by Hans Erren
published online 7 may 2012

A remarkable periodicity in the Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide observations makes it possible to forecast the lower tropospheric temperature twentyfive years ahead. Using the carbon dioxide thermometer of Jarl Ahlbeck, a major El Nino is forecast in 2013 and a “Super El Nino” of 0.66 degrees in 2023.

In 1999 the Carbon Dioxide Thermometer was discovered and described by Jarl Ahlbeck on the website of John Daly. Jarl Ahlbeck discovered a remarkable temperature effect in the annual CO2 increase in Mauna Loa. The effect was so striking that he coined it the Carbon Dioxide Thermometer, link1, link2

estimated LT MSU = Carbon Dioxide Thermometer = 0.23*(dCO2 – 1.53) ± 0.2°C
Where dCO2 is the moving annual increase of CO2 at Mauna Loa.

13 years later it is is still showing proof of it’s validity as an independent benchmark of the satellite temperature.

Calculatated temperature based on Mauna Loa data (blue), observed temperature anomaly (red), note the El Chichon eruption in 1982 has limited effect on CO2 but a profound effect on temperature, perhaps due to the location of El Chichon to the east of Hawaii. The effect of the Pinatubo eruption in 1991 is clearly visible in both records.
(Click in the image for fullscale pdf download)

A discovery

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Above is the whole dataset stretching backwards to 1958, looking at it recently, a feature struck me, which I hadn’t noticed before: The super El Nino of 1973 has a strong resemblance with the El Nino of 1998. It becomes even more apparent if we put the sequences on top of each other:

1. Blue: Observation 2. Red: El Nino 1998, Green: El Nino 1973 3. The time series singled out 4. The time series overlain.
(Click in the image for fullscale pdf download)

    The Lower troposphere temperature has a periodicity which can be expressed in the following formula:

(where Tlt is temperature anomaly of the lower troposphere in degrees and t is time in years)

The forecast
Using the periodicty of 25.083 years in the data, it is now possible to make a forecast.

1. Blue: Observation 2. Green: Observations shifted 25 years and 0.65 degrees up 3. Red: fragment without Pinatubo cooling is copied 4 Cleanup.
(Click in the image for fullscale pdf download)

Using the historic CO2 data I can now forecast two temperature events in the coming years:

(Click in the image for fullscale pdf download)

    + For 2013, I forecast a strong El Nino, but not as strong as the 1998 event;
    + For 2023, I forecast a new super El Nino, in amplitude comparable with the 1998 and 1973 events and with a maximum value of 0.66 degrees. After 2023 the temperature will remain on a new plateau for another 25 years, which will be 0.163 degrees higher than the current plateau.

Thanks to Jarl Ahlbeck who came up with the idea of the Carbon Dioxide Thermometer
Thanks to UAH and NOAA for putting the Mauna Loa and the AMSU data online.
This research was not funded.

CO2 data:

MSU data:

Carbon Dioxide Thermometer links: