for cold upwelling in front of the Kelvin wave to act as a temporary CO2-sink, large enough to induce the measured stalling.
Which other factors could play a role?


AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #119 on: March 03, 2014, 02:11:03 PM »
werther,

As numerous posters on this thread have noted, both El Nino and the PDO affect weather worldwide, and that many of these changes are already occurring [eg.: deep octopus cites changes in North America, while the attached earth wind map of the Southern Pacific and the Southern Ocean show: (a) telecommunication of warm tropical air from the Southern Pacific directly into the Western Antarctic; and (b) a reduction of wind supporting the Humboldt Current that heads north along the Chilean coast, and if the Humboldt Current is weakened, this will allow the Kelvin wave to split and head both north and south when it hits Peru].  Therefore, the effect of both the coming El Nino and the change of the PDO from negative to positive have more than local effects, such as: (a) the collapse of the "persistent" high pressure system over Mauna Loa may have changed the wind circulation patterns there, affecting how well mixed the air is over Mauna Loa [both Bruce Steele and AR4 cite local areas away from Mauna Loa will high carbon dioxide readings; (b) the transition from a negative to a positive PDO may have temporarily provided good growth conditions [sufficient water and sun] to the tropical rainforests to temporarily absorb carbon dioxide; and (c) cold upwelling actually releases carbon dioxide from the depths of the ocean, while the warm portion of the Kelvin wave would temporarily absorbing CO2 near the Western Pacific in the timeframe that you are talking about.

Finally, I am have not studied meteorology, and I am learning while I go.

Best,
ASLR

« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 03:52:19 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2589
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 163
  • Likes Given: 301
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #120 on: March 03, 2014, 03:00:20 PM »
Isn't warm water less able to 'absorb' atmospheric CO2?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

deep octopus

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 551
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #121 on: March 03, 2014, 03:26:50 PM »
More Kelvin wave imagery. We're beginning to see clear signs of a deepening thermocline to the east as cool upwelling water gets nudged out. Much warmer than average water is lifting to the surface.


AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #122 on: March 03, 2014, 03:51:40 PM »
wili,

There is a difference between warm/cold water and downwelling/upwelling and there is a difference between absorption and ventilation (perhaps Bruce Steele could explain this better than I).  The following link that Bruce Steele provided (see reply #107), shows that for the NOAA buoy at 110W (see deep octopus's prior graph) there were clear upwelling events of cold water near Feb 21-22 and near March 1-2 that brings up water with a high degree of CO2 saturation (near 750 ppm in the water) from the depths, which then can ventilate some of this CO2 to the atmosphere:

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/TAO+0%C2%B0%2C+110%C2%B0W

werther,

First, my posts are a little bit disjointed because of my schedule, but to follow-up on my last post I would like to add that:
(a) The first attached reposted image (from: http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/) that A4R cited in the Mauna Loa thread, for one week (Feb 20-26) of CO₂ measurement, that shows a 5.5-day period of flat CO₂ change, followed a sharp upward spike in the Mauna Loa readings on Feb 26 above 400ppm.  This implies both an atmospheric mixing issue, and a likely weather transition period.
(b) We should all remember we are following a non-stationary (changing) global warming trend, and the new weather/climate patterns (such as a possible 2014 El Nino event) will be different than the old patterns (such as the 1982 and 1997 years that initiated the last two Super El Ninos).
(c) The persistent high in the North Pacific built-up an associated anomalous high SST in this area; which might have affected the CO2 patterns around Mauna Loa.

deep octopus,

Your sequence tells quite a story!

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 03:56:54 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2589
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 163
  • Likes Given: 301
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #123 on: March 03, 2014, 04:19:42 PM »
Thanks, ASLR. I can certainly understand how cold water that is coming up from the depths might be super-saturated with CO2, but the part I was confused about was the idea of warm water absorbing more CO2 than relatively cooler water, as implied by your earlier post. The dynamics of these things are full of little unexpected surprises, so I was just hoping for more info on this one. Was it a source that you were looking at that suggested that the warm water would absorb more CO2?

