How Strong Was That El Niño or La Niña? – No One Knows For Sure

Bob Tisdale again provides a supreme treatment of SSTs and ENSO historical data.

Bob Tisdale - Climate Observations

We recently discussed and illustrated how the differences between sea surface temperature datasets prevented us from knowing which of the recent strong El Niño events (the 1982/83, 1997/98 or 2015/16 El Niños) was actually strongest.  See the post here. That post, of course, was intended to counter all of the nonsense from alarmist bloggers and the mainstream media about the current El Niño being the strongest ever.

In this post, we’re going to illustrate the differences between the monthly long-term (1870 to present) NINO3.4 region sea surface temperature anomalies from 5 datasets to further show that the differences grow considerably as we travel back in time.

The post concludes with a recent comment at NOAA’s ENSO blog about the uncertainties of NINO3.4 sea surface temperature data from a well-known and well-respected ENSO researcher. My thanks to Larry Kummer, Editor of the FabiusMaximus blog, for calling my attention to it…

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