Study: Southwest may face ‘megadrought’ this century

The study by Cornell University, University of Arizona and U.S. Geological Survey researchers will be published in a forthcoming issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.

“For the southwestern U.S., I’m not optimistic about avoiding real megadroughts,” said Toby Ault, Cornell assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and lead author of the paper. “As we add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and we haven’t put the brakes on stopping this – we are weighting the dice for megadrought conditions.”

Ault_megadrought_risk

As of mid-August, most of California sits in a D4 “exceptional drought,” which is in the most severe category. Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas also loiter between moderate and exceptional drought. Ault says climatologists don’t know whether the severe western and southwestern drought will continue, but he said, “With ongoing climate change, this is a glimpse of things to come. It’s a preview of our future.”

Ault said that the West and Southwest must look for mitigation strategies to cope with looming long-drought scenarios. “This will be worse than anything seen during the last 2,000 years and would pose unprecedented challenges to water resources in the region,” he said.

In computer models, while California, Arizona and New Mexico will likely face drought, the researchers show the chances for drought in parts of Washington, Montana and Idaho may decrease.

Ault_drought_decadal

Beyond the United States, southern Africa, Australia and the Amazon basin are also vulnerable to the possibility of a megadrought. With increases in temperatures, drought severity will likely worsen, “implying that our results should be viewed as conservative,” the study reports.

“These results help us take the long view of future drought risk in the Southwest – and the picture is not pretty. We hope this opens up new discussions about how to best use and conserve the precious water that we have,” said Julia Cole, UA professor of geosciences and of atmospheric sciences.

The study, “Assessing the Risk of Persistent Drought Using Climate Model Simulations and Paleoclimate Data,” was also co-authored by Julia E. Cole, David M. Meko and Jonathan T. Overpeck of University of Arizona; and Gregory T. Pederson of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The National Science Foundation, National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded the research.

-30-

 

The full paper is available here:

Assessing the risk of persistent drought using climate model simulations and paleoclimate data

https://cornell.app.box.com/Megadrought/1/2369732445/20394648023/1

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106 thoughts on “Study: Southwest may face ‘megadrought’ this century

  1. How would anyone notice if these states had a drought? They are dry as a bone in the best of times.

  2. Given that every global warming prognosis uttered turns out to be diametrically wrong, I would say this bodes well for the southwestern US.

  3. I am not sure that the risk of a mega-drought is actually historically much different than what they are saying. Unless they have a clear grasp of the past they know nothing new.

  4. So the IPCC accepted ‘pause’ is not accepted by these researchers? The missing heat i.e. heat that is not in the atmosphere – is actually in the deep ocean; yet from there with some kind of ‘teleconnection (an effect without a known mechanism) this crytpo-heat is causing ‘megadrought’ in the models. They do not appear to agree with each other too well on their excuses for no warming, as their ‘team’ agrees that warming has not happened; yet they continue to churn out forecasts based on warming and declare the last year the hottest year ever! while making excuses for not warming. How can they continue to call it ‘settled science’?

    • I am with you here sort of. But the claim, is that changing ocean circulation is pushing it down. This is a known part of the ENSO process. That is, we know that the east bound winds during La Nina bring up cool water from the west, and over cloudless skies, the water warms and gets plunged deep on the western Pacific. Warm water can and does go down deep.

      That said, this has nothing to do with CO2 causing it. Does this make sense?

    • The authors seem to overlook quite a few things. They say:

      “This will be worse than anything seen during the last 2,000 years and would pose unprecedented challenges to water resources in the region,” he said.

      In computer models, while California, Arizona and New Mexico will likely face drought,…..

      The IPCC notes the past so why should any megadrought be blamed on any warming? The IPCC says US droughts and mega-droughts during the Holocene are likely to remain a feature west of the Mississippi.

