The wacky world of the Oceanic Niño Index
By Paul Homewood
There are various ways of measuring El Ninos/La Ninas, and in reality every event is different to every other, just as with any other weather event.
Xmetman Bruce has his own take on the current El Nino, which is well worth a read here.
There seems little doubt that the 1997/8 event was the biggest on record since 1950, but when comparing with the 1982 El Nino, it is worth recalling that the latter coincided with the El Chichon volcanic eruption in April 1982.
The eruption took place just as the largest El Nino of the century so far was beginning. (In fact the volcanic cloud in the stratosphere fooled the satellite sensors which monitor ocean temperatures into thinking ocean temperatures were normal, whereas they had warmed substantially. Thus, scientists were not aware of the El Nino until months after it had started.
As we know, El Ninos are essentially solar driven events. If they really are getting stronger, that says a lot about the sun/clouds, and nothing at all about CO2.
Neil Catto has added this time series graph: