ENSO is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. The graph below shows running 12-month changes in the global temperature estimates provided by the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM CCI) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) , along with monthly Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) and Mauna Loa Apparent Solar Transmission (MLAST) provided by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The strongest El Niño events are noted with “EN” and typically correspond to global temperature estimates that are significantly higher than 12 months previous. The strongest La Niña events are labeled “LN”, as well as the two major stratospheric aerosol impacting volcanic events El Chichón and Pinatubo, and these events are typically associated with global temperatures that are significantly lower than 12 months previous. From October 2015 through April 2016, the 12-month changes was among the highest over the period of record beginning 1979, which is typical for a strong El Niño event. Notice that many of the strong El Niño events were followed by strong La Niña events peaking about a year or two later. So far, into early 2017, there has only been a hint of a very weak La Niña event following the 2015-2016 El Niño event.
A similar pattern can be seen in comparing the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) Temperature for the Lower Troposphere (TLT) change over 12 months versus the MEI as shown below.
Below are the latest comparisons of the 2015-2016 El Niño with the Great El Niño of 1997-1998. These graphs are updated monthly as soon as the latest monthly MEI estimate is released by NOAA. The graph below shows a times series of the monthly MEI values published by NOAA referenced to months beginning January 1997 for the 1997-1998 El Niño and beginning January 2015 for the current 2015-2016 El Niño. The MEI values are for a 2-month period ending with the month shown in the graph.
The graph below shows the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) monthly estimate of global temperature anomalies for the lower troposphere (TLT) for both El Niños referenced to the same time frame as the ENSO graph above.
Notice that the pattern in global TLT estimates lags by several months the ENSO pattern, which suggests that global TLT might continue to decline slightly in early 2017.
Below are contour maps provided by UM CCI showing estimated sea surface temperature anomalies globally for December 24 of 2016 and 1998 for comparison. Note that the baseline periods are not the same, with 1971-2000 for the 2016 map and 1979-2000 for the 1998 map, and this may cause some small differences. Note: the UM CCI sea surface temperature map archive has not been available recently and updates are delayed until the archive access is restored.
Below are contour maps provided by UM CCI showing estimated sea surface temperatures globally for December 24 of 2016 and 1998 for comparison.
The most recent UM CCI sea surface temperature anomaly map with the same 1979-2000 reference period as the 1998 maps is for June 30 of 2016. This map and the corresponding 1998 June 30 map and are provided below, along with the preliminary June 30 map referenced to 1971-2000 for comparison (shown first). The shift in baseline periods for the two 2016 maps causes minor differences but the overall patterns remain the same. Note that the 2016 June 30 global average sea surface temperature anomaly referenced to 1979-2000 is 0.16C higher than the preliminary anomaly referenced to 1971-2000 because of the baseline shift.
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