California drought in context

by Judith Curry

A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms [and] floods are potentially going to be costlier and they’re going to be harsher. – President Obama

Justin Gillis of the NYTimes responded to the statements made by President Obama in his February 14 visit to California to discuss the drought, in a post entitled Science linking drought to global warming in dispute.  Excerpt:

In delivering aid to drought-stricken California last week,President Obama and his aides cited the state as an example of what could be in store for much of the rest of the country as human-caused climate change intensifies.

But in doing so, they were pushing at the boundaries of scientific knowledge about the relationship between climate change and drought. While a trend of increasing drought that may be linked to global warming has been documented in some regions, including parts of the Mediterranean and in the Southwestern United States, there is no scientific consensus yet that it is a worldwide phenomenon. Nor is there definitive evidence that it is causing California’s problems.

Holdren and Romm

The main arguments being put forward regarding AGW making the drought worse seem to be put forward by John Holdren and Joe Romm.    John Holdren has prepared a document entitled Drought and Climate Change:  A Critique of Statements Made by Roger Pielke Jr. The existence of this document is astonishing in itself (Holdren is Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) – it was written in response to tweets and blog posts by Pielke.  Joe Romm has a follow on post Climatologist who predicted drought 10 years ago says it may become even more dire.  He lays out the arguments in support of global warming influencing the drought. The arguments aren’t  strong, an excerpt:

In my recent comments about observed and projected increases in drought in the American West, I mentioned four relatively well understood mechanisms by which climate change can play a role in drought. (I have always been careful to note that, scientifically, we cannot say that climate change caused a particular drought, but only that it is expected to increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of drought in some regions―and that such changes are being observed.)

The four mechanisms are:

  1. In a warming world, a larger fraction of total precipitation falls in downpours, which means a larger fraction is lost to storm runoff (as opposed to being absorbed in soil).
  2. In mountain regions that are warming, as most are, a larger fraction of precipitation falls as rain rather than as snow, which means lower stream flows in spring and summer.
  3. What snowpack there is melts earlier in a warming world, further reducing flows later in the year.
  4. Where temperatures are higher, losses of water from soil and reservoirs due to evaporation are likewise higher than they would otherwise be.

Romm’s article also cites Mann:

Michael Mann, one of the country’s leading climatologists, told me:

There is credible peer-reviewed scientific work by leading climate scientists, published more than a decade ago, that hypothesized that precisely this sort of blocking pattern would become more frequent with disappearing Arctic sea ice. Moreover, Arctic sea ice has declined precipitously in the intervening decade. So it seems quite clear that there is a potential connection, in a statistical sense, between human-caused global warming, declining Arctic sea ice, and the anomalous blocking pattern this winter that has added to other factors we know are tied to human-caused climate change (warmer temperatures and increased soil evaporation, and decreased winter snowpack and freshwater runoff) to produce the unprecedented drought this year in California.

To claim that it is “quite clear” there is no connection at all turns the burden of scientific evidence completely on its head. Such a statement defies logic.

Past California droughts

MSN news has an article Past California droughts have lasted 200 years.  Subtitle:  Researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years.  Excerpts:

“We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years,” said Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay. “We’re living in a dream world.”

Stine, who has spent decades studying tree stumps in Mono Lake, Tenaya Lake, the Walker River and other parts of the Sierra Nevada, said that the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years.

Looking back, the long-term record also shows some staggeringly wet periods. The decades between the two medieval megadroughts, for example, delivered years of above-normal rainfall — the kind that would cause devastating floods today.

The longest droughts of the 20th century, what Californians think of as severe, occurred from 1987 to 1992 and from 1928 to 1934. Both, Stine said, are minor compared to the ancient droughts of 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320.

Already, the 2013-14 rainfall season is shaping up to be the driest in 434 years, based on tree ring data, according to Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at UC Berkeley.

“It’s important to be aware of what the climate is capable of,” she said, “so that we can prepare for it.”

Martin Hoerling

Andy Revkin has a  post entitled A climate analyst clarifies the science behind California’s extreme drought.   Of particular interest to me is a note that Revkin received from Marty Hoerling of NOAA, excerpts:

Andy, I’ve been engaged in understanding this drought event, having just returned from Sacramento where I briefed a group of water managers and emergency responders on the drought. [The event: “California Drought Outlook Forum: What’s Ahead and What We Can Do.”]

This drought has many of the attributes of past historical droughts over the region — widespread lack of storms and rainfall that would normally enter the region from the Pacific with considerable frequency. It resembles the 1975-76 and 1976-77 California droughts, when two consecutive years were at least as dry as the last two years have been for the state as a whole.

The bottom line is that this type of drought has been observed before. And, to state the obvious, this drought has occurred principally due to a lack of rains, not principally due to warmer temperatures.

This may seem pretty obvious (and trivial) from simple inspection of historical observations, and indeed this drought is quite familiar to anyone who lived in California during the mid-1970s, as I did.

But the obligations for water have greatly increased in the state, and it may very well be that the stress created by the current failed rains is more severe than for similar rainfall deficits 40 years earlier. Without making a strong claim, it is at least intuitive that sociological and economic changes in California could be reducing resiliency to natural hazards, like drought. 

To the extent that precipitation is key, it can be said with high confidence that there is no trend toward either wetter or drier conditions for statewide average precipitation since 1895, so that has not likely been a player. But there are other indicators, and aspects of rainfall behavior that could be conducive to drought, even if the mean seasonal rainfall isn’t changing. What is the evidence there?

The argument hinges mostly on temperature and how it may be affecting water resources. (Never mind, by the way, that the farmers and water managers are praying to the heavens for rain, not for cooler temperatures, to bust their drought!).

A way of integrating the effects of temperature on drought is to examine soil moisture time series. That latest 2012 report, (the so-called SREX report) in their Table 3-2 examines the evidence for regional changes since 1950, and makes the following assessment of these various indicators for western North America:

“No overall or slight decrease in dryness since 1950; large variability; large drought of the 1930s dominate.”

The team of 42 authors assigned a “Medium Confidence” to that assessment. The report’s team in Table 3-3 then goes on to assess the scientific evidence for how drought in this region will change in the 21st century. They write:

“Inconsistent signal in consecutive dry days and soil moisture changes,” to which they assign a low confidence.

It is quite clear that the scientific evidence does not support an argument that this current California drought is appreciably, if at all, linked to human-induced climate change.

This is not to say that a warmer climate can’t and won’t act to decrease soil moisture. It simply reminds us that the current drought event, like its historical ancestors, continues to be strongly driven by the vagaries of storm tracks and the manner in which rains are delivered to the narrow stripe of the U.S. West Coast.

Peter Gleick

Peter Gleick has an article Clarifying the discussion about California drought and climate change.  I am not a fan of Gleick, but this article is a useful contribution to the debate.  His punch line:

The research and the debate over climate change and California droughts will continue. But before commenting, let’s make sure we understand what question is actually being asked, what question should be asked, and what question is actually being answered.

National Geographic

The National Geographic has an article Could the California drought last 200 years?  Excerpt:

Ingram and other paleoclimatologists have correlated several historic megadroughts with a shift in the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean that occurs every 20 to 30 years—something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The PDO is similar to an El Nino event except it lasts for decades—as its name implies—whereas an El Nino event lasts 6 to 18 months. Cool phases of the PDO result in less precipitation because cooler sea temperatures bump the jet stream north, which in turn pushes off storms that would otherwise provide rain and snow to California. Ingram says entire lakes dried up in California following a cool phase of the PDO several thousand years ago. Warm phases have been linked to numerous storms along the California coast.

“We have been in a fairly cold phase of PDO since the early 2000s,” says Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center, “so the drought we are seeing now makes sense.”

The Dust Bowl Returns

An op-ed in the NYTimes entitled The Dust Bown Returns asks the question: How long can we continue to grow a third of the nation’s fruit and vegetables?  Excerpts:

Yet for all the doom around us, here in Fresno itself it is hard to find evidence that the drought is changing the behavior of city dwellers. 

And while religious communities around the valley organized a day of prayer and fasting, entreating God to send rain, concrete efforts to solve the water problem are less apparent. Gov. Jerry Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent, but residential lawns, seeded each year with winter ryegrass, continue to glow in brilliant, bright-green hues, kept alive by sprinkler systems that are activated in the dark of night.

Fresnans have long resisted water-saving measures, clinging tenaciously to a flat rate, all-you-can-use system. Nudged by state and federal officials, Fresno began outfitting new homes with water meters in the early 1990s, but voters passed a ballot initiative prohibiting the city from actually reading them. It took two decades for all area homes to acquire meters and for the city to start monitoring the units. To its credit, Fresno has a watering schedule, limiting when residents can water their lawns. But enforcement, to put it charitably, is lax.

Our behavior here in the valley feels untenable and self-destructive, and for much of it we are to blame. But we also find support among an enthusiastic group of enablers: tens of millions of American shoppers who devour the lettuce and raisins, carrots and tomatoes, almonds and pistachios grown in our fields.

California’s drought is due to politics

Investors Business Daily has an article California’s Drought Isn’t Due to Global Warming,  But Politics.  Excerpts:

 Instead of blaming the man-made political causes of California’s worst water shortage, [Obama]‘s come with $2 billion in “relief” that’s nothing but a tired effort to divert attention from fellow Democrats’ dereliction of duty in using the state’s water infrastructure.

The one thing that will mitigate droughts in California — a permanent feature of the state — is to restore the water flow from California’s water-heavy north to farmers in the central and south. That’s just what House Bill 3964, which passed by a 229-191 vote last week, does.

But Obama’s plan is not to get that worthy bill through the Senate (where Democrats are holding it up) but to shovel pork to environmental activists and their victims, insultingly offering out-of-work farmers a “summer meal plan” in his package.

“They want to blame the drought for the lack of water, but they wasted water for the past five years,” said Nunes.

The two explain that California’s system of aqueducts and storage tanks was designed long ago to take advantage of rain and mountain runoff from wet years and store it for use in dry years. But it’s now inactive — by design. “California’s forefathers built a system (of aqueducts and storage facilities) designed to withstand five years of drought,” said Nunes.

Environmental special interests managed to dismantle the system by diverting water meant for farms to pet projects, such as saving delta smelt, a baitfish. That move forced the flushing of 3 million acre-feet of water originally slated for the Central Valley into the ocean over the past five years.

An article in Forbes entitled Drought Stokes California’s Class War.   Excerpts:

There are two prevailing views about how to deal with the drought. Farming interests in the Central Valley want the state to fund construction of additional water storage capacity so that the 700,000 acres of some of world’s richest farmland now fallowed bysteep water cutbacks can be put back into production.

The predominant view embraced by the media and ruling political class identifies the drought as yetanother manifestation of relentless global warming, which means the focus should be on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Greens balk at the idea of massive new spending on water storage for the agriculture sector, the state’s biggest water user, advocating instead for more conservation. New dams and reservoirs would have high environmental impacts, they argue, and their benefits may not justify the costs.

JC reflections

It seems that only Holdren, Romm and Mann (well Obama also) are pushing the link between the current drought and AGW.  Holdren is a political appointee, Romm works for a political appointee, and Mann is a self declared advocate.  Hard to know whether Obama is the dog or the tail on this one.

The California drought raises some interesting questions regarding detection and attribution related to AGW.  If the drought is not the biggest in 100 years, or 1000 years, we can’t say it was caused by AGW.  If you want to say that it was worsened by AGW, you need to have a convincing mechanism or evidence from climate models (climate models indicate more rainfall in CA under anthropogenic forcing).

The water resource issue in CA is looming very large; the demands continue to increase and agriculture seems the obvious loser under a water shortage scenario.  The CA enviros seem to be an enemy of sane water policies.  The final statement in Justin Gillis’ article sums it up:

“It all adds up across the Southwest to an increasingly stressed water system. That’s what they might as well get ready for.”

490 responses to “California drought in context

  1. Second paragraph under your reflections, you state:

    If the drought is not the biggest in 100 years, or 100 years, we can’t say it was caused by AGW.

    I think the second clause requires additional qualifiers to make sense.

  2. So environmentalists caused the drought in California as well as the floods in the UK and worsened wildfires in Australia. I think the evidence is clear enough to act. Sack the lot of them!

    • Please see:
      The Zetas And The Surfriders

      Extremism In Defense Of Environmentalism Can Be A Catastrophic Vice. 


      http://hbfreshwater.com/uncategorized/the-zetas-and-the-surfriders

      excerpt:
      
If the country has so hamstrung itself with regulatory process and tolerance for greens gaming the system that public agencies responsible for the water supply think that contending with the Zetas in Mexico is a more attractive option than contending with the Surfrider Foundation in California, are we facing an environmental crisis of existential proportions — or a governance crisis of existential proportions?

  3. Soil moisture is a function of precipitation, temperature, AND wind speed AND solar radiance. The indices use precipitation and temperature only because wind and radiance are not well sampled. As a consequence, temperature’s significance is OVERstated by the indices. Further, the Palmer indices are largely for NON-irrigated agriculture ( the MidWest ) while still meaningful, they are not as relevant to the highly irrigated West.

    People associate droughts with heat because during drought, reduced soil moisture reduces latent heat to the addition of sensible heat. But it is a logical error to assume the converse.

    • Good Point: Every underground contractor will tell you that wind dries soil faster than heat.

    • It’s also worth remembering that 2m SAT is affected by soil moisture – wet soils cool evaporatively too.

  4. There are no “blue” states just “blue” cities and in California in places like ‘Frisco’ their toilets are yellow.

  5. Another sad example of the misanthropic philosophy of the extreme environmental movement. They really do want a large segment of the population to go away and die.

    • @ Pete Bonk

      “They really do want a large segment of the population to go away and die.”

      Maybe this would be a good time to remember that the ‘Sustainability’ movement, of which ‘Climate Science’, writ large, is a prominent subset, has proclaimed that the maximum sustainable population for the earth is somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 billion. And to examine ‘Climate Change’ policies in light of ‘If this policy is implemented and enforced, how effective will it be in achieving a ‘Sustainable Population’.

      I think that you will find that EVERY policy advanced by ‘Climate Science’ will, purely by coincidence, I’m sure, have the unadvertised but real side effect of helping us achieve a ‘Sustainable Population’.

    • As in one of the James Bond movies, the villain says, “now be a good boy and die”, he replies, “you first” . So to the extreme environmental movement, you first.

      Actually they think very small. The possibilities of how far we could go and how many people that could lead enormously successful lives is limitless. Do they think as humans, are going to stay on this rock forever? There will be many times more people living out there than currently living on earth. The habitat of earth is not stable and it is dangerous.

  6. It is perhaps a fitting failure of Climatology that there is not a good causal explanation ( other than a shift between quasi-stable synoptic scale flow ) of the ‘Dust Bowl’.

    But the ‘Dust Bowl’ does set a standard of natural variance for drought, one that occurred in a cooler global temperature.

  7. The simple fact that Jerry Brown is again governor of California speaks to the real problem in California–the blue cities have taken the state down. California is issuing bonds to pay its bills… can you believe it!? Jerry Brown inquired about Tesla’s putative battery plant being built in California and Elon Mush essentially said, Are you crazy? We make Tesla’s in California but that is because the state gives us tax credits.

    • Curious George

      Never underestimate Jerry Brown. His creativity, especially in accounting, is unsurpassed.

  8. It’s amazing what a difference a year can make. Over a year ago in Jan 2013, global warming was going to shut down great lakes shipping as Lake Michigan/Huron water levels were 32″ below the 100 year average. As of today, lake levels have already recovered 14″ and Glerl forecasts project the real possiblity that levels will return to 100% of the 100 year average by July or August of 2014.

    This is in a lake with an an average depth of 176.42 meters. (GLERL). Its only inconvenient to humans that the lake has a variation of .00466 on the low side every 20 years or so. Since Eviromentalists dont want Steel plants to make steel and emit co2 or coal plants to burn coal here in the USA we wont need the great lakes for shipping any goods in the solar economy. Lake levels at that point become pretty irrelevant since you wont be able to power a 50 foot yacht or a waverunner on solar power anyway. Sailboats, pedal boats or canoes will do just fine regardless of water level.

    • It is notable that the Corps has acknowledged their decades long aggressive dredging of the St Clair River has accelerated drainage of Lakes Michigan and Huron and estimates it has permanently lowered those lakes by 19 inches. You will never get this little tidbit in any hysterical global warming article in the MSM. In 1986, when the lakes were at record high levels, the State of Michigan appropriated $6 million to mitigate the effects of the high water along the shorelines. The first rule: are we sure it is not natural variability.

  9. I found Gleick’s article a lot more reasonable than his usual junk. This seems to be a more general principle: many scientists seem to be more reasonable talking about their own specialties than when they become advocates based on things outside their specialties. OTOH, there was this:

    For example, we know with a high degree of certainty that temperatures are going to continue to go up and increase evaporative demands for water. We know with a high degree of certainty that the ratio of rain to snow falling in the mountains will rise, snowpack will diminish, and that the timing of runoff will change. We know with a high degree of certainty that sea-level is rising, with effects on coastal aquifers and brackish water ecosystems.

    He and his fellow alarmists may “know with a high degree of certainty”, but I wonder how many real climate scientists would ignore the uncertainties involved in such projections.

    • Never mind the model certainty of greater precipitation.

    • Even lukewarmers know with a high degree of certainty that temperatures are going to continue rising.

      • False. Lukewarmers know no such thing. Because they rely on science and data, not hyperbole and hysteria. Temperatures may indeed start rising again (and some time in the future they will). But they may continue to fall, or they may remain flatlined.

    • Not necessarily in any particular area.

    • Had Peter Glieck stuck to water issues, his credibility and reputation would have remained in good stead.

      Count him as another casualty of the High Church of Environmental Activism. Self inflicted category.

    • “Lukewarmers know no such thing.”

      yes they do. They understand the greenhouse effect and that rising CO2 will certainly mean higher temperatures. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is only pretending to be a lukewarmer.

      • Lukewarmers do indeed understand the properties of CO2. But they are not stupid enough to deny the fact that while CO2 has risen by a great amount over the last 17 years, Temperatures have not. In other words, they know that other factors are at play, not just one control knob.

        Your statement is falsified. Unlike you, I am a luke warmer, not an alarmist.

    • Certainly not certainly, lolwot. Though AnthroCO2 may raise temperature, natural forces may cool them, so your certainty is cock a hoop.
      ==============

    • Any lukewarmers would realize that the warming influence from human emitted CO2 alone is far stronger than natural forces.

      In the last 2000 years temperature has only ever changed naturally by a few tenths of a degree in a century.

    • Iolwot

      Where does your assertion come from that temperatures have only changed slightly by a few tenths of a degree in a century over 2000 years?

      I will assume you are too rational to be believe in the hockey stick and will recognise that paleo proxy temperatures are centred on 50 year gaps and therefore don’t pick up on the enormous annual and decadal variability.

      So, citation please

      tonyb

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot, you write ““Lukewarmers know no such thing.”

      yes they do. They understand the greenhouse effect and that rising CO2 will certainly mean higher temperatures. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is only pretending to be a lukewarmer.”

      Your logic leaves a great deal to be desired. You are talking nonsense. Yes, lukewarmers know that adding CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels will cause global temperatures to rise, but the amount of this rise in in dispute. Some of us believe the rise in temperatures is so small that it is insignificant. So, yes, as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere, it will cause an insignificant rise in global temperatures, but this rise will be completely hidden in the noise of natural variations.

      Nothing illogical about that.

    • lolwot says:

      “In the last 2000 years temperature has only ever changed naturally by a few tenths of a degree in a century.”

      I think the warming from 1700 to 1800 was around .4C, There was also some natural warming from 1800 – 1900 and 1900 – 1950. Warmists attribute most warming from 1950 on to humans causes, but most warming before to natural causes. The warming before 1950 is certainly on the order of the warming after 1950 (even in a single century).

    • Lukewarmers know that the warming per doubling of CO2 surpasses the warming of any known century prior to 1900. There was little centennial warming or cooling before 1900.

    • lolwot says:

      “There was little centennial warming or cooling before 1900.”

      Your kidding right. It has gone from the coldest in the last 2000 years (LIA) to the warmist in the last 2000 years (the MWP). So the non-carbon temperature swing in the last 2000 years is way bigger than the temperature swing in the last 60.

    • @ lolwot… “There was little centennial warming or cooling before 1900″. I find that statement to entirely wrong. That is a huge problem with AGW, from the beginning. AGW can’t explain past temperatures swings, so they pretend they didn’t happen. That’s it pretty much it in a nutshell, isn’t it. Unfortunately for AGW, other proxy data shows clear swings in temperatures world wide, rather than just localized weather events as AGW has claimed, without evidence by the way.
      If you can’t explain the recent past, you certainly aren’t going to be able to explain what is happening today. In fact the AGW chart showing that there was no additional co2 during the LIA or the MWP. So which is wrong, the temperatures or the amount of co2? Please explain why there was a MWP and a LIA when there was no additional co2. I’ve been asking that question for the last 16 years. Surprisingly I haven’t ever seen a reply other than, ” it didn’t happen”.

    • I am fascinated to see this discussion of what lukewarmers do or do not think. I wish Mosher or Lucia would drop by and give their opinion, but in their absence, here’s mine:

      Lukewarmers would probably be reluctant to say very much with certainty. I’m not sure that’s a feature or a bug of Lukewarmerism. I don’t think we would be surprised to see higher temperatures–CO2 being a greenhouse gas and increasing its concentrations in the atmosphere, temperatures cetera paribus will rise. But neither would we be surprised if other characteristics mask that warming. The hiatus may continue for quite a while.

      The models being excoriated for not charting temperature fluctuations of a very low level over a very short period probably do quite well at showing broad movements over a long period and they make a good argument at rising temperatures.

      But applying model outputs to explain the most recent manifestation of droughts in an area that was mostly desert up to two centuries ago is just political expropriation of the weather to satisfy political goals. Just another example of Xtreme Weather (I should get around to copyrighting that phrase, or trademarking it, or something.)

    • The extremes of the LIA and MWP were at most 0.5 C below and above a baseline in the last 2000 years. This is a full range of a degree. The fact that we have had almost a degree now in the last century, 0.7 C in 50 years, is a higher rate of change because it did not go from MWP to LIA in one century. We are in an exceptional warming period, and the 2-3 C more in the 21st century would be even more exceptional. It’s understandable from the forcing change which will become probably about ten times the solar and volcanic forcing changes seen in the last 2000 years.

    • Jim D
      I know that it is helpful to view the climate as remarkably stable taking centuries to change minimally. Such glacial change makes the relatively rapid changes of both the first half and second half of the last century seem dramatic, but one cannot disregard the work of such as Dansgaard and others. From http://www.aip.org/history/climate/rapid.htm: “Dansgaard et al. (1989); increasingly abrupt changes were seen on further study, Johnsen et al. (1992); Grootes et al. (1993); jumps of Greenland snow accumulation “possibly in one to three years” were reported by Alley et al. (1993), see also Mayewski (1993); five-year steps: Taylor et al. (1997); changes of 2-4°C at Greenland within a single year: Steffensen et al. (2008). changes in dust had been noted, indicating at least continental scope for the change, and a Younger Dryas temperature step in less than a decade was found to be hemisphere-wide since methane gas Good histories are Alley (2000) and Cox, (2005)”
      As to how exceptional our present warmth is compared to the MWP, I can only point to some of the work of the “Woods Hole Institute”, hardly a hot bed of skeptics. Oppo et. al. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v460/n7259/abs/nature08233.html found that sea surface temperatures in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool were comparable to today’s.
      Nor if you compare the two 30 year periods of warming during the last century and you find much different between them either in degree or in rate.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1940/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2000 Yet the rate of increase in CO2 in the period from 1910 to 1930′s should be minimally comparable, based on either the degree of industrialization or the population of the industrialized world. As late as 1958, nearly 30 years later, when the Mona Loa data started being collected, we can see that the rate of increase of CO2 was considerably less than today. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12
      After that your comment is pure speculation.

