The 2014-2015 El Nino was forecast to be powerful. The warmers hoped that this El Nino would make a significant upward change in the Global temperature. This they believed would put an end to the 18+ years of no statistical increase in global atmospheric temperature, known by many as the “pause”. Even if it does, it does not seem to correlate with the rise in atmospheric CO2, so it could be considered just another natural forcing agent. The NoTricksZone posting of: “Spiegel: NOAA “Embarrassment” Over “Four Years Of Failed El Nino Forecasts”…”Numerous Buoys Have Ceased To Function”* relates the views of the Spiegel Science Editor journalist Axel Bojanowski.
In the NoTricksZone posting they report some of Bojanowski’s views as:
“The Spiegel journalist describes how last June experts were “80% sure” a powerful El Niño was in the works, and how in 2013 “a peer-reviewed paper in a well known science journal” boasted of new forecasting methods for El Niños. Sadly, these experts aren’t anywhere near getting it right. So, as a result, Bojanowski writes, they have recently become “considerably more cautious” with their forecasts. Embarrassment does that.
Bojanowski describes how the ENSO’s impact on global weather patterns, wildlife, and even regional sea levels, and how NOAA experts have had to admit the latest El Niño has been an unexpectedly tame one – in stark contradiction to forecasts made earlier. He writes: “The inaccurate forecasts of the past year has forced the scientists to rethink their methods, said NOAA expert Gabriel Vecchi in the journal ‘Nature’.”
Compounding the inability to make a good forecast, NoTricksZone reports:
”Bojnowski also writes that the biggest problem is reliably predicting the weakening of the tradewinds, and says this has become difficult because “numerous buoys have ceased to function over the years” and so are no longer able to measure the changes in sea surface temperature.”
This issue is discussed in a Nature.com posting “El Niño monitoring system in failure mode” by Jeff Tollefson. Tollefson says:
“An ocean-monitoring system that extends across the tropical Pacific is collapsing, depriving scientists of data on a region that influences global weather and climate trends.
Nearly half of the moored buoys in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array have failed in the past two years, crippling an early-warning system for the warming and cooling events in the eastern equatorial Pacific, known respectively as El Niño and La Niña. Scientists are now collecting data from just 40% of the array.
“It’s the most important climate phenomenon on the planet, and we have blinded ourselves to it by not maintaining this array,” says Michael McPhaden, a senior scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Seattle, Washington. McPhaden headed the TAO project before it was transferred out of NOAA’s research arm and into the agency’s National Weather Service in 2005.
The chart above (courtesy of Nature.com) shows the TAO array monitors conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Turquoise dots represent US buoys, while yellow dots show Japanese buoys. (click on charts to enlarge)
The funds budgeted for maintenance of this array were dramatically reduced in 2012 and that is said to be the reason for the buoy failures.
* to read the full NoTricksZone posting click on this link http://notrickszone.com/2015/03/13/spiegel-noaa-embarrassment-over-four-years-of-failed-el-nino-forecasts-numerous-buoys-have-ceased-to-function/#sthash.JGTLz60x.afoSfJ9j.dpbs