Pointless Ohio State study predicts the obvious with models – fish will die as streams dry out

Even more troubling, why does a waste of time study like this get funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program? I don’t want defense money going to modeling studies on fish and streams that tell us the obvious, especially when some of the worst droughts in the Southwestern United States occurred before “climate change” was even in the lexicon, as seen below:

California_drought_timeline

From the Ohio State University:

Climate Change Will Threaten Fish by Drying Out Southwest U.S. Streams, Study Predicts

Modeling suggests fish will lose habitat as steady flow of surface water is depleted

By: Emily Caldwell

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fish species native to a major Arizona watershed may lose access to important segments of their habitat by 2050 as surface water flow is reduced by the effects of climate warming, new research suggests.

Most of these fish species, found in the Verde River Basin, are already threatened or endangered. Their survival relies on easy access to various resources throughout the river and its tributary streams. The species include the speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus), roundtail chub (Gila robusta) and Sonora sucker (Catostomus insignis).

Kristin Jaeger

A key component of these streams is hydrologic connectivity – a steady flow of surface water throughout the system that enables fish to make use of the entire watershed as needed for eating, spawning and raising offspring.

Models that researchers produced to gauge the effects of climate change on the watershed suggest that by the mid 21st century, the network will experience a 17 percent increase in the frequency of stream drying events and a 27 percent increase in the frequency of zero-flow days.

“We have portions of the channel that are going to dry more frequently and for longer periods of time,” said lead author Kristin Jaeger, assistant professor in The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources. “As a result, the network will become fragmented, contracting into isolated, separated pools.

“If water is flowing throughout the network, fish are able to access all parts of it and make use of whatever resources are there. But when systems dry down, temporary fragmented systems develop that force fish into smaller, sometimes isolated channel reaches or pools until dry channels wet up again.”

This study covers climate change’s effects on surface water availability from precipitation and temperature changes. It does not take into account any withdrawals of groundwater that will be needed during droughts to support the estimated 50 percent or more increase in Arizona’s population by 2050.

“These estimates are conservative,” said Jaeger, who conducted the study with co-authors Julian Olden and Noel Pelland of the University of Washington. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers used a rainfall runoff model, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), which incorporates the study basin’s elevation, terrain, soil, land use, vegetation coverage, and both current and future climate data, including precipitation and temperature.

“It’s a hydrological model that routes water received from precipitation through the landscape, a portion of which eventually becomes streamflow in the river,” Jaeger said. “We partitioned the watershed into many smaller pieces all linked to each other, with nodes placed 2 kilometers apart throughout the entire river network to evaluate if that portion of the river channel at an individual node supported streamflow for a given day.”

Jaeger describes the river network, as envisioned by this model, as a mosaic of wet and dry patches. Piecing data from all of those nodes together, the researchers established an index of connectivity for the entire watershed, which predicts that the mid-century and late-century climate will reduce connectivity by 6 to 9 percent over the course of a year and by up to 12 to 18 percent during spring spawning months.

“The index decreases that are predicted by the model will affect spawning the most,” said Jaeger, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “During the spring spawning period, fish are more mobile, traveling longer distances to access necessary habitat. Projected decreased connectivity compromises access to different parts of the network.”

Flowing portions of the system will diminish between 8 and 20 percent in spring and early summer, producing lengthier channels that will dry more frequently and over longer periods of time. These changes will reduce available habitat for fish and force them to travel longer distances for resources once channels rewet, Jaeger said.

The fish are already subject to stressors on the system, including both surface and groundwater extraction for irrigation and drinking water, loss of habitat and the introduction of nonnative species that prey on the native fish, Jaeger noted. The overall system’s connectivity is also already compromised, as well, because of existing dry conditions in the American Southwest.

“These fish are important cogs in the wheel of this greater ecosystem,” Jaeger said. “Loss of endemic species is a big deal in and of itself, and native species evaluated in this study are particularly evolved to this watershed. In this river network that currently supports a relatively high level of biodiversity, the suite of endemic fish species are filling different niches in the ecosystem, which allows the system to be more resilient to disturbances such as drought.

“If species are pushed over the edge to extinction, then what they bring to the ecosystem will be lost and potentially very difficult to replace.”

This project was funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.

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So which is it? Will man-made global warming make the world wetter or drier? Or both, based upon whichever is scarier at the time?

knr

‘Even more troubling, why does a waste of time study like this get funded ‘
Because those handing out the funding knew they get the ‘result ‘ they needed
And let’s face it the ‘researcher’ was more than willing to take it knowing that with ‘models’ they would easily be able to supply this need. and its only Joe public cash after all !