  10. Peter Gleick opines: “But before commenting, let’s make sure we understand what question is actually being asked, what question should be asked, and what question is actually being answered, “

    The question that should be asked is how is that this thief, forger, and hypocrite has not been publicly shamed by his peers?

    • Attacks against the person, not the ideas expressed, have no place in science. The CAGW crowd uses them as a primary means of shutting down debate. It makes them look weak. Doing the same thing to Gleick, no matter what he has done, does not contribute to the advancement of science.

    • It is so abscure I have usually forgotten his name when he pops up again. I’m afraid it’s the same as trying to tie the Bengazi cover up to Hillary or Obama as lame and pathetc as it was. The MSM has a way of making things disappear in plain view and make a mockery of anyone who brings it back up again.

    • Obscure

  11. “Michael Mann, one of the country’s leading climatologists, told me:”

    Utterly beyond parody.

    • truth is generally beyond parody

    • That one statement tells you all you need to know about the state of consensus “climate science.”

    • I heard a rumor that there was a paper from about 2004 that predicted the drought based on the loss of arctic sea ice. That is what Mann was talking about.

      Maybe I have to do some homework.

      “[1] Recent decreases in Arctic sea ice cover and the probability of continued decreases have raised the question of how reduced Arctic sea ice cover will influence extrapolar climate. Using a fully coupled earth system model, we generate one possible future Arctic sea ice distribution. We use this “future” sea ice distribution and the corresponding sea surface temperatures (SSTs) to run a fixed SST and ice concentration experiment with the goal of determining direct climate responses to the reduction in Arctic sea ice that is projected to occur in the next 50 years. Our results indicate that future reductions in Arctic sea ice cover could significantly reduce available water in the American west and highlight the fact that the most severe impacts of future climate change will likely be at a regional scale.”

      from

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2003GL019133/abstract

    • Yea, that is the one BD.
      Lisa Sloan and Jacob Sewell did a remarkable job of predicting the California drought. It doesn’t look like chance either since the spatio-temporal density plots were so eerily accurate compared to the later measurenents.

      Who said climate science was dismal? Not with those kind of results.

  12. The last big dam was built in California in 1979. Since then the population has risen 16 million. If you want to live in the desert you need to store water for the inevitable non-rainy day. They didn’t because the greens fought against the dams with every lie in their arsenal.

  13. From Saturday’s WSJ Weekend Interview …

    Just ask Mark Watte, a second-generation dairyman and nut grower from rural Tulare, who doesn’t mince words. “Everywhere you turn, they are coming at us with this nonsensical b.s.!” he says. Who are “they”? Environmentalists, though the beleaguered California farmer cautions against using that word: “Most of them don’t really care about the environment. They are obstructionists.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303775504579396093119215448?KEYWORDS=california+water&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303775504579396093119215448.html%3FKEYWORDS%3Dcalifornia%2Bwater

  14. Jim Cripwell

    David Cameron pushed the link between climate change and floods.

    see http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/unbelievable/

    The last line of the letter from 10 Downing Street made me laugh out loud.

  15. Dr. C, if you keep this up, you too, may be the recipient of a Holdren “love letter.” I’m sure a Michael Mann tweet cascade, is also headed your way. As far as Romm, who cares?

  16. Oh, yeah, a great reminder that after the Obama speech, he went and played golf a the most water intensive course in Palm Springs.

  17. California has seemed hell bent on self destruction for a while now. Massive population increase with no increase in water storage capacity. Massive increase in intermittent renewables with minimal increase in peaking or peak shifting capacity. I refer to the Eagle Crest pumped storage proposal, which received preliminary federal permits in 2005. Would use two open pit mines abandoned in 1982 for upper and lower reservoirs, located 10 miles from existing transmission rights of way. So no environmental impact. By regulation Oct 2013, VPUC mandated 1.3 GW of grid storage, of forms that do not yet exist in any proven grid scale. And by. Obstruction of the mandate details, precluded Eagle Crest.
    Sad for the farmers who will be driven out of business, but I suspect even that won’t solve this problem. Maybe thirst will wake California voters up to what they have done to themselves. I fear they will try to blame climate change rather than their own folly.

    • Rud,
      Sage as always!

      “California has seemed hell bent on self destruction for a while now”. That statement summarizes much of the politics for the State during the last twenty five years. The end.

      The reality is that politicians will definitely blame everything but “their folly”. One must look at the voters. Why so many voters are predisposed to extreme feel good directions is likely a more interesting question?

    • Rud,

      The CPUC’s decision to mandate energy storage is following the approach that was (is) used to meet our RES goals. What it costs to meet the goal is secondary to our need to address climate change. Last time I checked the output from the Ivanpah solar thermal facility is under 20 to 30 year PPA’s with must take provisions at an average generation price of around $.17+/ kWh. I was never able to find out how much the”+” is for the energy storage capability of the facility. In regards to innovation I was a bit surprised to see that Dr. Borenstein is now in support of the energy storage mandates.

      “The second thing that has changed my mind on subsidizing development and deployment of new energy (and energy efficiency) technologies is the need to solve the problem of global climate change.”

      http://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/in-defense-of-picking-winners/

      On the bright side of things I was notified by PG&E that the March, 2014 retail price for electrical energy only went up to an average (E-1 Non Care rate schedule from PG&E) of $.20052/kWh. I am trying to figure out how a new category of costs “California Climate Credit” affects this average value. My SWAG is that PG&E is getting cash for it’s carbon credits as part of AB 32 and they have to give some of it back to their customers. For 2014 each PG&E customer will get a bill credit of $29.52 in their April and October bill cycles from the Ca Climate Credit monies. Interestingly the E-1 Non Care average price metric has increased 5.35% since 1/1/13. The E-1 CARE Average price metric for 3/1/14 is $.09934 kWh- this metric has decreased by .6% over the same time frame. It looks like the political decision on how to split the California Climate Credit went in favor of CARE customers. I wonder how PG&E’s Average Residential Rates are tracking to the Forecasted Low, Mid and High Demand Scenarios that were used to support the 33%RES…………

  18. The Cali-drought is kinda interesting, because it is clearly related to lack of precipitation ( 2013 lowest Cal precip on record ):

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/

    as opposed to the factors listed by Holdren, et. al.

    Precipitation is clearly a function of dynamics. That being the case, it is
    difficult to believe the parameterized models of future precipitation which indicate decreases in some areas and increases in others. If humidity increases globally, in concert with temperature, it would seem that the most likely result would be, given the same number of dynamically forced precipitation events, for precipitation to increase globally.

  19. From the archives of the University of Minnesota I have aerial pictures taken by John Borchert in 1937, and other years. The pictures are of the area in which I live in Southern MN, I live within six miles of eight different lakes. When compared with DNR topographical maps, it shows the lakes were down at least 20 feet, and that about 2/3 or more of the lake areas were dry.

    I have heard many stories of weeds and trees growing in the dried lakes, and some caught on fire. Many attempts were made to farm the dry lake beds, but the soil was generally too alkaline, so much of the lake bottoms became pasture land.

    It was so hot, even at night that people tried to sleep partially submerged in remaining potholes.

    The drought lasted until the fall of 1940 when rains began to fall. Then on Armistice, now Veterans day of 1941 there came the famous Blizzard.
    Temperatures dropped by over 50 deg F. in 15 minutes, and many people my folks knew were caught in it and many froze to death.

    Stories, be they anecdotal, and for some, a part of their personal history,
    illuminate extreme weather of various types in the past.

    • I happened to take the Geography of Minnesota class taught by John Borchert…. learned how to access data from that class.
      My page on analyzing ice-out dates

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/09/lake-ice-out-dates-earlier-and-earlier.html

      • David Springer

        Water depth effects ice out date. How do you adjust ice out date for water depth on same lake year over year? I bet you don’t so like Mannian tree rings you say it measures temperature when it’s actually measuring precipitation, number of cloudy days, winds, runoff, beaver dams, and who knows what all else. Unlike lakes which are sometimes deep your thinking is always shallow.

    • WHT—-Kinda fun, your site there,
      My slow brain saw blinking Christmas lights more than anything else.
      I have not recorded dates, but I have not seen too much of a trend, although, the ice has been on a little longer.
      Much of that has to do with winds. or lack of.
      However, some of the fall freezes have been a little later.
      This year we have about 86 feet of ice, well maybe not quite, just seems like it when trying to drill through it.
      BTW, a hundred years ago, Minnesota was at the center of a geothermal industry.
      I will let anyone figure what that was.

    • daryllb, you and your other brother daryl should be championing the all organic free range ice trade. :)

    • Cpt D. You got it
      About 350 pounds each!
      I did see the spellings of both Darryl and his other brother Darryl,
      They were both the same as me, and you can bet that I heard my
      other brother D—– a lot.

    • David Springer

      I’m from rural western New York. Less than one degree F warmer than Minneapolis average temp. Can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a stream, pond, river, or lake. Lake Ontario and Lake Erie about 60-70 miles as the crow flies. Right on fringe of lake effect snow, which wasn’t much this winter, because as the great lakes freeze over there’s less evaporation for snow. I lived in a lot of places in the US but that’s the most beautiful hands down.

    • David, now we know that sea ice is land, freezing over the great lakes converts the water temperature to land temperature, so North American’s temperature must be adjusted down

  20. “It seems that only Holdren, Romm and Mann (well Obama also) are pushing the link between the current drought and AGW. Holdren is a political appointee, Romm works for a political appointee, and Mann is a self declared advocate. Hard to know whether Obama is the dog or the tail on this one.”

    Politics is a blame game. If the drought is something that everyone could have anticipated with or without AGW (like tropical storm Sandy), then the failure to prepare for it falls on the (Democratic) policy makers – especially the progressive environmentalists who actively dismantled drought preparedness infrastructure.
    Obama, Holdren and Romm can’t allow that. They need to blame George Bush and the Republicans and the only way to do that is by insisting it’s all due to AGW.
    The mistake was allowing this branch of science to be wholly owned by partisans. The disaster is that it’s 20 years later and still happening. And will happen all night tonight: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/09/senate-democrats-talkathon-climate-change/6172647/
    From the article:
    “The Democratic effort is cause for some confusion because these senators are calling for action in a chamber they control but without any specific legislation to offer up for a vote, or any timetable for action this year.”
    Odd, isn’t it, to have a dog and pony show without any dogs or ponies. Maybe there will be squirrels.

    • @ JeffN

      “The mistake was allowing this branch of science to be wholly owned by partisans.”

      Good post in general JeffN, but you need to remember that the reason that this branch of ‘science’ is ‘wholly owned’ by partisans because it is in fact the CREATION of those same partisans.

      The PURPOSE of the multi-billion dollar Climate_Science/Green/Progressive-politician self-licking ice cream cone is, and always has been, to provide ‘scientific’ justification for the implementation of the progressive/socialist/marxist/communist/liberal/green/euphemism du jour political agenda.

      It may not have had much success in producing functional Climate Models, but it has been WILDLY successful in achieving its intended purpose. And, with the announcement that control of ‘Climate Change’ is now going to be achieved through executive decrees, regulatory edicts, the sue-and-settle loop, and imposed ‘fees’ (not taxes, of course) its future success appears to be pre-ordained.

    • You forgot Jerry Brown

  21. Hi Judy – Excellent post! My article

    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: Global climate models – Many contributing influences. Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Climate Change, Colorado Climate Foundation for Water Education, pp. 28-29.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/nr-148.pdf

    supports your viewpoint.

    Just one clarification (in my view) in your post summary. You write

    ” If you want to say that it was worsened by AGW, you need to have a convincing mechanism or evidence from climate models (climate models indicate more rainfall in CA under anthropogenic forcing).”

    Climate models can only provide predictions (i.e. that as applied with respect to the droughts are hypotheses). Only real world observations can provide evidence.

    Roger Sr.

    • Steven Mosher

      of course models provide evidence.

      If my model predicts x, and I observe 10X, then the model provides evidence that I probably dont understand what is going on.

      If my model predicts x and I see x, then the model is evidence of the fact that I may understand what is going on.

      evidence comes in many varieties, from empirical evidence to evidence of consistency or inconsistency.

      put anther way. Experiments done with models provide observations. Observations of agreement or disagreement. These “observations”, me observing the agreement or disagreement is not categorically different than me observing the sun coming up. I create the model. I observe the code.
      I run the model. I observe the result. I test the model against other observations. I observe the agreement or lack of agreement. That is an observation. That is evidence. The agreement or disagreement is not a fiction, it actually exists and we use this observation of agreement or disagreement to make a judgement about the model. The model provides evidence. Evidence of its own suitability. We use the evidence provided by models to judge models.

    • The overwhelming majority of precipitation occurs in association with dynamic convergence zones ( cold fronts, tropical waves, the ITCZ ).

      If the number and intensity of such precipitating events remains the same in a world of globally rising absolute humidity, why would one not assume precipitation would increase globally also?

    • Steven,

      One can use the term “observations” in the way you laid out to describe models but IMO it is much clearer to not confuse the issue by doing so. Stick to projections (or predictions) by models and whether something (the observation or result) is consistent with the model. Some also try to say “models confirm” when it is more clear to say something is consistent with the model or that the model suggests that such and such is the mechanism, etc.

    • Steven Mosher

      Bill the confusion comes from Sr. misuse of the word evidence. It’s essentially a rhetorical ploy.

    • “Bill the confusion comes from Sr. misuse of the word evidence. It’s essentially a rhetorical ploy.”

      Uhmmm…. no.

      Evidence -> observation.

      Prognostic models -> predictions.

    • I agree with Pielke: Only real world observations can provide evidence.

      Models do not, and cannot, provide evidence for anything. They may allow one to interpret evidence (observations) in new ways, but that is a far cry from providing the observations themselves.

      I think what Dr, Curry should have said was “you need to have a convincing mechanism or specific predictions from climate models.”

      OBTW, changing a climate model ex post facto so that it now “predicts” the drought does not count as a successful prediction.

    • How can an unvalidated model provide evidence?

    • steven
      you have difficulty understanding both models and their use and evidence. you continue to make these statements over a long period of time. You seriously need to make an effort to undersand models and their use and what constitutes “evidence”.

      Models provide evidence? nothing of that sort is even remotely true. if you had evidence, you wont use models to make projections or predictions. (By the way, models can be used for both, as opposed to your constant assertion otherwise).

      Evidence that a model is doing what it claims to do, is observation. this isnt word play or rhetoric. But lack of understanding on your part. In fact evidence better be completely independent of the model. Otherwise it is a self fulfilling prophecy.

  22. The lack of water for central valley irrigation will result in reduced tax revenue from lower production and labor.

  23. I think the apparatchik Holdren has picked the wrong target in Dr. Pielke, who’s shown a determination to fight back. I see the situation as a big plus for skeptics as what Holdren’s really doing is getting involved in a public debate as to the state of the science….not a winning move for the alarmists in general…and certainly not when it comes to extreme weather attributions.

  24. Steven Mosher

    one wonders how much longer people will put up with the delayers and deniers of adaptation.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      One wonders how much longer people will put up with wondering.

    • Steven Mosher

      yes, put an end to curiosity.

    • “yes, put an end to curiosity.”

      Just what Naomi Oreskes advocates, as a matter of fact.

      Re (the absurdly named) “climate change,” she writes: “…many Americans cling to the idea that it is reasonable to maintain an open mind. It isn’t, at least not to scientists who study the matter.”

      Jeebus that’s scary.

    • Mosher, “one wonders how much longer people will put up with the delayers and deniers of adaptation.”

      My,my,my chomping at the bit for a bit of libertarian activism! go get em Steve, hope and adapt. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • “one wonders how much longer people will put up with the delayers and deniers of adaptation.”

      One wonders how short term views became the dominant practice. There is significant evidence that this drought is very short compared to what HAS happened there.

      Why should AGW be any part of this?

    • Steven Mosher

      Bob.

      Hope has nothing to do with it. Its merely being practical.

    • Adapting comes naturally, and progressively; mitigation is slavery and regressive.
      ==========

    • Steve Mosher, “Bob.

      Hope has nothing to do with it. Its merely being practical.”

      I guess the phrase was too subtle. But you say you just mean to be practical. There is a great deal one could read into that Steve. Practical about what? The data says we’ve had 17.5 years of no statistically significant warming, so simple logic would suggest you do nothing until you understand the major forcings. Unless, of course your are so enthralled with the “CO2 Control Knob” school of thinking that you can’t imagine any other forcing that is more dominant. So what does practical mean?, -perhaps a carbon tax, more non-helpful renewables, higher sea walls, electric cars, more closures of coal- fired generation, vegan-ism, etc. Not very practical based on current observations – don’t you think Steve. Now if by practical, you mean nuclear, go right ahead and adapt me.

    • John Carpenter

      Bob, a practical option would be letting local citizens decide for themselves what adaptive measures they agree would be beneficial to their community. If they agree planting more trees or erecting a higher sea wall is beneficial, then they should plant more trees or erect higher sea walls. Adaptive measures are going to be determined locally. The practicality of the measure rests with the local community, not with what outside observers necessarily think.

  25. This quote from the articles caught my eye;;

    ‘Already, the 2013-14 rainfall season is shaping up to be the driest in 434 years, based on tree ring data, according to Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at UC Berkeley.

    “It’s important to be aware of what the climate is capable of,” she said, “so that we can prepare for it.”

    —— ——–

    I was at the Met office library again today examining records back some 1000 years with particular reference to the Symons rainfall records which according to the Met office gives the UK reliable rainfall data back to 1766.

    There is no doubt that the climate over the last 50 years has been exceptionally benign (although still subject to extremes) and in this it has strong similarities to the tranquility of the MWP from around 850 to 1200AD.

    Excluding the MWP , the period prior to 1850 was much wetter and stormier than today . The period around 1200 to 1450 was at times very much stormier, much wetter, much drier, much hotter and much colder. That is to say it was typified by extremes.

    There is masses of information about past events available, which these days unfortunately appear to be bypassed in favour of computer models based on relatively recent scenario and projections.

    As Lynn Ingram observes we really need to accept that future resilience needs to be based on the worst extremes of the past.

    tonyb

  26. Clearly the best way to solve the drought problem is to implement a carbon tax.

    Right?

    Trying to solve it through water management is madness.

    • @ Tom Scharf

      “Clearly the best way to solve the drought problem is to implement a carbon tax.”

      Well, that is a necessary but insufficient condition. You also have to sabotage our national power grid by regulating coal generators off the grid and establishing a permitting process for replacements that ensures that there will be none. Except for wind or solar, which just speed up the sabotage process.

  27. Tamino has an excellent response to Hoerling concerning the California drought here:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/california-drought/

    • Tamino is ignoring the fact that the current drought in California is clearly due to lack of precipitation ( 2013 was the driest year on record for California precipitation ). Instead, he chooses to emphasize temperature.
      Well, evapo-transpiration is a function of temperature, to be sure, but also a function of wind and sunshine ( which are not included in the PDSI, because they are not well measured ), so the PDSI exaggerated the influence of temperature.

      Further, the PDSI was developed for un-irrigated lands ( the MidWest ) not the irrigated lands of the West.

    • As the San Jose Mercury News points out:

      “Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.

      “We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years,” said Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay. “We’re living in a dream world.””

      So this seems to look like a small event on those timescales.

    • Yes, some of the long lived trees in New Mexico also indicate century long drought episodes have been part of natural variation.

  28. Has anyone ever seen a peer reviewed paper or MSM story reporting a BENEFIT from Climate Change?

    Are we to conclude ANY deviation from today’s climate has only negative consequences?

  29. 3 million acre feet of water diverted according to IBD. Farmers are currently spending as much as $1300 for an acre foot of water according to WSJ.. That’s nearly $4 billion of water run out to sea. Who gets the bill for that?

  30. Well assuming that you believe that the PDO has any influence on these things (drought in the USA West Coast that is) then this PDO reconstruction says that this year is nothing unusual

    These sort of dry periods probably come along on a regular basis according to that and will continue to do so.

  31. Will be interesting to analyze how Lisa Sloan and Jacob Sewall predicted this spot on 10 years ago.

    Maybe there is something to this climate science, huh?

    • “Maybe there is something to this climate science, huh?” Nah

    • According to BOB, an environmental scientist can NEVER be right.

    • Webby, maybe someday. Your record right now is not looking too good. Trust you at least agree to that.

    • BOB, if the consensus climate science is wrong in the general theory, it will be the biggest scientific failure of modern times.

      I couldn’t even think of something that would have failed at that scale.

      Sure, there are individual theories that have failed. Just consider Cornell physicist Thomas Gold, who claimed that the lunar lander would sink into the moon’s dust, that crude oil was abiotic in origin, and life originated from cosmic garbage, among other failed theories.

      I am confident to stand on the right side of history with respect to AGW.

    • WHT—see my comment to yours above.
      ‘The right side of history’ the problem is that in fact there are two well delineated sides. It is not about winning an argument, it is as I believe Dr. Pielke Sr. would say. making a best judgement decision considering all possible outcomes.
      My wife and I are adoptive parents of special needs children, now adults, and we deal with many poor people which at times can be very frustrating.
      Some have the benefits society provides for them and some just hang on, and environmental/ energy decisions significantly effect them, but they have no clue as to what is going on.
      I am tired of hearing, ‘don’t you care about your children and grand children. Yes, I do and that is why I want decisions based upon fact, not ideology,
      Right now, I find that facts indicate there may be some CO2 induced AGW or ACC, or maybe not, However, I think natural factors are still predominant.
      I see two very bad outcomes of the whole, overblown Climate Change
      debacle, and this thread relates to one or both.
      The water table, aquifers, water sources in general are being depleted by over usage and people are living in a way and in places that is not sustainable.
      That gets drowned out (sick pun) by the climate debate.
      Also, if it is found that warming warnings are far to extreme, people will learn to not trust or respect the science community on anything.
      Some scientists do and present their work very well, which can be a bland presentation for the media. But predict that a third of New York will be flooded by 2008 and the media loves you.

  32. Steven Mosher

    When you want to conclude that drought

    “was worsened by AGW”

    you need observations. Models can correctly predict this only when they are validated against real world data.

    You wrote

    If my model predicts x, and I observe 10X, then the model provides evidence that I probably dont understand what is going on.

    Your use of “evidence” is how I would write that

    If my model predicts x, and I observe 10X, then the model is rejected as representing reality.

    Regardless, we do seem to be in basic agreement on how to test the models which requires observations.

    Roger

    • There is scant evidence that this is anything other than part of a continued pattern of PDO and drought.

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/pdo/

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘When you want to conclude that drought

      “was worsened by AGW”

      you need observations. When you want to conclude that drought

      “was worsened by AGW”

      you need observations. Models can correctly predict this only when they are validated against real world data.against real world data.”

      #################################
      Actually not. A model can do a correct prediction without ever having been validated. In fact valid models are valid before they are ever validated. I build a model. I do predictions. Those predictions are either correct or incorrect, prior to any validation. The validation only provides me confidence. It doesn’t in and of itself make the prediction correct. So take a model that predicts how the earth will respond to a asteroid hitting it. Such a model can correctly predict even if its never validated. Looking at the danger involved most people would not demand that we validate that model before using it. Its used because it provides the best information and evidence available. Sure we could wait till the asteroid hit. validate the model and then conclude… “hey we should have done something about that asteroid”
      This is not to say validation isnt important. It should be done when it can be done. Until its done the models still provide evidence and people can and will attribute weight to it as they see fit.

      Moreover in attribution we are really talking about a hindcast and counter factual. What would the current drought be like had the past not been like it was ( no increase in GHGs since 1750). Put simply, would todays drought be less severe had temperatures remained the same over the past 250 years or would it have been as severe?

      • David Springer

        So I have this model that if California is allowed to remain part of the United States its liberal representatives in congress will result in the collapse of the union. According to Mosherian logic it’s a valid model until and if it is invalidated by observation. Given the importance of the endurance of the union of the other 49 states and the catastrophic result of validating the model, which would only work one time and result in the collapse of the union, we must act on it by ejecting California right frickin’ now.

        Mosherian logic. Amazing. Amazingly stupid.

    • Heh, it seems obvious the anthro influence was to shorten the duration of the drought. Prove it ain’t.
      ===============

    • Steven Mosher says:

      “Actually not. A model can do a correct prediction without ever having been validated. In fact valid models are valid before they are ever validated. I build a model. I do predictions. Those predictions are either correct or incorrect, prior to any validation. The validation only provides me confidence. It doesn’t in and of itself make the prediction correct.”

      True.

      However you don’t know whether the prediction is correct or incorrect until you can evaluate the prediction. If you predict the global temperature at 2100 – you have to wait until 2100 to evaluate the prediction.

      If you predict the global temperature when CO2 hits 560 ppm, you have to wait until CO2 hits 560 ppm.

      In other words – you very act of determining whether the model makes correct predictions validates them or invalidates them. Which you cannot do until the end of the prediction period (2100 or 2050 or 560 ppm or whatever).

    • Steven Mosher

      wrong springer.

      My claim is rather simple. A model is valid or not before it is validated.
      that’s just logic. Validation confirms which state it is in.

      Rogers statement

      ” Models can correctly predict this only when they are validated against real world data.”

      I have a model of your weight. My model predicts that your weight is less than 5 tons. This model is valid or not. right now before we put you on the scale. It can correctly predict your weight before its validated. In fact All correct models make correct predictions before they are validated. You just dont know whether they are valid until you validate.

      “Models can correctly predict prior to validation and when they are validated against real world data we can put more faith in them” prior to validation the predictions may well be correct, but our confidence in them is limited.

    • Steve; If we do not know if the model is valid or not, then any prediction it can makes (or does not) is hardly useful then is it?

      You might as well ask the cat.

    • “Steve; If we do not know if the model is valid or not, then any prediction it can makes (or does not) is hardly useful then is it?”

      Mosher’s a philosopher. Which is nice. I just think he needs to get outdoors more.

    • The models are tuned and improved against 150 years of climate up to after 2000, during which there was a significant CO2 change. If they weren’t able to represent past climate and its changes they would not have been used for projections. While tuning is not validation, it is a process that constrains the model with as much observational data as can be found, especially adding satellite in the later years to help with clouds.

    • “I have a model of your weight. My model predicts that your weight is less than 5 tons. This model is valid or not. right now before we put you on the scale. It can correctly predict your weight before its validated. In fact All correct models make correct predictions before they are validated. You just dont know whether they are valid until you validate.”
      //
      Change the word “model” to “guess” and this works ok.

    • David Springer

      Stevie your stupid unvalidated model notion isn’t getting much love from the peanut gallery. LOL

    • I have a model that says model’s are always correct and never need to be validated. Does these mean my model was correct before validation if it is always wrong after validation?
      I understand the semantic gamers won but feel someone has lost the integrity game on a KO here, self administered.

    • steve

      I hope you really dont mean you actually build models for the BEST team. I wouldnt spend 2 minutes on it, if this is your idea of what models are for and what they do. “This isnt right. This isnt even wrong” as Pauli said a long time ago.

  33. I will note here, just for the sake of argument, that one thing skeptics like less than taking precautions such as building resilience is environmentalists. If they can build resilience at the environmentalists expense rather than support the environmentalists by saying it is a waste of money to build dams or do anything for resilience, they would take the anti-environmentalist course. This is even though it is pro-precautionary, which normally they oppose because of the cost of such infrastructure spending for climate change. As I said, just for the sake of argument, so that the skeptics can decide how they are reasoning this support for dams out.
    My own view is yes, build dams for resilience. It is not about whether this is a once in a hundred-year drought, but about whether others are expected more frequently now due to more frequent blocking patterns with a warmer Arctic, plus we know the water demand in California is pushing its limits due to increased population and usage, and a larger safety margin is needed against multi-year droughts. It is just common sense, dam (sic) it.

    • @ Jim D

      Well, just to get it straight: the environmentalists are the ones demanding that dams be destroyed and/or that water already in dams be released for the health and happiness of fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects, while the ‘skeptics’ are consistently the ones pointing out the fact that while population has grown steadily, the only changes to the fresh water storage and distribution system have been to respond to the demands of the environmentalists by destroying EXISTING infrastructure, drawing down reserves, and ensuring that in the process of drawing down the reserves none of the water is made available for use by humans.

    • They might have been saying that before the drought, but the drought has probably changed a lot of minds by itself, so that even some environmentalists along with former skeptics may want more dams now. Climate change de facto may have a unifying influence on policy.

    • You can take that to the other extreme though, too much diverted to irrigation.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_Sea

      The real problem is in deciding, how much?

    • Jimd

      You amonhst others make sweeping generalisations about sceptics as if we are a homogenous group. We are not..

      Over the last week I have endorsed the need to build in resilience. Several times the most recent a couple of hours ago.

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/10/california-drought-in-context-2/#comment-482456

      Tonyb

    • Shorter JD:

      An environmentalist can NEVER be right to a “skeptic”

    • Nearly all skeptics are environmentalists. Why do you think we’re so interested?
      =============

    • David Springer

      What makes you think skeptics don’t want dams built?

    • David Springer

      Bob Ludwick hits the target again correcting Jim D’s relentless barrage of stupidity by saying it’s environmentalists who don’t want dams built. Environmentalists as a general rule don’t want nature disturbed by humans and dams are a damn big disturbance.

    • Yes, I generalize that skeptics don’t want to do anything precautionary such as building dams. This comes from a lot of skeptical attacks on use of the precautionary principle regarding emissions and sea level. But, as I said, as things happen, I think they will come around. Witness California. They wouldn’t have seen the point of building dams before this drought. If they are already in favor of resilience against climate change, they should be supporting and even promoting these efforts in other places before things happen. It would be a common ground.

      • David Springer

        Dams are not precautionary. They’re mother-loving destroyers of the natural environment that provide water for growing food to feed more people, flush bigger turds from more food down the terlet, generate electricity to heat and cool their homes, prevent floods from destroying property, create shovel-ready jobs with practical results, and a bunch of other unnatural acts that improve the human condition. I’m all for them. As a matter of fact I live on the shore of a 20,000 acre reservoir with 1 million acre-feet of storage which reminds me I forgot to add that it creates a bunch of waterfront so people can have private docks and boats and stuff like that. Dams are great and I’m a skeptic which, ipso facto, proves your contention is as boneheaded as it sounds.

    • JimD, “Yes, I generalize that skeptics don’t want to do anything precautionary such as building dams.”

      “Skeptics” in general want to preserve and expand wetlands and properly manage water resources. Building dams and levies isn’t properly managing water resources in most cases.

      • David Springer

        Them’s greenie words Dallas. Turn in your skeptic ID card right frickin now. You’re out.

    • With responses from kim and captd, who would have thunk skeptics are one and the same with enviros. Next they will say they don’t want pollution.

    • I will have to correct you, Springer. It’s jimmy dee’s relentless and incoherent barrage of stupidity. What is the little fella talking about?

      • David Springer

        I left out the word incoherent because I thought it redundant in “relentless barrage of stupidity”.

    • Jim D says:

      “Yes, I generalize that skeptics don’t want to do anything precautionary such as building dams.”

      Maybe or maybe not.

      I generalize that warmists don’t want to do anything precautionary such as building nuclear power plants. Of course a few (such as James Hanson) are the exception.

      Personally, I would like to see funding of research to make non-carbon energy production cheaper than oil, gas or coal (and nuclear for the anti-nuke folks). Once that was accomplished the market would take care of switching over in fairly short order (the economic lifetime of a plant – for example).

      Hydro is pretty much maxed out (at least in the USA) and wind and solar is more expensive than carbon based energy (for the foreseeable future). So we need people to get inventing.

    • I think that the warming issue is such that nuclear power is a better option, at least as a stop gap to more modern energy. Even France, which is currently mostly nuclear is planning on reducing nuclear in favor of renewables. Storage is a key for intermittent renewables, and that technology needs to be developed.

    • Storage is a key for intermittent renewables, and that technology needs to be developed.

      Wrong! Although cheaper options probably will be developed.

    • JimD, “Next they will say they don’t want pollution.”

      No one wants pollution. Pollution is unavoidable though. The trick is to limit pollution, increase efficiency and make rational progress towards a more sustainable society. Many of the “Skeptics” are engineers that have had to fight with irrational regulation. Engineers are about solutions not problems. Scientists, at least the linear no threshold devotees, seem to be all about zero tolerance problem causing.

    • ‘Cal – if – orn – ia …
      right back where u started from,
      closing down that golden gate…’

      H/t Al Jolson and also that other Al et al
      plying – back – ter – golden – age – policies
      they’ll find tres inconvenient.

    • Yeah, sure, minimize pollution. One pragmatic way forward would be to quit calling the mild warming agent and strong fertilizing agent CO2 a pollution. We’ve got plenty of real pollution without setting the hounds among the cattle.
      ========

    • Web, the co-founder of Greenpeace just testified to congress and shocked them with a c omplete denialist view of climate change.

    • First words out of your mouth are a lie
      Patrick Moore was not a co-founder of Greenpeace.

      Start with the facts and go from there.

    • Sorry ‘early member’ enviormentalist nonetheless.

    • Webby

      You state that Patrick Moore was not one of the co-founders of Greenpeace.

      From the History of Greenpeace (bold face type by me)

      http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/history/

      In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada in an old fishing boat. These activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed a few individuals could make a difference. Their mission was to “bear witness” to U.S. underground nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions.

      On board this ship were (bold face type by me):

      http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/about/history/founders/

      - Captain John Cormack, the boat’s owner
      - Jim Bohlen, Greenpeace
      - Bill Darnell, Greenpeace
      - Patrick Moore, Greenpeace
      - Dr Lyle Thurston, medical practitioner
      - Dave Birmingham, engineer
      - Terry Simmons, cultural geographer
      - Richard Fineberg, political science teacher
      - Robert Hunter, journalist
      - Ben Metcalfe, journalist
      - Bob Cummings, journalist
      - Bob Keziere, photographer

      Better break out the fire extinguisher, Webby – your pants are on fire!

      Max

    • beth the serf

      Yep. Al Jolson sang about “that Golden Gate”.

      But our other “Al” just concentrated on making the “Gold”.

      Got himself an Oscar and a Nobel (Peace type), along with $100 million in cool cash.

      Yeah man – “open up that Golden Gate!”

      max your fellow serf

    • How many rears of fossil fuels do we have left?

      World population (UN, US Census Bureau) is expected to level off at around 10.2 billion by late this century and remain flat thereafter.

      Let’s ASS-U-ME that fossil fuel consumption will double over that period and then remain flat, and that fossil fuels are fully interchangeable with today’s technology.

      According to estimates by WEC 2010, the remaining “total inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources” remaining on our planet in 2008 were:
      Coal: 2000 Gt
      Oil: 5000 billion bbl (incl. tar, shale, etc.)
      Gas: 500 trillion cubic meters (incl. shale, but excluding methane hydrates)

      A 2011 study by Boswell & Collett estimates that an additional 1200 trillion cubic meters of methane might some day be recoverable from methane hydrates worldwide.

      We now consume around
      Coal: 6.5 Gt/year
      Oil: 75 million bbl/day
      Gas: 3.2 trillion cubic meters/year

      So, at the estimated future consumption rates, the remaining fossil fuel resources will last us:
      Coal: 170 years
      Oil: 120 years
      Gas: 100 years

      This is on average around 150 years, and would be extended by around 60 years if the methane hydrates can really be recovered.

      Just for reference, the inferred recoverable fossil fuels remaining in 2008 (excluding hydrates) represented around 85% of all the recoverable fossil fuels that were ever on our planet, i.e. we had used up only 15% of the total by 2008, according to WEC.

      The first 15% got us from an estimated pre-industrial CO2 concentration of 280 ppmv to 385 ppmv by 2008, so the remaining 85% could theoretically get us to around 980 ppmv.

      If we add in the methane hydrates this could add another 150 ppmv.

      That’s it, folks – if the WEC and hydrate estimates are anywhere near correct.

      My bet is that, due to economic pressures and as a result of human ingenuity, we will have found an economically competitive and environmentally acceptable alternate to fossil fuels both for electrical power as well as for transportation long before the fossil fuels run out, and that these will eventually be reserved for higher added-value end uses rather than combustion.

      And that atmospheric CO2 will never reach 1000 ppmv.

      Max

    • manacker, even if you persist with your numbers, if you want to keep CO2 below (the somewhat high) 700 ppm, you have to leave 50% of your known remaining resources in the ground. That is a policy that you would need to enforce to prevent the lazy use of this stuff, or do you think mankind will move naturally towards leaving this in the ground through their growing knowledge and experience of the effects of AGW? That is the question. Does it take a regulation policy or just a better across-the-board understanding and ingenuity to get the right action on fossil fuels?

    • JimD – Unless you are willing to use nukes against other countries, including your own, fossil fuels will continue to be burned. They’ll run you out on a pole before they stop.

    • jim2, if they use manacker’s last 50% of fossil fuels as warming continues to increase in response, then humankind would be collective idiots and would deserve what they get.

    • (repeat with word substitution since previous was awaiting moderation).
      jim2, if they use manacker’s last 50% of fossil fuels as warming continues to increase in response, then humankind would be collectively foolish and would deserve what they get.

    • JimD – the only thing that will stop them is a cheap and plentiful source of energy. Nuclear would do the trick. But the chances appear dim for nuclear. Any government that tries to throttle back use of fossil fuels without a solid replacement will itself be replaced. We’ve seen the harbinger in Australia.

    • jim2, maybe they also need less people saying that burning fossil fuels has no bad effects too, at least in those few countries where that is still happening among politicians.

    • JimD – I believe most people who read up on it believe CO2 will tend to warm the planet. But one thing missing is the proof of positive feedbacks. Another thing missing is proof that warming will be a net bad thing, taking into account the therapeutic effect of CO2 on plants.

      If they state unequivocally that rising CO2 is a net bad thing, they would be lying, at the very least, by holding back the fact that they are going on a gut feeling.

    • Manacker, On with your lies again I see.
      Greenpeace saw fit to create a page proving that Patrick Moore did not co-found Greenpeace

      http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/about/history/Patrick-Moore-background-information/

    • Webby

      Your britches are still on fire.

      Oops!

      And you can’t even spell “weasel”.

      Ouch!

      Max

    • Jim D

      Give up.

      You’re fighting a losing battle with your silly notion of “leaving the fossil fuels in the ground”.

      They have been instrumental in pulling mankind in the industrially developed world out of poverty and increasing life expectancy.

      They will continue doing the same for those who live in underdeveloped parts of the world.

      And this will continue until an alternate comes along which is both economically competitive and environmentally sound (which will undoubtedly occur in the next several decades).

      That’s when remaining fossil fuels will be “left in the ground” or extracted for higher added-value end uses than combustion.

      Not before.

      So stop dreaming. Get real.

      Max

    • Webby

      I am afraid this is another example of Historic revisionism. William Connely did it with Wikipedia then his astonishing paper trying to prove that there was no fear about a renewed LIA in the 1960′s and 1970′s. Here is a book about Greenpeace.

      “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist”
      by Dr. Patrick Moore

      http://www.beattystreetpublishing.com/confessions/

      Review;

      Terry Simmons, Ph.D. geographer, lawyer, Greenpeace co-founder, says:
      “I have known Patrick Moore as a friend and colleague since we co-founded Greenpeace 40 years ago. He is a tough minded scientist and an advocate for sound scientific research, policy, and practical, sustainable development. Former colleagues in the environmental movement scorned and shunned Dr. Moore, after he left Greenpeace to return to his family roots in forestry and fishing in British Columbia, and to promote environmentally sound business.”

      Tonyb

    • Webby

      I see my link ties in neatly with that of Max’s whereby Terry Simmons is mentioned in his list

      A far more interesting question than WAS Patrick Moore a co founder of Greenpeace is; WHY are Greenpeace trying to deny the facts on the ground?
      tonyb

    • Tony B

      Greenpeace is trying to distance themselves from one of its original members (Patrick Moore), because he has “gone rogue”, as they say.

      The fact that he was one of the co-founders and original members who went on the ill-fated boat to try to stop a nuclear test in 1971 is conveniently being expunged from the record.

      But the problem is that the record is posted history and cannot simply be expunged, just because it no longer suits the desired message.

      Webby has apparently fallen for the ruse, but he makes the silly mistake of being aggressive and calling someone a liar without even checking the facts, getting his own pants on fire in the process.

      Max

    • Jim D,

      That is a policy that you would need to enforce to prevent the lazy use of this stuff

      Definitely not. Enforcement of global policies that are economically irrational (like the ones you seem to be advocating) will not succeed. What will succeed are technologies that supply least cost energy. Therefore, if you want to make progress, you need to advocate removal of the policies that are preventing progress by raising the cost of the alternative technologies – like nuclear power. Get over your irrational opposition to nuclear power, and the solution will be staring you in the face. Then you can learn and help to educate others.

      or do you think mankind will move naturally towards leaving this in the ground through their growing knowledge and experience of the effects of AGW? That is the question.

      That question is based on a wrong premise caused by your ideological bias.

      Does it take a regulation policy or just a better across-the-board understanding and ingenuity to get the right action on fossil fuels?

      Regulation is the wrong approach. It won’t work. The “right action on fossil fuels” is that they will be used as long as they provide fit-for-purpose energy at least cost. If we want the technologies we use to change, we need to allow a cheaper option. It needs to be cheaper for the emerging economies. That can be achieved. But not while so called ‘Progressives’ block progress and the ‘progressive’ President of the USA is luke warm or not supportive of the policies that would succeed.

      It really is up to the USA. So it is up to the sort of people who blog here on Climate Etc. and other similar web sites to support the progress that can succeed rather than continually argue against it.

    • Max

      You are right, Moore has become persona non grata. This revisionism is rife throughout the broad field in which we are interested. The revision of historic temperatures is especially interesting

      http://www.isac.cnr.it/~microcl/climatologia/improve.php

      Now I have read Camuffos very weighty tome three times and very good it is, but the net result is that past temperatures have been fundamentally altered. Its surely best to say ‘we don’t know’ or ‘we aren’t sure’ and ignore those parts of the past record that are so uncertain instead of believing we should adjust the results to hundredths of a degree.

      As regards Webby lets hope he has the good grace to admit that even he can be wrong sometimes and perhaps he needs to be a little more sceptical.
      tonyb

    • I have wandered around old-growth forests looking for just the right tree. Tonewood. Music. Wood that rings and sustains like bells. Moore represents an industry that insists on cutting it all down. Then they replace it with utter garbage. Wood that rings like a wet sponge.

    • Regardless, the enviormentalist Patrick Moore holds skeptical views on climate change refuting the original statement of NEVER proclaimed by WHT@whut.


    • And you can’t even spell “weasel”.

      Ouch!

      Max

      Spelled in German for your part of Schweiz..

    • Anybody following @WHUT’s link, who actually checks the references, will discover how Greenpeace skirts the very edge of lying in trying to make its points.

      For instance:

      In 2004, Mr. Moore published an article in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) journal entitled “Nuclear Re-think.” According to Mr. Moore, “Three Mile Island was a success story. The concrete containment structure did as it was designed to do: it prevented radiation from escaping into the environment.”(2)

      [...]

      Contrary to Mr. Moore’s claim, the damaged reactor spewed radiation into the environment for days. It appears that Mr. Moore didn’t even bother to check his facts. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s fact sheet on Three Mile Island (TMI) acknowledges that the meltdown resulted in “a significant release of radiation…”(3)

      Now, checking their reference (3), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Fact Sheet on the Three Mile Island Accident”, we find their quotation in the following context (my bold):

      By the evening of March 28, the core appeared to be adequately cooled and the reactor appeared to be stable. But new concerns arose by the morning of Friday, March 30. A significant release of radiation from the plant’s auxiliary building, performed to relieve pressure on the primary system and avoid curtailing the flow of coolant to the core, caused a great deal of confusion and consternation. In an atmosphere of growing uncertainty about the condition of the plant, the governor of Pennsylvania, Richard L. Thornburgh, consulted with the NRC about evacuating the population near the plant. Eventually, he and NRC Chairman Joseph Hendrie agreed that it would be prudent for those members of society most vulnerable to radiation to evacuate the area. Thornburgh announced that he was advising pregnant women and pre-school-age children within a five-mile radius of the plant to leave the area.

      The report’s conclusion contradicts the implications of that out-of-context quote:

      The NRC conducted detailed studies of the accident’s radiological consequences , as did the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services), the Department of Energy, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Several independent groups also conducted studies. The approximately 2 million people around TMI-2 during the accident are estimated to have received an average radiation dose of only about 1 millirem above the usual background dose. To put this into context, exposure from a chest X-ray is about 6 millirem and the area’s natural radioactive background dose is about 100-125 millirem per year for the area. The accident’s maximum dose to a person at the site boundary would have been less than 100 millirem above background.

      In the months following the accident, although questions were raised about possible adverse effects from radiation on human, animal, and plant life in the TMI area, none could be directly correlated to the accident. Thousands of environmental samples of air, water, milk, vegetation, soil, and foodstuffs were collected by various government agencies monitoring the area. Very low levels of radionuclides could be attributed to releases from the accident. However, comprehensive investigations and assessments by several well respected organizations, such as Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh, have concluded that in spite of serious damage to the reactor, the actual release had negligible effects on the physical health of individuals or the environment.

      IOW, there was some confusion, and precautionary evacuations were ordered, but by hindsight they turned out not to have been needed. Not to downplay the importance of such precautions, but turning the appearance of radiation equivalent to a chest x-ray into massive endangerment of the surrounding population is clearly deceptive practice. And using this deception to support a claim that Moore’s characterization of Three Mile Island as “a success story” is false is highly deceptive behavior.

      The remainder of that page is equally deceptive, which, IMO, illustrates a point I made before about nuclear: there’s an opportunity for demagogues to spin the real dangers of radioactive materials completely out of proportion.

    • Peter Lang, yes it is carrots but also sticks. Carrots to incentivize the correct directions for future and long-lasting energy production, which may include nuclear, and sticks to disincentivize wrong behavior like burning, digging up or exploring for more fossil fuels. Without the sticks, it is all too easy to just use up all the remaining fossil fuels, putting us at the 1000 ppm mark, just from CO2, let alone the additional equivalent ppms from other GHGs.

  34. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    Gleick’s comments are really outstanding. It is really hard to do better than his very clear thinking on this issue. This should be required reading prior to any journalist even asking a climate scientist the question of “Is this current (drought, flood, fire, extreme weather caused by climate change?” Just send them to Gleick’s summary first, and then see if they even need to come back to have their question(s) answered.

    • R. Gates, Willy Sutton also made outstanding comments.

    • He assumes continued temperature rise, and I don’t what to read him about attribution.

      He’s a crook, self-admitted, with evil motivation. Nullius in his verbia.
      ===================

    • er, ‘don’t want to read’ Gleick. Won’t. Well, maybe I should, to see just how he tries to torque science.
      ==========

    • David Springer

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | March 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Reply

      “Gleick’s comments are really outstanding.”

      So are mismatched socks. ‘

    • “Gleick’s comments are really outstanding”

      Gates once again leaves his skepticism at home. Like forgetting to put on your underwear in the morning. Getting to be kind of a habit Gates. Habits can be dangerous….