Yes, any help from Bruce or anyone else would be appreciated.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Chuck Yokota

  • New ice
  • Posts: 83
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #124 on: March 03, 2014, 04:30:58 PM »

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #125 on: March 03, 2014, 04:45:40 PM »
wili,

In my earlier post I had meant to say that areas of downwelling can temporarily sequester some CO2 into the deep ocean water (just like upwelling cold water can vent CO2); however, I don't think that I actually said that in my earlier post, and I am too distracted to find my old post to correct what I actual said (if you tell me the reply # I will go back and correct what I actually said).

werther,

Continuing my disjointed points about changing ENSO patterns and also Global ENSO interactions:

(A) The following reference indicates that the ENSO dynamics since the 1970's cannot be explained by simple extrapolations of past frequencies and amplitudes.  This supports the idea that changes in the Earth System as a whole (eg the Southern Ocean/Atmospheric system was seriously effected by the formation of an ozone hole over Antarctica in the 1970's, and increasing GHG concentrations worldwide are contributing directly to this trend of changes in the ENSO dynamics):

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50264/abstract

The 1970's shift in ENSO dynamics: A linear inverse model perspective; Christopher M. Aiken, Agus Santoso, Shayne McGregor, & Matthew H. England; Geophysical Research Letters; Volume 40, Issue 8, pages 1612–1617, 28 April 2013; DOI: 10.1002/grl.50264

Abstract:
"Inverse methods are used to investigate whether the observed changes in El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) character since the 1970's climate shift are consistent with a change in the linear ENSO dynamics. Linear Inverse Models (LIMs) are constructed from tropical sea surface temperature (SST), thermocline depth, and zonal wind stress anomalies from the periods 1958–1977 and 1978–1997. Each LIM possesses a single eigenmode that strongly resembles the observed ENSO in frequency and phase propagation character over the respective periods. Extended stochastically forced simulations using these and the LIM from the combined period are then used to test the hypothesis that differences in observed ENSO character can be reproduced without changes in the linear ENSO dynamics. The frequency and amplitude variations of ENSO seen in each period can be reproduced by any of the three LIMs. However, changes in the direction of zonal SST anomaly propagation in the equatorial Pacific cannot be explained within the paradigm of a single autonomous stochastically forced linear system. This result is suggestive of a possible fundamental change in the dynamical operator governing ENSO and supports the utility of zonal phase propagation, rather than ENSO frequency or amplitude, for diagnosing changes in ENSO dynamics."

(B) The following linked reference makes it clear that the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave, ACW, and the global ENSO wave, GEW, reinforce each other by positive feedback mechanisms:

White, W. B., S.-C. Chen, R. J. Allan, and R. C. Stone, Positive feedbacks between the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave and the global El Niño–Southern Oscillation Wave, J. Geophys. Res., 107(C10), 3165, doi:10.1029/2000JC000581, 2002.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2000JC000581/abstract

Abstract
"Atmospheric and oceanic teleconnections link the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW) in the Southern Ocean [White and Peterson, 1996] and the global El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) wave (GEW) in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean [White and Cayan, 2000], both signals characterized by eastward phase propagation and 3- to 5-year- period variability. We extend the tropical standing mode of ENSO into the extratropics by regressing the Niño-3 sea surface temperature (SST) index against sea level pressure (SLP) anomalies over the globe, finding the Pacific-South America (PSA) pattern in SLP anomaly [Cai and Baines, 2001] straddling Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean. The amplitude of this PSA pattern is ∼1/3 that of the ACW in this domain and thus cannot be considered its principal driver. On the other hand, suppressing the tropical standing mode of ENSO in interannual ST (surface temperature) and SLP anomalies over the globe allows the GEW to be observed much more readily, whereupon its eastward phase propagation across the Warm Pool is found to remotely force the ACW in the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic sectors of the Southern Ocean through atmospheric teleconnections [Sardeshmukh and Hoskins, 1988] which propagate along with it. Subsequently, the ACW propagates this imposed GEW signal throughout the remainder of the Southern Ocean as a coupled wave in covarying ST and SLP anomalies, whereupon entering the Indian sector 1.5 to 2.5 years later it spawns a northern branch which takes another 1.5 to 2.5 years to propagate the ACW signal equatorward into the Warm Pool south of Indonesia. There it interferes constructively with the GEW. Thus the two forms of teleconnection, one fast and directed from the tropics to the high southern latitudes via the atmosphere and the other slow and directed from the high southern latitudes to the tropics via the ocean, complete a global circuit of 3- to 5-year duration that reinforces both the ACW and GEW and influences the tropical standing mode of ENSO."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #126 on: March 03, 2014, 04:59:10 PM »
wili,