      IPCC
      IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
      Multiple proxies, including tree rings, sediments, historical documents and lake sediment records make it clear that the past 2 kyr included periods with more frequent, longer and/or geographically more extensive droughts in North America than during the 20th century (Stahle and Cleaveland, 1992; Stahle et al., 1998; Woodhouse and Overpeck, 1998; Forman et al., 2001; Cook et al., 2004b; Hodell et al., 2005; MacDonald and Case, 2005). Past droughts, including decadal-length ‘megadroughts’ (Woodhouse and Overpeck, 1998), are most likely due to extended periods of anomalous SST (Hoerling and Kumar, 2003; Schubert et al., 2004; MacDonald and Case, 2005; Seager et al., 2005), but remain difficult to simulate with coupled ocean-atmosphere models. Thus, the palaeoclimatic record suggests that multi-year, decadal and even centennial-scale drier periods are likely to remain a feature of future North American climate, particularly in the area west of the Mississippi River.

  5. Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a “megadrought” – one that lasts over 30 years – ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.
    ————
    They also say that, due to global warming, the chances of the southwestern United States NOT experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a “NON-drought” – one that lasts over 30 years – ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.

    REPENT NOW SINNERS!!!

    • Re: see Big Joe B.’s article down one thread. Those East Pac tropical systems can deliver quite a load of water to the SW and West Texas. The pineapple express is almost certain to occur at least once this winter and give So Cal a landslide mud headache.

  6. Thank God they made Massachusetts disappear. With any luck Senators Warren and Markey when down the toilet with it.

  7. Guess it’s time to tell so called AWG-beliving “scientists” that may doesn’t hold scientistic norm – had any one proven beyond doubt that it’s likely that…. then it would be a prognosis one way or an other. Not the same at all and nothing to present as if it would happen. Should, would and could…..

    • Monkeys may fly out of my…. It’s likely that pigs can fly. 6 of one is half a dozen of another.

      Anyway, what a stoopidlee worded paper.

  8. Not to worry. The dramatic sea level rise the warmists have been forecasting will make things nice and wet in the southwest.

  9. BS baffles brains. Meanwhile here in the real world the weather keeps doing what it always does, changeable.

  10. And if history is a guide, predicting a megadrought is like predicting the sun will rise tomorrow.

  11. Current events-based science has its day in the limelight, like the research that dovetailed Al Gores hurricane frequency and intensity predictions. A recession in the economy normally carries a 20-25 percent chance all the time as well.

  12. And yet no one is shutting down the mega fountains in Harry Reid’s Las Vegas or the golf courses, etc….

  13. In other words, if it continues to approach being as warm as the Medieval Warm Period, the Southwest will see droughts just like the ones they saw during the Medieval Warm Period?

    And this is supposed to be something new and unforeseen?

  14. There are four seasons in Southern California:
    Windy/hot & dry/fires
    Windy/cold/dry
    Wet/mudslides (mostly where the fires were)
    All of the above in rapid succession

    I’m glad I moved to Wyoming. We have winter, still winter, sort of not winter, and then almost winter.
    And occasionally we have rain or snow. It is 73 degrees here now at noon, and it rained gently all night. I’m happy in this part of the “Great American Desert.” So, if this is “global warming,” I’m all for it.

  15. As is typical these “prospective” papers the past is ignored. The records of the Southwest show more precipitation during the Medieval Warm period with drought at an early cooling around 1250 AD.(Paralleling the rise and fall of the Anasazi) The long droughts in the intermountain west since the Medieval warm periods, including a 100 year drought in the 16th century, occurred before the modern warming. Precipitation in the SW is based on a complicated dance between the position of the ITD and monsoons with the PDO and AMO and no “paper” has any validity if this complex dance is not factored into it. The work of Betancourt and McCabe with the Arizona tree ring lab has been totally ignored as has the proxy records of the flow of the Colorado River. Suzanne

  16. I really hate this c r a p……………50%?…..either way they win
    That’s not a prediction……that a coin toss
    …and someone paid good money for this BS

  17. Um, Please sir, We have a mega drought right now in California. That is actually the normal condition for this desert State.

    Please sir, doesn’t “global warming”, aka global Temperature increase, normally bring MORE rain; (see wentz et al) like um, a one deg. C rise in Temperature gives a 7% rise in global evaporation, and a 7% rise in global atmospheric water content, and a 7% rise in global precipitation; aka “rain”, and that last one is very important, for it to match the evaporation, or else we would end up with the oceans “up there”, instead of “down here”.

    And more rain is just what you need to cure a mega drought.

    So don’t worry about it sir; she’ll be right, it will all come out in the wash. And with more rain, those Death Valley rocks can all get on the move again. By the way, who put all those rocks there in the first place, where did they all come from ??

    • This is what I wonder every single time I read one of these claims. OK, so all that heat is busy hiding out in the oceans – so they’ve *got* to be evaporating faster (no way around that). Water, as you say, cannot live in the sky so there *must* be more rain. But wait! Maybe there’s less wind so it goes up, but just falls right back down in the same spot. Only when I look for what’s suppose to happen to the wind given global warming I find it’s suppose to get stronger. Now that still leaves the possibility of localized droughts as a wind system gets too strong and starts blowing the water right past some area. But half the continent? That doesn’t make a lot of sense! If the water is coming from the Atlantic then you’d think stronger wind systems would do a *better* job of pushing it over the Rockies. If it’s coming from the Pacific every last system has to be strong enough to push it all the way to the eastern US without *any* system getting strong enough to cause a storm to make landfall without getting to the east.

  18. Maybe there will be a mega drought and maybe there won’t. I don’t know. Furthermore, these researchers don’t know either and actually admit it.

    However, what I do know is… there is no established causation between man made CO2 emissions and drought. None, nada, zip.

    This is a complete fictional stunt designed to grab attention and attract funding.

    • If it were used to attract funding to build more dams, it might actually be worthwhile.

      After all, the notion of a “drought” is quite vague, so when one is acknowledged it usually simply means that the people in the area are being asked to conserve water, and the most likely reason is that the population has outgrown the supply without anything being done to create more supply.

  19. Since, in the area shown, had major droughts in the 1930’s, 1950’s and 1970’s, i.e. 3 in the last 100 years, how many more is big, bad CO2 going to cause over natural variance?

    • Depends on how much grant money we can get. We need to outdo the previous study with apocalyptic predictions in order to win grants. Nobody ever gets a grant for a study that shows that “stuff happens”.

  20. Check out weather.com for Las Vegas. The monthly reports for July, August & September shows the average rainfall for each month is 0.00 inches. That means the average is less than 0.005 and the total for all 3 months would round to, at most, 0.01 inches. This year so far in July & August they’ve had 0.94 for inches. That’s about a century’s worth of summer rain.

    Some drought, eh?

  21. Any paper that emits ocean cycles from its study is worthless regarding climate/weather because they have a large influence on long term temperature and precipitation for USA. The ENSO is mentioned briefly below but the model has no chance of representing future ocean cycle changes, so they emit it.

    An obvious limitation of our work is that it is “blind” to certain aspects of dynamically-
    397 driven changes in prolonged drought risk. For instance, changes in the magnitude, frequency,
    398 or teleconnection patterns of El Ni˜no and La Ni˜na (e.g., Coats et al. 2013) may alter the
    399 statistics of interannual variability in ways that are not captured by our simple models. Fur-
    400 ther, megadrought statistics over the last millennium may be forcing-dependent, as suggested
    401 by Cook et al. (2004), for instance, which shows that megadroughts were more common dur-
    402 ing the medieval climate era of 850-1200 CE. Another very serious limitation is imposed by
    403 the reliability of the models themselves to make realistic predictions of changes in climato-
    404 logical precipitation for the end of the 21st century.

    ENSO temperature and precipitation affects on planet.

    http://www.knmi.nl/research/global_climate/enso/effects/

    They have underestimated oceans cycles without even trying to use their influences in the model.

  22. So they say “This will be worse than anything seen during the last 2,000 years”. Does that mean they have evidence of a megadrought 2,000 years ago? And was that one caused by anthropogenic warming? If not, then apparently this is within the range of natural variation.

  23. Is a megadrought really a million times worse than a run of the mill drought?

    Must be decadrought or even hectodrought just doesn’t sound scary enough…

  24. The Southwest has always had megadroughts, some lasting for 200+ years. None of these caused by global warming due to greenhouse gases. They are cyclical and we could be entering one of these periods…. They probably know this and are hoping for coincidental ” proof” by this claim if the drought continues.

