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Global Ocean Temperatures Dropping Fast

Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

Global sea surface temperatures have been declining rapidly in recent months.

The following is a Global map of Reynolds OI.v2 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies for November 2016. It was downloaded from the KNMI Climate Explorer. The contour range was set to -2.5 to +2.5 deg C and the anomalies are referenced to the WMO-preferred period of 1981-2010 for short-term data.


November 2016 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies Map

(Global SST Anomaly = +0.27 deg C)


The global Sea Surface Temperature anomaly for November 2016 shows a noticeable decline since October. A sizeable downtick in the Northern Hemisphere (-0.10 deg C) was suppressed by a lesser downtick in the Southern Hemisphere (-0.03 deg C). The noticeable drop in the Northern Hemisphere was driven by the North Pacific, which showed a sizeable decline (-0.21 deg C)…a response to the large ribbon of below normal sea surface temperature anomalies stretching across the extratropical North Pacific. (See the post Something to Keep an Eye On – The Large Blue Ribbon of Below-Normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the North Pacific.) Monthly sea surface temperature anomalies for the NINO3.4 show weakening La Niña conditions.

The monthly Global Sea Surface Temperature anomalies are presently at +0.27 deg C, referenced to the WMO-preferred base years of 1981 to 2010.


(1)Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Monthly Change = -0.06 deg C


The monthly NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature anomalies for November 2016 have weakened and are rapidly approaching the threshold of ENSO-neutral conditions (not El Niño, not La Niña).  They were at -0.54 deg C, an increase of about +0.21 deg C since October.  (Also see the Weekly data shown near the end of the post.)


(2) NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

(5S-5N, 170W-120W)

Monthly Change = +0.21 deg C

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