Perhaps this quote from Dr Peter Cox will help to clarify this matter:

"During El Nino conditions the model simulates an increase in atmospheric CO2; this increase results from the terrestrial biosphere acting as a large source (especially in Amazonia), which is only partially offset by a reduced outgassing from the tropical Pacific Ocean."

This statement indicates that in upwelling dominated states like negative PDO periods (and La Nina events), CO2 outgasses (vents) from upwelled deeper waters; but during downwelling dominated states like positive PDO periods (and El Nino events) this outgassing is reduced (which was the point that I was trying to make, but you are correct that warm water does absorb less C02 in static conditions). 

However, timing is a key issue in interpreting responses to non-stationary conditions with multiple oscillations super-imposed on a global warming trend, also with multiple feedback mechanisms, all with different response rates and initial phase conditions.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #127 on: March 03, 2014, 05:14:12 PM »
Werther,

As additional background to the White et al (2002) explanation of the propagating global ENSO wave, I provide the following:


White, W. B., and D. R. Cayan (2000), A global El Niño-Southern Oscillation wave in surface temperature and pressure and its interdecadal modulation from 1900 to 1997, J. Geophys. Res., 105(C5), 11223–11242, doi:10.1029/1999JC900246.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/1999JC900246/abstract

Abstract: "Zonal wavenumber frequency spectra of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies along the equator in the Indo-Pacific basin for the 98 years from 1900 to 1997 and of surface temperature (ST) and sea level pressure (SLP) anomalies extending around the globe along 10°N for the 48 years from 1950 to 1997 display significant peak spectral energy density for standing and eastward propagating waves of 3–7 year periods and 120°–360° zonal wavelengths. The global standing wave is the familiar Southern Oscillation, but the global propagating wave represents a new paradigm for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Global distributions of the phase velocities for this global ENSO wave finds covarying SLP and ST anomalies propagating eastward along the mean path of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), with the global zonal wavenumber 1 (2) component taking ∼4 (6) years to cross the tropical Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans at a zonal average speed of 90° (60°) longitude per year. Along this path the interannual SST and SLP anomalies are directly out of phase. Since thermocline depth anomalies underneath the ITCZ in the Pacific Ocean propagate westward [White et al. 1985], we view the global ENSO wave as a slow coupled SST wave trapped onto the ITCZ. Separating the global ENSO wave from the Southern Oscillation using complex empirical orthogonal function analysis finds the amplitude of the propagating wave to be half that of the standing wave, with the former (latter) accounting for one third (two thirds) of the interannual variability in Niño-3 SST and SLP indices during the 1980s. The global ENSO wave is shown to be responsible for the eastward propagation of covarying zonal surface wind and thermocline depth anomalies across the equatorial Pacific Ocean and through this mechanism is able to influence both the phasing and intensity of El Niño. Examining the persistence of the global ENSO wave from 1900 to 1997 finds it and the intensity of El Niño in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean modulated by interdecadal change. Both were strong (weak or absent) during decades of global tropical cooling (warming)."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Bruce Steele

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 127
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #128 on: March 03, 2014, 05:44:45 PM »
The different Co2 content of the upwelled or  downwelled water is due to it's different sources. The intermediate water upwelled under normal conditions in the eastern equatorial pacific is older water that has accumulated Co2 due to bacterial decomposition of organic matter. Organic matter is
ballasted by calcium carbonate and sinks till it hits the saturation horizon which is at intermediate depths in the pacific. Once the calcium carbonate dissolves the organic surface supplied material is remineralized by bacteria.  The warm water in the graphs above are downwelled in the western pacific. These waters are much younger and haven't spent much time at depth so they don't have the high Co2 content.
 Under normal conditions the eastern equatorial pacific contributes about 72% of all oceanic Co2 ventilation. When the warm western supplied water is pushed to the surface by the Kelvin wave is suppresses the cold high Co2 water and because the cold water no longer has surface contact with the atmosphere it stops ventilating. So the immediate effects of an El Nino are a reduction in natural supplies of oceanic derived Co2 but later as drought and terrestrial  conditions increase the terrestrial supplies of Co2 dominate.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel1868/feel1868.shtml

deep octopus

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 551
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #129 on: March 03, 2014, 05:53:48 PM »
A substantial jump in the warm water volume (WWV) across the Pacific basin, to its highest point since 2002, is a red flag. Niño 3.4 lags WWV/upper ocean heat content buildups by a few months.





It's not clear from the graph why they show a 5-month average higher than the peak in 2002, given the monthly data. Nevertheless, the most recent monthly data shows the volume of water (that is, the the total size of the equatorial Pacific that is warmer than 20 C compared to the average) that is tied with the peak of 2002, and a continuation of this trend would signal the largest WWV since 1997. Similar points were reached in late 1982 and early 1990. Late 1991 comes close, by not quite as high as present. Whereas 1990 did not result in an official El Niño (albeit, warm conditions persisted through 1990, 1991, and culminated in a strong El Niño in 1991/1992), the other years did experience El Niños of sorts. In 1982 and 1997, super El Niños resulted, 1991 spawned into a strong El Niño, and 2002 turned into a weak-to-moderate El Niño in early 2003.

From Meinen and McPhaden (2000).

Quote
It can also be noted that extrema in WWV precede extrema in Niño-3 SST by several months. Correlation analysis indicates that the peak correlation (r = 0.70) occurs with SST lagging WWV by seven months

...

It is apparent that in general, the larger magnitude anomalies of WWV along the equator correspond
to larger SST anomalies. There is an interesting asymmetry, however, in this relationship. For a given magnitude of WWV anomaly, positive values are associated with subsequent warm El Niño SST anomalies while negative values are associated with subsequent cold La Niña SST anomalies that are not as large as their warm counterparts.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 06:49:52 PM by deep octopus »

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #130 on: March 03, 2014, 06:54:13 PM »
First, the article at the following website (and the first attached graph) show that El Nino events are becoming more active (almost certainly due to anthropogenic warming):

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-el-nino-unusually-late-20th.html

The caption for the attached first image is:
"This graph shows El Niño variability derived from tree rings (blue) and instrumental measurements (red). The dashed lines indicate boundary for natural variability. Recent El Niño behavior is largely beyond natural variability. Credit: International Pacific Research Center"

The second attached image shows that if the South Pacific wind pattern changes from their normal consider shown in the figure (and the earth wind map shows that they have changed), and if the ACC (Antarctic Circumpolar Current) changes (due to both the ozone hole and variations in SAM), that the Humboldt Current flow can be reduced so that when the Kelvin wave hits Peru it will have an easy time establishing El Nino conditions.

PS: Bruce Steele, thanks for the great explanation in reply #128 about CO2 ventilation.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 06:59:26 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #131 on: March 03, 2014, 08:49:42 PM »
Attached is the Albany University forecast for March 11, showing the westerlies being pushed southward apparently by the trade winds extending back to the international date line near the equator (we will have to see whether this long-range forecast holds).
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

werther

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 727
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #132 on: March 03, 2014, 09:57:01 PM »
Thanks Bruce, DO, ASLR, for the continued great info and vision.
I haven't the energy to study your posts and the links better than just superficially at the moment.
But I did project the Warm Water Volume graph in CAD and saw the peak WWV followed by the 97-98 El Nino was around March '97. The present value fell about 2 months earlier then.
Anyway, what I'm taking in is more confirmation on a) the progressively unique character of the intertwined aspects of the biosphere b) there's at least a large possibility of a strong El Nino in the near future. That's going to be a ride at +400 ppm CO2!