  25. what krap. Only if the tropical pacific is cooling and hence the global downturn in temps continues will there be drought. Like last cold PDO this was predictable. How come I got on national TV over 5 years ago talking about the drought set up due to the pdo flip and got reamed by the left, and now that its here they make up yet another krap excuse ITS THE PDO.. THE TROPICAL PACIFIC. You can see what happened this year as the MEI and PDO is spiking its raining again. overall we are in a cooling period the next 10-20 years.

    I am astounded people put krap like this out. Seriously that is what it is, headline grabbing hype and krap. Its obvious if one matches up the MEI and rainfall as to what is going on . Just another example of the 165 billion that has been spent on this scam.

    I predict somewhere else will have too much rain the next kajillion years and the oceans will remain wet and have some salt in them Wheres my check

  26. “Well, we did get some good news here in LA… the mudslides have put out the brush fires.”

    -Johnny Carson- mid-1970’s.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  27. What is really needed is the creation of a flood bureau to parallel and counterbalance the drought bureau. Of course like any government funded bureau, it will predict mega whatever to produce megafunding.

  28. This is complete garbage. They forgot to mention the PDO flip, which is the real cause. Be prepared for an avalanche of stories like this so the elites can ram rod the carbon tax through. Since these so called scientist are worthless in just about any thing they do, and since most have never had to work a hard day in their life, they need to convince the uneducated masses that AGW is real so they can keep taxpayers hard earned money coming in. Huff po had a story yesterday on the sad faces of climate change. Scientist with sad faces…some quite frightening. Pathetic

  29. Drought or rain, doesn’t matter much, the aquifers are still being badly drained, I’ve heard of places that’ll need a thousand years of steady rain to recharge.

    http://water.usgs.gov/edu/gwdepletion.html


    Pacific Northwest – Groundwater development of the Columbia River Basalt aquifer of Washington and Oregon for irrigation, public-supply, and industrial uses has caused water-level declines of more than 100 feet in several areas.

    Desert Southwest – Increased groundwater pumping to support population growth in south-central Arizona (including the Tucson and Phoenix areas) has resulted in water-level declines of between 300 and 500 feet in much of the area. Land subsidence was first noticed in the 1940s and subsequently as much as 12.5 feet of subsidence has been measured. Additionally, lowering of the water table has resulted in the loss of streamside vegetation.

    Photos: Robert H. Webb, USGS.

    These pictures show a reach of the Santa Cruz River south of Tucson, Arizona. In the 1942 picture vegetation is growing in the riparian (river bank) area the river, indicating that sufficient water in the soil existsed at a level that plant roots could access it. The same site in 1989 shows that the riparian trees have largely disappeared as a result of lowered groundwater levels.

    For all the money blown on “global warming” in the US, we could have set up oceanside desalinization plants and a nationwide pipeline distribution system. As it stands, prepare for shortages and “water migrants”, we are not prepared.

    Which is sad, because it would have been so cool to have powered them with nuclear energy plants, suck the seawater through for cooling and send it straight to desalinization pre-warmed. That would have been so efficient.

    • “Thousand years of steady rains to recharge”?
      Please, don’t use hearsay as if it is the factual information.
      We lost our well water in 2013 because of the 10-year drought in South Colorado.
      This summer, there were “normal” rains, and the aquifer is producing again.

      • “Thousand years of steady rains to recharge”?
        Please, don’t use hearsay as if it is the factual information.

        http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/water/96-1746.pdf

        Texas Water Report: Going Deeper for the Solution
        Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

        Most Texas High Plains agriculture relies on irrigation from the enormous Ogallala aquifer, which underlies 36,515 square miles of Texas across 48 counties, as well as portions of seven other states.

        Since the 1940s, however, substantial pumping from the Ogallala has drawn the aquifer down more than 300 feet in some areas. Producers have taken steps to reduce their reliance on irrigated water. Streamlined operations allow them to produce significantly greater yield using roughly the same amount of water needed four decades ago. Still, losses to the aquifer between 2001 and 2011 equated to a third of its cumulative depletion during the entire 20th century.

