Summary: The “permanent drought” in California, like the now ended “permanent drought” in Texas, is ending. But like the panic about Texas, it is rich in lessons about our difficulty clearly seeing the world — and the futility of activists exaggerating and lying about the science. Of course, they should have learned this after 29 years of trying (starting from James Hansen’s 1988 Senate testimony).
Warnings of a permanent drought in California
Remember all those predictions of a “permanent drought” in California? Those were examples of why three decades of climate alarmism has not convinced the American people to take severe measures to fight anthropogenic climate change: alarmists exaggerate the science, and are proven wrong — repeatedly. When will the Left learn that doomster lies do not work?
Wired, May 2016: “Thanks El Niño, But California’s Drought Is Probably Forever“. “California is still in a state of drought. For now, maybe forever.” The article gives no support — none — for this clickbait claim. In January Wired attempted to weasel away from their claims by defining drought to mean needing more water than nature provides (“A Wet Year Won’t Beat California’s Never-Ending Drought“). Orwell nodded, unsurprised.
The NYT did no better in “California Braces for Unending Drought“, May 2016. The closest the article comes to supporting their headline is an odd statement by Governor Brown: “But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence…” Drought has always been a regular occurrence in California. The governor also said that “California droughts are expected to be more frequent and persistent, as warmer winter temperatures driven by climate change reduce water held in the Sierra Nevada snowpack and result in drier soil conditions.” That is probable. But it is quite mad for the NYT to call more frequent droughts “an unending drought.”
Status of the California drought
“During the past week, a series of storms bringing widespread rain and snow showers impacted the states along the Pacific Coast and northern Rockies. In California, the cumulative effect of several months of abundant precipitation has significantly improved drought conditions across the state.”
— US Drought monitor – California, February 9.
The recent onslaught of rain and snow finally brought much-needed relief to northern California, ending a punishing five-year drought, federal officials said Thursday.
“Bye bye drought … Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” tweeted the National Weather Service’s office in Reno, Nev., which monitors parts of the region.
Overall, less than 60% of California remains in drought for the first time since early 2013, according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor. A year ago, drought covered 97% of the state.
Stations up and down the Sierra mountain chain reported twice the amount of normal rain and snow for this time of year after snowstorms doubled the vital snowpack there that provides the state with much of its year-round water supply.
“It’s been a nice little miracle month after five bad years,” said meteorologist David Miskus of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who wrote this week’s drought report.
More than a foot of precipitation fell in the Sierra in the past week alone, leaving most major reservoirs at or above average levels, Miskus said.
Too much snow closes ski resorts in California, Nevada
Strawberry Valley, Calif., received 20.7 inches of precipitation, and the Heavenly Ski Area near Lake Tahoe picked up a whopping 12 feet of snow. The excessive snowfall even led to closures of some ski resorts because of blizzard conditions and road closures.
However, much of southern California remains dry, though most not at the most severe level of drought. Only 2% of the state is in that category of “exceptional” drought: an area that stretches from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Across southern California, reservoirs and underground water supplies remain below normal, the Drought Monitor said.
It will take additional rain and snow this winter, plus another wet winter next year, to pull southern California out of drought, Miskus said.
GWPF 21 May 2016: Did Global Warming Cause California’s Drought?
GWPF 3 April 2015: California’s Green Elites And An Engineered Drought
GWPF 9 March 2014: Drought Stokes California’s Class War
Andrew Montford: Droughts Are Not Getting Worse And They Are Not Causing Wars
Bill Nye Thinks Paris Treaty Will End Floods
By Paul Homewood
According to Bill Nye, floods in California have never happened before, and must be due to global warming.
Of course, it is not that long since we were told that California was in a permanent state of drought!
Most of California’s rain tends to come during winter months, and thus determines whether the state has droughts or floods.
History tells us that California rarely has a “normal” winter. Many years are either unusually dry or wet.
We don’t know what this winter will end up like, but the wettest on record so far since 1895 was the winter of 1968/9.
Hardly evidence that “global warming” is leading to more extreme rainfall.
And before anybody tries to claim that the current storm is unprecedented, they should first acquaint themselves with the Great Flood of 1862:
The Great Flood of 1862 was the largest flood in the recorded history of Oregon, Nevada, and California, occurring from December 1861 to January 1862. It was preceded by weeks of continuous rains and snows in the very high elevations that began in Oregon in November 1861 and continued into January 1862. This was followed by a record amount of rain from January 9–12, and contributed to a flood that extended from the Columbia River southward in western Oregon, and through California to San Diego, and extended as far inland as Idaho in the Washington Territory, Nevada and Utah in the Utah Territory, and Arizona in the western New Mexico Territory. Immense snowfalls in the mountains of the far western United States caused more flooding in Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora, Mexico the following spring and summer as the snow melted.
The event was capped by a warm intense storm that melted the high snow load. The resulting snow-melt flooded valleys, inundated or swept away towns, mills, dams, flumes, houses, fences, and domestic animals, and ruined fields.
Bill Nye Blames Global Warming For Floods In California – Implies UN climate deal could lessen floods
Bill Nye took to Twitter to blame man-made global warming for flooding across Northern California that claimed at least three lives over the weekend.
