Update on the "Chu Effect"

Guest post by Steven Goddard

https://i1.wp.com/blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/environmentandenergy/06_conv_steven_chu.jpg?w=700

One month ago, Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu warned of apocalyptic drought in California.

We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.” And, he added, “I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going” either.

USA today warned :

Calif. facing worst drought in modern history

Almost immediately after Dr. Chu’s pronouncement, the rain and snow started in earnest.  As of today, all California Snowtel stations report normal snow depth and water content, as do all stations in Colorado where California gets much of their water from.

The combination of the Gore Effect , the Hansen Effect, and the Chu Effect may just save us from climate Armageddon.  People in the AGW camp commonly leverage the power of symbolism, like swimming Polar Bears.  Below is some good symbolism from Kirkwood, California – taken yesterday.

Over eight feet of new snow earlier in the week at Kirkwood provides an incredible final stop of The North Face Masters of Snowboarding

 WORLD-CLASS RIDERS LAURA DEWEY AND ROSS BAKER DOMINATE FIRST DAY OF THE NORTH FACE MASTERS

http://www.crsportsnews.com/?id=786048&keys=Dewey-Baker-Kirkwood-Northface

BTW – Polar bears love to swim – when they are not terrified by Greenpeace helicopters flying overhead.

https://i1.wp.com/www.animalpicturegallery.net/animal-picture-polar-bear-swimming2-ucumari-animalpicture.jpg?resize=320%2C479

http://www.animalpicturegallery.net/animal-picture-polar-bear-swimming2-ucumari-animalpicture.jpg

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106 thoughts on “Update on the "Chu Effect"

  1. I must be color blind but there are at least 54 squares showing less than 90%. This does not equate to “ all California Snowtel stations report normal snow depth and water content”, at least according to my eyesight. The tabular report for California looks like this:
    CALIFORNIA
    NORTHERN GREAT BASIN ……………………. 4 of 4 80 94
    TRUCKEE RIVER ………………………….. 8 of 8 88 92
    LAKE TAHOE …………………………….. 8 of 8 90 92
    CARSON RIVER …………………………… 5 of 9 93 98
    WALKER RIVER …………………………… 5 of 6 89 93
    KLAMATH ……………………………….. 9 of 10 95 89
    which, while showing near normal, has no averages over 100%.

  2. Here in Silicon Valley, my neighbor arduously mowed his lawn yesterday (in full sun). Mine is shady and still too wet; I figure I’ll scythe it eventually. Maybe Mr. Chu would like to come help? It is nicely damp out there. The peach trees are in full bloom and glorious. Lemons are molding on the trees. It isn’t anything like winter of 82-83 when you could kayak to the market, but the plants are happy.
    I’m curious about the Snotel average to which current data are compared — over what span of time is the average calculated? Are they using only the Snotel numbers since 1980, or are they including the precip numbers from the mid-1930’s? (Did I read that correctly? Visually impaired and their site is a bit hard for me to see.) Nice table of precip by watershed — the farm in Montana looks to be doing well.

  3. I just checked the basins that feed into California (some of those basins start outside that state but drain into California, as is the case for many states) for myself, and you guys are doing a bit better than Oregon and Washington! Sounds like global warming is working for you guys. Granted, some of your grapes have frozen, but you’ll have plenty of reservoir water to start another orchard. Might I suggest winter apples.

  4. Actually –
    As far as skiing, the most of the snow was “Sierra Cement” –
    Wet and heavy – which means that it has even more water content.
    The most dramatic increase was at Folsom Reservoir –
    Where water storage more than doubled.
    Folsom is now 104% of it 30-year average.
    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/jspplot/jspPlotServlet.jsp?sensor_no=2726&end=03/08/2009+19:59&geom=small&interval=30&cookies=cdec02
    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/reservoirs/RES

  5. Hmmmm, I wonder how we can get Mr. Chu to say that Texas is going to dry up and blow away?

  6. When Obama gives a speech the Dow drops 1/10 of a point per word.
    What we need to figure out is how to keep Chu talking and Obama not talking.
    (I hope he runs out of words before we run out of points.)

  7. “The combination of the Gore Effect , the Hansen Effect, and the Chu Effect may just save us from climate Armageddon”.
    Steven,
    Thanks for the posting.
    The Gore effect has made it to Wikipedia.
    The Hanson- and Chu Effect are nominated.
    We should send USA today this posting as a press release.
    Their readers could use some positive news these days.

  8. Tim L – because of you, I have just had to add WUWT to my list of sites to not read while eating or drinking. I thought I was safe here – and now I have milk and cookie up my nose.

  9. Were any of these people (Gore, Hansen, Chu, etc.) ever any smarter
    than they now appear to be? Perhaps Gore’s lack any scientific training might excuse him as merely a bumbler but Chu and Hansen?
    Given Messrs. Chu and Hansen’s unassailable credentials what could possibly account for their recent statements and/or behavior? This is a serious question. I find their activities utterly astonishing.

  10. It isn’t just California.

    Science magazine claims in a recent article (attached) by Benjamin Somers and Becky Ham: “Drought in the American Southwest, already decades old, could soon be exacerbated as rainfall plummets.”
    Yet according to the people who really know and work with the data every day and not models, Roosevelt Lake in Arizona has reached highest level ever and the all time record level is even prompting SRP water releases. See this story and mouse over image of the dam to see the improvement since 2002.
    What’s turned into an unexpected second consecutive wet La Nina winter has brought the level at Roosevelt Lake to its highest-ever elevation. And with another bountiful winter runoff comes another first for SRP, storage limitations, which have required the release of water into the Salt River through the Valley.

    Seen on Icecap.

  11. Mike Bryant (19:07:25) :
    Hmmmm, I wonder how we can get Mr. Chu to say that Texas is going to dry up and blow away?

    Texas, unlike California, is not a victim state and will not put up with Mr. Chu’s paternal sympathies.

  12. Just like the economic recovery…
    Washington Political Response…
    “…I did not mean any time soon, I believe this will happen…sometime, in the future, maybe sooner or perhaps later, but I see it in the distance, not too far… if you wait long enough it will happen.. plus we inherited this climate from Bush, next year when we are in control of the climate things will be different..”

  13. Jeff Coatney (19:18:25) said :
    Given Messrs. Chu and Hansen’s unassailable credentials what could possibly account for their recent statements and/or behavior? This is a serious question. I find their activities utterly astonishing.
    Couldn’t agree more.
    There’s a simple, very old explanation, although most folks find it corny:
    BIBLICAL levels of HUBRIS.
    And we’re talking Old Testament here. see: Babel, Tower of.

  14. What accounts for many of the statements coming from the Warming Alarmist is the fact that if you believe that civilzation is coming to an end in 100 months you must demand unlimited actions and spending RIGHT NOW. You therefore are imprtant and your words are important. This is front-page stuff, folks. If you are a normal scientist you want more infomation and a discussion of the situation. Now, which would you rather be?

  15. Please don’t gloat. The weather gods have been kind in the last few years. Again, please don’t gloat!
    I don’t want to jinx anything!

  16. harlie98,
    Since when does “normal” mean over 100%????
    Normal is a range, as I’m sure you must know. Below a certain range is defined as “drought”, within that range would be “normal”.
    I’m reminded of the drought we had in Alberta a few years back. Almost daily we had the catastrophic predictions, warnings, cries to change how we use water, how MANMADE climate change was the cause and we’d never get back to anything approaching normal again, etc. The drought broke a few years back, and we’ve been at “normal” precip since. Funny how I NEVER HEARD ABOUT IT AGAIN. Once the news-selling story was gone, the media just moved on as if nothing had happened.

