The Great Pacific Climate Shift
The price of cocoa has soared to a 44-year high as an El Niño-fueled drought in West Africa reduces supply.
Cocoa for December delivery surged to $3,786 a metric ton in New York. Previously, similar supply shortages drove up cocoa prices back in the 1970s, with the commodity reaching a peak of $5,379 a ton in July 1977 during the Great Pacific Climate shift.
In 1976, the North Pacific region underwent a dramatic shift to a climate regime that saw great increases in winter and spring temperatures, and lesser increases in summer and autumn, when compared to the previous 25 years.
This shift coincided with a phase-change of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).
The PDO is an internal switch between two slightly different circulation patterns that occurs every 30 years-or-so in the North Pacific Ocean. There is a positive (warm) phase and a negative (cool) phase. Think El Niño and La Niña just on a longer timescale.
Some contend that the PDO is a key component of the modern warming trend.
The PDO is known to alter weather circulation patterns, which in turn can cause a changes in global-average cloudiness. And since clouds represent the single largest internal control on global temperatures (by reflecting sunlight), a change in cloudiness impacts the climate: the cloudier the cooler.
After the Great Climate Shift of 1977, when the PDO went from its negative to positive phase, the Arctic region–for example–began to warm.
Satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice began in 1979, perfectly timed to document the loss. And ever since, ludicrous trend lines have been drawn and baseless extrapolations made, particularly after the ‘record’ losses of 2008 and 2012.
In 2013, and via a combination of quadratic lines, fear and group-think, climate alarmists proclaimed Arctic sea ice was in a “death spiral”. However, more than a decade has now passed since those EOTW caterwaulings, and Arctic sea is doing just fine.
IPPC claims of “runaway away melt” will be the ruin of the agency.
Attributing sea ice loss to carbon dioxide emissions is a tough ask, not least because similar melting episodes occurred in the 1920s and 1930s, with disappearing ice, changing wildlife patterns, and the opening of the Northwest Passage in 1939 and 1940.
Arctic temperatures were just as warm back then as they are now–warmer likely, because a negative phase of the PDO has been in play since around 2009 which has seen a stabilization of Arctic sea ice and also a ‘turning the ship’ on Greenland:
Today’s cocoa bean shortage, and subsequent price surge –of more than 40% this year– has been attributed to the building El Niño, which threatens to deliver additional dryness to West Africa. Another factor is improving demand, reports Bloomberg, with bean processing in Europe turning out better than expected. Ivory Coast and Brazil are also boosting grindings.
If a period of global cooling is indeed on the cards, as I contend, then we would expect La Niñas to be the dominate ENSO pattern moving forward. And despite this year’s return to El Niño, the data very much show this trend.
The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) reveals (below) that multiyear El Niños have not been able to sustain themselves in recent times, not since the ‘super’ El Niño of 1997-98.
Clear to see, it is their cooler counterparts La Nina’s that are beginning to dominate:
This latest El Niño isn’t forecast to last all that long either, at least not according to recent JMA forecasts.
The Japan Meteorological Agency is calling for something of a collapse of El Niño next year, dipping below neutral (perhaps by April), and potentially reentering La Niña territory soon after (by next summer).
Related (“25 sunspots”):
Here Comes The Snow, State Of Montana Blanketed
“Winter Is Coming,” reads a warning from the National Weather Service posted on X.
“It’s a pretty big state and it takes a pretty big storm to blanket the entire state in several inches of snow. That’s exactly what’s happening,” reports ktvh.com of Montana, a state expecting more than foot across its higher reaches.
Snow was settling in NW Montana, including in Glacier National Park, Tuesday morning and had started in Helena by the evening. NW Wyoming, including Yellowstone National Park, like much of Montana, also finds it under a winter storm warning.
Totals will also exceed a foot across the likes of the northern Cascades and Rockies, too.
Heavy, widespread snow is hitting California’s Sierra Nevada today (Wednesday), with another round due later in the week.
“We’re going to see snow across the entire Sierra,” said weather service meteorologist Edan Lindaman on Tuesday. “It’s going to be noticeably colder, windy, and we’re going to be seeing snow in the mountains.”
The NWS is warning of hazardous travel on snowy mountain passes and ice on the highways.
Accumulations are already building north of the border in Canada:
Scenes at Mt. Baker, WA have also already flipped white:
Stay tuned for updates.
This looks big: