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Dear Bob,
You asked: "Would it be possible to some way account for the warm water that’s left over from
strong El Nino events–that causes the upward shifts in the sea surface temperatures of the South
Atlantic, Indian and West Pacific oceans?" Here is my view on what is happening in West
Pacific and Indian oceans. I am avoiding now from talking about Atlantic ocean because I don't
know adequate indexes (like ENSO and PDO) describing natural variability there.
At first about West Pacific (90S-90N 100E-180E). Again I used HadSST3 dataset from Climate
Explorer site. Consider SST in this region from 1900 till 2012 (Fig. 1). As influencing on SST
factors here I considered PDO (without lag) and volcanic aerosols reconstruction (I forgot and
didn't mark what was the lag :) Something about several months. It can be checked later).
According to our hypothesis there should be two upward shifts (with near the same magnitude)
in somewhere in 1925/1926 and 1987/1988. Shift of 1987/1988 is observed. But in order to get
adequate reconstruction we must assume that first shift happened here in 1936 instead of
1925/1926 (I don't have explanations for this. It needs additional investigation). Performing
linear regression on these three factors we obtain quite adequate reconstruction (Fig. 2). Last
years from 1981 are presented on Figure 3. Now I will write about Indian and will provide
explanations after.
So about Indian ocean (90S-30N 30E-100E). SST in this region from 1900 till 2012 are
presented on figure 4. As influencing factors here I considered ENSO Nino34 index (with 4
months lag) and volcanic aerosols reconstruction (with the same as in West Pacific lag). Also the
same climate regime index as for West Pacific is used. Reconstruction obtained by linear
regression on these three factors is shown on figure 5. Last years from 1981 are presented on
Figure 6.
So what are the conclusions? In some places I agree with you theory, in some my opinion is
different. Like you I don't see continuous anthropogenic warming trends. Like you I think that
often SST have upward shifts after El Nino events. At first, should be mentioned our
hypothesized 1925/1926 and 1987/1988 climate regime shifts. But also by careful look on
Nino34 index it can be noticed that sharp increases and slow return are quite common in this
time series from 1900. The main difference in our views is that from my point of view most of
SST anomalies are directly linearly associated with ENSO (So it is possible to perform linear
regression analysis). But I think our views have potential for becoming more close and we will
benefit from this together. So I hope that our discussion will continue and wait for your response.
Also I'm ready to answer on additional questions.
All the calculations presented below were made in Excel by means of standard functions. Files
including them could be downloaded by following links:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ndx7o5dyjhtdbt/West%20pacific.xls
https://www.dropbox.com/s/e9pqvztlkr8c24j/Indian.xls
Best wishes,
Pavel Belolipetsky

0.9
0.7
Anomaly, °C

0.5
0.3
0.1
-0.1
-0.3
-0.5
-0.7
-0.9
1900

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2000

2010

Fig. 1. SST anomalies in West Pacific (90S-90N 100E-180E), HadSST3 dataset.

0.9

a) Regression

Correlation coefficient 0.82

0.7
Anomaly, °C

0.5
0.3
0.1
-0.1
-0.3
-0.5
-0.7
-0.9
1900

Anom
aly, °C

0.3

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

b) PDO influence

0.2
0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2
-0.3

c) Climate regime influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.4
0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4

d) Volcanic influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2
-0.3

Fig. 2. a) Blue line - anomalies in West Pacific (90S-90N 100E-180E), red line - linear
regression on ENSO, volcanic aerosols and climate regime, studied by 1900-2012 years; b)
ENSO influence; c) climate regime influence; d) volcanic aerosols influence.

a) Regression

0.9

Correlation coefficient 0.76

0.7
Anomaly, °C

0.5
0.3
0.1
-0.1
-0.3
-0.5
-0.7
-0.9
1981

Anom
aly, °C

0.2

1991

b) PDO influence

0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2

c) Climate regime influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

d) Volcanic influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2
-0.3

Fig. 3. Enlarged part of figure 2.

2001

2011

0.9
0.7
Anomaly, °C

0.5
0.3
0.1
-0.1
-0.3
-0.5
-0.7
-0.9
1900

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

2000

2010

Fig. 4. SST anomalies in Indian ocean (90S-30N 30E-100E), HadSST3 dataset.

0.9

a) Regression

Correlation coefficient 0.8

0.7
Anomaly, °C

0.5
0.3
0.1
-0.1
-0.3
-0.5
-0.7
-0.9
1900

Anom
aly, °C

0.4

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

b) ENSO influence

0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4

c) Climate regime influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.4
0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4

d) Volcanic influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2
-0.3
-0.4

Fig. 5. a) Blue line - anomalies in Indian ocean (90S-30N 30E-100E), red line - linear
regression on ENSO, volcanic aerosols and climate regime, studied by 1900-2012 years; b)
ENSO influence; c) climate regime influence; d) volcanic aerosols influence.

a) Regression

0.9

Correlation coefficient 0.65

0.7
Anomaly, °C

0.5
0.3
0.1
-0.1
-0.3
-0.5
-0.7
-0.9
1981

1991

b) ENSO influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.4
0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4

c) Climate regime influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

d) Volcanic influence
Anom
aly, °C

0.1
0
-0.1
-0.2
-0.3
-0.4

Fig. 6. Enlarged part of figure 5.

2001

2011


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