  17. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one noticing the constant rain California has been getting lately. News article after news article about how bad the drought was getting and every day I checked the national radar to see California completely covered in precipitation. Rain along the coast, snow at higher elevations. I was expecting at any moment the collision of drought and mud slide reports.
    After I pointed out the radar evidence to my friends, we’ve all been getting a charge out of the daily drumbeat of doom and gloom in our local newspapers. By the time the reports are passed through the wires coast to coast, there’s a double dose of propaganda worked into the wording. Water rationing, taxing by the teaspoonfull, Arnold dispatching SWAT teams to households that flush too often… It just gets sillier every day!
    Someone asked another question I’ve had for some time. If there’s drought every year from February to July, then at some point, drought becomes the standard and not the exception. How many years must the rain pattern repeat itself before it’s considered average or ‘the norm?’ For the last few years, I’ve been getting the feeling that what the authorities report as normal or expected rainfall amounts have less to do with historical records and more to do with what is desired. I don’t remember the last time we’ve had as much rain as is expected to fall on my hometown in the Spring. Shouldn’t the expectation begin to show a drier trend to reflect what is now the norm?

  18. According to 2000 years of tree-ring data by Cook in my area ( just south of the Yolla Bolly/Middle Eel Wilderness) 90% of normal is NOT a drought. 1977, yes, that qualifies. Back to back 1977 type events occured 16 times in 2 millenia. 2008/9 is not a drought.
    Shasta Reservior came up 50 feet and Lake Oroville came up 70 feet last week alone. Poor Trinity came up zero, because they take the water destined for Eureka, CA on the Pacific Coast and pump it over to Whiskeytown Reservoir just west of Redding, CA. There, the water is used for such purposes as being sold to Bella Vista golf courses and Shasta College @ $50k/acre foot to water lawns, etc. The farmers can only be charged $5k/ acre foot so the water is sold to the highest bidder.
    KHSL Chico got ahold of the story, and the rural folks of No. CA being very dependent on agriculture for thier economy are outraged. Still, the State of CA insists on drought State of Emergency to cash in.
    The madness grows in Sacramento.
    And, Mr. Chu is the one who primed the pump for this porkout that seeks to bash food production with his irresponsible statement.
    The northern portion of California, along with all the trampled Sierra Nevada counties and the eastern desert counties would dearly love to split the unwieldy State and/or join neighboring Nevada/Utah who are well-versed at handling rural communities. Anything to get away from the lunacy of Sacramento once and for all.
    Twice before Congress to split the State, once pre-Civil War and once pre WWII. The prerequisite agreements were made at the State level, the measures never voted on at the Federal level.
    Even Southern California would be better off on it’s own.
    So, keep it up “Mr. Chu”, you’re doing just fine.
    Keep feeding the Sacramento Madness and keep crying drought.

  19. AKD:
    Hey, if you need water, just fire up Chu and you are good to go.
    Rain follows his speech like snow follows Gore & Hansen.
    How’d they do that?
    Maybe we should look into cloning Chu. He would be a national treasure if this keeps up. Call him the “Rainmaker”.

  20. Due to the looming drought, California’s Governator Schwarzennegger declared on Feb 27, 2009, a state of emergency. (see link below for full text and official comments).
    A few of the Whereas-es in the official proclamation:
    “WHEREAS rainfall levels statewide for the 2008-2009 water year are 24 percent below average as of the February 1, 2009 measurement; and
    WHEREAS the second snow pack survey of the 2009 winter season indicated that snow pack water content is 39 percent below normal; and
    WHEREAS as of February 23, 2009, storage in the state’s reservoir system is at a historic low, with Lake Oroville 70 percent below capacity, Shasta Lake 66 percent below capacity, Folsom Lake 72 percent below capacity, and San Luis Reservoir 64 percent below capacity; and
    WHEREAS low water levels in the state’s reservoir system have significantly reduced the ability to generate hydropower, including a 62 percent reduction in hydropower generation at Lake Oroville from October 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009; and…”
    Among other things, the Executive Order states:
    “18. By March 30, 2009, DWR [Dept of Water Resources] shall provide me with an updated report on the state’s drought conditions and water availability. If the emergency conditions have not been sufficiently mitigated, I will consider issuing additional orders, which may include orders pertaining to the following:
    (a) institution of mandatory water rationing and mandatory reductions in water use;
    (b) reoperation of major reservoirs in the state to minimize impacts of the drought;
    (c) additional regulatory relief or permit streamlining as allowed under the Emergency Services Act; and
    (d) other actions necessary to prevent, remedy or mitigate the effects of the extreme drought conditions.”
    The Governator further requested that:
    I FURTHER REQUEST THAT:
    19. All urban water users immediately increase their water conservation activities in an effort to reduce their individual water use by 20 percent.”
    http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/11556/
    Meanwhile, construction on the desalination plant in Carlsbad (near San Diego) is delayed until another hearing in April, 2009. That should push the startup date to the end of 2011, possibly into 2012.
    California needs to admit it is no longer prudent nor possible to rely on rain or snow, and to convince the federal government to devote money to the National Excess Water Transport Aqueduct Project, NEWTAP. This would use wind-power to pump river water from the Missouri and Mississippi uphill into the Colorado river in New Mexico.
    This Link

  21. harlie98
    You know…don’t split hairs about snow pack being near normal or just shy of it. Bottom line is that Lake Superior iced over AGAIN…and Lake Mead is running at 172% input over average. And the Artic seems to be doing just fine this year and last. So, you can argue over snowpack…plus or minus the noise factor…but the bottom line is that the normal cyclic snow pack is just that: cyclic.
    Relax. Go skiiing. There will be plenty of the white stuff until May or June. And there are great sales for snowboards and skis going on right now due to the economic collapse. So enjoy!

  22. I like to tell this little story for people who weren’t around in California in the 70’s. I bought my 1st home in Sunnyvale in 1976, just in time for the 76-77 drought season. Some places had water rationing. I collected my washing machine water in a plastic trash can to water the garden. Doom and gloom predictions were everywhere. There were predictions that it would take years if not decades of average rainfall for our water supplies to recover. Fall 1977 started out dry. It looked bad. Then came January 1978 and I recorded rainfall for 21 straight days. The reservoirs filled. The drought was over. The doom and gloom disappeared from the media.
    The problem in this state is that we don’t have enough storage. We depend on 100% of average nearly every year to get by. That’s not how it rains here. Dry years and wet years are the norm. Last year where I now live in the northern California we had 71% of average and the previous year 77% of average. This doesn’t seem like a drought to me but this state thinks anything <100% is a drought.
    Reply: BINGO! ~ charles the moderator

  23. NOAA short term trends show a sliver of drought in CA only in the north on the leeward side of the Cascades (D1 on a scale of D0-D4).
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/tools/edb/sbfinal.gif
    Text under the map, emphesis added:
    “This map approximates impacts that respond to precipitation over several days to a few months, such as agriculture, topsoil moisture, unregulated streamflows, and most aspects of wildfire danger.”
    Quote of Chu, emphesis added:
    “Were looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.”
    Yes, the Chu effect is real.

  24. It’s cyclic. Eventually it will get dry in California and eventually it will get wet too!!! Give it time and the cycles will come and go and start again.
    Chu on that!

  25. John Egan says:
    “Folsom is now 104% of it 30-year average.”
    As of midnight – 03/07/2009
    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/reservoirs/RES
    Folsom is at 60% of capacity. Folsom is a relatively small storage pool (977k AF) on one of the states major watersheds, and is the major flood control structure protecting Sacramento from American River watershed floods. Folsom pool level is always held low this time of year to allow for flood control during snow pack melt a bit later in the spring, so the 30 year average for this date is also always low.
    Same story for Bullards Bar, which is also at 104% of average, but only 69% of capacity.
    To a lesser extent, this is also true of nearly all of California’s reservoirs at this time of year. Storage is always kept below full pool at this time of year, to allow flood storage for snowpack melt, so the long-term averages against which current pool levels are compared,are artificially low.
    if we look at the major storage structures in California for which data is reported on that table (say those with near or over a million acre feet) we see a much different picture.
    Trinity, 2.5 million AF capacity, 45% of capacity, 59% of average.
    Shasta, 4.5 million AF capacity, 52% of capacity, 69% of average
    Oroville, 3.5 million AF capacity, 46%, 64%
    New Melones, 2.5 million AF capacity, 52%, 87%
    Don Pedro, no data
    McClure, 1 million AF capacity, 35%, 65%
    San Luis, 2 million AF capacity, 43%, 49%
    Pine Flat, 1 million AF capacity, 31%, 57%
    These constitute the bulk water supply for California. All of those are barely half full, or less, with snowpack water content above those reservoirs that is still below average for this date.
    At the end of January, State Water Project forecasts were that they would have trouble delivering 15% of their agriculture water contracts this summer, and that would have been a disaster, with orchards and perennial crops dying, and almost all SWP farmland fallow. Federal water forecasts were similar. The very wet February may have saved us from a major water disaster this summer – but California is still going to have a very tight water year this year. Water project deliveries for Ag are going to be significantly below contract, causing significant agricultural losses. And, some individual watersheds and smaller storage basins are still in serious trouble.
    BTW, the question was asked above, the baseline for the “percent of average” is 1961-1990 average storage on the date of comparison.

  26. Sylvia (19:03:41) :
    Hi Sylvia
    I’m on the other side of the Bay from you. It’s smelled so nice outside the past month from all the rain. My neighbors lemon tree is loaded too! All the hills are beautiful green.
    We’re being told by politicians and scientists about the drought in California but every day people can see the rain and snow. Those who are crying wolf now are gaining a bad reputation–where’s the wolf?… “Where’s the beef!?”

  27. It is no longer there, but I copied the following from the california Dept of Water Resources last July:
    The Long-term Climatic Viewpoint
    The historical record of California hydrology is brief in comparison to geologically modern climatic conditions. The following sampling of changes in climatic conditions over time helps put California’s twentieth century droughts into perspective. Most of the dates shown below are necessarily approximations. Not only must the climatic conditions be inferred from indirect evidence, but the onset or extent of changed conditions may vary with geographic location. Readers interested in the subject of paleoclimatology are encouraged to seek out the extensive body of popular and scientific literature on this subject. An overview of the subject can be found on the web site for NOAA’s paleoclimatology program.
    PAST CALIFORNIA CLIMATIC CONDITIONS
    circa 11,000 years before present Beginning of Holocene Epoch- Recent time, the time since the end of the last major glacial epoch
    6,000 years before present Approximate time when trees were growing in areas now submerged by Lake Tahoe. Lake levels were lower then, suggesting a drier climate.
    900-1400 A.D.(approximate) The term “Medieval Megadrought” is used by some climate researchers to describe a series of long-duration droughts occurring in the Western United States during this time period. Physical evidence of these droughts remains not only in the tree-ring record, but also in relict tree stumps rooted in present-day lakes, rivers, and marshes in the Sierra Nevada – including Mono Lake, Tenaya Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, West Walker River, and Osgood Swamp. Researchers identified two epic drought periods from these remains, one lasting more than two centuries prior to A.D. 1112, and the other lasting more than 140 years prior to 1350. Recent tree-ring-based streamflow reconstructions (see figure) funded by the Department confirm similarly epic drought periods in the Colorado River Basin in these timeframes. These drought conditions in the Four Corners region of the Southwest are considered to be one reason for the decline and eventual disappearance of the complex Anasazi cultures that had relied on irrigated agriculture to support relatively high-density populations.
    1300-1800 A.D. (approximate) The Little Ice Age, a time of colder average temperatures. Norse colonies in Greenland failed near the start of the time period, as conditions became too cold to support agriculture and livestock grazing.
    Mid – 1500s A.D. Sustained drought throughout much of the continental U.S., lasting as long as 50 years according to tree-ring records. Drought suggested as a contributing factor in the failure of European colonies at Parris Island, South Carolina and Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
    1850s A.D. Sporadic measurements of California precipitation began.
    1890s A.D. Long-term streamflow measurements began at a few California locations
    For an Introduction to Paleoclimatology:
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/perspectives.html
    Pasted from

  28. Jeff Coatney (19:18:25) :
    Given Messrs. Chu and Hansen’s unassailable credentials what could possibly account for their recent statements and/or behavior? This is a serious question. I find their activities utterly astonishing.
    It can possibly be the “nerd effect”. To acquire such credentials most of the time, the formative socializing age of teens and early twenties is spent in a monk like isolation from outside reality. It goes to their head if they finally/sudeenly get an audience out of all those guys and girls that ignored them in their youth. In truth, they have a skewed political instinct.

  29. harlie,
    I wrote the article on Saturday, when all reporting snowtel sites in California were over 90-110%, which is what they mark as normal (green.) On Sunday, Truckee and Walker dipped slightly below 90%. Not sure what could have caused this, as temperatures have been below normal.
    Ski areas in California have healthy amounts of Snow. Kirkwood has a 550cm base.
    http://www.onthesnow.co.uk/california/skireport.html
    The main reason that California is having severe water shortages is because there are too many people, using too much water – in a region prone to drought.

  30. Hockey stick. (data missing)
    Ice cores. (data reversed)
    Heat island. (data dismissed)
    Hottest temperatures for the 1900s (wrong data set)
    Satellite sensor drift. (bad data.)
    Antarctic temperatures. (magic data)
    Yada, Yada, Yada!
    I no longer trust the California snowpack measurement
    process!

  31. We have a similar thing over here known as the Gordon Brown effect. Just in the last month we have seen the following results of his Midas touch:
    Gordon signed a “Mini” motor car for charity, four days later Mini announced 850 job cuts.
    12th February, Gordon gave his full support to the Chairman of UK Investments Ltd. The Chairman resigned later that day.
    The following day Gordon visited a steel plant, that afternoon the owners announced plans to cut back production and reduce costs by £600million in one year.
    Gordon described the port of Southampton to be “one of the most important in the country”, three days later the port cut its workforce by 10%.
    On the day his impending visit to the USA was announced over here, Washington DC was brought to a halt by snow.
    On his arrival in Washington the Dow Jones Index hit a new low (this after the dollar hit a new low against the Euro on the day Gordon visited the US in 2008).
    The day he returned the current champions of the TV quiz University Challenge were disqualified for fielding an ineligible contestant. Gordon made a special visit to congratulate them when they won.
    That’s just one month, there are dozens more examples.

  32. [Oval Office door opens]
    Obama: Ah, Chu.
    Chu: Bless you. Sorry I’m late.
    Obama: All this global warming talk is having a negative effect on the markets.
    Have you seen the Hang Seng?
    Chu: He got snowed at a coal plant and couldn’t make the meeting.
    Browner: Too bad, we need his opinion on how to regulate the evil gas.
    Obama: Try eating more Greens.
    Browner: Well, we thawed them out but I doubt they’ll be protesting again soon.
    Obama: Where’s the Governator?
    Chu: In Frisco paddling his new Kayak.
    Obama: Off the Bay?
    Chu: No, it was a present from the Goracle.
    Obama: Coracle? I thought you said he got a Kayak.
    Browner: Isn’t it windy?
    Chu: No, it’s thursday.
    Obama: So am I, let’s order coffee.
    Reply: Approved with mild reservations. Chu does serve under Obama so I decided a little satire is fair game ~ charles the moderator

  33. FatBigot (00:08:44) :
    “We have a similar thing over here known as the Gordon Brown effect. Just in the last month we have seen the following results of his Midas touch: ”
    Maybe it’s time we started calling him “Flash Gordon.”

  34. Update on the Prince of Wales Effect.
    Slightly off topic but worth a laugh.
    No second thoughts it is just sad.
    The future King, who predicted in May 2008 – that we would have a series of disasters in the next 18 months and that we need to act now – is at it again!
    Not 18 months but less than 100 months.
    http://news.scotsman.com/uk/Prince-to-warn-100-months.5050170.jp
    Where is he going to make this revelation?
    No not Windsor Palace, that would be silly, but Rio de Janeiro.
    “[T]his week as the Prince tours South America with the Duchess of Cornwall”.
    How are they going to get there?
    Low cost flight from Heathrow?
    Now that would be “plane stupid”.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1145127/The-Prince-hypocrites-Charles-embarks-16-000-mile-green-crusade–aboard-private-jet.html
    Oh how the other half live.

  35. …searching for the ‘Gore-Effect’ I bumped into a funny definition:

    A splatter film or gore film is a sub-genre of horror film that deliberately focuses on graphic portrayals of gore and graphic violence. These films, through the use of special effects (like calving glaciers) and excessive blood (sea level rise) and guts, (CO2) tend to display an overt interest in the vulnerability of the human body (planet earth) and the theatricality of its mutilation. Due to their willingness to portray images society might consider shocking, splatter films share some ideological grounds with the transgressive art movement. The term “splatter cinema” was coined by George A. Romero to describe his film Dawn of the Dead, (An Inconvenient Truth) though Dawn of the Dead (An Inconvenient Truth) is generally considered by critics to have higher aspirations, such as social commentary, than to be simply exploitative for its own sake.[1]
    The combination of graphic violence and sexually (religious) suggestive imagery in some films has been labeled “torture porn” or “gorno” (a portmanteau of “gore” and “porno”). By contrast, in films such as Braindead-(An Inconvenient Truth), the gore is sometimes so excessive that it becomes a comedic device.

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

  36. Gaia rewards he whose spirit is true.
    Cap’n trade has changed climate without reducing emissions.

  37. “Jeff Coatney (19:18:25) :
    Were any of these people (Gore, Hansen, Chu, etc.) ever any smarter
    than they now appear to be? Perhaps Gore’s lack any scientific training might excuse him as merely a bumbler but Chu and Hansen?
    Given Messrs. Chu and Hansen’s unassailable credentials what could possibly account for their recent statements and/or behavior? This is a serious question. I find their activities utterly astonishing.”
    Make no mistake here…Gore is incredibly smart. I’d go so far as to label him a mastermind, at least as it pertains to his ability to manipulate the belief systems of large numbers of any given population. He would be equally as effective convincing people of any number of things. Hansen (and Chu) are pretty smart too. Find another scientist that enjoys the world-wide recognition that Hansen does (Chu has likely already surpassed his predacessers in terms of recognition as well).
    We make a huge error in judgement when we look at a Hansen and say “What a silly man, anyone can clearly see that he’s wrong.” His genius, and his success, lays wholley in the fact that so many continue to give him credence despite a near total lack of proof.
    Gore is many things, but “bumbler” isn’t among them. As for Hansen/Che’s motivation?…follow the money and/or the limelight and/or the influence/power. These three men are having an historical impact on world governments.
    I assure you…they are quite smart enough.
    JimB

  38. manse42 (23:42:05) :

    You are lucky.
    Here in Copenhagen things are quite different. I turned on a danish News Channel to see Kathrine Richardson proclaiming that this “Copenhagen Climate Congress” (starting tomorrow) is an important step Towards COP15, James Hansen is invited to talk to “ordinary” People and tell them to panic (I heard Frank Lansner got a ticket for that speech) and the weather forecast is saying warm. So no James Hansen Effect.

    Well, I was in Atlanta last weekend for American Mensa’s Annual Colloquium. Dr. Hansen was the keynote speaker Saturday night, and was supposed to be at the panel discussion Sunday AM. However, he moved up some travel plans because the rain was changing to snow. (Traveling to the Capital Coal plant protest.) I wasn’t so lucky – a couple inches of snow overwhelms the deicing facilities at Atlanta’s airport and I didn’t get out until Tuesday.
    Perhaps there hasn’t been enough time to recharge.
    Or I can take credit – on annual trips I use to make to San Jose at the end of February, I’ve seen rain for 10 of the 11 days, a 40 year flood, and snow almost to the valley floor. That first event ended the area’s last major drought.
    After a taste of spring on the last couple of days (frost heaves and mud season), it’s snowing again here in New Hampshire.
    Hansen’s speech at the Colloquium was quite tame. No mention of death trains, but a few mentions of creation and future generations. He described the problem and why he thinks 350 ppm is so important, but admits he doesn’t know the solution.

  39. Just Want Truth… (21:21:12) :
    Sylvia (19:03:41) :
    Hi Sylvia
    “I’m on the other side of the Bay from you. It’s smelled so nice outside the past month from all the rain. My neighbors lemon tree is loaded too! All the hills are beautiful green.
    We’re being told by politicians and scientists about the drought in California but every day people can see the rain and snow. Those who are crying wolf now are gaining a bad reputation–where’s the wolf?… “Where’s the beef!?””
    Just Want Truth,
    Where is the beef?
    Take a look at the Federal Budget under “Climate Taxes”.
    As Global Warming has turned into Global Cooling, As Polar Melt has turned into
    growth and AGW has turned into “Climate Change” the Administration, desperate to make the point with the American Public takes advantage of every opportunity to
    create an atmosphere of urgency to keep the legislative process of CO2 mitigation ruling on track. They are desperate.
    The “Terminator”, running the almost bankrupt State of California, grabs any opportunity to tap into Federal Funding.
    To Call for an emergency is an effective method.
    Steven Chu saw a “Moment of Opportunity” to boost the “Climate Change” doctrine and performed his speech that turned out a “Rain Dance”.
    This leaves us with the following question!.
    If a short term assessment about the California drought made by a the Secretary of Energy, a scientist and Nobel Prize laureate, results in almost instant failure, how is it possible that our Government, our Members of Congress and the Senate introduce the most devastating climate legislation based on “Long Term Predictions”.
    If you fail on short term predictions, you will certainly fail on long term predictions.
    So, Just want truth, here is the truth.