        Although many High Plains communities rely on the Ogallala as their main source of drinking water, in Texas about 95 percent of the waters taken from the aquifer are used for irrigation.

        The Ogallala is recharged primarily by rainwater, but only about one inch of precipitation actually reaches the aquifer annually. Rainfall in most of the Texas High Plains is minimal, evaporation is high and infiltration rates are slow.

        Down more than 300 feet in some areas, only about one inch a year of precipitation reaches the aquifer. You do the math.

  30. Perhaps the researchers should go to Mesa Verde National Park in S.W. Colorado and conjure up the ancient Anasazi that once lived there and ask them if their SUVs, AC, and consumption of fossil fuels caused the drought that forced them to leave those cliff dwellings 700+ years ago.

    • At MVNP, the NPS in 2010 changed their paper literature to erase the climate change cause (ie. colder, drier) as the assumed reason for the cliff dwelling abandonment and societal collapse. Bad part is there are still metal lithography plaques at many of the visitor sites from pre2009 that still say what is now non-PC in the Obama settled science era.

  31. Aquifer levels over time are an unknown. Grace satellite measurements are worthless. Would you shut down the rice growers in India because Grace says the aquifers are dropping?

  32. As others wrote, some places, like Arkansas, are too large to model and predict statewide. Much of Arkansas experiences the wettest weather April-May as storm fronts running SW to NE, then again around November – barring hurricanes from the coast which carry gulf rain in August-September. But that barely explains the weather patterns since there’s a huge difference between winter snowstorms in the Ozarks and winter floods in the Delta – and related crop failures and economic impacts for either. I suspect many other states may be similarly mis-modeled. Does anybody know of modeling at the state level for Texas and Louisiana? The drought odds there seem ill-conceived based on my rudimentary understanding of the local climates at the Gulf coast and inland into the piney woods.

    • the problem is the time period. It is likely the 20th century was an anomolous wet period from th e SW US including Texas.

  33. Blimey.
    Assessing the risk of persistent drought using climate model simulations and paleoclimate data

    https://cornell.app.box.com/Megadrought/1/2369732445/20394648023/1

    Basis this – and having lived through the wettest drought in UK history,
    [I'm struggling to add the piccy of the red London bus in a cloudburst, with the "WE ARE IN DROUGHT" poster on the Ad Board]

    So, may I humbly suggest to all Texans – based on recent climate models – prepare for floods.

    Auto

    • We could use some rain. The reservoirs in west Texas and around Dallas are getting a bit low. It doesn’t help that Dallas Parks and Recreation are watering their grass for four hours in the middle of the afternoon twice a freakin’ week!

      • Even the swamps in SE Texas are dry. Gators are invading the ‘burbs, skeeters are moving out….but as always they’ll be back…

  34. First of all there has been no global warming for some 18 years. Secondly the global drought index has shown no increase in over all drought going back at least 30 years if not more.

  35. IPCC AR5 TS.6
    “There is low confidence in an observed global-scale trend in
    drought or dryness (lack of rainfall), due to lack of direct observations,
    methodological uncertainties and choice and geographical
    inconsistencies in the trends. {2.6.2}”

    IPCC admits they can’t connect climate change and drought. They basically don’t know how to measure what’s going on with drought or how to model it.

  36. I think we are facing the same data problems with moisture as we are with temperature. I know that the US drought monitor at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ has South Jordan, UT where I live currently “abnormally dry”. Well, HA! We are 5+ inches over our average rainfall for the past year (from http://average-rainfall.findthebest.com/l/24334/South-Jordan-Utah), which is a lot for the Utah desert, and I cannot remember an August with so much rain. Yet we are “abnormally dry”? NOT! The “droughts” will be coming no matter what we do, but we may not be able to tell a real drought from a manufactured one.

  37. Strange they come out with these statements these days. A little trawl of the internet flags up mega- droughts over the last 2000 years in the US . I believe there is one that happens every 700 years or so and we are due one soon, typical – that’s the one report i cannot find again.

