Study: Worsening drought from climate change may be 'considerably weaker and less extensive than previously thought'

A new publication in Nature Climate Change puts the brakes on predictions that global warming/climate change may produce continental scale droughts into the late 21st century. For example, NCAR said in 2010: CLIMATE CHANGE: DROUGHT MAY THREATEN MUCH OF GLOBE WITHIN DECADES

Then they had to back down and correct the original, when they found the drought PDSI (Palmer Drought Severity Index) numbers were overestimated by double the amount:

Update – July 3, 2012

This news release has been revised to reflect a miscalculation in the original study that inadvertently resulted when simulations of historical drought were combined with simulations of future drought. The revised maps, below, indicate that drought levels on the Palmer Drought Severity Index may reach -10 in certain regions, whereas the levels reached -20 on the original maps. Similarly, upper-latitude areas become less moist than previously projected. Large portions of the globe are still expected to experience dryness that is extreme if not unprecedented. For many regions, the corrected data show the movement toward drought taking place about three decades slower than originally projected.

Here is what NCAR says the future drought scenario looks like under climate change over the next 80+ years:

Future drought. These four maps illustrate the potential for future drought worldwide over the decades indicated, based on current projections of future greenhouse gas emissions. These maps are not intended as forecasts, since the actual course of projected greenhouse gas emissions as well as natural climate variations could alter the drought patterns. The maps use a common measure, the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which assigns positive numbers when conditions are unusually wet for a particular region, and negative numbers when conditions are unusually dry. A reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought. Regions that are blue or green will likely be at lower risk of drought, while those in the red and purple spectrum could face more unusually extreme drought conditions. Update: The above maps were uploaded to this article in June 2012. (Courtesy Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews.
Future drought. These four maps illustrate the potential for future drought worldwide over the decades indicated, based on current projections of future greenhouse gas emissions. These maps are not intended as forecasts, since the actual course of projected greenhouse gas emissions as well as natural climate variations could alter the drought patterns. The maps use a common measure, the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which assigns positive numbers when conditions are unusually wet for a particular region, and negative numbers when conditions are unusually dry. A reading of -4 or below is considered extreme drought. Regions that are blue or green will likely be at lower risk of drought, while those in the red and purple spectrum could face more unusually extreme drought conditions. Update: The above maps were uploaded to this article in June 2012. (Courtesy Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews.

In this new study published this week, it seems that the model predictions just aren’t lining up with observations, such as the recently observed greening of Earth and the measurements of evapotranspiration, which may have an embedded methodological artifact and failure to account for how plant stomata have been responding.

Potential evapotranspiration and continental drying

P. C. D. Milly & K. A. Dunne

By various measures (drought area1 and intensity2, climatic aridity index3, and climatic water deficits4), some observational analyses have suggested that much of the Earths land has been drying during recent decades, but such drying seems inconsistent with observations of dryland greening and decreasing pan evaporation5. ‘Offline analyses of climate-model outputs from anthropogenic climate change (ACC) experiments portend continuation of putative drying through the twenty-first century3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, despite an expected increase in global land precipitation9. A ubiquitous increase in estimates of potential evapotranspiration (PET), driven by atmospheric warming11, underlies the drying trends4, 8, 9, 12, but may be a methodological artefact5. Here we show that the PET estimator commonly used (the Penman–Monteith PET13 for either an open-water surface1, 2, 6, 7, 12 or a reference crop3, 4, 8, 9, 11) severely overpredicts the changes in non-water-stressed evapotranspiration computed in the climate models themselves in ACC experiments. This overprediction is partially due to neglect of stomatal conductance reductions commonly induced by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in climate models5. Our findings imply that historical and future tendencies towards continental drying, as characterized by offline-computed runoff, as well as other PET-dependent metrics, may be considerably weaker and less extensive than previously thought.