      “Your habits become your values,
      Your values become your destiny”

      Gandhi

    • Kim writes: “er, ‘don’t want to read’ Gleick. Won’t. Well, maybe I should, to see just how he tries to torque science.”

      Depends on how strong my stomach is on any given day. There are times guys like Gleick literally make me nauseous. Occasionally I settle for a quick skim, just to appease my conscience. Other times times it’s self preservation all the way. I’m quite sure it’s more than Gleick does re skeptical writing. Come to think of it, wasn’t he the guy who pretended to read “The Delinquent Teenager?” Or was that some other warmist fraud? There are so many, it’s hard to keep track…

    • I too thought he wrote a good article. Trouble is you never here questions just asked and answered. What one usually hears is non-answers in the form of spin and propaganda.

  35. Stephen Moser

    To make sure I am clear. :-)

    Regardless, we do seem to be in basic agreement on how to test the models which requires REAL-WORLD observations.

    Please let me know if you disagree.

    Roger

    • Steven Mosher

      Your exchange with Roger Pielke Sr. points to a key difference between those who rely on empirical data based on real-time physical observations to validate or falsify a scientific hypothesis and those, like you, who rely on model results.

      But as Dr. Pielke wrote:

      we do seem to be in basic agreement on how to test the models which requires REAL-WORLD observations.

      This brings me back to the question I asked you on the “positioning” thread, which remained unanswered.

      I hope you will take the time to read it again and give me your answer, because it goes right to the heart of this dilemma:

      Would you agree that the CAGW premise (or “hypothesis”) as specifically outlined by IPCC in AR4 (and slightly watered down in AR5) will be falsified if:

      Global average land and sea surface temperature anomaly (let’s say HadCRUT4) does not increase for another two decades despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels?

      If not, why not?

      Thanks (this is NOT a trick question).

      Max

  36. It is fairly obvious that President Obama is uninformed when it comes to the causes for the current drought in California.

    He can be excused for being ignorant. After all, he is just a politician with a law degree.

    John Holdren and Joe Romm cannot be excused for their ignorance.

    They should both know better.

    Max

  37. Most other reverse look ups force you to definitely pay
    for any name. At the top in the screen find and click about the “tools tab”.

    So, if you inform your attacker whom you believe is cheating that you simply would like to
    create your move every a day and they forfeits the game,
    it will mean that your attacker is using a Scrabble cheat board or
    anagram solver.

    • David Springer

      So you’re saying California farmers should start playing Scrabble since they have no farming to do at the moment? Good idea! You must be a warmist they’re full of good ideas like that. ;-)

  38. Eyewitness accounts of the most reliable sort give evidence of extreme drought in Australia from the earliest times of European settlement. One of our worst heatwaves, which coincided with lethal monsoon failure in India, occurred within five years of the colony’s existence, in the early 1790s.

    Likewise, did not Stephen Long deem the Great Plains of the US to be the Great American Desert in 1820? Some thought he was using the term “desert” figuratively, but there are strong indications that the period was a drought more severe than the Dustbowl. (The soggy transformation during the Pluvial post 1825 – now that’s what you call a real climate change!) Fifty years before Long there was the six year Pueblo Drought, possibly more severe than anything seen since. So it goes on.

    The real inconvenient truth is that the only genuine New Climate would be a climate without destructive extremes. In California as in NSW, drought is the new flood, flood is the new drought. Not a fun thought, I know.

  39. The “skeptics” are in a kind of trick-box right now.

    They don’t want to see an El Nino because it will remove the pause.

    Yet they do want to see California recover from the draught, which El Nino conditions may precipitate, right?

    In contrast, us realists try to understand how nature behaves, independent of any underlying agenda.

    • David Springer

      The pause is killing the cause and California agriculture. Maybe they shouldn’t have been so gung ho about stopping global warming. The compact flourescent light bulbs and hybrid cars seems to have done the trick. Careful what you wish for California.

    • Web by your own logic you want an El Nino so the warming can heat up again. You want the drought to continue to prove the weather extremes hypothesis proof of CAGW. For observers like me you both suck!

    • ordvic, while the pause narrative is very muted in the media and just esoteric to most of the public, an El Nino will put an end to this bloggers’ sideshow distraction, and the warming will correctly be the focus again. Not long to wait now.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There have been El Nino in the past decade – this is not to change this decade but the pause will last for decades at least.

    • Why would I want an El Nino? I am just observing that these happen quasi-periodically and there is nothing that you or I can do about it. Yet deniers like the Aussie claim that it won’t happen for decades for no other reason than he dreams mightily of unicorns and ponies.

      I definitely do not want to see California in a drought either, but just observe that El Nino coincide historically with above average precipitation in California.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

      Science is quite evident and abundant on this. In the cool Pacific decadal mode La Nina is more frequent and bigger and El Nino is less frequent and smaller. The drought implications for the US on decadal scales I have discussed elsewhere in this post.

    • WHT thank you for conceding the existence of the pause, unlike your mate Tamino.
      This means that an El Niño of itself could not remove it as it would only be a temporary rise on any pause. The pause can now only be removed by a sustained rise or fall in temperatures, not El NIno or La NIna.

    • Of course Tamino understands that ENSO conditions contribute to the pause.

      Foster (Tamino) and Rahmstorf have a 2011 Environmental Research Letters paper where they filter out the effects of ENSO to reveal an upslope emerging from the pause.

      That’s the kind of research that went in to my CSALT model.

      Too bad you haven’t done your homework ange-baby.

    • Hmmm you don’t want an El Nino or a drought? Sounds like you slide on over to the Deniers camp.

  40. *squint*

    Actions by industry that are likely to lead to changes that include in their range more harm than good to everyone, more harm than good to most, or more harm than good to some or anyone, given that no one has consented to have this harm done them, nor elected anyone on a masochistic “harm us” platform, those are justified by “the Science isn’t settled” speciousness, how, exactly?

    It’s all coal and oil peeing in the common town drinking water and drunkenly laughing at objections to their objectionable trespasses.

    So if the PotUS says America blames the drought in California and Texas on the coal industry in Ohio or the oil industry in Texas or the coal burners in China or even the gas burners on the freeways of California, that’s nothing you can pretend to object to with nitpicking and “hidden good news”.

    Well, you _can_ do it, I suppose. I mean, you _do_ do it. But then, drunken louts pee in the town well, too.

    • naq | March 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm |

      http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/10/richard-branson-global-warming-deniers-get-out-of-our-way/ says it more clearly, but sure, if you dig into the link you post far enough, you can see Branson practicing what he preaches, despite the optics and spin of the headline on your link.

      Thanks for pointing out a man like Branson, famous for his sober approach to the town well.

    • Bart R

      You’ve got it wrong

      ..the PotUS says America blames the drought in California and Texas on the coal industry in Ohio or the oil industry in Texas or the coal burners in China or even the gas burners on the freeways of California…

      It’s the “PotUS” who blames the drought on these things, not “America” (the average American is more intelligent than that).

      Max

    • Besides being a media darling, Branson is a shrewd entrepreneur who knows how to play an angle for his own advantage.

      But he sure as hell “ain’t no scientist”.

      Max

    • John Carpenter

      Bart, your actions of buying, using and benefitting from products made by industry means you are also peeing in the well. Your actions of working and living in dwellings that consume energy means you are also peeing in the well. Your actions of using personal communication devices, the internet and IT in general means you are peeing in the well. Your actions of using any form of transportation from bicycle to train to plane to car to bus to subway to skateboard to boat means you are also peeing in the well. I’m not laughing at your objectionable trespasses of living in this society and using the benefits afforded to us by industry. I’m laughing at the notion that somehow the consumer is not also peeing in the well.

    • manacker | March 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm |

      Well, gee. Excuse me if I’m confused by some foreigner telling Americans that the President of the United States doesn’t speak for them.

      John Carpenter | March 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm |

      Just because the guys peeing in the well have day jobs as butchers, bakers and candlestick makers doesn’t mean everyone who eats or reads has peed in the well. If you want to play the blame the victim card so transparently, that’s your business. Don’t expect anyone to fall for it.

      All that is needed to stop the action of Industry from being peeing in the well is for Industry to pay the fee for its trespass. It can pass the cost of peeing on to its customers, and they can decide if they want to pay that price or go to sellers who don’t pee in the well.

      See how that works? If everyone pays for what scarce, rivalrous, excludable resources they pollute, then the Market solves the problem. Which means failing to price CO2E emission is failure to support Capitalism.

      That’s what you should be riding the PotUS for, not his half-measure populist sloganeering. He’s a fiscal conservative who doesn’t walk the walk.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Pissing in our pockets is a whole lot more intimate. You give us a choice of paying more for energy or more for energy. Get out of my pocket Barty.

    • Robert I Ellison | March 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm |

      It’s a hypocrite and a thief who cries “pickpocket” at the same time getting what isn’t his to take and paying nothing for it while blaming those he injures.

      Which, not unexpected behavior in a thief.

      You really think low CO2E will cost more when subsidies are taken off the high CO2E sources?

      When the economies of scale are applied to the economies of Moore’s Law and all those other pent-up forms of economic lever…

      Ah. I’d forgotten; you never studied Economics, and can’t actually do the math.

      Which, considering you’ve overseen the demise of half the Great Barrier Reef since becoming a hydrologist overseeing the hydrology killing the Great Barrier Reef, I suppose the world economy has something to be thankful for on that account.

      Because, if you did know how to do the math of Economics, or studied it, you’d have known better than to believe you’re on the horns of a dilemma that can only be gotten out of by pollution and theft.

    • Robert I Ellison

      As both an hydrological engineer and environmental scientist I have studied maths, physics and numerical modeling to a high level. Along the way I have taken courses in macro, micro and environmental economics – along with a broad exposure to chemistry, geomorphology, geology, biology and undergraduate Shakespeare. Well – Engineering and Environmental Science are nothing if not ambitious. Since then I have evolved a detailed understanding of biogeochemical cycling through biotic and abiotic systems in groundwater, steams and rivers, estuaries and oceans. Certainly sufficient to long ago recognise the problems of runoff rivers and oceans and to speciailise in solutions. You will find that the Great Barrier Reef lagoon in the best managed system of it’s kind in the world and billions of dollars have and are being spent on sediment and pesticide control in catchments. The biggest threat to the reef is crown of thorns starfish – the population of which is suspected increased with high nutrient status in inshore breeding areas. These are harvested from the reef laboriously by divers – something that will be necessary while the historic nutrient loads slowly seep out of inshore sediments.

      http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/outlook-for-the-reef/climate-change/marine-park-management/current-conditions-on-the-great-barrier-reef

      I suggest you look more closely in your own backyard.

      http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2898.htm

      I have certainly sufficient maths, science and economics to recognize someone who – deliberately or madly – habitually misrepresents both science and economics and different words to thief and hypocrite come to mind.

      The math of a revenue neutral carbon tax is trivial. At a rate that would encourage substitution – US electricity prices would more than double of today’s gas prices. Assuming you replace gas with nuclear. The cost of solar thermal would be a great deal more. At the stage of complete substitution the revenues dry up because no carbon was being emitted – leaving much higher prices and no more sap to pay for it because all the emitters have gone away. With me so far? Liquid fuel substitutes are even more problematic.

      Not only would this not happen in any rational community – it would solve a small part of the problem. The overall solution requires energy innovation to bring on line one or more of the many technologies under development. But much more it requires an integrated social and development strategy that involves free trade, transparent and effective governance, improvements in health, sanitation and education, better management of agricultural soils and better conservation and land use management.

      If all this seems a little beyond Bart’s perennial obfuscation, digressions and incoherent and disingenuous rants – I suppose it is.

    • Bart R

      You don’t have to apologize for “being confused”.

      It appears to be your natural state.

      And the PotUS does NOT speak for all US citizens anymore than any political leader speaks for his entire populace.

      Polls show that a majority of US respondents do not share the PotUS’ personal viewpoints on CAGW.

      But you really can’t blame him – he’s just getting bad advice.

      Max

    • John Carpenter

      Bart, I was simply pointing out the wrong headed notion that the supplier is the only one at fault for peeing in the well. The supplier merely provides for what is in demand by the consumer. The consumer is where the pee comes from.

      “It can pass the cost of peeing on to its customers, and they can decide if they want to pay that price or go to sellers who don’t pee in the well.”

      This I agree with this entirely. The consumer has to pay a price for using a supplier that lets their pee go into the well. But to say that consumers are somehow victims of the suppliers is simply a word ploy to avoid the undeniable truth that everyone is responsible for the pee in the well.

    • Robert I Ellison | March 11, 2014 at 12:59 am |

      And yet, the British Columbia revenue neutral carbon tax has had no such downsides as you claim would affect the larger and more robust economy of the USA, and the Great Barrier Reef continues to die.

      Solar costs are dropping rapidly; at their current rate of decline it is already a bad financial decision to commit to new nuclear, new oil, new coal, new natural gas or new biomass over new solar in most places with enough sun; the same is true now of wind. We’ve been over this math before, months ago, and you have slid back into pretense you know what you’re talking about when you can’t even remember what we’ve already covered here.

      Your high flown claims of expertise do not withstand the cold light of fact.

    • manacker | March 11, 2014 at 3:12 am |

      Dude, you really shouldn’t talk about what you have neither knowledge nor qualification.

      Any US citizen can say the President doesn’t speak for them; no foreigner has either that right nor that duty, and certainly none knows so much they can tell Americans how to feel about their Commander In Chief.

      When citizens speak of the Presidency, US citizens respect the office, regardless of the ‘political leader’. Aliens disrespecting that office is like burglars breaking in and peeing in the milk.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Your math is as silly as your economics and politics Bart.

      It is not worth my time to indulge your bad faith discourse.

    • John Carpenter | March 11, 2014 at 8:55 am |

      So, if a son that is by his father sent about
      merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the
      imputation of his wickedness by your rule, should be
      imposed upon his father that sent him: or if a
      servant, under his master’s command transporting a
      sum of money, be assailed by robbers and die in
      many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the
      business of the master the author of the servant’s
      damnation: but this is not so: the king is not
      bound to answer the particular endings of his
      soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of
      his servant; for they purpose not their death, when
      they purpose their services. Besides, there is no
      king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to
      the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all
      unspotted soldiers: some peradventure have on them
      the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder;
      some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seals of
      perjury; some, making the wars their bulwark, that
      have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with
      pillage and robbery. Now, if these men have
      defeated the law and outrun native punishment,
      though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to
      fly from God: war is his beadle, war is vengeance;
      so that here men are punished for before-breach of
      the king’s laws in now the king’s quarrel: where
      they feared the death, they have borne life away;
      and where they would be safe, they perish: then if
      they die unprovided, no more is the king guilty of
      their damnation than he was before guilty of those
      impieties for the which they are now visited. Every
      subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s
      soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in
      the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every
      mote out of his conscience: and dying so, death
      is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was
      blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained:
      and in him that escapes, it were not sin to think
      that, making God so free an offer, He let him
      outlive that day to see His greatness and to teach
      others how they should prepare.

    • John Carpenter

      Bart, I will take the most charitable interpretation of the King Henry V monologue as an example of agreement from you that we are all responsible for our own actions.

    • John Carpenter | March 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

      Most, it appears, being charitable, are irresponsible for their own actions when they can get away with it, if they are in the fossil industries.

      If it’s something about these businesses that attract the irresponsible, or something about irresponsibility that leads one into the business, or both, who can say?

      The answer in Capitalism is for the price of using a scarce resource to be determined by the Market. While there is no Market mechanism, ie CARBON PRICE, there is no responsibility, merely theft.

      The fault, in this case, is with the government for failing to maintain stable Market conditions by enforcing CARBON PRICING. You don’t see the government failing to enforce car pricing by refusing to throw car thieves in jail. You don’t see them failing to enforce food pricing by refusing to administer weights and measures. This notable exception for CO2E sticks out like a sore thumb.

  41. Here is an example relevant to this discussion from Professor Koutsoyiannis with a direct example from the analysis and modelling of the hydrological basin for the 2004 Athens Olympics:

    Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics and uncertainty, Workshop on Nonstationarity, Hydrologic Frequency Analysis, and Water Management

    The presentation (click through on “presentation” link on the linked page) is particularly interesting, especially pages 40-44. From the summary:

    A final example demonstrates how this framework was implemented in the planning and strategic management of the water supply system of Athens, Greece, which comprises four reservoirs and several aquifers. After a long persistent drought (7 years) that shocked Athens in the beginning of the 1990s, the strategic water management became a crucial task, with amplified importance in the phase of preparation of the 2004 Olympics. The demonstration of the methodological framework also includes comparison with alternative nonstationarity modelling approaches, including a trend-based approach that yields absurd results, and a climate-model-based approach that substantially underestimates uncertainty and risk.

    Many good lessons in this presentation.

  42. Robert I Ellison

    Hydrological prediction on seasonal to decadal scales is based on statistical associations with sea surface temperatures. The problem with models is that they are looking for small changes against an immensely variable system – the reality is that any mooted changes to these systems seems less relevant than the ongoing hydrological conditions that seem well within paleoclimatic limits.

    For the foreseeable future prediction will continue to rely on statistical correlation. For the US south-east – the dominant hydrological influence comes from the AMO and the PDO. Both of these patterns of sea surface temperature are of course multi-decadal. The particular combination of a positive AMO and negative PDO are statistically associated with the worst US 20th century droughts.

    ‘More than half (52%) of the space and time variance in multidecadal drought frequency over the conterminous United States is attributable to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). An additional 22% of the variance in drought frequency is related to a complex spatial pattern of positive and negative trends in drought occurrence possibly related to increasing Northern Hemisphere temperatures or some other unidirectional climate trend. Recent droughts with broad impacts over the conterminous U.S. (1996, 1999-2002) were associated with North Atlantic warming (positive AMO) and northeastern and tropical Pacific cooling (negative PDO). Much of the long-term predictability of drought frequency may reside in the multidecadal behavior of the North Atlantic Ocean. Should the current positive AMO (warm North Atlantic) conditions persist into the upcoming decade, we suggest two possible drought scenarios that resemble the continental-scale patterns of the 1930s (positive PDO) and 1950s (negative PDO) drought.’
    —McCabe (2004)

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=121

    The pattern is for a negative PDO and positive AMO for decades yet – this is the pattern for the most severe US droughts especially in the Midwest and south-east. Something that I have been highlighting for years.

    Droughts lasting 100′s of years are indeed possible and are associated with centennial to millennial patterns of these systems – that are likely driven in part by solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere causing sea level pressure field changes at the poles. But sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.

  43. David Springer

    Didn’t dipthongs in the greenie movement try to make hay out of Australia’s drought? It’s like deja vu all over again. California is probably going to get hit with an ARkStorm this summer. Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor evidently.

    • One of those awkward facts for our Green Betters when preaching about Australian drought is that eastern Oz is a wetter place since 1950, in spite of the tinderbox ’60s. Our driest decade was the 1930s (the ’39 La Nina bringing the worst heat, drought and fire – go figure!), followed by the ’20s. But the whole era post 1895 was one of rainfall deficit. Essentially, the problem they rant about has already come to pass: more than a half century that was just too dry overall: 1895-1950.

      Even if you don’t classify the long event of the 1500s as megadrought in North America, it’s pretty hard to ignore the evidence of it being a much drier place in the not too remote past, especially the West. I keep asking our climate stabilisers what era they’d like to dial us back to. Let’s hope it’s something like the 1970s for Oz and the 1830s for the US, only not too wet and stormy. Let’s hope they know how to achieve that with their carbon taxes and whirlygig farms.

      David, I suppose if one of those huge rainstorms you mention does hit the West Coast the klimatariat will tell us everything about it in unending detail…except that one such event has already occurred in 1862. The Noachian Deluge: now that really was worse than they thought!

    • David Springer

      Hey, that’s not Mother Nature that would be the cause of a California super-storm.

      It’s President Obama who promised help.

      Max

  44. lemiere jacques

    i use to read old science book of the 19 th century..same kind of smart explanations.

    Attribution afterward has no value at all, please make quantitative predictions

    • “Eg ref Gilligan’s Island.”

      Hah! You Aussies watch Gilligan’s Island? One of our proudest exports.

    • Gilligan’s Island was a big hit, pokerguy. Do you
      remember the episode where the castaways think
      sea levels are rising dangerously? Turns out Gilligan
      has been moving the Professor’s measuring gauge,
      a stick, to set his fishing traps. ) Hmmm …

  45. Was Hatfield a charlatan to pledge he could attract rain and fill the Morena reservoir to overflowing? Hatfield filled it just as he claimed he would so were the people of San Diego correct to blame Hatfield for causing a devastating deluge? And if so was it the city’s fault too? Or, was it an act of God, which is what the city argued in San Diego Superior Court in response to damage claims that were brought against it. “According to later commentators, Hatfield’s successes were mainly due to his meteorological skill and sense of timing, selecting periods where there was a high probability of rain anyway.” (wiki)

    Some interesting similarities and contrasts can be drawn when comparing rainmaking to the stopping of warming (Hatfield and Gore, respectively), as follows:

    Similarities

    • Government involvement and funding are key elements
    • Fear is a key element (i.e., fear of drought/fear of warming)
    • Vagary of nature is a key element
    • Proponents are good marketers of their product (make rain/stop warming)
    • Weatherpersons consider both products illusory

    Contrasts

    • Hatfield used secret chemical formulas to attract rain.
    • Gore used opinions of government scientists whose work cannot verified
    • The practice of rainmaking is more art than a science
    • The practice of stopping global warming is more politics than science
    • Making rain is local
    • Stopping warming is global
    • Rainmakers are positive blaming neither man nor nature for a lack of rain
    • Warm stoppers are negative blaming humanity for causing warming
    • Rainmakers do not get paid if they do not produce
    • Warm stoppers are paid to create alarm about warming

  46. Robert I Ellison

    ‘I am confident to stand on the right side of history with respect to AGW.’ webby

    AGW as a theory is dead in the water. All of the paleoclimatic changes in the Quaternary in climate are the result of small changes in orbits and solar intensity initiating large changes as tremendous energies cascade through powerful Earth sub-systems. Hydrosphere, atmosphere, cyrosphere. pedosphere and biosphere shift abruptly in emergent behaviors that determine both the global energy budget and climate. The extreme limits of these shifts encompass glacial and interglacial states in the Quaternary – but smaller shifts on decadal to millennial scales dominate intermediate states.

    How these will operate under increased greenhouse gas forcing into the future is a bit of a mystery. However – the essential theory explains observations of paleo and modern climate better than simple correlative ideas of forcing and effect.

    The theory of synchronistic chaos in climate is essentially a product of the last decade. The implications are barely beginning to work their way through science. One of the implications is the likelihood of no warming for decades. Ocean and atmospheric circulation certainly did change after 1998 – and this was associated with an increase in global cloud cover.

    • Nonetheless, there will be another Nino event at some point

      The AGW advocates will be beside themselves with variations of “We told you so”. Just read the avaricious dictums downthread from WingNUT and good ol’ boy Jimmy D

      Their glee will completely ignore their previous comments about Nino/Nina events “cancelling” each other out, or increasing in frequency (from when is never addressed)

      I commented over a year ago that AGW advocates are just hanging out for the next Nino … so surprise me

      Your hypothesis of coupled, temporal, non-linear chaos still works best for me. At the very least, it is not dishonest

    • Robert I Ellison

      We have had El Nino in the past decade. Part of the nature of the cool period is less frequent and smaller El Nino.

    • If the next El Nino breaks record temperatures the “we told you so” will be right on the money. As deniers are claiming global warming had stopped and that solar and PDO cooling had begun.

      You can’t have new record temperatures if that were true.

    • Lolwot: And your simple explanation for all of the current temperature series having definite cyclic behaviour in them is what?

      And CET, that longest running of all thermometer sets looking like it does recently despite the CO2 growth?

    • Natural cycles have broken down. Observe the lack of global cooling despite very low negative PDO and a Sun fallen back to cool 1900s level output.

      Human CO2 is now the control knob of climate. The Sun and PDO have next to little impact in comparison.

    • “Human CO2 is now the control knob of climate.”

      Of climate? You must mean global average temperature, not climate.

      Solar energy variance due to a spheroid orbiting a star, planetary rotation, the orientation of oceans and mountains – these are the control knobs of climate.

    • No those are effectively constants. Knobs that are either fixed or can only be moved slightly. CO2 is therefore the one with the biggest impact.

    • lolwot says:

      “If the next El Nino breaks record temperatures the “we told you so” will be right on the money. As deniers are claiming global warming had stopped and that solar and PDO cooling had begun.”

      What about the warming already in the pipeline? Couldn’t the forcing have changed – but new temperature highs still made from the warming already in the pipeline?

      Using your logic, if we have a cold temperature record you would have to concede that skeptics were “right on the money”. I don’t think you would agree with that – so your argument is factually incorrect.

    • “No those are effectively constants. Knobs that are either fixed or can only be moved slightly.”

      Now you’re gettin’ it.

      “CO2 is therefore the one with the biggest impact.”

      CO2 may change temperature but there’s a lot more to climate, ( precipitation, seasons, wind, etc. )

    • lolwot

      The highly touted “CO2 control knob” has just dropped off in your hand.

      It’s not working anymore.

      What happened?

      Max

  47. There is credible peer-reviewed scientific work by leading climate scientists, published more than a decade ago, that hypothesized that precisely this sort of blocking pattern would become more frequent with disappearing Arctic sea ice.

    The blocking phenomena was present at the same time in the ANZ Tasman sea sector of the SH.The split jet formation and its transport barrier (Trenberth and Mo85 ) brought heatwaves to southern australia and cold southerlies onto NZ with alpine snow,and significantly colder overnight T.

    As it was also concomitant with extremal southern sea ice,it is difficult to reconcile the hemispherical asymmetry.

  48. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    CLIMATE CHANGE:
    The Skeptical Libertarian Context
      Rational climate-change science teaches that decade by decade, most species will still be alive! No young people will have shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion of the electorate will be one of nostalgia for long-vanished species, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the libertarian adventure ahead! Hah!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  49. Walt Allensworth

    One only has to look at Alley’s GISP2 plot of snowfall amount vs. temperature to see that percip increases as temperature does.

    So blaming California’s trouble on “Global Warming” is exactly backwards, and the kind of non-science I expect to see from the current administration.

  50. David Springer

    Steven Mosher | March 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

    “of course models provide evidence. If my model predicts x, and I observe 10X, then the model provides evidence that I probably dont understand what is going on.”

    What you’ve described is called a hypothesis. Computer models are hypotheses. Hypotheses make predictions. You acquire evidence by testing the predictions. It’s like ‘the scientific method’. Hello?

    They teach this in like the 5th grade science class don’t they?

    Fercrisakes this is why english majors shouldn’t try to be a scientist or engineer or programmer. Maybe a florist. Have you tried that?

    Capiche?

    • David Springer

      We’re then led by the scientific method to figure out what’s wrong with the model when they miss a prediction. A thousand guys spent 10,000 man years screwing around with climate models and pondering the implications if the hypotheses represented therein were correct. It’s phucked up. Two santers have passed without significant warming while the human carbon volcano belched on faster and faster. I’m willing to wait to see how phucked up these models were but right now the skill is nowhere near enough to make big policy decisions. I share the desire of cheap clean energy as much as anyone else but the way to get to it isn’t by first killing the goose that lays the golden eggs that pay for R&D. Imagine a couple billion people in Asia with skyrocketing numbers of scientists, engineers, and technicians. That ups the odds of finding a no-compromise cheaper and cleaner than fossil energy solution in a timely manner.

  51. Regarding the discussion about models and reality, in the exchange between Steven Mosher and Roger Pielke, Sr.:

    Let’s contrast the models of the economy that economists us (let’s say at the Fed, or at major banks) vs. climate change models — actually, let’s see how each are used, and how they are adjusted to meet new information that isn’t yet incorporated into the models.

    First, let’s acknowledge that highly complex systems — such as the economy of the US or of the world, or the world financial system, or global climate — must be modeled if we are to make sense of them, if we are going to make useful scenarios of the future.

    Economic models are used to predict many future outcomes, such as changes in the number of unemployed in the years after a recession,. They are usually reasonably accurate, but they seem to be calibrated for the reality of the previous few decades. Thus when a Great Recession comes along, for example, their forecasts may be less accurate than before. PhD students, and economists at the Fed, will then publish scholarly papers pointing out where they went wrong, and how the models must be tinkered with to produce accurate forecasts once again. So the models are complex, they are generally good, but more information is always coming in, and they have to be corrected at intervals. Political fights about the models are generally minimal, most everyone involved understands that there will be unwitting mistakes and recalibrations, and nobody accuses other people of bad faith. It is just accepted that we don’t know the complexity of our economy well enough to have models that are nearly accurate and never need tweaking.

    Climate model projections, for the most part, can’t be disproven (in terms of accuracy of projections) for many years. We have come to that point. But instead of agreement that we have to tweak things, it’s still the same old shooting war. Skeptics that have generally been right on lower temperature forecasts are still derided, in many circles, as deniers. John Holdren doesn’t deal with new science as a scientist should, he continues to marginalize people as if he were a PR flak. It may be useful to have a science advisor perform this purpose, for a while. People will put faith in a “scientist” for a while. But it won’t last.

    So Steve is right that we need to have models to try to both understand and predict future scenarios. If we were talking about economic models, I wouldn’t be responding to what Steve and Roger said.

    Unfortunately, though, models and model results are still used to bludgeon people as deniers, to marginalize them, in major policy and science circles, instead of acknowledging that they have missed a 16 year hiatus and that explanations need to be agreed to and incorporated into the models.

    Models are in some circles thus treated as if they are reality, and reality itself is marginalized.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      John
      A model can be a multiple variable regression. It can also be a random walk function. If the random walk fits better with empirical data than the regression model, do you still want to use the latter? I know the answer of modelers.

      The regression model gives the illusion that the future is predictable with high degree of certainty. The random walk indicates the correlations are due to chance and predictions are no better than random guesses.

    • John, I think that most economists would agree that CGE modelling to, for example, estimate the difference in likely outcomes between policy A and policy B, or the likely impact of a major project, generally provides useful output which can sensibly be used in policy-making. I think that most would also agree that economic forecasting, even for 2-3 years ahead, never mind CAGW projection horizons, produces very uncertain outcomes, in part because it depends on continuation of past relationships and can’t predict the “black swans” etc that we know from experience are likely to occur.

      So you will not find economists, in general, endeavouring to make long-range forecasts except with major caveats, nor would they (Stern aside) put great store by them.

      This contrasts markedly with the faith we are asked to put in modelling of 100-year-plus hence outcomes by the CAGW proponents.

    • I think it is because unlike the basic rules of the economy, the laws of physics don’t change over time. The climate system forcing is really only changing 1%, which just seems a lot to us, but is not so much in terms of physics variation. It can be regarded as a small perturbation to the system, and this makes it quite predictable. It is not like Earth is turning to Venus or something, which would be tougher to model.

    • Jim D:

      If the climate system is so predictable, why have the models predictions about the climate system been so wrong?

    • The changes so far have been a few tenths of a percent which are hard to see against natural variability. When you get out of the noise at the percent level, it becomes easier to see and predict.

    • For example, some think this level of climate change is not obvious enough yet.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:120/mean:60/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:60/offset:-0.1

      but when it reaches 3-4 times this much, consistent with a 1% forcing change (a doubling of CO2), it may be obvious enough even for them.

    • Jim D

      The chart you posted shows that climate has changed over the past century, in two statistically indistinguishable periods of rapid warming, each lasting ~30 years, with a ~30 year period of slight cooling in between and a current 10+ year period of slight cooling (which some speculate is the beginning of another ~30 year cycle of slight cooling).

      The second (late 20thC) warming cycle is IPCC’s poster period, upon which the entire CAGW premise is built, since the models can only explain this period if a human forcing is included.

      But the earlier (early 20thC) warming cycle cannot be explained by the models, as there was not enough CO2 (or human GHG) increase to have caused it.

      And the mid-century cycle of slight cooling is a real dilemma – of course there are all sorts of hypotheses to rationalize it away, just as there are for the current period of slight cooling, but these are not worth much.

      All the while, CO2 has risen in a smooth, roughly exponential fashion, bearing no robust statistical correlation at all with human GHG concentrations (principally CO2).

      And where there is no robust statistical correlation, the observational case for causation is very weak..

      A dilemma for supporters of IPCC’s CAGW premise.

      I have asked Steven Mosher this question, but he has dodged it:

      If the current slight cooling trend were to continue for another 2 decades despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, would this constitute a falsification of the CAGW hypothesis, as specifically outlined by IPCC?

      If not, why not?

      And what would it take in your mind to falsify the CAGW hypothesis as outlined by IPCC?

      Thanks for a response.

      Max

    • The warming in the late 20th century is greater than the early 20th century warming, as man’s warming influence from CO2 has grown to ever more dangerous levels.

      Human CO2 emissions have soared and so has temperature. Climate models can explain both the early 20th century warming and the late 20th century warming, to which all evidence shows is continuing with no pause.

      The science is robust on this. Eventually with even more warming even the most strident deniers of man’s influence will have no choice but to fall in line and accept the scientific case for CAGW.

    • Lolwot:

      “Human CO2 emissions have soared and so has temperature.”

      And just how did we get TO the Little Ice age in your simplified version of things? Or was CO2 in some way responsible for that as well?

    • Max,
      Who cares if Steve answers your question, I will.

      You are having troubles with both logic and statistics.

      It is simple really, if you or I propose that A leads to B, you must provide evidence that A exists.

      For the test of whether the current trend is cooling you need statistics, and the error bars on the current (as you say) cooling trend are too high to confirm cooling and exclude warming continuing at the previously established rate.

      So how can you logically claim that cooling will continue, when you haven’t even established that it is currently cooling?

    • Jim Cripwell

      Bob, you write “So how can you logically claim that cooling will continue, when you haven’t even established that it is currently cooling?”

      Is the first figure in the following reference enough evidence for you?

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/09/will-global-cooling-continue-in-2014-now-includes-january-data/#more-104774

    • That figure compares two 3 year periods in RSS.

      It’s a joke of a method, but what do we expect from WUWT.

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot, you write “It’s a joke of a method,”

      So far as I can see it is exactly the way to establish whether there has been a recent decrease in global temperatures. Why do you say that it is a “a joke of a method,”.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Let me expand on what I just wrote. What the warmists point out, quite correctly, is that ever since good data became available, the average temperature of every decade has been greater than the previous one. So it seems reasonable to ask what will happen to the decade from 2011 to 2020. We do not know, because we only have 3+ years of data. But it seems reasonable to me to compare the same periods of the current decade with the same periods of the previous one. Then, as the decade progresses, we will see whether the current decade will follow the same trend and have a greater average than the previous one. As the decade progresses, we can see what is happening.

      This is precisely the way to judge whether there is currently a trend towards lower temperatures.

    • Bob Droege

      The question was simply how long would a slight cooling period despite unabated human GHG emissions need to be to falsify the CAGW hypothesis as outlined in detail by IPCC?

      Let’s assume that the 4 most frequently cited global temperature records are correct and that there really has been a pause at least for the past 12/13 years, as mainstream consensus science now concedes. Would two more decades of the same slight cooling trend constitute a falsification of CAGW?

      And, if not,

      - why not?
      - plus what would it take to falsify CAGW?

      That was my question.

      Do you want to take a crack at answering it?

      Max

    • Jim and Max,
      I am just point out to you the uncertainty that exists in the trends you propose as evidence for a cooling trend.

      Just a couple of examples from each of you

      RSS for the last 12 years is -0.079 +/- 0.292 C per decade.

      the uncertainty is 3 and a half times the trend and the uncertainty in the trend does not rule out 0.2 C per decade warming.

      HadCrut4 from 2001 is -0.011 +/- 0.143 which is better for a pause, but lets look at the shortest trends that show a trend greater than the uncertainty for those two metrics. For trends up to the present of course.

      HadCrut4 from 1994 is 0.112 +/- 0.094 C per decade

      RSS from 1989 is 0.127 +/- 0.117 C per decade.

      Any site that is using dates to the second decimal for years is guilty of cherry picking or tweaking the start dates for the most effect.

      Or how about trends from 2008 to the present, they show warming, why should we use those?

    • Jim Cripwell

      Bob, you write “RSS for the last 12 years is -0.079 +/- 0.292 C per decade.”

      I assume your figures are correct. What this figure means is that, although the evidence is not statistically significant, nevertheless it is more likely than not, that the current trend is cooling. What will happen in the future, we do not know, but it will be interesting if future data confirms the cooling trend, rather than the rapid warming predicted by the IPCC.

    • Bob Droege

      You seem to question whether or not the generally accepted current “pause” in warming is real or, if so, how long it has actually lasted.

      I don’t think it makes sense to get into a debate about that (or its statistical relevance).

      But the question remains:

      If there were a pause in warming (or slight cooling trend), which lasted a total of thirty years despite unabated human GHG emissions and steadily rising GHG concentrations to all-time record levels, would this constitute a falsification of the CAGW hypothesis as specifically outlined by IPCC?

      If not, how long would such a cooling trend need to last before it falsified CAGW?

      Or would, in your estimation, CAGW not be falsified no matter how long such a cooling trend would last, and why?

      This is NOT a trick question, Bob.

      But I really would appreciate your answer.

      Max

      PS Both Steven Mosher and Jim D have dodged this question, although I cannot imagine why. It does make debating the CAGW issue difficult if one does not even know what it would take in the eyes of the supporters of this hypothesis for it to be falsified.

    • lolwot

      The warming in the late 20th century is greater than the early 20th century warming, as man’s warming influence from CO2 has grown to ever more dangerous levels.

      FALSE!

      Phil Jones has declared that for the two warming periods, ”the warming rates are not statistically significantly different”.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

      period length trend significance
      1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
      1910-1940 31 0.15 Yes
      1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
      1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes

      Delworth and Knutson (2000) studied the early 20thC period in some detail, concluding that the warming over the 35-year period studied, 1910-1944, was 0.53ºC (based on HadCRUT3).

      As could be expected, WoodforTrees confirms this:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1910/to:1944/trend

      Using the same record, the late 20thC warming period referenced by Jones (1975-2009) resulted in 0.56ºC warming:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1975/to:2009/trend

      So Phil Jones is right. He should be (after all HadCRUT was his baby).

      Just to straighten you out with some facts.

      Max

    • I disagree. The warming in the latter 20th century is greater than the early. If Phil Jones says otherwise he’s wrong.

    • One point of showing this figure was to agree that this warming clearly isn’t enough yet for some while it is in line with IPCC on the effects expected from the CO2 released so far.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:120/mean:60/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:60/offset:-0.1

      But the main point I made was, this is only 20-30% of the expected warming from doubling CO2. By then it will be obvious, and also obviously too late to do anything about it. This is early stages of the warming yet, so we expect some confusion about causes at first. This would then only be a 1% change in forcing, but plain to see, and a 1% change is just a small perturbation when you think of it in terms of physics, which is the original point I was raising on this sub-thread. If models can do 30 C changes in seasonal temperature, or 30 C in geographic variation, it is within their capabilities to do a 3 C climate change. GCMs are not going outside tested bounds, like economic models do, but staying well within the physics that they use for current climate.

    • “I disagree. The warming in the latter 20th century is greater than the early. If Phil Jones says otherwise he’s wrong.”

      Lolly, like all the increasingly desperate warmists on Climate Etc, jumped the shark long ago. It was never really about honest debate anyway. Now with nearly every warmist prediction failing, and an increasing body of work suggestion atmospheric sensitivity is in the lower range, they look ever more ridiculous. Their last best hope, the “extreme weather” meme doesn’t even have the support of the iPCC….

      It’s fun to watch, in a sad and depressing kind of way.

    • Jim, the current trend since 2008 is +0.136 +/- 0.991 C per decade

      I assume my figures are correct. What this figure means is that, although the evidence is not statistically significant, nevertheless it is more likely than not, that the current trend is warming. What will happen in the future, we do not know, but it will be interesting if future data confirms the warming trend, rather than the rapid cooling predicted by the flat or cooling temperature society.

      Max, I have already answered what would falsify your CAGW theory.

      I wish I had the printouts from an off the reservation experiment I did in college organic chemistry. I provided evidence that the warning label on a commercial record cleaning compound called D3 was bunk and that D3 was nothing but deionized water. In order to falsify the global warming due to CO2 theory, you would have to falsify all the infared spectroscopy science.

      And I am just saying that a continuation of your current slight cooling trend could result in temperatures 0.4 C warmer in 20 years, that’s what the statistical significance of your trend tells you.

      You can take a measurement but there is always uncertainty in that measurement, so you have to take that into account, or you can continue to deny statistics.

      Crack a stats book for once in your life

    • Bob-
      ..” the current trend since 2008 is +0.136 +/- 0.991 C per decade”

      when you write something like that you might as well just say ” My God, my back is killing me going thru all these contortions trying to eke out a positive trend.” It borders on the absurd.

    • The number of sunspots tripled in the first warming period (1910-1940), not so much in the second, perhaps even a decline. These very different solar contributions should be taken into account. Skeptics normally pay attention to non-CO2 effects, but are generally blind to them when it comes to explaining that earlier warming period,and they won’t even mention the sun.

    • Jim D | March 11 said: ” Skeptics normally pay attention to non-CO2 effects, but are generally blind to them when it comes to explaining that earlier warming period”

      Jim D, the ”Fakes”, Lukewarmers what you call them, are using sunspots when it suits them; not the genuine skeptics and deniers. b] the Fakes are not your opponents they are Warmist’ Fig Leafs – covering up the Warmist shame for lying about the phony GLOBAL warming

      You still have to face the real facts from the nonbelievers, because they are your genuine opponents, , not the indoctrinated in phony data zombies…

    • lolwot

      lolwot, the great climate expert, says Phil Jones is wrong about global temperatures, his very personal bag.

      Omigod!

      Whom shall we believe?

      Max

    • Bob Droege

      Max, I have already answered what would falsify your CAGW theory.

      No, Bob. You haven’t done so. You have simply waffled about whether it has really been cooling recently, as the thermometers indicate.

      And it’s not my CAGW theory. It is the CAGW premise specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports, which I hope you are familiar with.

      Otherwise I’ll be more than happy to provide you with an outline.

      Now answer my question: what physical observations would it take, in your mind, to falsify the CAGW premise, as outlined specifically by IPCC?

      20 more years of slight cooling despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record lev els?

      30 more years?

      50 years?

      Never?

      Just choose one of the above (or add your own), but fer chrissakes don’t just waffle.

      Max

    • Max

      I seem to remember that when I posted papers about the ‘pause’ from the Met Office Iolwot said THEY were wrong as well. So with Phil Jones also being wrong it seems that Iolwot has become sceptical of official data. Before we know it he will be a ‘denier.’

      tonyb

    • Jim D

      Naw, Jim.

      If you check out the data on maximum Wolf Number over the two periods, you’ll see that solar cycles 14 through 17 (covering the early 20thC warming period) averaged around 91, while solar cycles 20 through 23 (covering the late 20thC warming period) averaged 136,

      Check it out.

      Max

    • Jim Cripwell

      Bob, you write “Jim, the current trend since 2008 is +0.136 +/- 0.991 C per decade”

      Fair enough. Could we agree on a more general statement like “From the middle of the 19th century, until the end of the 20th century, there was a steady rise in global temperatures. However, data from the 21st century is so noisey that it is not clear whether this trend is still continuing”.

    • A couple things Max,

      Can you quote me line and verse where the term CAGW appears in either AR4 or AR5?

      You still haven’t supported your claim of slight cooling with any sort of evidence. The trend of slight cooling you keep referring to is uncertain and doesn’t exclude continued warming, so trends of short duration are basically worthless for that reason.

      A statistically significant cooling period of at least 20 years with continued greenhouse gas emissions at current rates might falsify something but let’s get the first part before we jump the gun.

      For one thing it is still possible for all the natural drivers, natural variation and anthropogenic cooling factors to all align in the cooling direction for 30 years and then suddenly reverse to a period of rapid warming.

      Short term trends are not robust, and conclusions should not be based on that.

    • Ceresco Kid,

      “Borders on the absurd”

      Exactly my friend, just as absurd as any cooling trends posted by those members of the flat temperature society.

      No contortions necessary for warming trends, just sufficient time periods that achieve statistical significance, and all of those are warming.

      Duh

    • Bob says:

      “Short term trends are not robust, and conclusions should not be based on that.”

      But Bob – that is what you are doing.

    • Get with it RickA,

      I was pointing out that the trends since 2008 have the same validity as the trends since 2002, or did you not follow that?

    • Bob Droege

      [Re-posted with corrected formatting]

      Let’s go through your points, one by one.

      Can you quote me line and verse where the term CAGW appears in either AR4 or AR5?

      The “term” CAGW has become a generally used shortcut for the premise espoused by IPCC that global warming, caused by human greenhouse gas emissions (principally CO2) have been the primary cause of warming observed over the second half of the 20thC and that this warming could represent a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment, unless global actions are undertaken now to dramatically curtail human GHG emissions, principally CO2.

      This premise (or hypothesis) is outlined in detail by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports. If you are interested in more specific “line and verse”, I’ll be glad to list them.

      You still haven’t supported your claim of slight cooling with any sort of evidence. The trend of slight cooling you keep referring to is uncertain and doesn’t exclude continued warming, so trends of short duration are basically worthless for that reason.

      This is not my claim, Bob. It is a pretty well recognized “hiatus” in the global warming trend we saw over the latter 20thC, which started early this century and has lasted for a bit more than a decade. Whether it will continue for a longer time and become a new 30-year cycle of slight cooling, as we saw before the late 20thC warming cycle started, is anyone’s guess. Our hostess and some others appear to think that it might last another two decades or so. The Met Office has attributed it to natural variability; others cite the low level of solar activity. Observed changes in cloud cover appear to have something to do with it. There have even been rationalizations that it might be caused by Chinese aerosols.

      In response to me question of what it would take in your mind to falsify the IPCC CAGW premise, you write:

      A statistically significant cooling period of at least 20 years with continued greenhouse gas emissions at current rates might falsify something but let’s get the first part before we jump the gun.
      For one thing it is still possible for all the natural drivers, natural variation and anthropogenic cooling factors to all align in the cooling direction for 30 years and then suddenly reverse to a period of rapid warming.
      Short term trends are not robust, and conclusions should not be based on that.

      From this I take it that 20 more years of “hiatus” despite unabated human GHG emissions would constitute a sort of falsification of the IPCC CAGW hypothesis, but that natural and anthropogenic cooling factors could distort the picture.

      That natural factors can distort the picture is obvious, both during a warming cycle and during a period of slight cooling. I think it is what our hostess here has referred to as “uncertainty”.

      But thank you for your response.

      We now have to wait to see what happens over the next 20 years.

      My bet goes with those who predict a continuation of the “hiatus”, IOW a falsification of the CAGW hypothesis of IPCC.

      And yours apparently goes the opposite direction.

      But only time will tell.

      Max

    • Got it Max,

      CAGW is not in IPCC, unless you can show me.

      You still refuse to acknowledge that there is uncertainty in your oft mentioned slight cooling trend.

      And the “slight cooling” meme is all you, I don’t know who else is peddling that dustbin worthy phrase.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1979/to:2002/trend/plot/uah/from:2002/to:2014/mean:12/plot/uah/from:2002/to:2014/trend

      Look at it this way, if there was a pause then the green parts of the following wood for trees graph would be below the imaginary extension of the red trend line.
      Most of them are not, if in 2002 someone predicted a pause, then one would not expect subsequent temperatures to be above the imaginary extension of the red trend line.
      Note the blue line, which is the trend from 2002 to 2014 is all above the imaginary extension of the red trend line.

      Why is that and what does that say about the pause.

      Imaginary!

    • Bob Droege

      IPCC does not use the term “CAGW” for it’s premise. This is the often cited name given to it be other.

      But the premise generally known as “CAGW” and as outlined in more detail by IPCC in its AR4 and A5 reports can be summarized is as I posted earlier:

      The “term” CAGW has become a generally used shortcut for the premise espoused by IPCC that global warming, caused by human greenhouse gas emissions (principally CO2) have been the primary cause of warming observed over the second half of the 20thC and that this warming could represent a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment, unless global actions are undertaken now to dramatically curtail human GHG emissions, principally CO2.

      That’s it, Bob.

      But if you’d like the IPCC “line and verse” definition of its CAGW premise, I’ll be glad to post it for you with specific references (it’s a bit longer than my short summary).

      Hope this clears it up for you.

      Regarding the current “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming, it has lasted a bit more than one decade, so is still not statistically significant as a climate trend (according to IPCC definition). If it lasts another 15-20 years, it will become statistically significant.

      If this occurs despite continued unabated human GHG emissions, with concentrations reaching record levels, it will have falsified the CAGW hypothesis, as outlined in detail by IPCC and summarized above.

      Just so we know what we agreed to.

      Max

    • Max,
      Finally you agree that the pause is not statistically significant.

      Now that that’s settled, you may realize that you could be fooling yourself.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/to:2014/compress:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/to:2014/trend

      Look at that chart, how most of the data points between 1998 and 2014 are above the previous trend line.

      You wouldn’t see that if the warming trend was pausing.

    • The problem with max’s graph is the trend from 1979 peaked in the first months of 2010. Since then there were a back-to-back La Nina events, one the 2nd most powerful in the record. Since then the SAT has been aggressively warming, and it’s looking very likely that warming will continue well into 2014, and possibly well into 2015.

      After 2002 the 1998 record was either broken or tied several times. He wants to ignore that. It can’t be ignored. Natural variability shows no ability to actually cool the earth; as in, driving the temperature downward, as it did in ~1943 to 1953. Versus the enhanced greenhouse effect, natural variability is now an apparent pansy. One is getting stronger; the other can’t do thing about it.

    • JCH:

      Why do people continue to use Linear Trends? They are probably the most useless of all statistical tolls available.

      At least have the sense to use something that has a chance of being able to provide some form of prediction, a continuous function of some sort.

      This observation of the data says that natural variability has a lot more power than you appear to give it credit for.

    • I gave it credit for having some power in ~1943 to 1953. Certainly far less than it would have had in the 19th century.

      But I see no evidence of power after that. It’s become a weakling.

    • Things don’t change in power just like that. In the same way that looking at things doesn’t change them (Schrodinger excepted).

      If it had power back then (and all the way back in history) then it is the same now.

      CO2 cannot be a significant moderator of recent climate as, if it was, then we could never have got to and from the pervious hot/cold spells in history which were much larger than the current ‘cycle’.

      Natural cycles are evidenced in the literature and measurements, just discounted because they do not ‘fit’ the current meme.

    • Evidence of natural warming must be disappeared. The real shafting of the truth and the public was in the straightness of the shaft of the Crook’t Hockey Stick. Yet we see the effort again and again. Don’t they realize they’re stabbing with a broken reed?
      ===========

    • Bob Droege

      The current pause is simply a shift from the previous three decades of rapid warming to a decade or so of slight cooling.

      It’s nothing to get all excited or defensive about, Bob.

      It’s there, “consensus” climate science has acknowledged it (Met Office, Hansen, Trenberth, etc.) and it is real.

      All the rationalizations in the world aren’t going to change that, Bob.

      The question is NOT whether or not there is a current pause in warming, BUT how long this pause will last.

      It is different from previous recent short-term cooling blips during the late 20thC warming cycle, because it has lasted longer than these blips. It has not (at least not yet) lasted as long as the mid 20thC cooling cycle, which lasted around 30 years.

      If it does last that long it will become statistically significant as a climate trend (by IPCC definition) and, if this occurs at the same time as human GHG emissions continue unabated, with concentrations reaching record levels, it will have falsified the CAGW premise, as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports.

      So we’ll have to wait and see, Bob.

      But let’s not deny the obvious.

      Max

    • JCH

      There is no “problem” with the WfT graph I posted.

      It is simply a reflection of the observed facts on the ground.

      You now attempt to rationalize the causes for these observations, and that is all well and good.

      The Met Office also attributed the current “pause” to natural variability.

      This works both ways, however.

      If a cooling shift in ENSO, etc. is now causing a slight cooling, then a warming shift could have been partly responsible for the warming of the 1980s/90s (we know it was responsible for the record year 1998).

      All just part of the “uncertainty”.

      Max

    • Max,
      Both Hansen and Trenberth do not expect the “pause” to continue.

      You ought to read what they actually write, not some interpretation from other websites.

      If your statement is true

      “The current pause is simply a shift from the previous three decades of rapid warming to a decade or so of slight cooling.”

      How come most of the recent temperatures are above what would be expected from the trend up to 2002 or so.

      Why are the trends from 1970 to 2014 the same as the trends from 1970 to 2002 or the start of your “slight cooling trend”

      Still warming, the previous trend continues.

      AGW is falsifiable, but you are not up to it, and it won’t be falsified.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Wow – what a long thread. You know of course that the trend from 2002 is very different to the trend from 1976 to 1998 and this is the result of a climate shift in the Pacific?

    • Bob Droege

      Aw c’mon, Bob. OF COURSE, Hansen and Trenberth do not believe the current pause in global warming will continue for another two decades (even though they do acknowledge that it exists).

      But other climate scientists do.

      And no one really knows, do they?

      But if it does, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, it will have falsified the CAGW hypothesis as specifically outlined by IPCC.

      So we will have to wait and see if CAGW is falsified or not.

      But, Bob, I think we have beaten this dog to death, so should switch to a new topic.

      Max

  52. if extra CO2 produces less rain; how come England is flooded?! If extra CO2 produces more rain; how come California, Australia are in drought?! Make up your mind dear Warmist. Nature is exposing the Warmist lies…

  53. Pingback: Is global warming responsible for the California drought? | Man the Measure

  54. Can someone please explain to a layman how real-world observations are used within the development cycle of climate models?

    Based on this thread I’m starting to think climate models live in a closed system and mercury thermometers (a validated model?) are of no real use.
    Thanks!

    • Freehat – first thing to note is that the comments on this thread in no way represent the work, knowledge and experience of the vast majority of actual scientists or modellers ( and that includes the host), so asking your question here will not elicit a credible response.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

      All data is uncertain within narrow or broad limits – the uncertainty leads to ‘sensitive dependence’. The models rely on coupling between processes that are very uncertain leading to ‘structural instability’. These are terms that refer to the fundamental nature of models as chaotic systems. Within the limits of feasible data ranges and plausible couplings a range of divergent solutions are possible.

      The theory of models suggests that a range of solutions – associated with a probability of actually occurring – can be generated by perturbing the physics of models and running them hundreds of times. The spread is not determinable beforehand and small initial changes can create large variations in solutions. This is the essence of chaos theory leading to ‘irreducible imprecision’. .

      e.g. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.abstract

      Until perturbed physics ensembles are feasible – we are in a bit of a bind.

      ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

      Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

      These are in fact quotes from James McWilliams, Tim Palmer and Julia Slingo – whose experience is beyond question. Many people make too much of models without understanding their limitations.

    • OMG, I am responding ter freehat not some uther commenteur!

    • David Springer

      “Can someone please explain to a layman how real-world observations are used within the development cycle of climate models?”

      Initialization, training, and test.

      A climate model must be initialized with starting conditions for each grid cell – temperature, humidity, and so forth. Obviously we don’t have that information for every point on the planet and the data we do have declines in quantity and quality going backwards in time.

      Training is iterative. A climate model is initialized with starting conditions for a particular date and then the clock is started. Evolution of the grid cells in the model are compared to records of the real world and the model’s skill is thus assessed and iteratively tweaked to improve it.

      Testing consists of running the model foward into the future, noting its predictions, and comparing those predictions to observation of the real world.

      Ensembles of models are used because none of them do a satisfactory job of recapitulating history i.e. skill in training. The idea is that each model is flawed in a different way. Any one model is right a lot of the time but eventually goes spectacularly wrong. All the models together are right none of the time but don’t go spectacularly wrong. This isn’t necessarily true but experience with weather prediction shows it to likely be true. Time has shown it to be true in this case too. The CMP5 model ensemble has been predicting the future for 22 years now and error has gradually accumulated so that its prediction is now outside the 95% confidence bound. Notably it predicted global average temperature higher than what was actually observed. The observed temperature rise is not fast enough to inspire alarm or drastic actions to curb it.

      A great many runs are done with each model because of high sensitivity to small differences in initial conditions.

      These are general principles used in many kinds of computer models.

    • Curious George

      You will hear a lot of sophisticated arguments, but the sad truth is that while we don’t have a reliable 100-hour weather forecast, we do have a reliable 100-year climate forecast. We are not sure what model is the reliable one, but the nature itself will tell us in 100 years.

    • Robert I Ellison

      None are forecasts in any real sense. Multiple solutions are possible in an unknown range. Literally – pick one you like and run with it.

    • “… the work, knowledge and experience of the vast majority of actual scientists or modellers…”

      They have a lot of experience in being wrong all the time but that’s not of much use. Hypocritical self-righteousness seems to be the only thing that they are strong on.

    • freeHat

      “Mercury thermometers?”

      How totally 19th century!

      We have new computer technology today, which makes that sort of “old timey” stuff totally redundant.

      We don’t even need to measure temperature to know what it is.

      Ain’t technology grand?

      Max

  55. Some here are hoping for a shift to El Nino in order to end the drought in California.

    But this might not necessarily help much.

    There were two El Ninos during the last big CA drought (1986-1992): one in 1986/87 and one in 1991.

    Better still call out the rain dancers.

    Max

    • Here we had two decades with just one El Nino. It was our driest era in Eastern Australia, and included the Big Heat of 1938-9 – a La Nina flanked by neutral years! There were El Ninos flanking this period, but they were like coals-to-Newcastle. It was dry because it was dry. Look ma, no El Nino!

      Our wettest decade, the 1970s, had two El Ninos (BoM defined) after El Nino 1969-70. Didn’t stop the drenching. Cranky old Gaia just doesn’t read the instructions in the Settled Science booklet.

      One day ENSO will be treated as the rough but handy observation set it really is. Let’s just hope California gets rain, okay? If El Nino ups their chances, good. My bamboo won’t like it…but swings and roundabouts.

    • The PDO has changed on a cyclic basis throughout history.

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/pdo/

      It is currently at one end of its larger cycle but the immediate future for at least the next year looks to be cooler, hence more La Nina than El Nino and probably much more La Nada.

    • Richard, another thing to keep in mind is that, while Australia’s most severe drought peaked in 1902, our longest was the aptly named Long Drought between those big wets of the 1950s and 1970s. The PDO may have been in its negative dip according to the graph you reference, but El Nino actually lived up to its bad rep in the period leading up the 1967 conflagration. The combo of neg PDO and La Nina couldn’t do much at all in 1964-5. The Long Drought ended when it ended. (Australia recorded the hemisphere’s hottest official temp in 1960.)

      Mind you, there is great value in the work of Walker and Mantua. PDO explains a thing or two, as does IOD. And nobody is doubting that La Nina had a hand in our mid-70s drenching. However, those years made many Australians forget that the country exists in the jaws of drought, regardless of observation sets and “best available” science. Sometimes the jaws stop grinding, but drought is the boss in Oz.

      Maybe when we know more?

    • Shen’s abstract from which the longer term PDO reconstruction came is rainfall based, China rather than Oz true, but probably related.

      “Recent studies indicated that the spatial pattern and
      temporal variability of summer rainfall over eastern China
      are well correlated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).”

    • The wiesel MAnacker evidently can not figure out how a calendar works. The last El Nino helped pull California out of the drought.
      If the drought ended in 1992 and an El Nino started 1991-1992 then one can apply some logic.

    • It also explains why RobbIE is so desperate to assert LaNina conditions for decades to come. It is all wishing for unicorns and ponies for his homeland.

      In reality these are natural fluctuations that average out, whereas the control knob of CO2 keeps cranking upwards with no counter balance from nature in sight.

    • WHT: “whereas the control knob of CO2 keeps cranking upwards with no counter balance from nature in sight.”

      So tell me how we got TO the Little Ice Age then. Reverse CO2?

    • Robert I Ellison

      Rainfall comes from the oceans. In Australia it is the Pacific, Indian and Great Southern Oceans. Imagine that. EL Nino-Southern Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode. Imagine that.

      The science suggests hundreds of years of La Nina dominance.

      ‘ENSO causes climate extremes across and beyond the Pacific basin; however, evidence of ENSO at high southern latitudes is generally restricted to the South Pacific and West Antarctica. Here, the authors report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high-latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequent reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD. Over the last 1010 yr, the LD summer sea salt (LDSSS) record has exhibited two below-average (El Niño–like) epochs, 1000–1260 ad and 1920–2009 ad, and a longer above-average (La Niña–like) epoch from 1260 to 1860 ad. Spectral analysis shows the below-average epochs are associated with enhanced ENSO-like variability around 2–5 yr, while the above-average epoch is associated more with variability around 6–7 yr. The LDSSS record is also significantly correlated with annual rainfall in eastern mainland Australia. While the correlation displays decadal-scale variability similar to changes in the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), the LDSSS record suggests rainfall in the modern instrumental era (1910–2009 ad) is below the long-term average. In addition, recent rainfall declines in some regions of eastern and southeastern Australia appear to be mirrored by a downward trend in the LDSSS record, suggesting current rainfall regimes are unusual though not unknown over the last millennium.’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=150

      There seems to be a bit of a pattern here with millennial peaks in ENSO activity.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=209

      The 1998 ‘red colour intensity’ was 98 by the way.

      Webby doesn’t seem to understand this sort of stuff. Too much curve fitting not enough fundamental Earth science.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “So tell me how we got TO the Little Ice Age then. Reverse CO2?”
      _____
      Two major causes of the LIA—volcanic activity and some lower solar output. Both affect global temperatures but solar has a larger impact on the NH from UV affects on the NH jet stream patterns.

    • RG: Ah the convenient ‘volcano’ theory. Comes along just when you need it to fill in the gaps. So they come along at ~60 year intervals do they?

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/pdo/

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “RG: Ah the convenient ‘volcano’ theory. Comes along just when you need it to fill in the gaps. So they come along at ~60 year intervals do they?”
      ______
      The two biggest volcanoes in the past 1,000 years were at the beginning of the period of the LIA. These were far bigger eruptions than even the 3rd biggest one, Tambora, which also occured toward the end of the LIA. Overall, the period of 1200-1900 saw higher volcanic aerosols and a greater optical depth in the stratosphere than the period of 900-1200 AD, or the period since. Additionally of course, we had some periods of very low solar activity during the LIA. But of course, fake-skeptics don’t care much for the facts as they have their political spin to think of.

    • RG: I prefer facts to wild theories. Sure volcanos COULD be the answer. The problem is that chance is a very poor scientific choice. And those have to be MASSIVE volcanos as the impact of others since do not seem to have had the same effect. Now we have the ‘right sort’ of volcanos as well.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      RG: I prefer facts to wild theories. Sure volcanos COULD be the answer. The problem is that chance is a very poor scientific choice. And those have to be MASSIVE volcanos as the impact of others since do not seem to have had the same effect. Now we have the ‘right sort’ of volcanos as well.
      —–
      I sure agree with facts over wild theories. Theories are great, but then you’d better have some hard data to begin to support those theories. Fortunately, we have some excellent data from both the MWP and the LIA that begins to tell a very interesting story of both periods. Two specific external forcings– volcanic and solar appear as exceptionally candidates and their fingerprints can be seen in ice cores, ocean sediments, and other paleoclimate data. The period of 1250-1300 was aboslutely critical as a gateway to the LIA. The mega volcano of 1257 occured firing this 50 year period that was the most active volcanic period for over 500 years prior. The stratospheric optical depth increased dramatically.

    • Rgates said

      ‘Two specific external forcings– volcanic and solar appear as exceptionally candidates and their fingerprints can be seen in ice cores, ocean sediments, and other paleoclimate data.’

      That may well be true but it isn’t seen in the observational records of which i have looked at thousands for my next article. In the real world of growing crops and existing, these volcanoes appear as sporadic factors not as constant ones with fierce summers juxtaposed with harsh winters and vice versa. This 1257 volcano simply doesnt figure as important for anything more than a season.
      here are some brief references to the successive decades;

      .1260 -1270warm dry conditions (Kington)

      Warm dry especially summer series of 3 wet autumns towards end of decade 1260 was momentous year. Couple of cold winters. Some great thunderstorms and references to great wind.

      1270-1280 circulation turned cyclonic –mixed seasons general wetness.(Kington)
      Much flooding much wind some severe winter otherwise generally mild

      1280-1290 warm and dry especially warm summers 1284 to 1291 (Kington)
      Fagan Page 28 ‘a period of unusually warm mostly dry summers between 1284 and 1311 in which May frosts were virtually unknown encouraged many farmers to experiment with vineyards in England. ”

      I give much greater credence to the observations of people actually living through the period and in particular crop references than I do to ice cores. I would suggest that Mann didn’t see any impact on tree rings because there was none, despite his protestations .

      It is an interesting subject which is why I want to reference it in my article and it may be that Judith can find a volcanologist to contribute an article here.
      tonyb

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘Comparisons between core 2220 RPI proxy and the 10Be flux record from the Greenland Summit (GISP2) ice core 21 [Finkel and Nishiizumi, J. Geophys. Res. 102 (1997) 26699^26706] and a 14C production rate record [Bond et al., 22 Science 294 (2001) 2130^2136] suggest that geomagnetic modulation may control the millennial- and even some 23 centennial-scale variability within cosmogenic isotope records. This implies that the core 2220 RPI record reflects 24 changes in global-scale geomagnetic field at these timescales.’ http://www.whoi.edu/science/GG/paleoseminar/pdf/stonge03.pdf

      The cosmogenic isotope record suggests of course centennial to millennial variability of climate over long timescales – solar variability amplified through terrestrial systems. Of course most people have considerable difficultly in interpreting paleorecords.

      Even the timing of changes is wonky – e.g. http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/media-communication/press-releases/details/article/ploetzliche-klima-aenderungen-aber-mit-120-jahren-unterschied/?cHash=551dcbd9934d56d43a36f6dd075d9601

    • RG: Still ducking the observation about regular patterns then, just clinging to the occasional volcano to make the pattern up?

      Those LIA volcanos must have been something to behold. Able to alter the climate in a way that no other volcano since has done. And with just the right timing to make the CO2 story work.

      Pardon me if I think it is al just co-incidental to be true.

    • RLH said:


      Those LIA volcanos must have been something to behold. Able to alter the climate in a way that no other volcano since has done. And with just the right timing to make the CO2 story work.

      Just like your mates in the WUWTang Clan, embarrassing yourself over the inability to pick out the impacts of volcanic events. This is how it is done, courtesy of the analysis tool CSALT

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols/

      RG is correct that past volcanoes could have had significant impacts on climate. Eruptions are graded on a logarithmic scale so that events on a scale of 7 are 10 times as powerful as the scale 6 events such as Krakatoa and Pinatubo. These can potentially place the climate in a tipping point regime whereby it takes much longer for it to recover.

      Why do the deniers have to deny everything?

      Wonderin Willis:
      “In particular, despite widespread skepticism, I have persisted in saying that volcanoes basically don’t do jack in the way of affecting the global temperature.”

      You all seem very Cottton Aussie in your hysterical viewpoints.

    • climatereason


      climatereason | March 12, 2014 at 3:38 am |
      That may well be true but it isn’t seen in the observational records of which i have looked at thousands for my next article.

      Unfortunately, looking at anecdotes alone does not contain the statistical data in which you can extract attribution.

      You really should go with powerful quantitative tools such as CSALT:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols/

      It is kind of fitting that a rank amateur historian such as climatereason applies historically primitive approaches for analyzing records.

    • WHT: Still with the potato peeler I see. A complex model that only fits the data it covers (just). Unable to demonstrate the 1800-1805 temperature curve. Unable to explain how we got to the Little Ice Age (except by creating volcanos that are like any other ever seen).

      Unable to explain anything like the observed ~60 year cycles in the data going back to 1400-1500′s.

      Unable to do much it seems. But you are SO convinced. So go one then, what are your predictions from the ever so accurate machine for the next year?

    • RLH, you are typical of someone that uses the fallacious argument of criticizing an analysis over constraints not covered by that model. This is referred to as “moving the goalposts” and is used by people that have no real argument.

      Let me repeat that the CSALT model covers the years after 1880 because this is where we have the most accurate temperature records, which is a requirement for extracting the volcanic aerosol forcings.

      You should read the end of my post

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols/

      You deniers actually provide motiva@tion to some of us. Nice OWN GOAL assist there.

    • WHT: Keep on with your little toy then. Want to give any predictions for the near future based on it? Something that can be checked in our lifetimes?

    • WHT said

      ‘It is kind of fitting that a rank amateur historian such as climatereason applies historically primitive approaches for analyzing records.”

      Hmmm.You are a real hoot sometimes. Ice cores and tree rings versus thousands of observations that I have seen and that such giants as Lamb, Fagan ,Groves Ladurie and Kington have validated. You really don’t know much about Historical climatology do you Webby. Why do you keep feeling the need to demean it? Why are you so frightened of what history tells us?

      It must be said that I do put my work out there for scrutiny and it is comprehensive enough for the Met office amongst others to maintain a tacit interest in what I do.

      How about you and your anecdotal Csalt? Why not put together an article explaining it, give it to Judith and lets see if others believe it to be as good as you do. Its a challenge webby. I put my work out for scrutiny, when are you going to do the same with yours?
      tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      RichardLH

      The LIA volcano was something to behold

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rinjani

      The Rinjani caldera forming eruption is thought to have occurred in the 13th century. Dated to “late spring or summer of 1257,” this eruption is now considered the likely source of high concentrations of sulfur found in widely dispersed ice core samples and may have been “the most powerful volcanic blast since humans learned to write.”

    • Steven Mosher

      The LIA volcano.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/110/42/16742

      Tree-ring, historical, and archeological records attest to substantial climatic impacts, which were most pronounced in the northern hemisphere in A.D. 1258 (8⇓⇓–11). Medieval chronicles highlight an unseasonable cold summer with incessant rains, associated with devastating floods and poor harvests (10). The interhemispheric transport of tephra and sulfate suggests a low-latitude eruption (12, 13). Until now, however, identification of the volcano responsible for the medieval “year without summer” has remained uncertain, despite more than 30 y of investigations. Various candidates have been implicated, including Okataina (New Zealand), El Chichón (Mexico), and Quilotoa (Ecuador), but none of these presents a strong case with respect to eruption magnitude, geochemistry, and timing (14⇓⇓–17).

