El Nino versus Arctic Temperatures

When the eco-idiots started going on about Arctic temperatures a few weeks ago, I thought one possible response was “we’d expect melting in an El Nino year”. However since El Nino is an equatorial phenomenon and Arctic melting isn’t … I was intrigued to find out whether there was a connection.
Well below is my highly scientific check:
Note Arctic temperatures from here and Enso from here. And for the sharp eyed amongst you, you will no doubt spot that I turned the El Nino/ENSO graph upside down because there are clearly some places where El Nino corresponds with cooler Arctic temperatures (like 1940) and La Nina with warmer (e.g. both sides of 1940). Also you’ll see a preponderance of La Ninas recently – and higher Arctic temperatures.
I think it’s reasonable to say that it is likely there is some kind of inverse relatinship but it is not strong and there’s also a low probablity that the apparent relationship is just chance (I tried dropping the graph down with various big offsets and with a bit of effort I could usually start to see possible correlations – this suggests apparent matches are relatively easy especially as I also allow inversion).

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1 Response to El Nino versus Arctic Temperatures

  1. Ron Clutz says:

    Interesting. Of course Arctic air temperatures are also an effect resulting from variations in sea ice extent: More ice extent, less warming of the air by the ocean, and vice-versa. So the measurements are a combination of incursions of southern air along with the ocean warming effect.
    Another informative study is one that looked at temperature records from stations around the Arctic circle. Conclusion: Not much warming except in the winter.

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