At the moment the main question in the minds of those who study global temperature data is; how far are global temperatures going to fall in 2018?
The record El Nino of recent years took global temperatures to unprecedented highs for the instrumental era. But comparisons with very strong El Ninos in the past are of limited use. The one in 1982 was affected by the aerosol aftermath of a volcanic eruption. The strong El Nino of 1998 has a swift rise and fall and was followed by two years of a counteracting La Nina.
The data for November 2017 HadCRUT4 (click on image to enlarge) has just been released by the UK Met Office. It is 0.547, better expressed as 14.55 +/- 0.10 °C. Given the substantial monthly variability evident in this database one has to be careful in drawing many conclusions about it. Given that, it is interesting to note that November 2017 is statistically the same as most Novembers of the so-called pause years, i.e. 1997, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and even 2016.
It seems the current La Nina is strengthening. Next year’s temperature data will prove fascinating.