      Stothers RB (2000) Climatic and demographic consequences of the massive eruption of 1258. Clim Change 45(2):361–374

      omewhere in the tropics, a volcano exploded violently during the year 1258, producing a massive stratospheric aerosol veil that eventually blanketed the globe. Arctic and Antarctic ice cores suggest that this was the world largest volcanic eruption of the past millenium. According to contemporary chronicles, the stratospheric dry fog possibly manifested itself in Europe as a persistently cloudy aspect of the sky and also through an apparently total darkening of the eclipsed Moon. Based on a sudden temperature drop for several months in England, the eruption’s initiation date can be inferred to have been probably January 1258. The frequent cold and rain that year led to severe crop damage and famine throughout much of Europe. Pestilence repeatedly broke out in 1258 and 1259; it occurred also in the Middle East, reportedly as plague. Another very cold winter followed in 1260-1261. The troubled period’s wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes appear to have contributed in part to the rise of the European flagellant movement of 1260, one of the most bizarre social phenomena of the Middle Ages. Analogies can be drawn with the climatic aftereffects and European social unrest following another great tropical eruption, Tambora in 1815. Some generalizations about the climatic impacts of tropical eruptions are made from these and other data.

      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2000/2000_Stothers_1.pdf

      effects not as harsh as one would naively expect.

    • tony b

      I’d have to agree with you that models are nice, but the historical record is a good place to look for what happened over our historical past.

      One of the problems that Webby may have with this is that the USA does not have a very long history in years, as compared with Europe, for example, so he sees history in a different light than you do.

      Another problem, of course, is that the historical record shows that there have been large and abrupt changes in our climate, some of which can be explained (for example by major volcanic eruptions), and others that cannot (the MWP that was warmer than today, despite no “CO2 control knob”).

      The very best data, of course, are those coming from actual real-life physical observations.

      The historical record is arguably the second-best source of data about the past.

      Subjective interpretations of dicey paleo-climate proxy data of carefully cherry-picked periods of our geological past, using the “argument from ignorance” (“we can only explain X if we ASS-U-ME Y…”), rank a distant third.

      And models, which are based on theoretical physics (as we understand it), arguably come in fourth, as nice as they are..

      But that’s not how Webby sees it with his rather nerdy, myopic view.

      Max

    • Mosh said in reply to my

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/10/california-drought-in-context-2/#comment-484928

      ‘Effects not as harsh as one would naively suppose’

      That is what I have been trying to tell Rgates for the last year. Models based on Tree rings and ice cores report far more devastating consequences than actual contemporary observations. Sure, the very large volcanoes had an effect but they were transient, for Perhaps a season or two. The weather in the year prior to the 1257 eruption was equally bad and picked up in the year after. Mann’s attempts to discover why his tree rings didn’t record the supposed prolonged weather disruption didn’t seem to realise that it was because there was little or no impact so the rings weren’t able to pick up any signal.

      This volcano business seems wildly exaggerated.

      Tonyb

    • Max

      Both webby and Iolwot seem to want to deny the extremely well documented periods of dramatic climate change that have happened over the past 1000 years. Do they really believe our climate has been stable all this time? Are they hockeyists?

      Are they frightened to admit that history tells us that climate can change without the impact of enhanced co2 and bring both warmer and cooler periods than today?

      Webby in particular has a real blind spot to climate history so feels the need to demean it.
      Tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      Tonyb

      If thats what you were trying to tell him then just point to the GISS document that I took that line from.

    • Mosh

      Much as I like Rgates and am appreciative of his comments, once he gets an idea in his head he’s not as sceptical as his title suggests.

      I will store the link .

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Sure, the very large volcanoes had an effect but they were transient, for Perhaps a season or two. The weather in the year prior to the 1257 eruption was equally bad and picked up in the year after.”
      There are several unfortunate assumptions in this statement:
      1) That really large mega volcanoes have effects that only linger a “season or two”. There is some evidence to suggest this is not that case: http://nldr.library.ucar.edu/repository/assets/osgc/OSGC-000-000-010-465.pdf
      2) That really large mega volcanoes (like the 1257 one) occur in isolation, as opposed to during a period of generally increasing volcanic activity. (much like a large bolt of lightning might occur during a thunderstorm in which there are other, small and medium bolts of lighting). There is also strong evidence that the 1257 volcano occurred during a 50 year or so long period of generally increasing volcanic activity: http://www.clim-past.net/8/1929/2012/cp-8-1929-2012.pdf
      Certainly, volcanoes were not the only cause of the LIA, but they were part of the totality of forcing during the period, and there is adequate record of generally increased optical depth during the period of 1200 to 1900 compared to the previous 500 years of 700 to 1200 AD. No doubt the solar minimums of the time period also contributed, and the relationship of all these forcings is made even more complex due to the fact that volcanic forcing has different effects based on location, size and time of year, and solar forcing affects the NH more strongly than volcanic effects in general.


    • And models, which are based on theoretical physics (as we understand it), arguably come in fourth, as nice as they are..

      But that’s not how Webby sees it with his rather nerdy, myopic view.

      Max

      It’s not theoretical physics but applied physics that gets the workout.

      The BEST project did a good job with volcanoes and I got inspiration from what they did in working out the CSALT volcanic aerosol factor.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols

      The applied physics is that volcanoes have an interesting impulse response function that looks very similar in profile over a range of eruptions. The scaling is the key and we use the applied physics standard convolution function to show the temperature response.

      Please do keep up to speed with the physics, Max.

    • Steven Mosher | March 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm |

      “The LIA volcano was something to behold”

      But how does any volcano link to the very cyclic behaviour of the PDO throughout history? A history that quite well matches with the modern temperature record and thus does not require ‘magic’ volcanos to explain what happened.

      PDO since the 1400s

      Modern Temperatures since 1800s

    • RG: “Certainly, volcanoes were not the only cause of the LIA, but they were part of the totality of forcing during the period”

      And the PDO just went along ignoring them all. The PDO that rather well links to modern temperatures as well.

  56. Berényi Péter

    Worth a read, puts things into context.

    American Aqueduct: The Great California Water Saga
    A $25 billion plan, a small town, and a half-century of wrangling over the most important resource in the biggest state

    “Not to let the thirsty southern Californian cities off the hook, but agriculture soaks up the vast majority of water in the state. Depending on the year, up to 80 percent of the water diverted by people goes to farms and ranches. If you include water used for environmental purposes, like having flowing streams and places for aquatic animals to live, then agriculture’s share drops to 40 percent, with the environment getting roughly the same amount, and all urban uses gulping down the last 20 percent.”

    “In this drought year, which follows two other drought years, every single blade of grass that is not managed by humans is brown.”

    “According to the logic of half a century ago, water in a wet place does humans no good. Water in a dry place? Well, that’s Los Angeles.”

    Let’s note however, that “the logic of half a century ago” is still valid. Abandoning that urban area, like New Orleans was abandoned just recently, is not a particularly attractive option.

  57. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    No scientific evidence supports that anthropogenic climate change causes extreme weather events.
    Obama, Holdren, Romm and Mann should read what Sonia Seneviratne has written about droughts in Ch.3 of SREX:
    “There is medium confidence that since the 1950s some regions of the world have experienced trends toward more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America and northwestern Australia. There is medium confidence that anthropogenic influence has contributed to some changes in the drought patterns observed in the second half of the 20th century, based on its attributed impact on precipitation and temperature changes. However there is low confidence in the attribution of changes in droughts at the level of single regions due to inconsistent or insufficient evidence.
    Post-AR4 studies indicate that there is medium confidence in a projected increase in duration and intensity of droughts in some regions of the world, including southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa. Elsewhere there is overall low confidence because of insufficient agreement of projections of drought changes (dependent both on model and dryness index). Definitional issues and lack of data preclude higher confidence than medium in observations of drought changes, while these issues plus the inability of models to include all the factors likely to influence droughts preclude stronger confidence than medium in the projections.”

  58. There are easy ways to make it rain in California,
    Wash your car, go for a picnic have an El Niño (not happening soon, sorry)
    But if you really, really want rain it’s not going to happen.
    So I will be nice, I will predict that it will not rain heavily in California for the next 2 months, absolutely guaranteed.
    I have predicted Melbourne Cup winners, Superbowl Winners and have a 100 percent success rate so your problems are solved.
    Any donations for fixing the problems send care of the hostess.

  59. “Moreover, Arctic sea ice has declined precipitously in the intervening decade.” That’s a Tom Swifty as a drought cause.

    Economically there’s no such thing as a shortage unless there are price controls.

    There’s no shortage of Mercedes in California even though it never rains Mercedes.

    • Artic Ice this year has stayed either in or very close to a normal range, something that has not been seen for quite a long while.

    • Arctic looks like it is currently undergoing record warmth this year

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Arctic looks like it is currently undergoing record warmth this year”
      _____
      Arctic sea is at the lowest point ever for this date right now. Both sides of the Arctic – the Bering Sea and the Barents Sea are both showing low to very low ice for this time of year.

    • Well I suppose that you do need to consider that 2 SD is ‘normal’ but if you do then Arctic Ice is most certainly that at present.

    • Gates

      Arctic ice levels this time of year are not very important in determining what the level will be in September. Take a look where it is around the middle of June to see where the summer low is likely to result.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Arctic ice levels this time of year are not very important in determining what the level will be in September.”
      _____
      I would not disagree, but it still does not take away from the fact that they are at record low levels for this date. NH insolation is now increasing daily and more open water early in the season does begin to matter as we move into the real melt season and that sunlight can warm the water. It’s a point of interest.

    • RG: How can the levels be within 2 SD and at the same time record lows?

    • RichardLH,

      I’ll take a couple stabs at it

      Some distributions are not gaussian.

      or

      All distributions are not gaussian.

      Or maybe not enough years of records, though less likely.

      Or calling it normal when within two standard deviations, when there is clearly a trend might not be wise.

    • Bob: That does kinda depend on what sort of trend you are looking for.

      Linear trend = Tangent to the curve = Flat Earth.

      Let’s try something just a little more sophisticated shall we.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “RG: How can the levels be within 2 SD and at the same time record lows?

      _____
      That would depend on what the range is for this date over some given period of time. Since 1979 through today, Arctic sea ice area for this date has ranged from around 15 million sq. km. to just slightly above 13 million sq. km. Today it was at the rock bottom of that range, almost right at 13 million sq. km. Furthermore of course, the trend since 1979 across all times of the year has been steadily down.

      Most interesting is the long-term range we are seeing with the Barents Sea:

      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

      With this season being the least amount of sea ice on record, as the daily insolation now increases day by day, the Barents is now more open than ever to warming from the sun.

    • RG: If you can only draw straight lines then the trend is obviously downhill. The problem is that nature never uses straight lines for anything. If you use a sensible trend estimator as I do with this view of the satellite data

      then the picture is a lot more interesting.

      Remember

      Linear trend = Tangent to the curve = Flat Earth.

    • In 2012 the sea ice extent was very high this time of year and went on to have the lowest summer time extent ever. Sea ice is driven a lot by currents and arctic weather so how thick it is in March does not always translate to how thick it will be in Sept.

    • So as an innocent bystander, I deduce that:

      a. Arctic ice coverage less than that of the gold standard average over (roughly) 1976-1995 is really bad.

      b. The reduced coverage is caused by anthropogenic CO2.

      c. It is critical that we take action to restore Arctic ice to ‘gold standard’ coverage.

      d. This can be accomplished by reducing or eliminating ACO2 by taxing and/or regulating any anthropogenic activity that has a ‘carbon signature’, as determined by the government.

      What I HAVEN’T gotten so far is WHY it so important to have large areas of the Arctic covered by ice, since there have been periods in the past when the coverage was as low or lower than that of today, without any disastrous consequences that are obvious in retrospect.

  60. John

    You wrote

    “Climate model projections, for the most part, can’t be disproven (in terms of accuracy of projections) for many years.”

    Actually, they can (and are tested) in hindcast runs. See our discussion of such tests in

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/b-18preface.pdf

    Roger Sr.

    • We should remember that, the AR5 report (The Fifth Assessment Report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC) states scientists are “95 percent certain” human activities are largely to cause for global warming. How was 95 percent calculated? It was pulled out of the arses of scientists with expertise.

      They wanted to show progress — despite no global warming over the last 17 years — and, they’d already used the 90% number in the 2007 AR4 report. So, no math is involved, No statistics. Nothing happened in the meantime to lend more credibility to Western academia’s AGW theory — it is totally subjective: the AGW theory is less plausible now because it has been falsified by the first decade of the new millennium.

    • “Actually, they can (and are tested) in hindcast runs.”

      But they fail to reproduce in part or in full the sort of decadal to multi-decadal behaviour that is seen in the observations. Until such time as they can produce that, they are little more than guesswork.

    • “Nothing happened in the meantime to lend more credibility to Western academia’s AGW theory”

      Actually more time happened. More time = higher human attribution.

      Over longer and longer time periods the human contribution to warming increases, so likewise the confidence in attributing over half the warming in a period to human cause will increase too.

    • “But they fail to reproduce in part or in full the sort of decadal to multi-decadal behaviour that is seen in the observations.”

      They reproduce it fine.

    • Lolwot: Show me any model that shows consistent ~60 year cycles in their output. As observed by all the temperature data sets.

      and please do tell me how they model getting TO the Little Ice Age.

    • See the CSALT model, it fits observations like a glove using a number of climate factors that skeptics involve (such as various cycles), but the only way it gets such a good fit is that it factors in CO2 as a control knob, something unfortunately skeptics omit from their models which is why they are going to end up wrong.

    • Lolwot: Given CSALTs requirement that CO2 drives everything and the fact that CO2 cannot explain how we got to the Little Ice Age I beg to differ.

      It also fails to explain the 50 year period immediately before the thermometer record either.

    • The GCMs of the government’s model-makers have demonstrated only their inherent unreliability: the marked differences between model-predictions compared to actual conditions will always be the very most we can ever presently know for sure about anything. The models were wrong! Nature always knows more about everything than we know and that is something we cannot continue to ignore.

    • RLH, so you are basing your argument on a “50 year period immediately before the thermometer record” ?

      It looks fairly flat in those years, coinciding with very little growth in CO2 emissions. Not surprising since the oil age only officially started in 1850.

      Thanks for the OWN GOAL there, RLH.

      Try harder next time and you can even score more own goals.

    • WHT: Actually the temperature fell to 1850 or so, but then again I suppose ream measurements are not your style. And you still have failed to answer about how we got TO the Little Ice Age. CO2 did that by being up swinging in the near future I suppose.

    • WHT: By the way Webby, you do know that this sort of cyclic behaviour has been going on for a very long time, and CSALT accounts for none of it.

    • RLH, you are very cotton-like in your approach,
      Of course CSALT includes cyclic factors such as the Stadium Wave.
      It also includes volcanic factors that the WUWTang Clan mess up badly:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/03/12/csalt-volcanic-aerosols/

    • Roger A. Pielke Sr.

      Wow! That’s some study. Thanks for posting the link. It will be very interesting to see all the results.

      To start off, the definitions of “climate change”, “global warming”, etc. are very helpful to novices like me, as there is quite a bit of confusion out there.

      The fact that climate has always changed in the past with or without human influences, and abruptly at times, is also valuable input.

      Also that all impacts from climate are local or regional, rather than global.

      It seems apparent that hindcasting, based on actual physical observations, is crucial in order to check whether or not the models “got it right”. When they did not, it must be assumed that this is a problem with the model – not with the observed data.

      Based on several cited studies of various different phenomena, it appears that modeled results from the climate models often appear to be significantly different from observations.

      As a result, the bottom up method for a resource based assessment of risk from climate to key resources seems to make good sense to me.

      Thanks again.

      Max

    • WHT: So your CSALT model can get the cycles right all the way back to 1400-1500 in the POD? I think not.

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/pdo/

  61. How are the calculations relating to increased downpours done?

    Does the data even exist to make such statements?

    Cullen stated a 73% increase, but where is the data to back it up……

    Example here

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/18/heidi-cullen-at-senate-epw-73-increase-in-heavy-downpours-not-supported-by-data/

    • ossqss

      With enough manipulation, Webby can make his handy dandy model “hindcast” anything he likes.

      It’s just with “forecasting” that it has a bit of a problem.

      Max

  62. The California drought in it’s true context is that it’s a useful tool just like the stunt last night in the US Senate. The media is starting to get fed up with the silliness:

    “But, there is another more political reason for the decision by Senate Democrats to devote their time to the issue right now. And that issue is campaign cash.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/10/what-the-senates-all-nighter-on-climate-change-is-really-about/

    With Tom Steyer offering $100 million to Dems who tow the CAGW line this fall, it’s fair to say Harry Reid just rented out the Senate last night. This is all about November, not science.

  63. The Democratic Party will say and do anything to stay in power. They have made a conscious decision to exploit AGW and Climate Change because they think it will get them votes. It certainly gets them money from the environmental lobbies and Tom Steyer. Trying to link drought, floods, forrest fires, hurricanes etc. to AGW is but one of their tactics and the media is all too glad to give this prime time.

    The enviros/greens are against the use of fossil fuels, against expanding nuclear energy, against growth and against freedom of speech. They want to protect smelts and minnows and beetles at the expense of the economic well being of the rest of us.

    I appreciate those that are working to correct false impressions and to expose the green lobby for what it is.

  64. Robert I Ellison

    ‘Arctic sea ice decline during winter is generally accompanied by increases in precipitation throughout the middle latitudes of the Northern hemisphere, and as with temperature the large-scale geographic
    signatures closely resembling those of the negative phase of the NAO. Such conditions typically bring unseasonably wet weather into northern Europe and Alaska, and dry conditions into western U.S. and
    the Mediterranean region (Thompson and Wallace, 1998).’ http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/future/docs/ArcticAND_Globe.pdf

    Low winter Arctic sea ice cover is related to the state of the AO – and the suggestion in the Sewall and Sloan study is that the causal relationship is reversed. Nonetheless – distinguishing between natural and induced variability is still the problem. I am anticipating a near record low ice cover this September while the negative NAM and SAM drive cool water south and north along the Californian and Peruvian coasts respectively. The actual lesson of the stadium wave is that it is all connected.

    We are at quite low winter ice – the negative AO is driving ice out of Fram Strait – storm tracks push further south and California is dry. This has been understood for a long time – and the implications of increased spring runoff in critical areas on AMOC are intriguing.

    The reality is that the system is immensely complex and dynamic – we are well within the limits of Holocene variability – and the ways that might change abruptly and radically are little understood.

    As too – it seems – are practical and pragmatic approaches to multi-gas emissions, land use, population and development, agricultural production and conservation. Many of these people simply don’t want a rich, productive, fecund, global culture. What we have instead is over-simplified science justifying ineffective and economically damaging responses.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Robert, you write “We are at quite low winter ice”

      I am no expert, but I understand that there are at least three different measures of “ice” in the Arctic; namely area, extent and volume. It is my understanding that area and extent my be quite low, but that this is not true of volume. Which quantity are you using for your statement?

    • Jim,
      Volume isn’t so far off of record low territory even though it typically peaks in late winter.

      http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b01a73d8a0fc5970d-pi

    • Jim Cripwell

      Bob, you write “Volume isn’t so far off of record low territory even though it typically peaks in late winter.”

      Agreed. My point to Robert was that there is more than one meaning to the word “ice” as he used it. I wanted to know which measure he was using. He has answered.

      The point is that volume has shown more of a recovery from the very low levels of previous years, compared with extent and area at maximum ice. It remains a very open question as to which measure is the best indicator of ice minimum in September 2014. So, I wanted to be clear which measure Robert was using.

    • In recovery, volume will recover first.
      ========

    • Robert I Ellison

      Are we pushing new minimums for ice volume this year along with ice cover?

      There are complex relationships here – both in temperature and pressure fields.

      Negative AO pushes ice out of the Arctic circle – which may be the dominant process this year.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

      • agreed that this winter has been fascinating to watch the Arctic sea ice. I will do a post on this at some point (currently swamped)

    • This is one of the most interesting sea ice pages I watch. Can get very hypnotic at times :-)

      Really allows you to see how this is all so active and pulsating rather than the more bland graphs that are sometimes used. Often shows why the sea ice cover reduces but the thickness increase as the wind piles it up or open water appears to leeward of the various islands.

  65. Sacrificing fattened children to bring about change is an example of a negative outlook with horrible consequences on the business of living, whether it is done by Incas on the summit of Llullaillaco or by Leftist global warming alarmists and liberal Utopians in Western classrooms.

  66. The research was exhausting but revealing. It turns out an opinion that AGW theory valid is possible if you ignore climate change due to natural causes and pay no attention to the opinions of scientists outside Western academia.

  67. From the article:

    Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday the tropical Pacific subsurface had “warmed substantially” over the past few weeks, meaning sea surface temperatures were likely to rise in coming months.

    A recent burst of westerly winds over the far western Pacific was also the strongest seen since at least 2009, the last time an El Niño developed, the bureau said.

    (Read more: All dried out: California farms to lay idle)

    Its warning comes a week after the US weather forecaster said there was a 50 per cent chance of an El Niño developing this summer and days after Japan’s weather bureau raised its forecasts of such an event.

    “It’s certainly front of mind for everyone, from commodities analysts to farmers,” said London-based commodities analyst Tracey Allen of Rabobank. “Everyone is watching it because it could have such a significant bearing on products.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101483617

  68. From the article:

    California water managers later said the drought would force an unprecedented cutoff in state-supplied water sold to 29 irrigation districts, public water agencies and municipalities, barring an unexpected turnaround.

    Irrigation deliveries to another group of agricultural districts served by the state are expected to be reduced by half, and an even larger group of farmers who get water from the federally operated Central Valley Project are likewise bracing for sharp cutbacks this year.

    “We’re in a dire situation that we’ve never been in before,” said Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.

    The state’s network of reservoirs that collect runoff of rainfall and snow melt from the Sierra Nevada range—the state’s biggest source of fresh water—is badly depleted.

    It is unacceptable that vital water supplies are being forced out to the ocean instead of going to our cities,” said Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who represents agricultural and desert areas north of Los Angeles. “The issue demands immediate attention and today’s vote represents House Republicans’ commitment to putting California families over fish.”

    He said the potential total value of unplanted crops was hard to calculate. But his group estimates the overall impact of idled farmland will run roughly $5 billion in direct costs of lost production and indirect effects through the region’s economy.

    An economic toll of that magnitude would put about 40 percent of all agricultural jobs in the Central Valley at risk, or about 117,000 people directly employed in farm production, processing and transportation, he said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101395705

  69. Extended 30-Year Forecast: locally — oftentimes sunny, mild and pleasantly warm with occasional passing clouds resulting is less frequent rain events, while remorseless and unrelenting warming inexorably continues globally, mercilessly.

  70. California’s 2-year drought—it’s what’s for dinner

    Borba would like to drill a deeper well, but the cost is too high, and demand for drilling services is backed up for more than a year. “Everybody just keeps installing deeper, longer straws,” he said. “The water quality is degrading. It’s become saltier, and that’s not good for any of our crops.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101345176

  71. Yes sirree the coming global cooling will be just wonderful; fewer wildfires, droughts, floods and storms! Oh wait…

  72. Pingback: Droughts are coming. Are we ready for the past to repeat? | Fabius Maximus

  73. The concerns of Western academia’s global warming alarmists on behalf of the whole world are diminished by their belief that the rest of humanity doesn’t belong.

    • The Telegraph reviewer gave five stars and some silly supportive comments to Elizabeth Kolbert’s apparently anti-human tome “The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history. He mentioned finding a dead bird. I responded:

      The guillemot “had died … from … the unseen effects of pollution.” And how do you know that?

      “Natural history … shows how we have sowed the seeds of our own destruction.” History shows how our capacity to adapt and innovate has allowed us to become the dominant species on the planet, and lifted billions of people from lives which were “nasty, brutal and short” to ones where they have the capacity to develop spirituality and give more attention to ecological matters.

      I see no reason why this process should not continue.

      I subsequently added: Is there any other species which has as much concern for other species as humans do? I think not. I might have said “Have you ever seen a whale with a ‘Save the humans!’ banner?”

