The total amount of water on Earth isn’t increasing, but the volume of liquid that fills the ocean is growing as ice and snow on land melt. The water is also getting warmer, which makes it expand. 

You're not the only one wondering if we will see El Niño grow or continue into this coming winter 2015.  How useful are March winds and subsurface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean in predicting winter El Niño or La Niña states?  

Guest blogger Dennis Hartmann makes the case that warm waters in the western tropical Pacific—part of the North Pacific Mode climate pattern—are behind the weird U.S. winter weather of the past two seasons.

At the beginning of February, the atmosphere was looking a little bit like El Niño. Is this just another rolling stone?

The tropical Pacific Ocean sloshes around like water in your bathtub.  These waves are as important as the vortex of water that spirals down the drain.  

sea surface height anomaly from satellite data

What's behind the drop in probabilities this month? And why might forecasting this event be particularly tricky?

How El Niño is like different flavors of ice cream.  Seriously.

June 2009 SST anomalies

As of late August 2014, tropical atmospheric temperatures appear to be responding more strongly to the ocean than they typically do at this early stage of El Niño development.   

If you are someone who wants more or stronger ENSO events in the future, I have great news for you–research supports that. If you are someone who wants fewer or weaker ENSO events in the future, don’t worry–research supports that too.

How do changes in the equatorial Pacific Ocean impact places much farther away? The answer for the tropics, at least, lies in changes to the equator-wide atmospheric circulation called the Walker Circulation. 

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