Another valuable shared-observation from Ron Clutz. At his site I commented:
My guess is that the “Quiet Sun” is starting to show its effect. I also guess that the cooling effect was not immediate, as less energy from the sun might have slowed the east to west winds at the equator. This in turn would reduce the cold upwelling along equatorial west coasts, resulting in milder SST. In other words, though it may seem counter intuitive, less energy would temporarily result in milder temperatures. However the milder temperatures are indicative of the seas giving up heat due to a “Quiet Sun”, rather than sucking up heat due to a “Noisy Sun”.
The effect of weaker east to west winds would be a stronger than expected El Nino, which we saw in 2015, and a weaker than expected La Nina, which we just saw. Despite these fluctuations the general trend is that the seas are losing the stored heat. Or that is my guess.
May Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are now available, and we can see ocean cooling resuming after a short pause from the downward trajectory during the previous 12 months.
HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.
The chart below shows the last two years of SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 including May 2017.
After an upward bump in April 2017 due to the Tropics and NH, the May SSTs show the average declining slightly. Note the Tropics recorded a rise, but not enough to offset declines in both hemispheres and globally. SH is now two months into a cooling phase. The present readings compare closely with April 2015, but currently with no indication of an El Nino event any time soon.
Note that higher temps in 2015 and…
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