  1. Dai, A. Characteristics and trends in various forms of the Palmer Drought Severity Index during 1900–2008. J. Geophys. Res. 116, D12115 (2011 Article
  2. Sheffield, J., Wood, E. F. & Roderick, M. L. Little change in global drought over the past 60 years. Nature 491, 435438 (2012). Article
  3. Feng, S. & Fu, Q. Expansion of drylands under a warming climate. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 13,1008110094 (2013). Article
  4. McCabe, G. J. & Wolock, D. M. Increasing Northern Hemisphere water deficit. Climatic Change 132, 237249 (2015).
  5. Roderick, M. L., Greve, P. & Farquhar, G. D. On the assessment of aridity with changes in atmospheric CO2. Wat. Resour. Res. 51, 54505463 (2015). Article
  6. Burke, E. J., Brown, S. J. & Christidis, N. Modeling the evolution of global drought and projections for the twenty-first century with the Hadley Centre climate model. J. Hydrometeor.7, 11131125 (2006). Article
  7. Dai, A. Increasing drought under global warming in observations and models. Nature Clim. Change 3, 5258 (2012). Article
  8. Cook, B. I., Smerdon, J. E., Seager, R. & Coats, S. Global warming and 21st century drying.Clim. Dyn. 43, 26072627 (2014). Article
  9. Fu, Q. & Feng, S. Responses of terrestrial aridity to global warming. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 78637875 (2014). Article
  10. Scheff, J. & Frierson, D. M. W. Terrestrial aridity and its response to greenhouse warming across CMIP5 climate models. J. Clim. 28, 55835600 (2015). Article
  11. Scheff, J. & Frierson, D. M. W. Scaling potential evapotranspiration with greenhouse warming. J. Climate 27, 15391558 (2014).
  12. Dai, A. Drought under global warming: a review. WIREs Clim. Change 2, 4565 (2011). Article
  13. Shuttleworth, W. J. Handbook of Hydrology (ed. Maidment, D. R.) Ch. 4 (McGraw-Hill, 1993).
  14. Shuttleworth, W. J. & Wallace, J. S. Evaporation from sparse crops—an energy combination theory. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 111, 839855 (1985).
  15. Budyko, M. I. Climate and Life (Academic, 1974).
  16. Roderick, M. L., Sun, F., Lim, W. H. & Farquhar, G. D. A general framework for understanding the response of the water cycle to global warming over land and ocean.Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 18, 15751589 (2014). Article
  17. Koster, R. D. & Mahanama, S. P. P. Land surface controls on hydroclimatic means and variability. J. Hydrometeor. 13, 16041620 (2012).
  18. Schewe, J. et al. Multimodel assessment of water scarcity under climate change. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 111, 32453250 (2014). Article
  19. Chiew, F. H. S., Whetton, P. H., McMahon, T. A. & Pittock, A. B. Simulation of the impacts of climate change on runoff and soil moisture in Australian catchments. J. Hydrol. 167,121147 (1995).
  20. Milly, P. C. D., Dunne, K. A. & Vecchia, A. V. Global pattern of trends in streamflow and water availability in a changing climate. Nature 438, 347350 (2005). Article
  21. Cook, B. I., Ault, T. R. & Smerdon, J. E. Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains. Sci. Adv. 1, e1400082 (2015).
  22. Sherwood, S. & Fu, Q. A drier future? Science 343, 737739 (2014). Article
  23. Milly, P. C. D. & Dunne, K. A. Macroscale water fluxes 2. Water and energy supply control of their interannual variability. Wat. Resour. Res. 38, 24-124-9 (2002).
  24. Allen, R. G., Periera, L. S., Raes, D. & Smith, M. Crop Evapotranspiration—Guidelines for Computing Crop Water Requirements Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56, 15 (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 1998).

h/t to Dr. Richard Betts

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June 6, 2016 6:12 pm

Reality sure does cause a disruption in the predictions, doesn’t it?

Reply to  JohnWho
June 7, 2016 8:02 am

Reality is a climate denier.

Reply to  JohnWho
June 9, 2016 6:19 pm

There is ZERO believability. Just imagine that anyone else came to you with a study for something to happen in 50 to 100 years then they change the numbers by 50%. How believable is that? None of these predictions have any basis that is even remotely credible. As is pointed out by Anthony this contradicts the fact that the extra CO2 so far has increased greening of the Earth by at least 20%. We know that plants will utilize CO2 up to more than 1000ppm at least. We also have historical evidence of what the Earth was like about 5000 years ago at the holocene optimum and temperatures were maybe 1 degree warmer than today and we know that the middle east was more green, the nile more extensive and life was plentiful to the point of enabling humans to settle and become agricultural. It is very hard to believe predictions that the world will be so dry when we know that when the Earth was warmer for instance 60 million years ago the entire world was a rainforest. How do they explain that? Do their climate models show those situations?

June 6, 2016 6:15 pm

Reality again giving those poor people with their models fits. Imagine that.

June 6, 2016 6:18 pm

seems that the “settled science” is turning around and biting that 97% consensus on the ass.

Reply to  jvcstone
June 6, 2016 6:22 pm

I feel at this point metaphorical chewing is taking place ; )

charles nelson
June 6, 2016 6:28 pm

Someone should take away their crayons.

Ron Clutz
June 6, 2016 6:30 pm

Actual data from actual stations does not support alarming projections.

Reply to  Ron Clutz
June 7, 2016 11:58 am

note that the Palmer Drought Index “adjusts” the drought based on the
reported temperatures AND you can’t leave a drought condition until some
amount of deficit is made up… This results in the silly condition in
Northern California today where we are above average precipitation for
the rain season and precipitation year (summer to summer as it doesn’t
rain here in summer) yet the official drought monitor maps show us as
having a drought!
Flow guages were at 90+% during thd rain season. We had areas flooding.
We’ve had rain in months that rarely to never get rain. But
officially, it’s drought.
I’m getting tired of flooding droughts…

Reply to  E.M.Smith
June 7, 2016 12:34 pm

We had one of those in London a few years ago. gives photographic proof.
It’s one of my screen savers!

Ron Clutz
Reply to  E.M.Smith
June 7, 2016 1:17 pm

Yes, Eric Wood of Princeton published on the problem with the Palmer Index:
“In particular, calculations of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) show a decrease in moisture globally since the 1970s with a commensurate increase in the area in drought that is attributed, in part, to global warming4, 5. The simplicity of the PDSI, which is calculated from a simple water-balance model forced by monthly precipitation and temperature data, makes it an attractive tool in large-scale drought assessments, but may give biased results in the context of climate change6. Here we show that the previously reported increase in global drought is overestimated because the PDSI uses a simplified model of potential evaporation7 that responds only to changes in temperature and thus responds incorrectly to global warming in recent decades. More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles8 that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.”

Javert Chip
June 6, 2016 6:31 pm

Boy! When you have a sentence like “Offline’ analyses of climate-model outputs from anthropogenic climate change (ACC) experiments portend continuation of putative drying through the twenty-first century3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10” WITH 6 FOOTNOTES, you got some real science going on!
TRANSLATION: We looked at the model print-outs and if we cross our fingers and squint real hard, maybe it’ll be dryer someday. But maybe not.
However, good use of “putative” in the original; you don’t see that very often these days.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Javert Chip
June 6, 2016 7:51 pm

Didn’t the ancient Greeks use models to predict the future. Sheep entrails? Cheaper than super computers and more accurate!

