Saturday, March 3rd 2012, 12:19 PM EST
It wasn’t all that long ago when a number of climate scientists were projecting the Earth would soon fall into an almost permanent, increasing El Niño mode, where the surface temperatures of the equatorial Pacific would always be like what we saw in 1998 – all man-made.
Sea surface temperature chart September 2011. Source: NASA
Today a number of German-language papers are reporting that Norwegian scientist Tore Furevik of the Bjerknes Centre of the University of Bergen says he expects the opposite to happen at least this year. Furevik says that La Niña may come back for third straight year. “The situation is simlar to the previous year,” he says.
Die Welt here writes that “there are no signs that La Nina is going to disappear anytime soon” and that according to Norwegian experts “it will occur even more strongly than in 2011″
The Wiener Zeitung of Vienna, Austria adds:
"The La Niña phenomena has been persisting since 2010 and there are no signs of it going away. We had this strong cooling in 2010 and instead of getting warmer, we stayed in a long cold phase’, said Furevik. “And it appears as if an even stronger La Niña will occur.’”
Furevik’s La Niña forecast contradicts the experts’ forecast, where an ensemble of models show the trend towards an El Niño for the 2nd half of the year:
Since about 2005 the PDO phase has gone negative and is projected to stay that way for another 15-25 years – meaning cooler global temperatures.
If Furevik is right, it means that 2012 and the first half of 2013 will end up being cold. That’s bad news for those betting the Earth will warm further this decade. That means that the first quarter of the 2010s decade will be much cooler than the average of the last decade.
Negative PDO favors more frequent occurrence of cooling La Niñas. Source: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/. The overall 60-year cycle shows we are now at the start of a cool phase.