  38. Bill 2
    August 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

    “Well, Phoenix averages 8 inches of rain a year, so if it got 2 inches in a year, that would be considered a drought.”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/rescues-underway-arizona-flash-flooding-drops-8-inches-phoenix-area-article-1.1909211

    Phoenix got 5-8 inches of rain on Aug 19th – a little over a week ago. With they count this in the yearly totals, or because it’s a “fluke” not put it in the totals?

    • There were three rain gauges in Maricopa county the measure at least 15 inches of rain last year, up on the rim my elk season was a bust because of six inches of rain and eighteen inches of snow on top of that a few days before season cause the elk to leave the rim. We live in a desert, the reason it a desert is it doesn’t rain much, what news about that?

  39. They have established their credibility with the observation
    “Beyond the United States, southern Africa, Australia and the Amazon basin are also vulnerable to the possibility of a megadrought.”
    Such events may well occur, but not in all those places at the same time.
    Ignoring what is happening in adjoining or connected regions labels their study mere scaremongering rather than a serious study of the bigger picture.
    Their reference to Australia and southern Africa seems to imply little understanding of the Indian Ocean dipole where generally dry conditions on one side of the Indian Ocean generally coincide with wet conditions on the other side, and that applies to all regions surrounding the ocean, Australia, Indonesia, India, Africa.

    Indeed even with those regions bordering the Pacific Ocean, what El Nino means to those on one side is what La Nina means to those on the other side.

  40. As of mid-August, most of California sits in a D4 “exceptional drought,”

    No wonder they’re giving it back to Mexico.

    • Models are of no scientific interest until they have a track record of successful predictions.
      This scare story s beyond silly, if the Keeling increase in CO2 is due to fossil fuels. But I tell you, most of that rise is due to killing soil organisms. The world’s land masses have less organic matter in them than they used to. Websearch “permaculture,” and you will find out that adding organic matter to desert soils may allow them to grow crops and trees without irrigation. One video I watched showed a year-round stream happen in Jordan. Organic matter holds water. Water has the highest heat capacity of any known substance, I believe, which means temperatures are moderated by water. Organic matter holds water, which reduces both droughts and floods.
      So the REAL cause of the CO2 rise can indeed cause both droughts and floods, and no amount of nonsense can help, only the truth.
      Besides the truth enables us to grow awesome gardens and that is fun!

  41. Once every 100 years will be the driest in a century. Once every 10 years will be the driest in a decade. If there is a period of abnormally wet seasons then even a wet year can be the driest in a decade. Contrawise dry periods. Dis the Warmista Catastrophists not ever audit a math class?

  42. Anthony, I’m sorry to see Intelliweather links in the sidebar disappear. I was following the almost daily rain across Texas, frequent rain in New Mexico and, despite its neighbour California’s drought, Arizona has had a lot of rain this summer. This has been true of the entire area overlying the much worried about Ogalla aquifer. We may be now recharging the Ogalla (partly because of reduced demand on it) – maybe the hiatus in warming is the ‘culprit’. Gee Anthony, can we have the Intelliweather icons back?

    • not likely to repeat for 500 to 1000 years. rains are slowing returning to NTexas, panhandles TexOk, Okie, and Kansas.

  43. The recent history of at least half of Texas is hardly “dry as a bone”. DFW area averages around 40 inches of annual rainfall. The problem is, for Texas and most of the West, that recent history may represent an unusually wet period. Long-term history of the West includes long periods of severe drought, which wiped out some of the ancient cultures. Read “Cadillac Desert” if you’re interested in the subject. Fascinating book.

  44. I could not easily read past “Due to Global Warming” but I did. This study is dishonest. The 30 years comes from acknowledging the cycle of cooler and drier that seems to be heading our way. The dry will increase temperatures in some areas due to lack of water to soak soak up latent heat of vaporization.

  45. Key phrase “in computer models”.

    Why exactly are we even talking about this when it’s based on computer models that cannot even accurately predict weather a week away? The talk is like…”IT WILL HAPPEN IF WE DON’T ACT!!” “The climate models say so, so be afraid….be very afraid!!”