Bob Boder
Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 7, 2016 11:23 am

I lay you any amount you want that the Greek models work better then ours do!

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 9, 2016 6:27 pm

I just did a blog on Club of Rome predictions. They predicted the earth would already see big drops in food productivity declines, industrial productivity declines. Our resources would be 1/10th of what they were in the 70s.

Reply to  Javert Chip
June 7, 2016 5:58 am

Am I the only one having a hard time understanding the language used?
So how much is PET compared to evaporation from the various bodies of water? If it’s a big enough share, then maybe more CO2 could mean less humidity. But then there would be more evaporation from bodies of water, lessening the effect.

Reply to  Javert Chip
June 7, 2016 11:00 am

That was exactly my thought on this. For a relatively young science to have six papers derive the exact same conclusions on such a complicated subject, it would seem to suggest that there’s more mindless head-nodding going on than actual science.

June 6, 2016 6:34 pm

Here’s the thing — there is almost no correlation between drought and anthropogenic climate change never had been). We all know that there were continent wide droughts in the 1930s and in the 12th century and there were significant rains in the 1970s. When Holdren criticized Roger Pielke, he said that droughts were increasing rapidly since the 1970s. He chose the 1970s because they were incredibly wet, not because droughts were increasing. (and the MSM loved it — “Obama Science Advisor John Holdren Schools Political Scientist Roger Pielke On Climate And Drought” — if you read that, remember that Pielke is 100% correct.)
There are many drought indices. They all have their merits. The best is the Palmer Hydrodynamic Drought Index (PHDI). This estimates the long-term basin moisture content. The Palmer Drought Severity Index has become en vogue with climate change because it has a temperature component. So, if the temperature is hotter, then the PDSI is higher with all other factors being equal. In other words, it is just saying it is hot in two different ways.
For the most part, droughts are caused by major ocean oscillations (naturally). The primary anthropogenic cause is land use and land cover changes. When you cut down forest to plant crops or build cities, then you drain the moisture out of the basin. Crops suck up water, but they need to keep that water. They don’t have the same evapotranspiration as mature forests.
Evaporatranspiration is what causes 50% of the rainfaill outside of the coastal areas. This is why there is basin level droughts for multiple years — when the basin is dry, it doesn’t rain as much.
Even with the PDSI, there has only been a slight correlation between warming and drought. With the PHDI, that correlation is gone.
See Monitoring and Understanding Changes in Heat Waves, Cold Waves, Floods, and Droughts in the United States: State of Knowledge by the AME (Thomas Peterson is the lead author). Since it is a summary of the known literature, the terms cycle between PDSI and PHDI almost at random. (note the legend on the bottom which basically explains why Holdren’s six-page criticism of Pielke is bogus.)
“Forcings by anomalous sea surface temperatures (SSTs) have played an important role in many extreme droughts as well as megadroughts … Pacific SST anomalies associated with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the PDO most often provide the dominant forcing, although Indian and Atlantic Ocean SSTs have also been shown to have an effect …
“Changes in evapotranspiration typically act as a feedback that can increase drought severity and duration … depending on vegetation and soil moisture states, which in turn depend on prior climate conditions, season, and region … With prolonged drought, reduced evapotranspiration leads to lower latent heat fluxes, increased sensible heat fluxes and higher surface temperatures, and intensifying summer heat waves … Land-use practices and the effects of dust aerosols can also have important feedback roles, notably during the 1930s Dust Bowl…, indicating that multiple human influences must be considered when examining the causes of drought (Pielke et al. 2011)”

Reply to  lorcanbonda
June 6, 2016 6:38 pm

Oops, the legend didn’t make it with the attachment. It says,
“Widespread persistent drought occurred in the 1930s (central and northern Great Plains, Northwest, and Midwest), 1950s (southern Great Plains and Southwest), 1980s (West and Southeast), and the first decade of the twenty-first century (West and Southeast). The dotted line is a linear regression over the period of record (linear trend = +0.09% decade−1), the solid line is for January 1931–October 2012 (−0.78% decade−1), and the dashed line is for January 1971–October 2012 (+3.70% decade−1).”

Tom Halla
June 6, 2016 7:03 pm

Interesting argument by scary maps. I was under the impression warming was associated with wet conditions. Silly me 🙂

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2016 12:55 am

I was under the impression warming was associated with wet conditions.

I believe that overall evaporation will increase, and particularly in the tropics rainfall will be heavier.
However there is also more energy in the system meaning that hadley cells will become larger and more prevalent. They go up in the tropics, dropping their water there, and then come down in the mid-latitudes. This descending air is dry.
So in the sub tropics an increase in dryness is expected.

Silly me 🙂

There’s little silliness a little time on wikipedia can’t ameliorate.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Seth
June 7, 2016 6:26 am

Seth, Wikipedia (Wankerpedia to our Australian friends) is very hard green, and not very credible on environmental issues.

Reply to  Seth
June 7, 2016 6:47 am

Ah, you’re a Wikipedia scientist, Seth. An acolyte of Stoat Connelly, IOW.
That explains it.

Reply to  Seth
June 7, 2016 7:22 am

I don’t see how you get from, “Hadley cells will become larger and more prevalent” to “in the sub tropics an increase in dryness is expected.” I don’t see how a larger Hadley cell implies a Hadley cell with dryer descending air. It seems like a leap. I could just as easily say, overall increase in evaporation implies Hadley cells that are larger and more energetic, with wetter ascending air in the tropics as well as wetter descending air in the mid-latitudes. To me a more energetic Hadley cell implies a cell that circulates more quickly and that would be wetter overall.