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #133 on: March 03, 2014, 10:47:02 PM »
The following research might be a little bit old, but it is still interesting:

The first attached figure shows an Antarctic Circumpolar Wave, ACW, pattern of alternating warm and cold sea surface temperatures, SSTs.  As discussed in the linked reference from the Los Alamos National Laboratory; the ACW in the Southern Ocean appears to have a dominate influence on the ENSO.

http://www.ees.lanl.gov/staff/cal/acen.html

Antarctic Circumpolar Wave and El Nino
Chung-Chieng "Aaron" Lai and Zhen Huang
"Abstract
El Nino in the tropical eastern Pacific has profound consequences for weather around the globe. It occurs aperiodically (usually in the 2- to 9-year time frame). Prediction of El Nino events is now the focus of a major scientific initiative. The societal impacts of accurately forecasting El Nino up to a year in advance are huge, allowing economic and agricultural policy makers to adapt to short-term climate fluctuation in a beneficial way.
The El Nino cycle is the largest source of interannual climate variability on a global scale. At present, researchers know the sequence of phenomena once an El Nino event begins. But, if we want to predict El Nino events, we must know what the trigger is and where it comes from.
The cause of the El Nino cycle has been investigated extensively. So far, however, there is no overall theory that can explain all aspects of the event. An understanding of the complex processes at work to produce El Nino requires information about phenomena occurring all across the Pacific, not just its eastern boundary, the west coast of South America. Present theory says that the weakening of Walker Circulation leads to an El Nino. This happens once some water mass with warmer (than normal) sea-surface temperature (SST) comes into the eastern Pacific. But where does that water mass come from?
We hypothesize that the source of that water mass is the Southeast Pacific as part of the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean contains the strong eastward flow of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Recent investigations have found an Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW). The SST anomalies associated with an ACW propagate eastward with the circumpolar flow, with a period of from 4 to 5 years and taking 8 to 10 years to encircle the South Pole. The water mass with warmer (than normal) SST is a spinoff from the ACW on the ACC. Northward-flowing Humboldt (Peru) Currents transmit the water mass towards the equator.
The main objective of this research is to expand our knowledge in the interannual climate variations that might be attributed to El Nino and ACW cycles. This will help us understand not only the complex processes at work to produce El Nino but also the role of the ACW in the global climate system. The goals of this research are (1) to answer key questions related to the occurrence, triggering mechanism, and aperiodicity of El Nino, and (2) to understand the origination of and the atmospheric and oceanic processes in the ACW".

The caption for the second attached image is: "Simplified schematic summary of interannual variation in sea-surface temperature (Warm and Cold), atmospheric sea-level pressure (bold H and L), meridional wind stress (denoted by MWS), and sea-ice extent (grey lines), together with the mean course of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Heavy black arrows depict the general eastward motion of anomalies, and other arrows indicate communications between the circumpolar current and the more northerly subtropical gyres."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #134 on: March 03, 2014, 11:44:46 PM »
As a follow-on to deep octopus' post about the predictive use of the warm water volume (WWV) in forecasting ENSO events, I provide the following linked reference on this topic and how the relationship between WWV and ENSO is changing:

Lucia Bunge and Allan J. Clarke, (2014), "On the warm water volume and its changing relationship with ENSO",  Journal of Physical Oceanography, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-13-062.1