Latitude

Their survival relies on easy access to various resources throughout the river and its tributary streams
===
At one time these streams did not exist….then they did…and something colonized them
…..and now it’s changing again
That’s known as a bad evolutionary choice…but part of the game

I think they got this idea from Revelations in the Bible. It sounds in that area.

temp

Left-wing nutters love to stuff the defense budget with anything and everything. Then they turn around and claim all we do is spend money on defense. Its perfect win-win for them as they get all the pork and great talking points to go along with it. Its been a problem for decades and the media is as always in coverup mode about the whole thing.

Mike Maguire

Of course this is based on assumptions in the models that cause them to project increases in global drought, especially areas that have historically had numerous lengthy droughts.
Let me see how the models have been doing the past 15 years or so.
1. Extreme weather increasing……..wrong
2. Strong/violent tornadoes increasing…….wrong
3. Tropical cyclone energy increasing……..wrong
4. Rate of global temperature increase……wrong
5. Global drought increasing…………wrong
6. Equations to represent increase in vegetative health’s and evapotranspiration……wrong
7. Cloud height and changes…….wrong
For now, I think I’ll wait for the global climate modelers to catch on that they need to make some big changes before placing any weight on model projections that go out decades and even a century from now.
My money is riding on the observations.

dp

They probably read the cheat sheet when LA stole the Owens River and put it in a pipe. Next up: The Colorado River. Oh look – already stolen by SoCal. That theft has draconian implications for the ecosystem of the Sea of Cortez.

MrX

It’s gonna be wetter and dryer at the same time. Hence, much worse than we thought /sarc
BTW, you can build those graphs for anything related to global warming. CO2 levels, temperature, etc. and they all show the same thing. Natural variation has been both below and above where we are at now. Hence, nothing related to climate is unprecedented. False alarm. Everyone can go back home.

Jimbo

Models that researchers produced to gauge the effects of climate change on the watershed suggest that by the mid 21st century, the network will experience a 17 percent increase in the frequency of stream drying events and a 27 percent increase in the frequency of zero-flow days.

17 percent! Why not 18.8%? 19%? 16.3? BOLLOCKS TO ALL THAT.

greymouser70

Talk about stating the bleedlingly obvious. Of course fish die when they don’t have enough water. this has happened many times in the past and will happen again. sheesh!!!!

Catcracking

“Even more troubling, why does a waste of time study like this get funded by the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program? I don’t want defense money going to modeling studies on fish and streams that tell us the obvious, especially when some of the worst droughts in the Southwestern United States occurred before “climate change” was even in the lexicon, as seen below:”
Anthony, good point.
Meanwhile while we are fattening up the Universities wee a dismembering our military at time where the world is being threatened to a level exceeding 911. Military officers are getting pink slips while they are deployed in Combat situations. Think of all the $$$ wasted to train these officers.and the cost to replace them when we wake up to reality.

ShrNfr

OMG, if those streams don’t run to the sea, the oceans could dry out too.
Oh well. Don’t invest in floating norovirus restaurants just in case.

Mike Maguire

8. However, global climate models have been correct on projecting more extreme rain events, which does make sense from the beneficial 1 degree of warming over the last 150 years since warmer(more humid) air does hold more moisture.

dp says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm
Puts CA envirowhackos in a bind:
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/19/a-sacred-reunion-the-colorado-river-returns-to-the-sea/
For decades, CA has coveted the water resources of the Pacific NW. But we have eight senators to their two. Yet if CA splits into five states, it would be harder for Democrats to keep the presidency, as 15 of its 53 US House representatives are currently Republicans. The number is kept low by gerrymandering in the CA Assembly.

Jimbo

“If species are pushed over the edge to extinction, then what they bring to the ecosystem will be lost and potentially very difficult to replace.”

But the survived the US mega-droughts during the Holocene.
Even if the above modelled result is wrong, they could claim they are right, but maybe for the wrong reasons. See below.

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.

But let’s blame all FUTURE droughts in the US on carbon dioxide. Kerrrrching. More funding please.

Pointless Ohio State study predicts the obvious with models – fish will die as streams dry out
————
Pointless? Not at all! It is crafted to further the warmunist agenda.
If/when a stream dries up and poor fishies die, they will shriek that they predicted this end-time event and are owed more money and control.

Mike Maguire

To elaborate on the “more humidity” that would be absolute humidity or dew point temperatures not relative humidity that we commonly use.
An additional note is that global warming has been greatest at higher latitudes. Extreme rain events are rare in high latitudes but they have increased slightly in mid latitudes and occur at a higher latitude than previously.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the drought corresponds to the Medieval Warm Period since all good AGW true believers know that the Medieval Warm Period was just a local climate phenomena that only impacted Europe and the North Atlantic.