Nye, who rarely misses a chance to link extreme weather to human activities, suggested California’s flooding meant we’d be better off not pulling out of the United Nations Paris agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
President-elect Donald Trump promised to “cancel” the Paris agreement the Obama administration signed in 2016. The Senate never voted on the agreement.
Two storms hit California over the weekend due to an “atmospheric river” phenomenon that brought torrential rain and snow to the northern reaches of the Golden State. The atmospheric river plays a bigger role on the U.S. West Coast where it brings huge amounts of rain — sometimes half the rain these states get in a year.
The events are nothing new. California was hit by a string of storms in 1986 that caused massive flooding. The floods killed 13 people, displaced another 50,000 and did $400 million in property damage.
Similar events happened in the 1990s and 2000s. The current flooding has killed at least three people and shut down parts of major highways.
Floods can be devastating, and scientists predict they could become more frequent and intense due to man-made global warming. The data doesn’t seem to suggest flooding is on the rise.
About 60 percent of the locations the EPA measures show a decrease in “magnitude and intensity since 1965,” according to University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr.
Pielke also found that flood damage has been declining as a proportion of the U.S. economy since 1940 — that way you control for population growth and development.
On a global scale, there’s little to no evidence flooding events have been on the rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found in 2013 that “there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”…
Damage from weather-related disasters is in sharp decline, according to data compiled by University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke, Jr.
The chart indicates that the cost of weather-related disasters as a proportion of the global economy is declining. Data for the chart comes from the the reinsurance company Munich Re, the United Nations and Pielke’s own research.
Damage from weather events in 2015 was much less costly than expected, according to a study by an insurance industry group.
Severe winter weather has caused most insurance industry losses in recent years. Global warming and El Niño — a weather event that warms up ocean temperatures in South America, causing the United states to get unusually warm for a year — abated these insurance costs, according to Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.
Historically, hurricanes are the insurance industry’s biggest weather-related expense, but no hurricane made landfall in the U.S. during 2015. Additionally, no major hurricane has made landfall in the U.S. in the last decade, setting a new record. Scientists, however, expect global warming will lead to fewer, but slightly stronger, hurricanes.
Deaths from natural disasters and weather also dropped significantly, according to the study and other sources. Natural disasters claimed 280 lives in the U.S. in 2015 and 270 lives in 2014, which is dramatically below the 30-year annual average of 580 deaths.…
“Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change right now,” she said, citing “record high” ocean temperatures.
She insisted that climate change “contributed” to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding in North and South Carolina.
“Sea levels have risen one foot in much of the Southeast which means Matthew’s storm surge was higher and the flooding more severe,” she said ominously.
It didn’t stop there.
Clinton and Gore teamed up to warn that most of the destructive natural disasters in the past decade were a result of climate change.
Zika and Lyme disease were more threatening because summers lasted longer, they argued, allowing ticks and mosquitoes to live longer.
“Every single night on the television news is like a major hike through the Book of Revelation,” Gore said. “You look at the floods and the droughts and the mudslides and the fires and the incredible downpours…”
Longer summers made it worse for children who suffered from allergies and asthma, Clinton said, and also caused more wildfires.
Gore urged Floridians to vote for Hillary Clinton, because she would take climate change seriously.
“Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message,” he said. “We cannot continue putting 110 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day as if it’s an open sewer. We’ve got to stop that.”
New Study Finds No Evidence Of Global Warming Increasing Extreme Rainfall
By Paul Homewood http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0307.1 This paper, published last month, has some relevance to recent attempts to blame the Louisiana floods on global warming. ABSTRACT Precipitation extremes have a widespread impact on societies and ecosystems; it is therefore important to understand current and future patterns of extreme precipitation. Here, a set of new global coupled climate models with varying atmospheric resolution has been used to investigate the ability of these models to reproduce observed patterns of precipitation extremes and to investigate changes in these extremes in response to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The atmospheric resolution was increased from 2°×2° grid cells (typical resolution in the CMIP5 archive) to 0.25°×.25° (tropical cyclone-permitting). Analysis has been confined to the contiguous United States (CONUS). It is shown that, for these models, integrating at higher atmospheric resolution improves all aspects of simulated extreme precipitation: spatial patterns, intensities and seasonal timing. In response to 2×CO2 concentrations, all models show a mean intensification of precipitation rates during extreme events of approximately 3-4% K−1. However, projected regional patterns of changes in extremes are dependent on model resolution. For example, the highest-resolution models show increased precipitation rates during extreme events in the hurricane season in the CONUS southeast, this increase is not found in the low-resolution model. These results emphasize that, for the study of extreme precipitation there is a minimum model resolution that is needed to capture the weather phenomena generating the extremes. Finally, the observed record and historical model experiments were used to investigate changes in the recent past. In part because of large intrinsic variability, no evidence was found for changes in extreme precipitation attributable to climate change in the available observed record. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0307.1 As we often see, the computer models show more intense rainfall, because that is what they are programmed to say. As so often though, when the observed record is analysed, no evidence of such is found: Finally, the observed record and historical model experiments were used to investigate changes in the recent past. In part because of large intrinsic variability, no evidence was found for changes in extreme precipitation attributable to climate change in the available observed record. USHCN Data Talking of the historical record, USHCN say their three stations in Louisiana, with the most complete and long running data, are Calhoun, Jennings and Lafayette. Below are the USHCN whisker …