Reply to  Seth
June 7, 2016 9:10 am

Wikipedia is useful for looking up things like ‘How many cups/liter?’ and dog breed facts. When a site has something called “Wikipedia:WikiProject Environment/Climate change task force” to help the thought police enforce their dogma it’s pretty pathetic. It’s a good site for junior fascists and fascists in training.

Reply to  Seth
June 7, 2016 9:46 am

If you want to find out the atomic weight of Boron, Wikipedia is a good source.
Anything more controversial than that. Forget it.

Reply to  Seth
June 7, 2016 10:18 am

Well, of course, Seth. Since the glacial periods were very dry (rainforests were vastly reduced), and the warm interglacials are much wetter, it makes perfect sense that a slight warming will cause massive droughts. /sarc

June 6, 2016 7:07 pm

All I got is “no shit Sherlock ” .

FJ Shepherd
June 6, 2016 7:16 pm

Forget the droughts, then, eh? Hey, how about rising sea levels, and, and, and, floods. Isn’t that at least worse than we thought?

Reply to  FJ Shepherd
June 6, 2016 10:50 pm

You can’t forget the droughts and it will get much worse. Weather stations provide important data but do not reflect human interaction on the planet. Weather is the basic interaction of cold and warm air with water vapor. Heating the atmosphere changes the weather formula.
In Canada, Environment Canada’s Meteorological Services provides regional climatic data to Building Codes so we can build within yearly temperature extremes of that region. The appendix of that climatic data warns of solar radiation being more significant than climatic data. That is because absorbent exterior finishes can generate heat with solar interaction that exceed Building Codes. Unfortunately as engineering and electrical professionals we used a calculator for critical temperature considerations. Here is an example of what we missed in the calculator.
In January on a 39 degree F day, darker solar exposed buildings generated heat that reached 155 degree F. That superheats the atmosphere in winter without GHG emissions.
Here are 2 time-lapsed infrared videos with one from outside the building and the other from inside a building to see if generated heat on the outside of the building can affect the interior temperatures. These are not illustrations but accurate temperature imaging that uses the most advanced infrared imaging applications.
Air conditioning is in fact refrigeration used reacting to the symptoms of solar radiation. It is a big electrical load and a massive energy waste. Billions of watts could be knocked off the electrical grid immediately and creating millions of tax paying jobs fixing the problem we couldn’t see before.

June 6, 2016 7:18 pm

Science has changed and temperature can be seen using non invasive radiology where otherwise the world is blind to the temperatures discussed. My introduction to WUWT was specific to Anthony showing the placement of weather stations. Urban heat islands are really urban heat generators and imaging solar radiation interaction with building development in 7 provinces and 26 states produced shocking temperatures. Building development was generating heat as hot as 204 degree F on a 95 degree day.
I will show links to accurate infrared images and this level of infrared is the most advanced in the world and lectured in medical education for CME credits required for ongoing medical licensing applicable in North America and growing.
Here is an infrared image of a darker building on a 39 deg. F day on January 23. The building solar exposed side is 155 deg. F which heats the atmosphere without emissions produced.
Here are 2 time-lapsed infrared videos done without expectation. You will see the heat generated on the exterior transferred inside the building through the wood framing. Massive energy waste is used responding to the symptoms. A/C isn’t air conditioning, it is refrigeration responding to the exterior’s absorbent finishes being radiated by the solar EMFs.
The world shares one atmosphere and once you generate this heat, it can not be destroyed. The UN Climate Change Meeting in Paris stated the global consensus of scientists is that a 2 degree C or 3.8 degree F increase in atmospheric temperature will have serious consequences. We are documenting temperatures over 100 degrees F warmer that that heating the atmosphere even in the winter. Canada’s ex Prime Minister didn’t pass that information off to the new PM for the climate talks when that is what the UN Members were looking for.

Reply to  thermoguy
June 7, 2016 6:56 am

I remember the late Michael Crichton predicting that in the end we will discover that “land use” plays a larger role in man-made climate change than CO2 emissions. That argument made intuitive sense to me. But I’m a layman, not a scientist. Crichton also said that if you add up the area used to construct all of the man-made structures in the U.S.: roads, sidewalks, railroad tracks, parking lots, all buildings (offices, malls, apartments, houses, garages, factories, barns….), etc. it would cover only about 5% of the land mass of the U.S. 5% struck me as low, but I’m sure he used sources he trusted to arrive at his estimate. Assuming his 5% figure is reasonably accurate, does that matter?
Of course, we’ve also converted an enormous land mass area into agricultural land, and built mostly earthen levee systems along entire river systems to protect that farmland from flooding, which I assume may also impact climate in some way. But I’m digressing now from my question which was about the 5% figure and if it is material enough to have a big impact on temperature.

Reply to  Groty
June 7, 2016 9:50 am

Spend sometime outside of cities. That 5% number may actually be high.
The 5% does matter because the placement of the ground based sensors is more often than not, way too close to portions of that 5%.

Brett Keane
Reply to  thermoguy
June 7, 2016 9:11 am

As an engineer, how do you account for such temperatures as 155F?
Also, how long should it take to be emitted to space?
I am thinking we see the results of work done when we find heat, and that is not always what we are seeing.

June 6, 2016 7:18 pm

Do these models still underestimate sea surface evaporation increase with temperature by over a factor of 2? Basic physics and data show about 6% increase per C warming vs. only about 2.5% per the models. The reason seems to be that the models over estimate humidity increase with temperature and miss the atmosphere drying from precipitation.