  40. Reply: Approved with mild reservations. Chu does serve under Obama so I decided a little satire is fair game ~ charles the moderator
    Thanks Charles. It’s just a bit of fun. Can I try to get part two past you or have I pushed your tolerance far enough?
    Kofi Annan: Hey! I’m just here to hold the peace, not to take orders.
    Guard: Put the gun down and step away from the window.
    Annan: I was just watching the snowflakes, we don’t get snow where I live.
    Chu: [Imitating G. W. Bush drawl] Say, where is Nigeriania anyway?
    Annan: It’s in Africa.
    Obama: So the gun’s for tiger hunting?
    Michael Palin: A tiger? in Africa??
    All: What are you doing here?
    Palin: Collecting material for a new Monty Python series.
    Browner: I liked the ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch.
    Obama: Speaking of which, what happened to global warming Al?
    Chu: Yeah, it’s freezing. I caught a nasty cold [Sneezes violently]
    Browner: Bless you. Yeah Al, what’s gone wrong with your Carbon Cred scheme?
    Gore: Well, I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition.
    [A black robed figure leaps from the closet]
    John Cleese: No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
    [Palin and Cleese sing to the tune of ‘The Galaxy Song’]
    Well the planet’s getting hot, it’s Co2! or maybe not
    It’s got the hacks and greens in such a spin
    We’re taxed into the ground, for driving cars around
    And flying down to Rio’s mortal sin.
    But don’t panic just yet, keep your cool and hedge your bet
    The temperature is dropping every day
    The ocean cooling down will stop the gulf stream going round
    And the glacier from the north is on it’s way.

  41. Dear Water Nerd –
    Ever heard of spring runoff ??
    There are two measures –
    Percent of normal and percent of capacity.
    Even in good water years reservoirs are held at 70% to prepare for spring runoff if there is a normal snow pack – which, it seems, there is this year.
    The two largest California reservoirs – Shasta and Oroville – also saw dramatic increases in storage during the past 30 days. Shasta has gone from 1,444,000 acre-feet to 2,414,000 af – that’s a MILLION acre-feet of additional storage. Oroville has gone from 1,037,000 af to 1,659,000 af – that’s a 65% increase in one month. Shasta and Oroville remain below average, but the overall water storage situation combined with the near-normal snow pack hardly make this water year a catastrophe – at least from the perspective of available water.
    What will be a catastrophe is how various water agencies allocate water. I am under no illusions about the nature of agriculture in the Central Valley. I’ve read Goldschmidt. But to wipe out Westside agriculture at a time when California is teetering on the bring of bankruptcy is not especially wise. The drought is not over, but the prodigious rain and snowfall of February have altered the equation significantly.
    PS – More rain is on the way next week.

  42. The apocalyptic prophecies of the Warmists and their “sky is falling” propaganda was a topic of discussion amongst a group of my friends last weekend. The severe drought warnings coming at a time of persistent rainfall is amusing and frightening simultaneously.
    Do I believe Chu/Gore or my lying eyes?
    It seems that I’ve chosen the red pill.
    In the Matrix, which pill would you take, the red or the blue?
    http://www.arrod.co.uk/essays/matrix.php

  43. dear flying spaghetti monster, what if all 3 of them spoke at once. the gore-chu-hansen effect.. best not get these people in the same place.. On second thoughts maybe we should.

  44. http://www.pnas.org/content/101/12/4136.full.pdf+html
    At least 52% of all the droughts in the US are attributable to PDO and AMO effects and not to global warming at all.
    PDO and AMO both positive [like 1925-1945] and [1995 -2007] (category C in paper above)
    Record warm and rising temperatures and droughts in the northern and central high plains US, California, and Southeast. The very hot spell and dust bowl of the 1930’s. Also
    explains the so called rapid global warming period of 1976-2007 [not caused by CO2 at all].
    PDO negative, AMO positive [like 1945-1965] and [near term future for us now] D
    Cold temperatures in the northwest, Canada. Droughts in southwest. Pattern is like the 1950 drought with major issues in the Midwest, southwest, California, Rocky Mountain area. A repeat of this period may have already started in 2007
    PDO and AMO both negative [like 1965 -1975] and again [1915-1925] B
    Record Cold temperatures. Lot of snow and precipitation.Very few droughts, restricted to central plains. This could be the pattern in a few years and the latter part of the next 30 years.

  45. To be fair to Dr. Chu, the western USA was settled during a time of usually high water levels (as I understand it), so that expectations of available water were too high when development plans were made. Doesn’t the Colorado river now dry up in the middle of the Mexico dessert where it used to reach the sea? (Doesn’t mean his global warming alarmism is on the right track, of course).

  46. JimB said, “As for Hansen/Che’s motivation?…”
    Che??? Could this be a Freudian slip?

  47. Slightly OT:
    Q: What are the two primary indicators of a great British education?
    A: Writer seamlessly weaves references to the Goons and Monty Python into otherwise really, really serious stories, viz., catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.
    Even further OT:
    I would like to know why Spike Milligan never became the Queen’s Poet Laureate.

  48. Sylvia
    Snotel averages represent a 25 year rolling average. That is, every year the new year is added and year 25 is dropped. Therefore, we are currently still being influenced by the conditions of the early 80’s. We will soon be in the era where the dry 90’s will be a large influence and will probably see a lot of “above normal” reports

  49. WRT Colorado river currently non native tree species consume more water than LA ,San Diego and Las Vegas combined as the river winds its way to the sea. I can not remember the link but was within the last two days.

  50. Just a thought. A couple of posts above analyse The Goracle and postulate that he is ‘more than smart enough’. However, to put him in perspective, we should remember his intellectual superior at university – at least in terms of academic results was one George W Bush.

  51. I read long ago that the Great Plains were semi-desert and useless for agriculture when the Oregon Trail was in operation, and that only a change of climate around 1850 brought enough rain to allow the growing of crops. Can anyone confirm (or contradict) what I remember from before 1970?
    Ian M

  52. On Spike Milligan’s gravestone is carved in large letters…….
    “I told you I was ill”
    On Al Gore’s maybe it should read……….
    “You told me I was wrong”

  53. tallbloke (04:37:15) :
    John Cleese: No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
    [Palin and Cleese sing to the tune of ‘The Galaxy Song’]

    Sorry, Tallbloke, I have to call you out on these.
    Cleese never played any of the Inquisition parts. Palin was always the the main char (Cardinal Richelieu? Or was he supposed to be Tor?)
    Eric Idle sang the Galaxy song solo.
    😉

  54. There’s an interesting article in the Feb 2009 issue of Photonics Spectra; an optical/electronics Industry “trade” journal. In their “Past Particles” column highlighting prominent scientists in the field, they have a featured article by David L Shenkenberg about Retired Bell Labs Physicist Arthur Ashkin (now 86 years old).
    In the article Ashkin talks about his discovery of the “Optical Trap”, which is a laser method of moving and even trapping small particles including biological specimens, and eventually even atoms themselves. Ashkin invented the technique 39 years ago at Bell labs, even though the lab had cut his funding for the program, he kept working on it on his own. and succeeded in trapping microscopic balls. Then he wanted to move on to manipulating atoms, so he had a young chap named Steven Chu join his group to work on optical trappiong which Ashkin taught to his young helper.
    Eventually in 1985 Chu and his associates did succeed in trapping atoms with the traps that Ashkin taught him how to build.
    When the Swedish Academy came to consider nobel Prize for the discovery of Optical tracking, they came up with a Russian scientist in the then USSR named Vladilen S. Letokhov, whom they said; apparently incorrectly was also working on optical trapping while Ashkin was doing his Bell Labs work.
    In the end, they made the award only to Chu, and none of his co-workers, in cluding Ashkin, who invented the technique, was recognised.
    So Chu may know about optical trapping, but he evidently doesn’t know beans about either California agriculture, or Climate science. Ashkin eventually extended the manipulations to biology, in 1987, and it is now a standard technique for biophysicists studying bio-molecules and organisms. The Bell Labs Holmdel Lab was eventually closed as a result of the 1984 antitrust decision against the Bell System.

  55. For Ian M.
    The arid plains of the southern Canadian Prairies (part of the Great Plains) were assessed by a chap named Palliser in the mid 1800s. He defined the Palliser Triangle.
    You can read about it here:
    http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=ArchivedFeatures&Params=A220
    http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/palliser_triangle.html
    Quote: In his final report to the British government Captain John Palliser suggested that a triangular portion of what is now the southern prairie provinces was a northern extension of the arid, central desert of the United States: “This central desert extends, however, but a short way into the British territory, forming a triangle, having for its base the 49th parallel from longitude 100° to 114° W, with its apex reaching to the 52nd parallel of latitude.” Palliser described this triangular area as “desert, or semi-desert in character, which can never be expected to become occupied by settlers.” End quote.
    Clive

  56. Come on you guys. You’re making it hard to have coffee when I read this blog. “the ah Chu effect!” (Tim L. 18:40:12) and “Chu on that!” (Ray 21:19:25) are classics.

  57. Last year at this time, California snowpack was 110% of normal. This year it is 90% of normal. California doesn’t get much rain or snow after March.
    It is clear that California has serious water problems, but blaming it on drought is not a sensible way of looking at the problem.. There is more water being used than is available. The winter of 2005 was the second wettest on record in LA, and followed a spell of very wet winters. That can’t be counted on, and trying to reduce CO2 is an irrational and thoughtless approach to the unbalanced water use. El Nino is supposedly more frequent due to global warming, and El Nino brings rain to California.
    The point of this article is not to say that California isn’t in trouble, but rather just making fun of the empirically observed Chu/Gore/Hansen effect.

  58. CodeTech:
    I remember the “drought” in Alberta. The CBC (Canada’s public brodcaster) said something like “…the drought that will continue this summer…”. Of course, that summer we had record rainfall with widespread flooding.

  59. Sylvia, Just Want Truth and Chuck:
    The San Jose, California average for the past 130+ years is about 14.4″
    Sylvia mentioned the 82-83 season as being particularly wet. I checked the data, and 82-83 came in at 30.25″, more than double the average.
    Both 04-05 and 05-06 came in right around 23″, so quite high as well. It is true that the past couple of years have been light, but not abnormally so, in the big scheme of things. It is quite common to have a couple of years in a row with single digit precipitation, and the year-to-year numbers vary widely. As a perfect of example of both points, we can note the following:
    Chuck referred to the 76-77 drought. That year was 8.98″, so a bit low. However, that followed on from the 75-76 season which was only 5.77″. Combined, those years resulted in a significant drought. However, the very next year (77-78) came in at 21.85″
    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing just a bit more rain this spring, but I don’t think the rainfall itself shows evidence of being a crisis. We’ll see how 08-09 shakes out . . .
    At the end of the day, the climate probably won’t change significantly from what it has been the past 100+ years :), so the real key to any long term water shortage will lie in storage and use.

  60. The California Goodbye Chu-Chu is going to be wrong. All this madness reminds me of the religious whackos who appear with some regularity carrying signs which say “The End is Near” . . . “Repent Now”. They are never right, and while there will be dark times ahead for California, they won’t be due to rain storm and drought so much as they will be due to the extreme liberalism of the state legislative bodies and the eco-whackos.

  61. Thanks, Bruce and hereticfringe, for the population vs. storage capacity point. This is probably the heart of the issue, rather than anything to do with the climate. The rainfall numbers I’ve looked at over the last 130+ years of rainfall (at least for the San Jose area) show no meaningful trend.

  62. I just hope Chu doesn’t start talking about the Chu Chu Trains of Death. That would really be biting off more than he could Chu. He’d probably get Chu-ed out for that one.

  63. Colorado was 117% of normal snowpack last month at this time, as reckoned by NRCS. We may have lost a little. But March is a wet one in Colorado. Beware the Ides.

  64. California’s water information (current and historical) can be found at
    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/misc/water_cond.html
    The earlier comments on water supply and population are good ones. California has had some success with water conservation efforts, but those cannot postpone forever the fact that a growing population and economy must have growing fresh water supplies.
    As to recyling from toilet to tap, I prefer the colorful quote from the late great billionaire Howard Hughes, when Las Vegas was pondering the same subject:
    ” I refuse to drink water that has only recently had the turds strained from it.”
    San Diego recently pushed a recycling initiative with the Toilet to Tap label; it was soundly defeated.
    And yes, I fully recognize what is in river water, especially if that river has passed any towns or cities. That is why I fully support a law that requires any town/city that takes water from a river, and discharges treated waste water into the river, to be required to discharge a mile or two upstream of the taking point.

  65. Dear John Egan,
    “Dear Water Nerd –
    Ever heard of spring runoff ??”
    Why yes, I have. Which is why I kept referring in my post to snowpack melt, and to the need for reserve storage capacity to control spring snowpack melt.
    “There are two measures –
    Percent of normal and percent of capacity.”
    Why yes, there are. Which is why I listed “percent of capacity” and “percent of average” in my post,as taken directly from the state web site.
    “Even in good water years reservoirs are held at 70% to prepare for spring runoff if there is a normal snow pack – which, it seems, there is this year.”
    Yes, at 70% of capacity – or thereabouts, depending on the management strategy for each reservoir. Where we would like the reservoirs to be this time of year is around 70% – 80% of capacity, which would be somewhat over 100% of normal. Normal is also impacted by dry years during which pools were below ideal managed level for this date, so average storage for this date is actually somewhat below the management targets. We are far, far from that, across the state.
    “The two largest California reservoirs – Shasta and Oroville – also saw dramatic increases in storage during the past 30 days. Shasta has gone from 1,444,000 acre-feet to 2,414,000 af – that’s a MILLION acre-feet of additional storage. Oroville has gone from 1,037,000 af to 1,659,000 af – that’s a 65% increase in one month.”
    Yes – February helped a lot. But that percent increase is from a very low initial condition n January. 1.5 million AF between Shasta and Oroville marks a huge improvement from January – and they are still far below capacity, and substantially below managed ideal levels for this date, and still leave us far from adequate storage for this date.
    “Shasta and Oroville remain below average, but the overall water storage situation combined with the near-normal snow pack hardly make this water year a catastrophe – at least from the perspective of available water.”
    Which is precisely what i said – there will still be an impact, with substantial costs for agriculture, but not a catastrophe. February helped a lot, likely moved is from catastrophe status to substantial problem status, and we still have inadequate water stores in those reservoirs.
    —-
    BTW, for those calling for more dams in California, I would ask – where? What un-captured water are you planning to capture, and where are you planning to store it, and what will be the cost per acre foot ( in dollars and in stream flow impacts) for that storage? If you have good answers for this, I know the state DWR would love to hear it, because this has been a topic of conversation and much study there since at least the early 1960s – and the available answers ain’t all that good.
    For example there are 12 potential storage sites north of the Delta that are currently considered potentially feasible, organized into 4 potential projects. The best of these, Dippingvat-Schoenfield (also known as Red Bank Project), would create at most about 380,000 AF of storage. This was extensively studied in the late 1980s, and at that time the cost per acre foot was projected to be an order of magnitude, at least, higher than any other water storage in the state. In short, the project was discontinued because the storage capacity was too small to make a significant impact, and the cost was prohibitive.
    Thomes-Newville, Colusa,and Sites projects, the only other potentially feasible storage projects north of the delta, were even worse.

  66. This reminds me of 1976, which was the driest summer in the UK for 200 or 250 years depending which source you look at. Denis Howell was appointed Minister for Drought, but, everywhere he went to speak, the heavens opened. After the entire country was drenched by downpours on the August Bank Holiday, his title was changed to Minister for Floods.

  67. Hey Dr. Chu: Californians should fear GLOBAL COOLING! Drought in California is most often caused by La Nina, which is associated with cooling! California’s greatest flooding events have have occurred during warm type 1 El Ninos. If the Earth continues the cooling trend (-PDO, -AMO) then La Ninas will be more prominent and drought conditions could easily develop and persist across the West. Drought in California is NOT a sign of Man-madeGlobal Warming!
    Mark J

  68. Pamela Graham,
    Yikes! Frozen grapes.
    Sounds like a job for The Rhone Ranger!
    Californian wine makers and those around the world will face challenges as all those precious micro-climatic are altered.
    There are now a growing number vineyards all along the Cascadia coast that are well recognized as having the quality of the particular confluence of soil, geography. Le gout de terroir.
    The winemakers I can now only read about(I can’t drink wine no more)seem as open to the challenges faced in changing climate as any other artisanal craftsperson needs be.
    I wonder how winemakers like the producers of a revered wine like d’Yquem will fare?
    What if the noble rot does not return for some time. As one area dries out will another area like Petrus, home of red grapes, begin to see botrytis
    cineria taking their crops?
    The new world vintners can replant with different grape varieties but what is done when the laws require merlot or cabernet to be grown.
    I just say “bless them all” and “welcome to ‘interesting’ times.”
    CosmosLaundry Journal

  69. OT but hilarious. From Obama’s website:
    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/fiscal/
    Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan
    Restore Fiscal Discipline to Washington
    * Reinstate PAYGO Rules: Obama and Biden believe that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue.
    * Cut Pork Barrel Spending: Obama introduced and passed bipartisan legislation that would require more disclosure and transparency for special-interest earmarks. Obama and Biden believe that spending that cannot withstand public scrutiny cannot be justified. Obama and Biden will slash earmarks to no greater than year 1994 levels and ensure all spending decisions are open to the public.

  70. “Mike Bryant (06:51:44) :
    JimB said, “As for Hansen/Che’s motivation?…”
    Che??? Could this be a Freudian slip?”
    heh
    Talk about a “gotCHU”…
    As Ricky said: “Chu got some splainin’ to do!”
    JimB

  71. water nerd “BTW, for those calling for more dams in California, I would ask – where?”
    Good question. But why hasn’t anyone done anything for 30 years?
    And why are dishonest opportunists trying to blame “global warming”?

  72. reservoirs, run off, dams, recycling (ewww), etc., etc., etc.
    ….anyone ever hear of digging wells??? I heard tell of dem der things… 😉

  73. The reason why there haven’t been any new big dams built in California is the lack of sites.
    Basically, they have already used the best ones. Auburn Dam was scrapped due to a massive fissure found on the north side of the keyway. Hell Hole reservoir failed catastrophically in 1963 and nearly took out Folsom Dam.
    I can tell you what it looked like then, as sandbags were piled on top of Folsom. The water stopped 1.5′ shy of the top. If you want to build more dams or raise the existing ones, fine. Just don’t say nobody warned you about what happens when one fails. That’s the flip side to droughts. As for CA’s rain/snowpack, 100 years does not tell the story, and if you go down that road, consider your data cherry picked. 1022 AD would have taken every Earth-fill dam in the state out, and maybe a few other deluge years.
    2008/9 a drought?
    I don’t think so.
    Hysteria and polyscience. For every dry spell or drought, there is a corresponding wet spell or deluge.
    And finally, it never rains in California, it pours.

  74. Change a few names and numbers (and remove references to snowpack) and this could be about Australia.
    Droughts Downunder are almost wholly political events/situations. Politicians get something to blame for their feckless irresponsibility in not adding water infrastructure, and farmers and others get bagfulls of money to pretend how bad things are.

  75. California, were it not for suburb spread, may have dodged a bullet by not having good places to put more dams. Dams may decrease water tables. When you solve one problem, you sometimes create another. There are studies underway that would allow a created flood to periodically flow over flat ground that used to be flooded regularly by the local river. It is thought that with planned floods, literally pumping water out of the dam onto flat ground, the water table can be restored to pre-dam levels. Ending forest fires and banning public land grazing are other examples where solving one problem created another. Often, the original fix was because of humans not wanting to live around the problem by adapting to it. They wanted the problem to go away. Climate change could end up like that. Instead of adapting to it, someone will try to fix it and end up creating another problem down the road that our great-grandkids will have to fix.

  76. JWT … “….anyone ever hear of digging wells???”
    Wells are great, but over time aquifers get depleted if water is removed faster than recharged. And they often are unable to supply massive flows on demand.
    Gonna been an interesting year all over. Drought in CA?? Sea ice at the NP on July 1?? Record ice in Antarctic?? Who knows?
    Clive

  77. The Beautiful Female Poodle told the Chihuahua, German Shepherd and Pit Bull that she would go with Whomever made the Best Sentence with Cheese and Liver. She Asked the German Shepherd to make a Sentence with Cheese and Liver and the German Shepherd said I Like Cheese and Liver and the Female Poodle says Nope, not creative enough. Then she asks the Pit bull and the Pit Bull Says i Hate Cheese and Liver so the Female turns to the Chihuahua and the Chihuahua turns to the German Shepherd and Pit Bull And gives them a Mean Stare and tells them…. Cheez Mine So Leever Alone.
    who did che chu-z?

  78. Google “auburn dam” if you’d like to see where to build. It ain’t gonna happen.
    “Reporting from Sacramento — Use it or lose it is the rule of California water rights, and after 43 years, the would-be Auburn Dam — subject of one of the state’s bitterest water feuds — is about to lose it.
    The proposed plug on the gold-sprinkled American River northeast of Sacramento has been declared dead many times since Congress authorized it in 1965, and there may be no reviving it now. The state is poised to take back the legal right it granted to the federal government to store water behind the dam. Without that right, the federal government cannot build a reservoir, and the state has never been inclined to build one itself.”

  79. ” Clive (18:44:58) : Wells are great, but over time aquifers get depleted if water is removed faster than recharged. And they often are unable to supply massive flows on demand.”
    I knew someone would say this.
    I didn’t mean all people. A percentage of people could have wells. This would solve the whole problem of overuse.

  80. “Clive (18:44:58) : Sea ice at the NP on July 1??”
    I can see already from looking at the graph that 2009 melt is not going to surpass 2008 melt. So multiyear ice is going to continue growing–I think 😉
    caveat–Martians “laser” the North Pole and it melts faster

  81. Bigbub,
    Auburn dam was never a water storage project – it was a proposed flood control structure. Auburn was to be immediately above Folsom, and Folsom Dam already functions as water storage on the American. The increased water yield from the American River watershed if Auburn were built, above what is already available from Folsom, would have been less than 100,000 AF annually.
    Auburn would be a 2 million AF pond – but its management would be coupled to that of Folsom, immediately downstream, and there is only so much water to store from the American River system.
    The reason Auburn was abandoned is nearly purely economics. Originally, Auburn was going to be a concrete arch dam, 800 feet high (!!), nearly 3/4 of a mile in crest length, containing over 6 million yards of concrete – the largest arch dam in the world. It was justified purely as a flood control structure, because of the potential for a major American River flood to overtop Folsom and threaten Sacramento. That’s a lot of dam for 100,000 AF of annual water storage yield.
    During construction substantial faulting at the dam site was discovered, with the potential for fault slippage of over 12 inches across the dam foundation, and the arch dam design had to be abandoned because it would not withstand dam-site fault slippage – and a potential failure of 2 million acre feet of impoundment immediately upstream of Folsom, causing it to fail, and dumping all together nearly 4 million acre feet of water into downtown Sacramento, was not acceptable .
    Auburn Dam was redesigned as a gravity dam – but the cost of the redesigned gravity dam was prohibitive, several times again as expensive as the original arch dam design.
    Currently plans are in place to raise Folsom by 7-8 feet, and improve the outlet works to allow greater drawdown to prepare for flood season and greater bypass during peak floods to reduce the risk of overtopping. This will cost much, much less than Auburn Dam would have – probably by tens of billions of dollars – and will actually create as much increased water storage yield, perhaps more, than Auburn would have. Still the increase in yield will only be on the order of 100,000 AF – negligible in the overall picture of CA water storage.

  82. Roger Sowell
    “California needs to admit it is no longer prudent nor possible to rely on rain or snow, and to convince the federal government to devote money to the National Excess Water Transport Aqueduct Project, NEWTAP. This would use wind-power to pump river water from the Missouri and Mississippi uphill into the Colorado river in New Mexico.”
    That wouldn’t do Los Angeles, the San Joaquin valley and points north any good at all. The Colorado River Aqueduct and All American Canal, which feed from the Colorado River, supply water to Southern California south of Los Angeles, not LA or the San Joaquin. The biggest user of water by far in CA is agriculture in the San Joaquin, where the cheap water supply has allowed it to become the most important agricultural region in the country. Agriculture is the real reason behind California’s prosperity. If the water in Northern California dries up, so does the San Joaquin and so does California’s prosperity.
    My suggestion would be to pump down Lake Tahoe water. We can live without ski bunnies, but can’t live without food.

  83. Why hasn’t California built desalination plants?
    Wouldn’t these be wonderful infrastructure projects providing jobs for thousands while fixing a major problem for California?
    Just wondering.

  84. Roger Sowell,
    The Colorado River doesn’t run through New Mexico. Water is currently pumped the other direction, from west to east, across the Continental Divide to supply the Front Range.
    So what you are suggesting as a solution for California would probably become the basis of a water war with the Rocky Mountain states.

  85. Maybe you should try find similar data for Spain, Italy and the drainage basins from the Alps and Black Forest?
    They should look pretty healthy too. Ditto the Atlas mountains and the northern Algerian mountains.
    The poor old Murray-Darling is still suffering though. Bad news there. They need what California’s just had to make it back to normality.

  86. @RJ Hendrickson (23:04:54) :
    “That wouldn’t do Los Angeles, the San Joaquin valley and points north any good at all. The Colorado River Aqueduct and All American Canal, which feed from the Colorado River, supply water to Southern California south of Los Angeles, not LA or the San Joaquin.”
    I believe it would have great benefit. The benefit derives from using the additional Colorado River water in Southern California, and not having to pump water from Northern California over the Tehachapi mountains into Los Angeles. Also, the Colorado River aqueduct terminates in Lake Matthews, from which many water districts obtain water. That includes Los Angeles.
    The water from Northern California would then be used as required for agriculture in the San Joaquin valley.
    Here is a good article with photos.
    http://fire.biol.wwu.edu/trent/alles/LowerColorado.pdf
    @Jack Simmons (03:21:53) :
    “Why hasn’t California built desalination plants?”
    Environmental obstructionism is the primary reason. Also, just about the time the droughts get serious, we have sufficient snow and rain so that the problem “goes away” for a year or two.
    http://energyguysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/02/california-water-shortage-drought-in.html
    @Steven Goddard (06:07:18) :
    “Roger Sowell,
    The Colorado River doesn’t run through New Mexico. Water is currently pumped the other direction, from west to east, across the Continental Divide to supply the Front Range.
    So what you are suggesting as a solution for California would probably become the basis of a water war with the Rocky Mountain states.”

    Steven, I concur that there could be serious battles over water, which is why this NEWTAP project must have federal backing. Even then, the rights to water would be the basis for arguing and lawsuits.
    And, you are correct that the Colorado River itself does not flow through New Mexico. However, tributaries do, and one of those is where the NEWTAP aqueduct would terminate.

  87. Roger,
    So what you are discussing is pumping huge amounts of Mississippi River water into the San Juan River? I can imagine all kinds of unpleasant side effects to the environment of the Grand Canyon bringing warm, polluted Mississippi water full of non-indigenous species into the region. Plus Arizona would probably just keep the water for themselves. ;^)
    I can’t see environmentalists letting this happen.

  88. Steven Goddard (10:47:12) :
    The discharge point of NEWTAP would be chosen from several candidates, as I am sure there are many who would oppose any option.
    The environmentalists will, as you suggest, be very opposed to this, as they are to everything.
    But the limited water, and population growth in California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico all point to the need for additional fresh water.
    When the need is sufficient, the water will be found. It may be from recycling toilet to tap, (eww….gross!), or desalination for California (but not for the other non-coastal states), or a gravity-driven aqueduct from British Columbia to California that follows the terrain downhill all the way, or towing icebergs from Alaska to Los Angeles. I have read proposals on all of those.
    To me, the NEWTAP project makes the most sense. But it will not be easily won.
    If (maybe when?) California’s agriculture does disappear due to lack of water, and all food prices in the U.S. jump by a large percent as a result, something will be done. NEWTAP appears to me to be a viable solution.

  89. A couple of things to consider.
    1. The non-native plant species Tamarisk has been estimated to suck enough water out of western rivers to supply 20 million people.
    2. A huge percentage of western water usage is taxpayer subsidized water sold at pennies on the dollar, and used to grow corn for cattle feed. By eliminating those subsidies, there would be a lot more water available for people and beef consumers would start paying a fair price for what they are eating – instead of passing the cost on to other taxpayers.

  90. @Jeff Coatney: no comment needed on gore; hansen is a grossly overrated old fart; chu is a more than respectable scientist in his field (got nobel prize for ultracold atomic gases) but this does not make him the everything-o-logist they make him out to be…

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