Friday, November 07, 2014

El nino confusion, again

I see that Eric Holthaus is waving the white flag about the prediction earlier this year that we were likely looking at a strong El Nino.   He now says it looks like we'll get a very weak one, if any.

Yet he notes that parts of the world's weather have been looking El Nino like for a while:
In essence, a gradually warming Pacific Ocean is at once be reducing our ability to predict Earth’s single most important seasonal climate phenomenon, and tampering with it as well. For forecasters, that means this year’s El Niño tease has been “rather frustrating.” It mirrors another flash-in-the-pan-and-fizzle just two years ago.
Still, that doesn’t mean El Niño-like changes haven’t happened. “Borderline” El Niño conditions, depending on your definition, have persisted for months now. El Niño-like effects have already been felt around the globe—including the ongoing mega-drought in Brazil, a lackluster monsoon season in India, a whimper of an Atlantic hurricane season, and the opposing tropical storm fest in Hawaii. Oh, and the world is also on track for its warmest year on record, boosted by near-El Niño.
There were studies (including a recent one) indicating that global warming may result in more, damaging, strong El Nino's.   (And this year's failure does nothing to disprove that.)  But a strong El Nino right now would have been a handy thing to help convince politicians in 2015 to start talking CO2 reduction seriously.   Once again Nature is not working to a convenient timetable for convincing stupid politicians.   I suggest throwing a few libertarians and at least a couple of News Corp columnists into a volcano to get things back on track again.


Anonymous said...

Steve, there was a brilliant essay in 2006 that you should read:

You may recognise yourself as one of Gramsci's useful idiots.

Steve said...

Yes, sure, Tom. I've been brainwashed by the old enemy of the West.

Look, you twit - not listening to scientific consensus position on the heating of the planet is what places the West at risk. You're the one who is letting ideological concerns block your ears and your reason. A widespread carbon tax would give the incentive to capitalism to find quicker solutions to burning fossil fuels. Labor wants capitalism to survive by this minor adjustment - you're the one who wants to take a punt on a short term profit and that it'll all turn out OK.