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Why is "El Niño" used at one location, while "The Blob" is used at another location not very far away (Blind men and an elephant, Blind Men and the Elephant) ?
Especially since scientists also tell us that "The truth is, no one knows what really causes El Niño" (On The Origin of the Sea-level Seesaw - 2).
I suggest that when climate events add up to a pattern that is essentially similar, we should categorize them in a manner that adds to comprehension and understanding rather than being distracting.
Nomenclature is important (Good Nomenclature: A Matter of Life and Death).
Especially in a damaged climate system (The Damaged Global Climate System, 2, 3).
The "Blob" and the "Niño" have similar basic characteristics:
"Scientists across NOAA Fisheries are watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could sendThe more I read about these two phenomena the more the fundamental similarities stand out.
reverberations through the marine food web. The warm expanse appeared about a year ago [circa September 2013] and the longer it lingers, the greater potential it has to affect ocean life ..." - NOAA Fisheries, (emphasis added)
It's The Damaged Climate System Stupid
"In one sense, it's [El Niño is] like an iceberg; most of it is submerged, but part of it sticks out above the sea's surface, as the wedge floats in the surrounding ocean. Partly because warm water is less dense than cool water, and also partly because El Niño waters are less salty than normal seawater. (It's always raining over an El Niño, and the rainwater dilutes the sea.) Both of these conditions contribute to buoyancy. A sharp temperature and density change—called the thermocline—floats about 100 meters below the surface, and marks the bottom of this warm "iceberg." The top layer of water may protrude 150 or more centimeters above sea level. This isn't so hard to picture if you think about tides, which also pile water up above sea level." - NOVA PBS, (emphasis added)
"Meanwhile, El Niño began to generate its classic signature of warm water along the equatorial eastern Pacific ..." - Weather Underground, (emphasis added)
The Damaged Global Climate System acts out in a damaged manner to generate a freak area of warm ocean water over an increasingly large area.
Eventually that freak phenomenon impacts weather and weather patterns in an expanding geographical area, resulting in discordant weather events.
Essentially, the global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and methane-natural gas) damages the global system, which naturally has global impact.
Very importantly, note that the global warming has been unequally concentrated in the oceans:
"The World Ocean accounts for approximately 93% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955." - World Ocean Heat 1955–2010The take home from this is that the oceans are part of the Global Climate System, which has been damaged.
"Decades into the industrial revolution, the HMS Challenger Expedition sailed into the sea, looking for answers to questions that still intrigue oceanographers to this day. Little did these pioneers of ocean sciences know that their measurements will be used 140 years later by Scripps Oceanography Researcher Dean Roemmich to measure the human-induced warming of the world's oceans since the mid-1800's.
One of the most under-appreciated facts in climate change is the fate of the energy trapped by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Human activities are releasing nearly 10 Gegatons of Carbon (about 36 Billion tons of CO2) into the atmosphere every year, driving atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 400 parts per million (ppm) from their original preindustrial levels of 280 ppm. This increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gases concentrations traps additional energy in the earth's climate system. What happens to this "extra" energy (0.5-1 watt/m2) remains a mystery to many outside the field of climate and ocean sciences.
Since 1955, over 90% of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases has been stored in the oceans (Figure from IPCC 5th Assessment Report). The remainder of this energy goes into melting sea ice, ice caps, and glaciers, and warming the continents's land mass. Only the smallest fraction of this thermal energy goes into warming the atmosphere. Humans thus, living at the interface of the land, ocean and atmosphere, only feel a sliver of the true warming cost of fossil fuel emissions." - Ocean Scientists For Informed Policy (emphasis added)
Thus, the Damaged Oceans, as parts of the Damaged Global Climate System, are performing in a damaged behavioural manner.
The mystery is why this obvious and to-be-expected result is somehow invisible to many who observe and study the global climate.
When they go around singing "la la" this and "la la" that, channelling old scary movies such as the "Blob" and "Godzilla," they are behaving as part of a damaged analytical system.
One symptom of a damaged analytical system is not being able to see the forest for the trees.
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.