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JPO-D-13-062.1


Abstract: "Interannual equatorial Pacific 20°C isotherm depth variability since 1980 is dominated by two empirical orthogonal function (EOF) modes: The ‘tilt’ mode, having opposite signs in the eastern and western equatorial Pacific and in phase with zonal wind forcing and El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indices; and a second EOF mode of one sign across the Pacific. Because the tilt mode is of opposite sign in the eastern and western equatorial Pacific while the second EOF mode is of one sign, the second mode has been associated with the warm water volume (WWV), defined as the volume of water above the 20°C isotherm from 5°S–5°N, 120°E–80W°. Past work suggested that the WWV led the tilt mode by about 2–3 seasons, making it an ENSO predictor. But after 1998 the lead has decreased and WWV-based predictions of ENSO have failed. We constructed a sea level-based WWV proxy back to 1955 and before 1973 it also exhibited a smaller lead. Analysis of data since 1980 showed that the decreased WWV lead is related to a marked increase in the tilt mode contribution to the WWV and a marked decrease in second mode EOF amplitude and its contribution. Both pre-1973 and post-1998 periods of reduced lead were characterized by “mean” La Niña-like conditions including a westward displacement of the anomalous wind forcing. According to recent theory, and consistent with observations, such westward displacement increases the tilt mode contribution to the WWV and decreases the second mode amplitude and its WWV contribution."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #135 on: March 04, 2014, 01:16:20 AM »
I think that the attached figure of SST and wind anomalies in the equatorial Pacific from pmel (see link below) for the five-day mean ending on March 2, 2014, complements the GODAS temperature anomaly sequence (that ends on Feb 27) that deep octopus provided in reply #121, and gives a rough idea how far to the east the Kelvin wave has traveled as of just before March 2nd (bearing in mind that the warm SST lags behind the main submerged mass of the Kelvin wave):

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/sst_wind_anom_5day_ps32.gif
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #136 on: March 04, 2014, 01:57:57 AM »
In the way of general interest, the following link provides satellite data measured during the birth of Tropical Storm FAXAI on Feb 27 2014

http://phys.org/news/2014-02-nasa-rainfall-birth-tropical-storm.html

The following link provides a local news update for March 3rd about Tropical Storm FAXAI, saying that it is forecast to just miss Guam, and showing the unusual storm track with a loop (see the attached image):

http://www.pacificnewscenter.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42693:video-tropical-storm-faxai-blowing-by-guam-tonight-more-than-300-miles-east-little-impact-expected&catid=45:guam-news&Itemid=156
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #137 on: March 04, 2014, 02:10:16 AM »
I thought that I would post this earth wind map for March 3 2014 focused on the trade winds in the Eastern Pacific (note the green little circle is positioned at 1.65S and about 140E for reference).  In this image it seems to me that the trade winds around 5S & 140E is being diverted due south, which should make it easier for the Kelvin wave to pass this far east.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2589
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 163
  • Likes Given: 301
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #138 on: March 04, 2014, 05:29:00 AM »
Thanks all for the info on CO2 interactions.

NOAA is out with its weekly update, which looks pretty much unchanged from last week's, as far as I can tell:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

Still expecting El Nino by August to October (page 27).
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #139 on: March 04, 2014, 03:04:59 PM »
Getting back to the topic of consequences, the attached three images (the first: La Nina; the second: Normal; and the third: El Nino, conditions) from the linked pmel website together with R. Gates' succinct summary, both below, indicate the important of the downward shift of the thermocline in the eastern Pacific during an El Nino event in releasing both latent and sensible heat from the ocean to the troposphere.  With global warming rapidly increasing the ocean heat content and the frequency of Super El Nino events projected to increase with global warming; I would say that we should not rely our experience from the past century, or so, to guides us in what to expect from the possible 2014-2015 Super El Nino, and other such possible future Super El Nino events:


http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/nino_normal.html

"We know the thermocline is lowered greatly in the eastern Pacific during an El Niño, and that warm water upwelling increases as the water is upwelled from above the lowered thermocline. This is quite literally a heat pump that sends both latent and sensible heat in larger quantities from ocean to troposphere. This is a big part of the reason for tropospheric temperature spikes during El Niños and the source of much of that heat came from warm water that was originally stored in the IPWP. Very careful measurements off the coast of Peru during El Niños have measured this warm water upwelling and the resultant tropospheric temperature increases that result." (from: R. Gates, ASI Blog March 4, 2014)
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #140 on: March 04, 2014, 03:32:25 PM »
Further to my last post, the first two attached images (the first image shows the influence of warm low pressure systems on the transition from normal to El Nino conditions, while the second image shows the warm low pressure system in a La Nina condition)  emphasizes that the location of the warm-wet low pressure tropical storm systems plays a significant role in maintaining: (a) Normal, (b) El Nino, or (c) La Nina; conditions.

The third image (for March 4 2014 6am Zulu time) shows that the tropical cloud cover has moved far out into the tropical Central Pacific (possibly due to the MJO migration), which may be setting up convective atmospheric circulation cells leading a transition to an El Nino condition:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #141 on: March 04, 2014, 04:21:25 PM »
wili,

Thanks for posting the link to the March 3, 2014 NOAA ENSO forecast.  As you note, it does not show much change from the last NOAA ENSO forecast; however, I would like to point out (as I pointed out to crandles a few days ago when he posted about the latest Nino3.4 forecast) that these NOAA forecasts are based on data prior to noon on March 1, 2014; while in regards to the information about positive feedback mechanisms from: (a) tropical storm/cyclone induced westerly wind bursts, wwb; (b) the MJO eastward migration; and (c) the eastward migration of the warm-wet tropical low pressure systems that effect the Walker Circulation; all of the most significant positive feedbacks from these mechanisms have occurred after noon on March 3rd; therefore, we will need to wait a few weeks to see the real impact of these mechanisms (not that even next week's forecast will average at least a couple of prior weeks behavior into the forecast, so we will need to wait at least two to three weeks to see a significant shift in the ENSO forecasts).  Even the warm water volume, WWV, data that deep octopus posted (which may lead ENSO shifts by about 3 months was from mid-January data, so again relatively high WWV data should not be reflected in the current NOAA ENSO forecast due to the lag in processing and posting the data).

Finally, I post the attached image from the NOAA March 3rd ENSO forecast of the subsurface temperature departures for the tropical Pacific, and I note that while this data is in line with the comparable sequence (see reply #121) that deep octopus posted the image for Feb 27 2014 shows that small zones of the submerged warm water may have temperature departures over 6 degrees C; which indicates just how strong this Kelvin wave is, and I imagine that its effect on SST in the tropical Central Pacific is helping to change the Walker Circulation pattern; thus creating positive feedback for an EL Nino shift.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #142 on: March 04, 2014, 09:59:24 PM »
The following is the Australian BoM statement about the MJO on March 4 2014.  This statement means that currently the MJO is acting to increase the probability of an El Nino event this Spring, and that it is not clear over the coming one to weeks whether it will maintain its strength, or become weaker, as it progresses eastward:

"Weekly Tropical Climate Note

Issued on Tuesday 4 March 2014

Madden-Julian Oscillation progresses across the Pacific

A break in the North Australian Monsoon continued over the past week, while active tropical convection has brought heavy rainfall and floods to some south Pacific Islands. Tropical cyclone Kofi passed near Fiji and Tonga over the weekend bringing gale force winds and heavy rains.

This week, the western equatorial Pacific Ocean features a pair of lows—slow moving tropical cyclone Faxia in the northern hemisphere and a tropical low south of the Solomon Islands that is forecast to move toward Australia's Cape York Peninsula in the coming days, potentially reaching tropical cyclone strength prior to crossing the coast.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) remains over the western Pacific Ocean and is moving into the western hemisphere. When the MJO is over the western hemisphere at this time of year it usually increases the risk of tropical cyclone formation in the South Pacific, and supresses tropical convection activity across the tropical Indian Ocean, the Maritime Continent and northern Australia. The MJO is forecast to continue eastward, but forecast models disagree about its strength. Some models predict a weakening of the signal within the next 10 to 14 days, while others maintain its strength. When the MJO weakens it has less influence on tropical weather."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #143 on: March 05, 2014, 01:22:31 AM »
The attached Albany University forecast for March 12 2014 was made today on March 4 2014.  This image shows the forecast of the concentration of vorticity near 20S at the international date line, which could be the beginnings of a new tropical cyclone, that could contribute new westerlies wind burst in the area.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #144 on: March 05, 2014, 02:23:06 AM »
The following linked reference (with a free access pdf) indicates that equilibrium climate sensitivity cannot be reliably estimated from transient climate observations due to such reasons a the changes in ENSO response due to global warming as demonstrated by Kosaka and Xie (2013), [see reference at the end of the post].  This implies that we cannot rely on the climate sensitivity values used in the CMIP5 projections to be accurate:


Rose BEJ, KC Armour, DS Battisti, N Feldl and DDB Koll (2014) The dependence of transient climate sensitivity and radiative feedbacks on the spatial pattern of ocean heat uptake, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, doi: 10.1002/2013GL058955


http://web.mit.edu/karmour/www/Rose_etal_GRL2014.pdf


Kosaka, Y., and S.-P. Xie (2013), Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling, Nature, 501, 403–407,
doi:10.1038/nature12534.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

werther

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 727
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #145 on: March 05, 2014, 10:30:15 AM »
I saw this at Wunderground:



Nothing definitive yet, but the plot is very interesting. On 0503 SOI has plummeted to -3.4 in a steep descent.