June 6, 2016 7:50 pm

California isn’t the world. Still, an update on current conditins in CA may have some relevance:

Reply to  JohnMacdonell
June 7, 2016 9:29 am

The graph in this article puts things in a more historical perspective. I guess you shouldn’t build massive cities in a drought prone area without a good water plan.

Reply to  chilemike
June 7, 2016 9:51 am

California used to have a pretty good water plan.
Then the leftists took over.

June 6, 2016 8:27 pm

Alarmists seem to be entering a serious CYA cycle….
It took 14 years for alarmists to admit an 18-year “Hiatus” existed, 22 years for NASA to admit Antarctic land ice has been growing at 100 billion tons/year since 1992 (not losing 130 billion tons/yr as they’ve been propagandizing for decades), IPCC’s AR5 report admits NO increasing global trends of severe weather incidence/intensity for the past 60~100 years (depending on weather phenomenon): hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, floods, tropical storms, sub-tropical storms, thunderstorms, hail, etc., CH4 levels are increasing 10 TIMES slower than FAR predicted, Zhu et al 2016 shows CO2 fertilization effect has helped increase global greening 25~50% just since 1980, real air pollutants have been slashed 55~99% in the US just since 1980, sea level rise has been stuck at just 6″/century (tide gauge data) since 1800 (regardless of CO2 levels), ocean pH stuck at 8.1, etc.
Now another paper suggesting alarmists’ drought predictions aren’t matching reality.
Alarmists were able to avert CAGW disconfirmation with the KARL2015 “pause-buster” raw-temp data manipulation, but they still have NO valid explanation for the “YUUUUGE” disparity between land-based global temp anomaly datasets and satellite/radiosonde datasets (especially since lower troposphere temp anomalies should be increasing 40% faster than surface temps)…
Arctic Ice Extent loss is the ONLY hobby-horse the Alarmists have left to flog. There is solid evidence that Arctic ice extents are closely tied to AMO/PDO 30-yr warm/cool cycles and both will be in their respective 30-yr cool cycles by 2020…
“I love the smell of desperation in the morning…. It reminds me of…..victory…”

Reply to  SAMURAI
June 6, 2016 10:09 pm

Well said, but facts have no place in the progressive world. After all 97% of the scientists agree with the President as long as the money flows their way.

Reply to  SAMURAI
June 7, 2016 5:56 am

Good post, SAMURAI.

June 6, 2016 8:53 pm

Notice the passive language: “This news release has been revised to reflect a miscalculation in the original study that inadvertently resulted …”. “revised”; by whom? While the author tells us about the “news release”, the far more interesting actual subject is the “inadvertent miscalculation”. No one actively doing anything wrong, no one making any choices, apparently, such “miscalculation” can be caused by arithmetic when doing “combining”; obviously very, very dangerous work. Maybe it’s just me, but when “mistakes” are made to support the position being argued, I tend to doubt the credibility of the claim, or the sincerity of the apology… Oh, my mistake: happiness for a climate researcher is never having to say you’re “sorry”. It was just a nasty case of inadvertentitis . Let this be a lesson to all of us when combining simulations. LOL

June 6, 2016 8:56 pm

“may be considerably weaker and less extensive than previously thought.”
In my best Emily Litella voice; Never Mind………

John Harmsworth
June 6, 2016 9:07 pm

Some time back I began to apply my own “adjustments” to the model that is represented by our daily weather forecast. I accepted that their next day forecast was probably about 75% correct. Two days out it was about 50%. The rational extension of this ( in my fevered mind at least), is that by 4 or 5 days out the weather forecast is the least likely outcome! So after applying this system for a while I now confidently plan my activities farther out based on the opposite of the forecast. Raining next weekend? Plan to take the boat out and go see a ball game! Hey! Try it, it works!
So now I figure, (same fevered mind), what would happen if we made our own models based on what we really do know? Just a further logical extension of my proven model! We know all their predictions are crap! So by process of elimination ( Sherlock Holmes approved), if we assume that all the catastrophic predictions are outside the set of possible outcomes, ( nod to the math guys and modellers, there), then what’s left is the best prediction. Stop figuring out all the statistical details! The Warmists have figured out everything that won’t happen! Their track record is nearly unblemished! The only thing left to do is scoop up all the remaining outcomes and lay claim!
Anybody got a cool name I can use? Like Nostradamus. Mysterious and memorable kinda cool.

Bob Boder
Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 7, 2016 11:25 am


Michael Carter
June 6, 2016 9:18 pm

What trollop. Who can predict what global warming will cause in relation to regional rainfall or lack of? They can’t even model cloud generation and influence!
Show me a drought occurring in the last 20 years in an agricultural country with long-established robust records that is/was more severe than others occurring in the same location over the last 150 years

Michael Carter
Reply to  Michael Carter
June 6, 2016 9:38 pm

Start with this:
I invite anyone to research historical droughts in any country

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Michael Carter
June 6, 2016 11:39 pm

Brazil had it’s worst drought in recorded history, onset in 1877\78, strong El Nino year. SST..

Chris Hanley
June 6, 2016 9:31 pm

Over the past 100 years, as the planet has warmed slightly, the overall global precipitation has increased although that increase of course is not uniform — climate change never is in the relatively short term.
Why would an apparent trend suddenly reverse itself?
Can it be that Climate Change™ (as opposed to climate change) can never be allowed to have any beneficial effects at all⸮

Reply to  Chris Hanley
June 7, 2016 4:01 am

You ask “…[climate change] have any beneficial effects at all?”
As with everything else in this sociopolitical movement, only natural changes are beneficial. Humans can only pollute, corrupt and destroy. It is not the result, but the mechanism that is the deterministic factor.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
June 7, 2016 8:53 am

The use of the word ‘beneficial’ reminds me of a discussion I had in the 60’s with a hippie idealist.
The point made then is that the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ apply only after a value judgement has been made on the consequences of an event. The event itself is neither good nor bad, it just ‘is’.
One needs a judge and a set of values to be applied to the consequences of the event to assign a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ value. The set of values selected will be those of the judge, and may not necessarily reflect those of others. Different judges will reach different evaluations.
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

Robert of Texas
June 6, 2016 9:32 pm

This terrible drought in Texas is killing people…oh…wait…it’s the flooding. Never mind.
Seriously, you can plan the ebb and flow of too much water and too little water in Texas based on the El Nino.

June 6, 2016 9:41 pm

Wow, how is this news? Every applied climatologist knows the Penman method does not account for changing stomatal resistance. Myself and others had taught that in classes 25 years ago!

June 6, 2016 10:44 pm

It’s happened as predicted the Australian Greens are calling the east coast low a sign of dangerous global warming , Di Natale reckons it’s because of the warmer waters off Tasmania .
If the greens ever win a majority election here I will be the first climate refugee in oz .

Reply to  Robert
June 6, 2016 11:34 pm

One of the many reasons that I will vote for Brexit is that one in every seven members of the European Parliement is a Green, whilst in the UK Parliament there is only one in approx 700 MPs.

Reply to  Old'un
June 6, 2016 11:36 pm

Fat finger: European Parliament

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Old'un
June 6, 2016 11:41 pm

That and it’s entirely undemocratic nature, heck they despise democracy. Ironically the EU would fail to get EU membership because the EU too undemocratic ROFL

Reply to  Old'un
June 7, 2016 6:13 am

Britain needs to free itself from the tyranny of the European Parliament.
Unelected non-British bureaucrats are not going to take care of you.

Reply to  Old'un
June 7, 2016 6:56 pm

Par+LIE_ment? Love it!

Reply to  Robert
June 7, 2016 5:11 am

if the greens ever win in Aus, I would say its because we imported the american electronic vote rigging system I gather you guys are using now.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 7, 2016 6:20 am

I still think the last American presidential election was rigged. 🙂
I don’t know how, but Obama was reelected. I was confidently predicting a Romney victory. How could he lose? But he did.
I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory, it’s just hard for me to imagine that there are enough ignorant people in the U.S. to elect this guy for a second time. It wasn’t on merit.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 7, 2016 9:58 am

It doesn’t have to be on merit anymore.
We have reached the point where a majority of voters pay no income taxes, so they have no problem voting for politicians who promise the most free stuff. Somebody else is going to pay for it.
That’s a true tipping point, and we have passed it.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 7, 2016 11:46 am

“We have reached the point where a majority of voters pay no income taxes, so they have no problem voting for politicians who promise the most free stuff. ”
55% of Americans pay federal income tax. Most of those that do not pay no taxes because their salaries are so low. The same is true in other countries – if your income is quite low, you pay little or no government tax.

Reply to  Chris
June 7, 2016 11:55 am

And every one of those 45% that do NOT pay federal income tax, state income taxes, local city income taxes, and local county income taxes, nor social security tax, medicare taxes, payroll taxes, and the other many taxes (a sales tax being the only common exception … But they DO get their EIB cards and their welfare and their school lunches, and their healthcare, their childcare, and their after school care, and their free cell phones, and their free services, and then receive their income tax “rebate” for the taxes they did NOT pay!
That 47% is going to vote. For their continued freebies.
So, you are – again – dead wrong. Of course they are going to reliably vote democrat for their continued checks.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 7, 2016 11:53 am

Chris, your point doesn’t refute mine, in fact it reinforces it.
First off your numbers are bogus, since children and senior citizens pay little in taxes, the number of “Americans” who pay no taxes is lower than 55%.
If you think that those who’s income is just below median are poor, than there is something wrong with your value system.
Regardless, my point is that those who take but don’t contribute have less incentive to oppose increases in welfare. You have done nothing to contradict that.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 8, 2016 12:34 am

“And every one of those 45% that do NOT pay federal income tax, state income taxes, local city income taxes, and local county income taxes, nor social security tax, medicare taxes, payroll taxes, and the other many taxes (a sales tax being the only common exception ….So, you are – again – dead wrong. Of course they are going to reliably vote democrat for their continued checks.”
The 45% pay Social Security, they pay Medicare,they pay state income tax (I just checked California and NY), they pay vehicle taxes, they pay property taxes. So, you are – again – dead wrong.
Other than ACA (which virtually every other 1st world country offers), what specific new welfare programs have been put into law during Obama’s 8 years in office? Second, the House, where all legislation has to originate, is 55% Republican, why is that the case if a large portion of the population is just looking for handouts?

