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ENSO and Monthly Global Temperatures

May 08, 2008
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

In a recent story we showed how the PDO cycle related to the relative frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas and through that, global temperatures. This is the case because El Ninos lead to global warmth and La Ninas a cooling.


You can clearly see on the chart of Wolter’s Multivariate ENSO Index (explained here) the predisposition for more and stronger La Ninas and fewer weaker El Ninos during the cold phase of the PDO and more and stronger El Ninos and fewer cooler La Ninas.


The last decade, we see how well the monthly MEI correlated with the global temperatures. The correlation (Pearson coefficient) is 0.60. There appears to be a lag of a few months from the diagram and indeed if we lag temperatures 3 months to MEI, the correlation jumps to 0.68. 

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About this source--ICECAP, International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, is the portal to all things climate for elected officials and staffers, journalists, scientists, educators and the public. It provides access to a new and growing global society of respected scientists and journalists that are not deniers that our climate is dynamic (the only constant in nature is change) and that man plays a role in climate change through urbanization, land use changes and the introduction of greenhouse gases and aerosols, but who also believe that natural cycles such as those in the sun and oceans are also important contributors to the global changes in our climate and weather. Continue to ICECAP

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