OMG! Anthony Watts has mentioned the Californian drought (archived here). You know, the one plaguing his home state. True, the mention was buried in an article he wrote about El Niño. Still, it's worth celebrating. So what I've done is put together an animation of California drought status, starting in July 2006. I've put in the charts from US Drought Monitor for July and December - that is, two per year in July and December, from 2006 through to the latest chart in July 2015:
To put this momentous event (Anthony mentioning the drought) into perspective, here are some facts and figures from the animation and the US Drought Monitor archives:
- There is only one chart where there is less than 10% of the state in drought - July 2006.
- There are only four charts (out of 19) where less than 20% of the state is in drought.
In nine years, California had only a short reprieve from drought in 2010-11
Most of California has been in drought almost the whole time since December 2006, with a short reprieve in the middle. As well as July 2006 there was a break in the drought in 2010-2011. Looking more closely, the drought broke in much of the state in February 2010. By the beginning of March, "only" 36% of the state was in drought, dropping to 12% by July 2010. This reprieve pretty well lasted until toward the end of 2011.
However, it didn't last long. By December 2011 more regions were rated as in drought. By 6 March 2012, more than 96% of the state was in drought.
If you want to know what Anthony wrote, here it is:
California could see an end to their drought situation, with the jet stream pattern changing to bring more winter storms to the south part of the state (hello mudslides).Let's hope California does get another reprieve. It would give more time to prepare for the probable dry years ahead.
Anthony Watts does a Tisdale
Anthony then went into full denier mode, Tisdale-style. He wrote as if the world hasn't been getting hotter from global warming:
If a record ENSO event occurs it would virtually guarantee that 2015 will become the warmest year “ever”, which will set off all sorts of calls for controlling global warming, 2C limits etc, even though El Niño has nothing to do with CO2 posited warming, being a natural event of its own.
El Niño has been happening for a very long time. Yes, it's natural internal variability, though how it will change with global warming is something I've wondered. In any case, what Anthony doesn't say is that El Niño is happening on top of the relentless rise in global surface temperature from greenhouse warming. If it weren't then temperatures would be no higher now than they were sixty or seventy years ago, El Niño or not.
|El Niño years are orange, La Niña years are blue, the PDO index is on the right axis. Data sources: NASA GISS, and Japan Meteorological Agency and BoM|
From the WUWT comments
Anthony's article was about the El Niño, priming his readers for a strong event. There were lots of armchair experts making various predictions. Here's a sample:
Pamela Gray wrote:
July 23, 2015 at 4:33 pmShe thinks the five La Niñas since 1998 and the (two since 2010) weren't "much".
Something tells me that we will not be hot for long. The ’98 El Nino came after multiple years of strong recharge events, meaning that the ’98 El Nino didn’t exhaust all the heat absorbed in the previous years. Notice the spread of heat to the North Pacific area that was not the case during the ’98 episode. Could this heat be left over from then? And is now being evaporated? We haven’t had much in the way of recharge events since the ’98 El Nino. My conclusion? There isn’t enough heat in the oceans to keep us warm for much longer.
Another way to look at this is to think of an oil slick. At first the oil is thick at its source, but it eventually spreads out over a much greater surface. Just because the surface area is greater does not mean there is more oil than what we started with. Calm seas do that to heat. At first the heat is all mixed in thanks to the wind-blender. But when the wind calms, the heat spreads out. Doesn’t mean there is more heat. It’s just spread out.
Remember in 2011 when there was so much rain it caused a dip in the global mean sea level?
|Data source: U Colorado Sea Level Research Group|
The point being, that if people expect a La Niña to rescue them from global warming, it ain't going to happen. The best they can hope for is a year or so when it doesn't get too much hotter. At the same time, in some areas it will get "too much" wetter.
Ian Wilson has built a model, described in a couple of long comments here and here, and he explains how it is built:
July 23, 2015 at 9:25 pm
It is built upon a simple alignment pattern between the lunar-line-of-apse, the lunar synodic cycle and the seasons, such that:
9 years + 9 years + 9 years + 4 year (slippage) = 31 years represents half of a full cycle of 62 years.
Matt G wants to move away from monitoring global warming by the rise in global surface temperature, or ocean heat content, or sea level, or melting ice. He's measuring it by the relative strength of El Niños.
July 24, 2015 at 1:15 pm
matthewrmarler July 24, 2015 at 11:44 am
There hasn’t been a strong El Nino since 1997/98 and the current one looks weaker based on similar time stages before they peak and also much cooler waters already developing off Peru. Since then CO2 has risen 35 ppm and yet 18 years later we still wait one to match it, never mind beat it. If it was CO2 related then why has taken this long and why have strong El Ninos occurred many thousands of years ago while CO2 levels were much lower? One mechanism that does match the change in the ENSO are the changes in global clouds and especially over the tropics. Changes in cloud levels in the tropics significantly affect the ocean absorbing solar radiation of which the ENSO is entirely derived from.
knr thinks there is a claim that cooling is proof of global warming. He or she is probably thinking about the hypothesis about the meandering jet stream bringing snow and coolish winters to some parts of the world. Globally, cooling is not evidence of warming. Well, you don't need me to tell you that.
July 24, 2015 at 10:34 am
Given that claim that cooling is ‘proof ‘ of global warming why do you think they will not jump on any increase in the temperature the El Nino brings will not also be jumped on has ‘proof ‘ ?
Salvatore Del Prete is a denier who thinks that the greenhouse effect is an 'absurd theory', but he does accept some climate science, in a mish-mash with pseudo-science. He also thinks an ice age cometh:
July 24, 2015 at 6:54 amEl Nino is an earth bound intrinsic climatic factor which is not going to push the climate into some kind of a new regime.
The main climate drivers Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability. Geo Magnetic Field Strength ,Land Ocean Arrangements are trending toward colder times ahead.
In addition the PDO/AMO should trend to a cold phase and ENSO going forward will be featuring less El Nino’s after this one ends, if PDO reverts to it’s cold phase.
Further reading from the HotWhopper archives
marke in the comments asked about the Californian drought and climate change, so here are some previous articles about papers on the drought, with links. (Sou 26 July 2105)
- The Californian drought is the worst in 1,200 years - December 2014
- Finally - another WUWT article on the drought in California - November 2014
- Human influence on the Californian drought - October 2014
- Finally, if a "bit too late" - Anthony Watts talks about the drought in California - January 2014