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 8, 2016 10:24 am

I love it when liberals try to change the subject.
The issue is how to pay for the freebies that the freeloaders want.
None of the taxes you mention do that.
As to ACA, there’s the old saying. Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge, that means you must as well.
A bad idea is a bad idea, even if every other socialist on the planet likes it.
Since ACA has quickly become one of the largest boondoggles in the federal govt, that’s enough.
Obama has more than doubled the total debt during his term, and he’s still got 9 months left. All this despite a large tax increase in his first year.
Like most leeches, Chris gets upset when people start complaining about having to support him.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 8, 2016 11:55 pm

“The issue is how to pay for the freebies that the freeloaders want.
None of the taxes you mention do that.”
So let’s see, you want the working poor, many of whom are on food stamps because they make so little, to pay more taxes and thus have less money for food, shelter, etc. I see that logic is not your strong suit.
“As to ACA, there’s the old saying. Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge, that means you must as well. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if every other socialist on the planet likes it.”
Yeah, and the fact that the US pays 17% of GDP towards health care, whereas virtually all other OECD countries with single payer health care systems pay 9% makes our system (pre ACA) better? With worse health care results and 50M Americans uninsured? This reinforces my observation above.
“Obama has more than doubled the total debt during his term, and he’s still got 9 months left. All this despite a large tax increase in his first year.”
The deficit was 10% of GDP in Obama’s first year in office, during which the prior year’s budget under Bush II was in place. He has brought that down to 2.7% of GDP, which is not bad considering the US had the biggest recession since the Great Depression. By comparison, Reagan inherited a recession of 6% of GDP and brought it down to 3% in 8 years – so less of a decline than Obama. Reagan increased the national debt by 186%, a higher increase than Obama.
“Like most leeches, Chris gets upset when people start complaining about having to support him.”
When facts fail you, throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Sadly, another fail by MarkW. I pay a lot in taxes and have lived outside the US for 20 years, so I’m supporting leeches like you, Mark.

June 7, 2016 1:01 am

Hey, given the primitive state of climate science, anything is possible, for all we know. Isn’t this where the big scare numbers have always come from? The greater the uncertainty (the worse the models) the higher the upper bound on modeled temperature will be.

michael hammer
June 7, 2016 1:26 am

Errr; They claim that higher temperature leads to grater absolute humidity which drives stronger convection with the water driven up higher into the upper atmosphere leading to the hotspot in the mid to upper tropical troposphere. This is the justification for claiming positive feedback from water without which any semblance of CAGW cannot be sustained.
But there is a problem – higher humidity (more water evaporating) combined with stronger convection (the extra evaporated water carried away from the surface faster so even more evaporates) means lots more evaporation. Yet in the diagram they claim less precipitation over almost all the planet. So more evaporation with less precipitation – what goes up does not come down after all. Seems to me they are claiming the oceans will end up in the sky – my god, all that weight up there the sky will fall down. Chicken Little was right!!!!!!!!!!!!
(do I really need to add /sarc?) The sarcasm is sure there but the underlying anaylsis is meant very seriously. They seem to be trying to have it both ways -apocalypses need to be treated in isolation?

Steve T
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
June 8, 2016 2:21 am

Please do not present a link without any explanation as to it’s content.

Tim Hammond
June 7, 2016 2:32 am

Do these “scientists” not understand that simply changing their models to follow what the real world has done is ludicrous?
I am so tired of the continually shifting changes that Alarmists make that are nothing more than a reflection and a reaction to reality.
Has there ever been a scientific theory that has had to change course so many times before it has been discredited?

Ivor Ward
June 7, 2016 2:39 am

I walked past an old bloke with a great white beard who was building a wooden boat down at the port the other day.. I asked him how big it was going to be and he said, “300 cubits long, 50 wide and 30 cubits high.” Said he worked for the NOAA or was it NOAH or NASA. Funny sort of bloke.

June 7, 2016 3:56 am

A pretty good example of how science is supposed to work. It takes time and repetition for true understanding to emerge. Peer review was never intended to supplant that, but peer review is often ballyhooed as imbuing credibility.

June 7, 2016 4:25 am

Hokum just like the Old Soviet Union use to devise and publish as PROVDA and in it’s science journals. Reading some of that stuff in the 1980’s was nothing short of a trip to Wonderland.

M Seward
June 7, 2016 4:26 am

Down here in Oz, CAGW -> Endless Drought is the fantasy karmagedoom that brought our most eminent global warming fantasist Professor Tim ‘The Fool Man” Flannery (a.k.a. Tim Flam) undone some time back when the last El Nino disappeared up its own cyclical period and promptly filled up all our east coast dams.
And guess what – its doing it again – Oh Gaia, you sweet, sweet old bitch! Here in Launceston (Tasmania) We are having the biggest flood since 1929 and its in winter – our wet season. Who’d a thunk it… My daughter loves it, 2 days off scholl just hangin, out with Dad and going flood watching…

Reply to  M Seward
June 7, 2016 6:26 am

Glad to see you are in a good mood, M Seward! Let it rain!

M Seward
Reply to  TA
June 7, 2016 7:43 am

And to think we committed the heinous sin of nearly running our dams empty (*) playing the mandated, subsidised renewable energy market in SE Oz yet still The Lady (Gaia) she giveth and she giveth and she giveth.
Halleluja TA, Halleluja. 🙂
* Tasmania is rather unique in that we are usually 100% hydro powered with a bit of wind ( its a wet, windy place) and naturally so for many decades now, nothing to do with the ecofascist regime of more recent times ( in fact the ecofascists opposed our hydro coz, like, it killed some trees and ruined some hiking trails).

Reply to  M Seward
June 7, 2016 8:05 am

Just you wait and see skeptic. There’ll be Tim Flannery’s drought underneath for sure just as soon as climastrologists can clear away all that pesky water and model it.