Mike Maguire says: August 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm 8. However, global climate models have been correct on projecting more extreme rain events, which does make sense from the beneficial 1 degree of warming over the last 150 years since warmer(more humid) air does hold more moisture.

When it stops raining, what is the remaining humidity level of the air? If after raining the air is warmer, hasn’t it stopped raining sooner than it would if the air was colder, as you say that warmer air holds more moisture. The net result being just as much rain as if the air was colder.
It rains a lot where i live in the coldest months and very little rain in the hottest months even seeing no rain over a 55 day period once in summer.

davidgmills

@sturgis. Like gerrymandering is a only California phenomenon? In the last election for the House of Representatives, 53. 9 million people voted for a Democrat and only 53.4 million voted for a Republican; but the Republicans hold 33 more seats.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/house-candidates-votes_n_2096978.html

Latitude

Jimbo says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm
===
Jim, they probably didn’t even survive the dust bowl……….

davidgmills

As gerrymandered as the house is, it is nothing like the Senate, which, unfortunately is gerrymandered by the constitution itself. I don’t think rural America has any right to complain about representation, as about 40 states out of 50 hold only 20% of the population. The most highly populated American states (most of their population being urban), which have about 80% of the population, only control about 20% of the senate. Which helps explain why the senate is the arguably the worst legislative body on the planet.

george e. smith

Were they able to determine in this study, if the swimming ability of the fishes, deteriorated substantially due to the climate change, or do they just up and die, for no apparent reason ??

Hey! Wait a minute! What about the polar bears? Where will they get a drink of water? Don’t they eat fish? This might further reduce the growing polar bear population!
(note: the above might contain some about of sarcasm)

george e. smith

Maybe fishes should get smarter; like frogs, and crawdads.
When the water district turns off the water, in the irrigation canal that runs along my front yard, like a moat, the frogs, and crawdads, just bury themselves in the mud in the bottom, and wait till the next time they turn the water back on. I usually try to net the crawdads with the swimming pool net, before all the water is gone, so I can put them back in some other water. Well it’s in a pot on my stove.
And the Asian catfish, just up and walk out of the drying streams, and walk across the road to some other water.
These Ohio State researchers, must be stupider, than the Asian catfish, and the crawdads.

Damn. “about” should be “amount” … I really need to get my eyes examined … or is that my head examined? Hmmmmm. Depends on who you ask I guess.

Lil Fella from OZ

Next…. the kangaroos of Australia! Water shortage depletes numbers. Let is be known that much channelled and dam water is now being placed in plastic pipes and plastic tank. The government says this is the best way to save water. Then you can put it back into the ocean then retrieve same and run it through a delsal plant. Next, pipe it back to humans. Ever wondered why the water bill is rising rapidly!? Quicker than sea-level.

Patrick

“dp says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm”
Watched a documentary about The Colorado and if I recall correctly, there is so mutch water drawn from it it no longer reaches the sea. Is that right?

AndyG55

ShrNfr says:
OMG, if those streams don’t run to the sea, the oceans could dry out too.
hmmmm,… that sort of put the kibosh on sea level rise, doesn’t it. 🙂

Patrick says:
August 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm
See my link above. Normally, it no longer does reach the sea, which has devastated anadromous fisheries in the Sea of Cortez.

LearDog

This is Ministry of Silly Walks stuff.

Mike Maguire

garymount says:
“When it stops raining, what is the remaining humidity level of the air? If after raining the air is warmer, hasn’t it stopped raining sooner than it would if the air was colder, as you say that warmer air holds more moisture. The net result being just as much rain as if the air was colder.
It rains a lot where i live in the coldest months and very little rain in the hottest months even seeing no rain over a 55 day period once in summer”
Gary,
First of all, I would like to know where you live as seasonal variations in precipitation are determined by numerous factors, with geography being at the top.
The warmer an air mass is, the more water vapor it can hold potentially. All things being equal(which they never are) let’s take a mid latitude cyclone in the central United States during Spring that has access to moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
If we measured the amount of precipitable water in a vertical column of air that has become saturated at X degrees, then compare it to the water that the same column of air would hold at X+1 degree, you will get more water.
If you warmed the lower levels(that have the greatest capacity to hold water) by 1 degree and left everything the same, that cyclone would be capable of holding more water.
If you had a sponge completely saturated with water and another slightly bigger sponge, using the same amount of wronging effort, would yield more water with the slightly bigger one.
We wish the atmosphere was that simple. There are a dozen other elements to consider. I think I understand your point that warmer air can hold more moisture so maybe it would hold on to more moisture(stay suspended) because the warmer air mass does not get saturated as quickly as when it was colder and the additional moisture condenses out.
Let’s say the source region of the air mass is the the Gulf of Mexico and the storm is 1,000 miles north. . If that air mass is X+1 degrees, it will be capable of delivering more moisture to the storm than one that is X degrees.
Is this always a bad thing? When it comes to flooding and extreme rain events yes. However, only a small amount of rain events and precipitation falls that way. The vast majority are beneficial. When it comes to growing conditions(whether crops or other plants) the biggest limiting factor regarding moisture is not enough of it vs too much.
Precipitation and soil moisture has increased in the US Cornbelt over the last several decades. This has been a good thing. Flooding and excessive rain events have increased slightly too but the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives.
Many places in the world get much of their rains at a rate that is too much at once(naturally), then have to suffer with extended dry periods.
California is a perfect and somewhat extreme example. This drought will break and when it does, they will likely get bombed with way too much rain, with flooding and mud slides. That’s the way their climate has always been and always will be……..naturally.
Ask them if they wouldn’t mind some excessive rain right now (:
Of course most of the area in the severe drought gets their rains seasonally too.
Several months in the WInter(when it’s cooler) most of it falls. Then it has to last thru the Summer
because it never rains, even when there isn’t a drought.
Maybe this is why you are thinking cold causes more rain. This is more related to the seasonal storm track/jet stream and large scale weather features in the atmosphere. Some places, like India and Brazil have their rainy seasons or monsoons in the Summer and it’s cool and dry in their Winter.
There are many other factors, like the meridional temperature disparity. If you increase that, you get more extreme storms and fronts with more extreme precipitation. Warming the higher latitudes in the 1980’s/90’s decreased that which was a factor for decreasing mid latitude cyclone intensity as well as strong to violent tornadoes going down.

BallBounces

“Spot the portion of California drought caused by ‘climate change’”
I see it — it’s a hockey tick!

Gamecock

Another “Given global warming, . . .” study.
“The researchers used a rainfall runoff model, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), which incorporates the study basin’s elevation, terrain, soil, land use, vegetation coverage, and both current and future climate data, including precipitation and temperature.”
Future data. Ha ha ha ha !!!

pat

*** from the perspective of alarmists like the Sierra Club, everything comes down to CAGW, even tho they are talking about a possible El Nino:
5 Aug: OwenSoundSunTimes, Ontario: Lakes rising but group warns it won’t last
by Scott Dunn
***Lake levels have risen more than 30 centimetres above those seen this time last year, thanks largely to a memorably cold winter which froze lakes, limited evaporation and let snow pile up…
But Mary Muter, chair of the Great Lakes section of Sierra Club Canada, said don’t be fooled by unusually high precipitation over the past 1 1/2 years and by last winter’s cold stretches which froze the lakes and minimized evaporation. “This is temporary relief,” she said.
“We are about to be hit with the next cycle of warm weather,” she said, referring to an El Nino weather pattern which is setting up, causing forecasters to predict next winter will be warmer than average…
http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2014/08/05/lakes-rising-but-group-warns-it-wont-last

Gamecock says:
Future data. Ha ha ha ha !!!
Thanks for the laugh! It’s clear they don’t understand what data means.

D. Cohen

questionassumptions says:
“I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the drought corresponds to the Medieval Warm Period since all good AGW true believers know that the Medieval Warm Period was just a local climate phenomena that only impacted Europe and the North Atlantic.”
I noticed that too — and this coincidence in time comes from data, not modeling. It could easily turn out that good, warm weather for Europe tends to be associated with mega-droughts in the American West. What about the Roman climatic optimum in Europe, was that also associated with mega-droughts in the American West?

Steve Oregon

These useless studies are endless.
Here’s a current example over here.
$1.8 million & $2.3 million study to ponder what plants will do under climate scenarios.
What good is the pondering?
Climate change study’s results show Northwest prairie plants struggle with warming
http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/08/climate_change_studys_early_re.html#lf_comment=202114251
Preliminary results from a four-year, $1.8 million, U.S. Department of Energy-funded study show that plants grown in experimental plots under current-range conditions struggled to germinate with warming temperatures. Plants grown under conditions that they would experience beyond their present ranges (e.g. if populations shifted their ranges over time) experienced no negative effects from warming.
Scott Bridgham, a professor of biology at the University of Oregon, is leading the research, which has received a new $2.3 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to continue collecting data.
Infrared lamps boost the temperatures, and an irrigation system increases rainfall. The equipment is used to mimic future climate conditions that are expected in the Northwest.

joelobryan

Gamecock referenced their claim of “future climate data”.
So, they made a time machine and can travel to the future and return with data… who knew? This is stunning news.
The Progressives will be horrified at the prospect of the public finally finding out what their schemes will really cost our children and grandchildren.

Mike Smith

Next up, a study complete with super-computer models, which shows that 7.62% more trees will fall over in very high winds. Supported by funding from the Federal Department of the Bleeding Obvious.Grrrrrrrrr!

Ian W

Mark and two Cats says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Nearly right – this paper is set up t be resurrected by the EPA in its next set of regulations which will put in place UN Agenda 21: Chapter 18: “Protection Of The Quality And Supply Of Freshwater Resources: Application Of Integrated Approaches To The Development, Management And Use Of Water Resources” Coming to a muddy puddle near you, an EPA swat team preserving ‘protected wetlands’.

Robert Doyle

Anthony,
The California graphic at the top, in my opinion seems to tell so much. Yet, I know my information is anecdotal. My question is: how fragile is California? The graphic depicts a brief interval in the 1850 to 1860. It is my understanding that, this brief interlude changed California history. Specifically, California land value plummeted. The Spanish elite were forced to sell off their large land holdings as a result. In essence, Central and Southern California morphed into a dessert.
I ask what best describes the climate of California?

D. Cohen says:
August 18, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Yes. Prolonged first century AD drought in the US West:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/11/ancient-megadrought-american-west-.html
Good thing that the West is blessed with such long-lived trees.

Oops. Meant second century AD, ie AD 101-200.

Jeff L

OK – check out this link (from IPCC , 1990 – before it got completely political & before the hockey stick) :
http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/an-insiders-history-of-the-global-warming-scare/medivevalwarmperiodinipcc1990/#main
and compare to the graph at the top of this post. Obviously, the “dry” periods tie to the Medieval Warm Period & the wet periods tie to the Little Ice Age.
So several thoughts come to mind :
1) I am not sure how the initial graph in this post was created, but could it be a temperature effect & not a precipitation effect they are measuring ?
2) if it is in fact a precipitation effect that is being measured, then there is a strong correlation with “global ” temperature. Given that, is it any surprise that the west is dry, given the general increase in temps over the last 100 years? But that does nothing to address the cause of the warming.
3) On an even bigger picture, there is good data to support that very cold periods (ie – the true ice ages) were even wetter in the west – think about the glaciers throughout the west, the huge fluvial deposits & pluvial lake deposits, so maybe there is something to this correlation of colder = wetter & vice versa for the West.
I find the glaciers in the West, especially the in the Sierra’s to be especially interesting. Because of the low latitude, in the summer, the sun angle is very high. I have seen in these settings that it really doesn’t matter how cold it is – the high sun angle will melt snow efficiently – even when the air temp is below freezing. Similarly, for those who live in high latitudes, you have probably noticed that in the winter, with low sun angles, even if it gets well above freezing, the snow doesn’t necessarily melt that much. Based on those observations, it is hard to see how glaciers could have grown to the extent they did in the Sierras without having much more snow than they do now – you needed a huge volume of snow in the winter to allow some snow to remain through the summer, given the high angle of the sun, regardless of temperature. Anyway, just anecdotal observation that I think supports the colder = wetter & vice versa hypothesis for the west.

milodonharlani

Jeff L says:
August 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm
IMO the thinking is that the globally warmer periods tend to produce more La Niñas, which means drought in much of North America. There could be other causes & effects, as well, but the relationship is pretty well established. I’m not sure if it holds up as well earlier in the Holocene, however, when there was still substantial ice in the Northern Hemisphere.

Jeff L says:
August 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm
OK – check out this link (from IPCC , 1990 – before it got completely political & before the hockey stick)

That may have been before the hockey stick, but not before it got completely political since it’s purpose is completely political.
Just sayin’.

knr says:
August 18, 2014 at 1:34 pm
‘Even more troubling, why does a waste of time study like this get funded ‘
—————
I wonder how many Vets that money might have saved if not pissed away.

Alx

I am working on a study that uses a model to prove that deserts in the southwest of the US are dry. Global warming is involved in some way we are still investigating. Additionally the model will show deserts tend to be sandy and not good for growing maple trees, potentially causing millions of pancakes to not have maple syrup by the year 2025.
A related study claims being close to having the answer to the compelling question “What gets wetter the more it dries?”. The 4.1 million dollar study after being stymied for 2 years are said to be close to an answer after having entered the question into Google.