    • Haven’t seen many whales killing people, and we appear to be quite safe from any threat of extinction……barring our own stupidity

    • While humans will be around for a long time its highly probable that western cultures as we currently know them will change. The US will lose their world leadership role by the end of this decade to be replaced probably by India.

      China’s communist leadership seem not to have the capacity nor the empathy to exercise any form of world leadership role. Europe and Russia will continue to languish behind the Australasian area in terms of economic development and standards of living while there is likely to be an upsurge in influence of Latin American countries.

      Just my thoughts.

    • Robert I Ellison

      It’s not for want of trying.

      • For Western school teachers who actively participate in hiding the truth while pushing superstition and ignorance in their classrooms across America, despite the fact nature will never cooperate with these weather commies, in their minds humanity will always face the fantasy of a hot apocalypse. It’s ‘biblical’ for them now.

  74. Holdren’s uneducated rudeness directed at Pielke, Jr. is not unique.
    On the other side of the Atlantic Matt Ridley is treated similarly by Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change.

    Ridley’s crime is that he testified that AR5 was less alarmist than AR4, similar to what JC said to the US Senate on January 16, 2014.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/3/12/the-works-of-lord-deben.html

    • It all becomes clear when you realize why the Left fears pragmatists.

    • Reality is fracturing a brittle narrative.
      ==============

    • Holdren is educated ok. Degrees from MIT and Stanford. Taught forever at Harvard and Berkley, but as far as I can tell he is an administrator and a political hatchet man at heart. If ever there was a Science Advisor to the President that had a personal agenda, it’s Holdren. It will be interesting to see where he ends up when Obama is through with him.

    • Mark Silbert

      It will be interesting to see where he [John Holdren] ends up when Obama is through with him.

      In the dust bin of history is most likely.

      Max

  75. A fan of *MORE* discourse
  76. I’m not a libertarian (so I have no skin in this foodfight), but I find it appropriate that “Fan of More Trolling” is reduced to posting links to comics here….. FOMT has always been a comic figure here, not in a good way.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Cartoons teach with humor what humanity’s most honored sages teach with art, with science, and with history.

      Squeezed between funny cartoons on the one hand, and scholarship on the other hand … denialist cognition is reduced to personal abuse, conspiracy theories, and willful ignorance sustained by cherry-picking.

      That’s how faux-libertarian denialism rolls, eh Skiphil?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Thank you Wagathon! Yes, polar ice-mass loss is accelerating *WITHOUT* decadal fluctuations (for precisely the energy-balance reasons that James Hansen predicted way back in 1981).

      That’s why the XKCD technorati now fully appreciate that the era of conservationist conservatism is upon us … and that’s why technical folks nowadays just laugh at faux-libertarian ideology-first denialists who claim otherwise (from inside the denial-sphere’s contracting “bubble” of ideology-driven fantasies).

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A deterministic view of a probabilistic world clouds our future.

    • Fan: This says that the ice loss may have reached a maximum and have started to reverse.

      Too early to tell for sure yet of course, but an early indication, we will see.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      RichardLH, please consider that rationally a summary climate-data analysis should focus upon *largest* thermal-capacity reservoirs (the oceans and the ice-caps) as assessed by the most accurate global measures (ARGO thermometry, altimetry, and gravimetry). This data plainly shows us a world of sustained energy imbalance and accelerating heating.

      Your lumped-together data summary substantially does the opposite, eh? (by emphasizing land temperatures, floating ice-areas, and restricted sea-surfaces, as assessed by instruments of lesser quality, in particular poorly-calibrated satellite radiometry). Which is dumb!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan: It is only an observation of the data and trends in the data. Get over it.

    • Fan: Presumably HadCrut, GISS, UAH and RSS are all wrong also.

    • “Faux-libertarian ideology-first denialists”

      More contempt Fan! More! It’s such an effective instrument of persuasion you can never show enough.

      Meanwhile, not for nothing, but I’m a Democrat who voted for Obama. Twice. Two votes I regret deeply. But I have no “ideology” to speak of, not in the way you sneeringly use it. ‘

      So I guess I’m just a plain old “denialist,” even if it is the silliest epithet I’ve ever heard.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      pokerguy (aka al neipris) is self-deprecating “I guess I’m just a plain old “denialist,”

      Pokerguy, your excellent civic manners, manifest respect for science, embrace of discourse, rejection of conspiracy theories, acceptance of complexity, toleration of ambiguity, acceptance of prudent compromise, willingness to put science ahead of ideology and religion … and (most of all, and *best* of all) your happy sense of humor! … in aggregate disqualify you from claiming the title of “denialist.”

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Meanwhile, both the Democrats and the Republicans are running against the Tea Party, which isn’t even a party — just Americans who know there’s no such thing as a free lunch and are tired of picking up the bill.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Yes, polar ice-mass loss is accelerating *WITHOUT* decadal fluctuations (for precisely the energy-balance reasons that James Hansen predicted way back in 1981).
      ______
      Indeed, total Earth climate system energy is the only logical way to think about the climate system energy imbalance caused by increasing GHG concentrations. This focus on tropospheric sensible heat (by both sides of the issue) has produced some very myopic and ill-conceived notions of how to gauge this energy imbalance. Sea ice, glacial ice, permafrost, ocean heat content, sea level, etc. all must be considered in the real evaluation of climate system sensitivity to increased GHG’s.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “This says that the ice loss may have reached a maximum and have started to reverse.”
      ____
      Complete 100% unadulterated nonsense.

    • Fan,

      Of course I appreciate the kind words. But I’m not sure i want a special exemption. I don’t really see what could be properly called denial (ism?) among my fellow skeptics.

    • RG: We will have to see. Easy to call it wrong now. At the top of a potential cycle which is present elsewhere you would be unwise to completely discount it.

    • @RichardLH
      “This says that the ice loss may have reached a maximum and have started to reverse.”

      How does a graph of UAH readings which has very weak trends tell us anything about Arctic Sea Ice. Why not look at the ice extent of the month of minimum Arctic Sea Ice directly to determine the trend.

      https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2013/09/

      It is clear that the increase from 2012 to 2013 is within the annual noise of the data.

      Your post is a clear example of motivated reasoning.

    • Well I would have thought that an observation that the sea ice had returned to within 2 SD having been outside of that range for quite a few years and the appearance of a possible downward trend in the temperature data says otherwise. Sure the two together could be co-incidence but the other alternative is what I suggested. Time alone will tell which view is correct.

    • RichardLH | March 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
      “Well I would have thought that an observation that the sea ice had returned to within 2 SD having been outside of that range for quite a few years and the appearance of a possible downward trend in the temperature data says otherwise. Sure the two together could be co-incidence but the other alternative is what I suggested. Time alone will tell which view is correct.”

      Saying that a downward movement in Arctic Sea Ice is possible, is a different thing from saying the data indicates a trend. Looking at the UAH and the Sea Ice, you see that single year increases of the same magnitude as 2013 over 2012, have occurred while the overall downward trend has continued.

    • That is only true (the trend direction) if you assume that all trends are linear. As a linear trend is only true over the range it is drawn from, that is almost never the case. In terms of predictions, a linear trend is almost useless. If you do not believe that try for yourselves. Create sub-sections of past history, create a linear trend and see how accurately it predicts what then happened.

      The 15 S-G trend is more like LOWESS, indeed one could claim that LOWESS is based on it, S-G pre-dating it by a large margin. The big question when using either LOWESS or S-G is how to choose the parameters. Here we are fortunately in having much longer temperature series which can give some guidance.

      So we end up with

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/combined/

      to provide the reasoning and

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/uah/

      http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/rss-2/

      to provide the Arctic temperature data and its likely trend.

    • Seems like the professionals also agree that Arctic Sea Ice is larger recently.

      HT Steve Goddard:

      “Coast guard warns of bad ice year for Atlantic Canada ships”

      http://ca.news.yahoo.com/coast-guard-warns-bad-ice-atlantic-canada-ships-173704122.html

  77. pokerguy

    You know the saying ‘once bitten twice shy.’ If you regretted the first vote why on earth did you vote for him a second time?

    From this side of the pond he looks a very ineffective leader and America seems to have abrogated its world leadership role during his tenure.

    Mind you, the quality of your Presidents often appears surprisingly low bearing in mind you have such a large pool in which to fish. Come to that politicians almost everywhere seem to be minnows compared to the past, with the unfortunate exception of Putin.

    tonyb

    • Obama was Europe’s pick, remember…? Dead and dying old Europe even gave Obama a Nobel prize for being anti-American. Maybe the next Nobel should go to Putin for making fossil fuel available.

    • tony b

      Come to that politicians almost everywhere seem to be minnows compared to the past, with the unfortunate exception of Putin.

      Yeah. He’s a barracuda. But, like him or not, he seems to be acting in at least what he thinks are the best interests of “Mother Russia”.

      Max

  78. Tony,

    I just wrote a long, detailed answer and it disappeared into ether upon pressing send. Suffice to say that it’s been a slow, painful awakening.

  79. Wagathon

    I think peoples expectations were way too high for what always seemed to me to be a mediocre politician. (but he didnt have a lot of competition did he?)

    The fact he was given a Nobel prize immediately surely supports the idea that great hope was invested in him, rather than it was anti American?
    Europe as a whole was (and remains) in thrall to the guy.

    tonyb

    • @Climatereason

      Tony, in and of itself, the Nobel Prize might seem to be as you indicate. However, the fact that Carter got one just a few years before when his total achievements was in damning the American people shows a pattern.

      Regardless, I do not believe Europe imbued Obama with any sort of extra intelligence or stature. That was done courtesy of the sycophantic US Press. But the emperor could not keep his clothes on.

  80. Pokerguy

    Your reply sounds like some of mine that brilliantly and comprehensively destroy the AGW theory but then mysteriously disappear into the ether leaving the world a much poorer place…
    tonyb

  81. The Left must accept responsibility for the death of millions because they are turning their collective and consensual backs on the humanitarian issue of our time? [E]nvironmentalists should recognize the shale gas revolution as beneficial to society – and lend their full support to helping it advance. ~Richard A. Muller and Elizabeth A. Muller

    • jim2,
      I tested this approach in the late 1980′s related to Community and Economic Development in a small 80k town in the Heartland. The approach was very simple, a market research study related to how residents define their neighborhood, their willingness to get involved at various option levels, and which governmental agencies they preferred to support.

      The response was off the charts and highly insightful. The Mayor called me into his office and I explained he was, for the first time in his political experience, in a position to objectively meet the needs of residents. All he and government need to do was to empower residents.

      Its very easy to best eco-loons who seek to game the system. The question then becomes, who are they?

    • sorry Wagathon, I posted this for jim2 — the next comment in the dialogue.

  82. Dr. Curry,
    Thanks for posting this article and for your comments. There is no question, “The water resource issue in CA is looming very large; the demands continue to increase and agriculture seems the obvious loser under a water shortage scenario.”

    Last year in California, an area the size of Rhode Island was not planted with crops due to the lack of a sufficient water supply. Sadly, the true cause for the water crisis is regulatory and policy driven. Please consider a Second-Day Lead story related to Desalination and the CA regulatory crisis.

    Please see:
    The Zetas And The Surfriders

    Extremism In Defense Of Environmentalism Can Be A Catastrophic Vice. 


    http://hbfreshwater.com/uncategorized/the-zetas-and-the-surfriders

    excerpt:

    If the country has so hamstrung itself with regulatory process and tolerance for greens gaming the system that public agencies responsible for the water supply think that contending with the Zetas in Mexico is a more attractive option than contending with the Surfrider Foundation in California, are we facing an environmental crisis of existential proportions — or a governance crisis of existential proportions?

    • There are many cases where liberals have taken control of organizations and use them to further liberal causes. It sucks.

    • jim2,
      It doesn’t suck unless We allow it to continue. Their actions are illogical at best. The issue is obvious to me. Require municipalities to complete the regulatory and policy process before inviting solutions!!! This will fast track development and will limit taxpayer exposure to their political ignorance.

    • jim2,
      I tested this approach in the late 1980′s related to Community and Economic Development in a small 80k town in the Heartland. The approach was very simple, a market research study related to how residents define their neighborhood, their willingness to get involved at various option levels, and which governmental agencies they preferred to support.

      The response was off the charts and highly insightful. The Mayor called me into his office and I explained he was, for the first time in his political experience, in a position to objectively meet the needs of residents. All he and government needed to do was to empower residents and implement their solutions.

      Its very easy to best eco-loons who seek to game the system. The question then becomes, who are they?

  83. Let the rivers run unvexed to the sea.

    Desalination is the answer if we can get reduced energy costs.

    Urban users pay $100 an acre foot while cotton and alfalfa growers pay $10.

    I will check to confirm my recollection of the prices but the answer is not more dams. CA always has droughts. Look at the paper with 100 ft tall, 3 ft diameter 100 ft submerged trees at Lake Tahoe.

    Quaternary Science Reviews 30 (2011) 3269e3279;
    Duration and Severity of Lake Tahoe Droughts.

    Droughts in the western U.S. in the past 200 years are small compared to several megadroughts that
    occurred during Medieval times. We reconstruct duration and magnitude of extreme droughts in the
    northern Sierra Nevada from hydroclimatic conditions in Fallen Leaf Lake, California. Stands of
    submerged trees rooted in situ below the lake surface were imaged with sidescan sonar and radiocarbon
    analysis yields an age estimate of w1250 AD. Tree-ring records and submerged paleoshoreline
    geomorphology suggest a Medieval low-stand of Fallen Leaf Lake lasted more than 220 years. Over eighty
    more trees were found lying on the lake !oor at various elevations above the paleoshoreline. Waterbalance
    calculations suggest annual precipitation was less than 60% normal from late 10th century to
    early 13th century AD. Hence, the lake’s shoreline dropped 40e60 m below its modern elevation. Stands
    of pre-Medieval trees in this lake and in Lake Tahoe suggest the region experienced severe drought at
    least every 650e1150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene. These observations quantify paleoprecipitation
    and recurrence of prolonged drought in the northern Sierra Nevada.
    Published by Elsevier Ltd

    Scott

    • Desalination is the answer if we can get reduced energy costs.

      I agree but not in California where the policy and regulatory process drives development costs to the point of no return.

      If memory serves, the US is the 3rd largest user of desalination but a majority of it is dedicated to brackish water. Do farm subsidies bring the cost down for ag.?

  84. I can see why congress rates so low in US polls.

    The US Senate all-night blabathon on climate change reminds me of the cartoon character of yore, Senator Leghorn Foghorn: “Ah say theah…squawk!”

    Too funny.

    Max

  85. Pingback: The Art of Science Advice to Government | Climate Etc.

  86. Judith

    If you should see this you need to note that the amount of spam on this blog has increased exponentially over the last week. It normally occurs on threads that are at least a couple of weeks old.

    I think you need to beef up your firewalls. At the time of writing all responses bar two on the side bar were spam

    Tonyb

    • I don’t know about the last week, but the responses you label has being spam in the sidebar weren’t spam. They were pingbacks. They were generated when our host wrote a new post and linked to a bunch of her old posts. Each link she included in her post caused a pingback to be placed in the comments of that post. You can see one immediately above your comment.

    • Brandon

      No, they definitely weren’t ping backs on this occasion. There is often three or four paragraphs of gobbledygook usually advertising something and often From someone with a believable name.

      Tonyb

      • spam has definitely been out of control, most of it generated by late discovery of a post with ‘sensitivity’ in the title. I’m trying to keep on top of it

    • Tonyb, my RSS reader disagrees. I find it difficult to believe it didn’t notice eight or so spam comments, yet did notice eight pingbacks. That’s especially true given those pingbacks were almost immediately before your comment.

    • (Granted, maybe it missed some comments and there just happened to be a bunch of pingbacks right before you made your comment. That’d be a really weird coincidence though.)

    • Brandon

      I have Been noticing the spam increase over the the past week and so it appears has Judith . It was especially irritating as the names were believable and so I followed the comment before I realised its nature

      I had assumed the ones preceding my comment were more of the same but you are probably right on that particular sequence.

      Tonyb

    • I like trying to figure out meaning in the spam. There are many curious juxtapositions and concatenations of words in them. On a good day, the ideas generated are prolific; I count them a major source of inspiration.
      ============================

    • I pay a few dollars a month for the Akismet spam filter on my blog. It does work but recently more spam has filtered through.

    • Webby

      From your various comments here over the last few days do I take it that your Csalt model agrees that Volcanic aerosols have a fairly transient effect on temperatures?

      tonyb

    • That’s physics for you. Volcanic aerosols such as sulfates are what are called condensing particulates. They have associated with them a half-life well described by a damped exponential. CO2 on the other hand is non-condensing and so has a fat-tail that goes on for hundreds and thousands of years.

      The fat-tail aspect in volcanoes is in the occurrence of super eruptions recorded as rare gray swan events, volcanos with a VEI of 7 or higher. These expel enough material that they can potentially change the climate for longer periods of time, possibly leading to historic intervals such as the little ice age.

    • Trees everywhere love the idea of that 0.04% of the atmosphere being around for 1,000s of years…

    • Web

      I have never disputed that the extremely large and very rare volcanoes have an impact on climate. Maybe a season or maybe a year depending where they happened.

      My contention is that there is not a continual supply of condensing particulates from much smaller volcanoes that causes such a dense layer that they in effect caused the LIA from around 1200 to around 1800AD i.e. a 400 to 600 year period. Further, that these small scale but continual volcanic emissions were absent during the MWP.

      The historic record shows a considerable juxtaposition of climate types during the LIA and that generally only the big volcanoes had any sort of transient effect.

      In other words condensing particulates do not hang around in the atmosphere for long.

      You seem to be agreeing.
      tonyb

  87. Back to California’s drought problem.

    Blathering about “climate change” will not solve California’s current (or possible future) drought problem.

    However, there is no question that drought-prone regions, which lie near the sea (like Saudi Arabia) can use seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) to supply their fresh water needs.

    This is an energy intensive process, so it helps to have a low-cost source of energy nearby (Saudi Arabia qualifies).

    Having a source of warm seawater helps keep energy requirement down (Persian Gulf water meets the specs).

    It is also a rather capital intensive process, so it helps to be rich (again, Saudi Arabia has the petro-megabucks).

    This should be a natural for CA (even though energy is not particularly cheap there and there is no great surplus of cash in the state coffers). A billion dollar SWRO plant is being planned for San Diego.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/parched-california-pours-mega-millions-desalination-tech-n28066

    During the last major drought in 1986-1992 a much smaller SWRO plant was built for Santa Barbara. This plant cost some $38 million at the time to construct and commission. It got completed in 1991, just as the drought was about to end, but was never really operated for any length of time, because the incremental operating costs alone were several times higher than the cost of “normal” water (when this is available). The plant got cannibalized over the years (with pieces sold to Saudi Arabia, etc.) and now it will be refurbished at a cost of another $20 million.

    http://www.countyofsb.org/pwd/pwwater.aspx?id=3738

    For the Bay Area, SWRO could also be considered, but the seawater is much cooler there than in San Diego, so energy requirement would be greater. A rough estimate shows that the incremental cost would be around $0.35 per 100 gallons, and with amortization of the capital investment, the total cost would be around $0.60 per 100 gallons.

    And for northern California one could also consider a water pipeline from the Columbia River, as there is plenty of net outflow to the Pacific. But this would require negotiating with Oregon (and possibly Washington) to set a price for the water taken. Back-of-the-envelope numbers would indicate that this method would be competitive with SWRO for the SF Bay Area at a cost of $0.10 to 0.15 or less per 100 gallons paid to OR/WA plus the amortization of the pipeline investment and operating costs.

    So there are answers, but they are not easy or cheap. And they require an inexpensive source of energy. Using wind/solar would only increase the total cost due to their high intermittency of supply.

    And politicians hate to be on the wrong side of history.

    And they are usually elected for a term of 2 to 6 years, while climate seems to work in much longer cycles.

    So much for “the California drought in context”, as I see it.

    Max

    • Scott

      Low energy SWRO membranes and plants would be a boon. Energy cost is a big part of the incremental running cost.

      They are still rather expensive to construct, so the capital amortization is also a big part of the total cost per 100 gal.

      I see the problem more political than technical or even economic.

      If a billion dollar SWRO plant is built and the rains return, providing water at a fraction of the incremental running cost (as was the case in Santa Barbara in 1992), this plant will stand idle and some politicians will get the blame.

      A giant pipeline from the Columbia River would have much lower incremental running costs than current SWRO technology, largely because of high energy demand, particularly when working with colder inlet seawater.

      So, while the new technology could be a technical and economic game changer – the political risk still remains.

      Max

    • @ Max

      Quoting Jerry Pournelle again, ‘Cheap, plentiful energy is the key to freedom and prosperity.’.

      Applied to the scarcity of fresh water problem, given a large supply of cheap energy, our fresh water resources are effectively infinite.

      This is obvious, and raises the question as to why EVERY energy policy advocated by the Progressive_politician/Green/Climate_science Complex appears to be deliberately crafted to DECREASE the supply of energy while INCREASING its per unit cost.

  88. Max
    As usual a cogent response. Carlsbad desalination plant is scheduled to open in 2016 w 50,000,000 gals daily capacity. The new pipe project from north california is $10,000,000 if it comes in at budget.

    Dr. Olgica Bakajin from LLNL tested carbon nanotubes for reverse osmosis and projected a 10X reduction in power costs vs traditional membrages. She left to start a small company called Protofino or something like that. I will look it up to see where they stand and post a note but technology is evolving fast. Saudi Arabia uses flash distillation, partially because of the massive energy resource. We need cheap energy in California to make water production work. Maybe fracking or coastal nuclear energy plants and fusion in the more distant future.

    Lots to do in the area. We can support the rational optimist in the effort to find effective solutions while continuing to use existing resources.
    Scott

  89. Tonyb
    By the way. I was on automatic moderation for some reason so I don’t support new auto moderation. I don’t see the spam on our system that you see.

    My above comment was $10,000,000,000, billion not million for the new water tunnels to the south. They don’t count killing the salmon and impacts on the fisheries or delta water flow.

    Build desalinatin plants and let more water flow to the sea. The dams on the San Juaquin river totally dry it up in normal wet years.
    Scott

  90. The name of the carbon nanotubes startup company in Hayward CA is Porifera Inc, dedicated to developing reduced energy reverse osmosis membranes for desalintation.

    Hope it works.
    Scott

  91. I quote from Martin Hoerling to Andy Revkin about the current drought which “…resembles the 1975-76 and 1976-77 California droughts, when two consecutive years were at least as dry as the last two years have been for the state as a whole. The bottom line is that this type of drought has been observed before.”

    Quite so. But something these so-called “climate scientists” willfully exclude is the fact that there is no warming now and there has been none for the last 17 years. This means that global warming has no more to do with causing the current drought then it did with causing the ancient mega-droughts of years 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320. By the way, did I mention that stupidity annoys me? If I did not, it annoys me even more when it comes from professionals who demonstrably do not know their own subject.

  92. Since there has been no measured global warming for nigh 20 years now, how does Obama spin that global warming is implicated in California’s drought? Is there a 20+ year lag at work or what?

  93. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

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  95. What’s up, its good piece of writing on the topic of media
    print, we all be familiar with media is a great source of facts.

  96. I seldom comment, but i did some searching and wound up
    here California drought in context | Climate Etc..
    And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or does it look like a few of these
    responses look as if they are written by brain dead people?
    :-P And, if you are posting on additional sites,
    I’d like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Could you list of all of your social pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

  97. I tend not to write many remarks, but i diid some searching and wound up here California drought in contxt | Climate Etc..

    And I actually do have 2 questions for you iff
    you usuall do not mind. Is it simply mme or does it look as if like some of the remarks come across like tthey
    are written by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing on other soccial sites, I’d like
    to follow anything new you have to post. Could
    you make a list of all of all your community sites like your Facebook
    page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?