CraigsIsland

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 197
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #146 on: March 05, 2014, 04:26:32 PM »
Thank you contributors for the great posts; illustrative and informative!

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #147 on: March 05, 2014, 04:29:59 PM »
werther,

The figure that you attached of Pacific SST anomaly is very telling.  In the way of further support that the Pacific may be in the process of switching states (to an El Nino condition), I provide:

(a) the first attached earth wind map image shows that the current wind pattern in the South Pacific is such that it is partially blocking the northward winds that drive the Humboldt Current, which normally conveys cold Antarctic water northward along the coasts of Chile & Peru.  Thus a reduction in the strength of this cold current could contribute to the anomalously warm SST that you show off the coast of Peru/Ecuador (see also my posts #119 and #130).

(b) the second attached image shows of the equatorial Pacific Tropical Storm 48-hr forecast shows a high potential for an new tropical cyclone in the next few days near 15s and 155E, which could soon contribute another westerly wind burst in this area.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #148 on: March 06, 2014, 01:49:06 AM »
The following linked reference concludes that the minimum equilibrium climate sensitivity is significantly higher than 3 degrees C, due to the influence of convective atmospheric  mixing dehydrates the low-cloud layer in the tropics at a rate that increases as the climate warms.  It is my concern that when we combine the influence of both global warming and a Super El Nino on convective atmospheric mixing near the equator (possibly by late Fall of 2014), could the resulting local decrease in cloud cover temporarily drive climate sensitivity higher than expected, which could push some earth systems (say severe droughts in tropical rainforests, or say methane emissions from the permafrost) to "ratchet-up" to a more positive state from accelerating global warming faster than expected:


Steven C. Sherwood, Sandrine Bony & Jean-Louis Dufresne; "Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing", Nature; 505, pp 37–42; (02 January 2014), doi:10.1038/nature12829

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12829.html

Abstract:
"Equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the ultimate change in global mean temperature in response to a change in external forcing. Despite decades of research attempting to narrow uncertainties, equilibrium climate sensitivity estimates from climate models still span roughly 1.5 to 5 degrees Celsius for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, precluding accurate projections of future climate. The spread arises largely from differences in the feedback from low clouds, for reasons not yet understood. Here we show that differences in the simulated strength of convective mixing between the lower and middle tropical troposphere explain about half of the variance in climate sensitivity estimated by 43 climate models. The apparent mechanism is that such mixing dehydrates the low-cloud layer at a rate that increases as the climate warms, and this rate of increase depends on the initial mixing strength, linking the mixing to cloud feedback. The mixing inferred from observations appears to be sufficiently strong to imply a climate sensitivity of more than 3 degrees for a doubling of carbon dioxide. This is significantly higher than the currently accepted lower bound of 1.5 degrees, thereby constraining model projections towards relatively severe future warming."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17490
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 229
Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #149 on: March 06, 2014, 02:25:39 AM »
I am attaching this image to indicate: (a) the upper portion of the image shows that the rate of sea level rise, SLR, bifurcated around the time of the 1982-1983 Super El Nino from the previous rate of about 1.7mm/yr, and that after the 1997-1997 Super El Nino the rate of SLR was permanently changed to about 3.26mm/yr; and (b) most of the steric SLR contribution has occurred in the Southern Ocean, indicating significant telecommunication of energy form the tropical Pacific to the Southern Ocean during the time period covered by the lower portion of the image.

I am concerned that following the next nominally 15-yr positive PDO period that the rate of SLR may bifurcate permanently upward once again.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson