There aren’t that many full-blown El Niño events, but global temperatures during El Niños seem to be following a steady upward trend. There are more La Niña events, and those global temperatures also clearly follow a steady upward trend. Finally, the temperatures during the many neutral years also show no sign of departing from a steady upward trend. There’s enough scatter in the neutral years that if one had considered the period 1977-1987, or the period 1987-1997, one might be tempted to say that the neutral years had little or no warming. But the past decade fits nicely with the long-term upward trend of 0.16 C/decade shown by all three time series.

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