This year -- with no El Niño (so far) -- is noticeably warmer than the big El Niño year of 1997, with global temperatures and sea-surface temperatures at record highs. It's almost like the planet has warmed up since then.
Red is 1997-98. Blue is 2014. Nino3.4 anomalies on left-hand axis; GISS anomalies on the right.