  46. Ian W August 28, 2014 at 10:12 am
    So the IPCC accepted ‘pause’ is not accepted by these researchers? The missing heat i.e. heat that is not in the atmosphere – is actually in the deep ocean; yet from there with some kind of ‘teleconnection (an effect without a known mechanism) this crytpo-heat is causing ‘megadrought’ in the models. They do not appear to agree with each other too well on their excuses for no warming, as their ‘team’ agrees that warming has not happened; yet they continue to churn out forecasts based on warming and declare the last year the hottest year ever! while making excuses for not warming. How can they continue to call it ‘settled science’?
    ++++++++++++
    I am with you here sort of. But the claim, is that changing ocean circulation is pushing it down. This is a known part of the ENSO process. That is, we know that the east bound winds during La Nina bring up cool water from the west, and over cloudless skies, the water warms and gets plunged deep on the western Pacific. Warm water can and does go down deep.

    That said, this has nothing to do with CO2 causing it.

  47. I read in a National Geographic back in the 60s that the people using the Oregon Trail passed through land that was semi-desert and unusable for agriculture. The article mentioned that “a change in climate” brought enough rain that the land became arable. Who is familiar with that part of the world and can tell us if the drought is bringing back the conditions of Oregon Trail days?

    Ian M

  48. It’s too bad for the Warmunists that IPCC’s AR5 report explicitly stated there is insufficient evidence to show ANY statistically significant increase in global drought trends for the past 60+ years :

    “In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950.”

    Until CAGW has a stake driven through its cold and evil heart, these propaganda “studies” will be churned out with much hand-waving and consternation.

    Climate Happens (TM)

  49. If California wants to really deal with its rather consistent drought status perhaps they could consider retrieving some of the the tens of billions they are currently ratholing on their incredible high speed rail to nowhere and use the funds to start building water infrastructure again. It might also help if they quit flushing their desperately needed water supply into the the ocean in a futile attempt to save a bait fish.

  50. Southwest may face ‘megadrought’ this century.
    DOH!
    AFAIK The Southwest may face ‘megadrought’ almost any century.
    Are they saying that at some period during the “hockey stick” past the southwest went through centuries that may not have had to face megadrought? And how would “may not have had to face the threat of megadroughts” be established? Just because they didn’t have a drought doesn’t mean the people may not have had to face the threat of one.
    Do they have supporting data indicating the periods when the Southwest may not face ‘megadrought’ for some century or is this just more Penn State tree ring science?

    • Seems you’ve tied yourself up into a bit of semantic pretzel ridiculing the study.

      Why don’t you send your questions into the authors and see if you get a reply? Or better still, simply think a little about the careful framing of Ault’s statement “.. climatologists don’t know whether the severe western and southwestern drought will continue”, but “With ongoing climate change, this is a glimpse of things to come. It’s a preview of our future.”

      Do you have a scientifically framed criticism of his formulation?

  51. Zeke August 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm
    Aquifer levels over time are an unknown. Grace satellite measurements are worthless. Would you shut down the rice growers in India because Grace says the aquifers are dropping?
    ——————————————————
    Are you talking about ame or the UN and the US EPA?
    I’M pretty sure I wouldn’t but,
    That may not be the same answer all around./sarc

  52. seeing as how drought here in the SW ruined the lives of Indians a thousand (+) years ago pretty good gamble that we will have another. Or maybe it will be wetter. A lot of you will notice the science in my post and recognize it as being grant worthy.

  53. So… the guys at Cornell don’t factor in the cold PDO…. seems very similar to the last cold PDO where Cali drys out… not sayin’ that’s absolutely it.. but just sayin… cold PDO means dry Cali… on avg…. an el nino would help.. temporarily… plus.. more people in Cali than last cold PDO using water.. it has to come from somewhere…

  54. “Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a “megadrought” – one that lasts over 30 years – ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.”

    The present global warming is milder than the MWP. The megadrought in southwestern US during the MWP is worse and lasted hundreds of years. And this is not computer models but geologic evidences.

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