Dr. Strangelove
June 7, 2016 4:29 am

The drought is seen only in climate models. The weather stations are seeing record-breaking rainfall all over the world!
“Heavy rainfall events setting ever new records have been increasing strikingly in the past thirty years. .. An advanced statistical analysis of rainfall data from the years 1901 to 2010 derived from thousands of weather stations around the globe shows that over 1980-2010 there were 12 percent more of these events than expected in a stationary climate,.. In South East Asian countries the observed increase in record-breaking rainfall events is as high as 56 percent, in Europe 31 percent, in the central US 24 percent”

Bruce Cobb
June 7, 2016 4:34 am

Even though they are backpedaling, the Climate Liars are still lying their pants off. They are good at it too. Notice how they nest lies within bigger lies, e.g. the phrase “Worsening drought from climate change”. To begin with, there is no evidence that droughts have gotten worse. And conflating what man does with water with actual precipitation is just another way of lying. Building a city in a desert, for example, then crying about the lack of water is not “drought”. Then we get to the biggie, their favorite way of lying: “climate change”. It sounds so honest, too. Of course the climate changes, always has, always will. But that isn’t what they mean, and everyone knows it. They mean their mythical, fantasized manmade climate change.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 7, 2016 11:30 am

“To begin with, there is no evidence that droughts have gotten worse. And conflating what man does with water with actual precipitation is just another way of lying.”
The results in California don’t support your conclusion:

Reply to  Chris
June 7, 2016 11:55 am

1) Whether or not it’s the worst in 200 years is debatable.
2) What’s not debatable is that the current drought pales besides other droughts of the last 1000 years or so.
Even if your claim was correct, one bad drought in 200 years is not evidence of any kind of trend. Even you should be able to figure that out.

Reply to  Chris
June 8, 2016 12:54 am

1) Whether or not it’s the worst in 200 years is debatable.
2) What’s not debatable is that the current drought pales besides other droughts of the last 1000 years or so.
Information to support your claims? The one I quoted looked at tree rings, what is your statement based on?

Reply to  Chris
June 8, 2016 10:25 am

What is mine based on. History, and all the other studies.

Reply to  Chris
June 9, 2016 9:29 am

Haha, you say the word “history” and that’s your argument?

June 7, 2016 5:14 am

fair bit of snow falling in argentina brazil and chile/venezueala
and as usual it doesnt make any news reports
the aus flooding is, cos idiots like dinatale manage to get airtime;-(

Steve Fraser
Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 7, 2016 5:52 am

The 3-day, 10-foot snowfall northeast of Santiago closed an important mine there. It made the financial news.

Reply to  Steve Fraser
June 7, 2016 6:32 am

My local tv weather person reported that my area in the central U.S. is about 10 days late in reaching the first 90 F temperature of the season.

June 7, 2016 5:45 am

Unfortunately, that news will be reported in every major news outl…?
Nobody will pick that tidbit up, nobody will report on it, 3 weeks from now it will have fallen off the page and “news” outlets and “scientists” will go back to quoting the original paper, predicting disaster, and nobody will call them out on it.
This happens every time.

June 7, 2016 6:20 am

The droughts seem to be getting worse in the most populated areas on the maps. Does that seem interesting to anyone else?

June 7, 2016 6:30 am

The regional reductions in precipitation caused by the warm AMO, should not get mistaken as being due to rising CO2, as the former is negative North Atlantic Oscillation driven, and the latter according to all the models will increase positive NAO.

Steve Fraser
June 7, 2016 6:57 am

In Texas, we have had two Springs in a row with slow-moving low pressure systems interacting with very moist air scooped up from the tropics. This week, that has moved off to the East, and the skies are much clearer. This link shows the moisture pattern this morning.,27.31,961/loc=-95.085,14.315

Mike Maguire
June 7, 2016 7:44 am

Anybody that projects for years 2090-2099 is truly delusional about what their models are capable of.
Observations tell us that the earth is greening up and low level moisture(dew points and precipitable water) have increased, along with the modest beneficial warming experienced over the last 4 decades. This also decreases the lifting condensation level of clouds(more low/cumulus clouds) which is a negative feedback to temperature increase.
Global drought has NOT increased so far but models tell us it WILL increase.
This is mainly based on what the humans programming the models think will happen.
It is more likely that the water cycle will just be amplified as it has been so far. This does lead to heavier rains/down pours, especially in the greenest areas that currently get the most rains.
However, this is not clear. Deserts have been greening up too the last 40 years…..not expanding(thanks in part to increasing CO2 fertilization and CO2 allowing plants to be more efficient with water use).
With the lack of clarity of these effects over the last 40 years(contradictory in some cases) how on earth somebody can project a ten year period at the end of this century based on something so uncertain completely annihilates any legit scientific credibility of the source of such a product.
…………..and we who question this junk science are labelled as “deniers”
To be anything other than skeptical of this kind of science, a scientist would have to have their mind captured/brainwashed……….. like a follower of a cult.

June 7, 2016 7:48 am

At the height of the Holocene optimum, earth was quite a bit warmer than today. Deserts were fewer and smaller; most of the Sahara was grassland. This would imply warmer weather means more moisture in the air and more precip. But models show the opposite. History must be wrong.

Pamela Gray
June 7, 2016 8:11 am

A warm world is a tropical green Earth. A cold world is filled with deserts and soil erosion. Why? Think positive ocean evaporation leading the water cycle and filling the air with water vapor. Now conjure up negative evaporation starving the atmosphere of water vapor. The AGW talking points have it ass-backwards.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 7, 2016 8:14 am

Make that windblown soil erosion filling valleys and hill shadows with loess soil and diminishing fine-grained top soil.

June 7, 2016 8:43 am

This is EXACTLY how real science should operate – the projected consequences of a hypothesis are tested against empirical measurements, the statistically significant divergences are identified, and the hypothesis is modified to make the divergences from reality disappear.
Modifying the measurements is a sign of a failed hypothesis being defended by a scientist who is either incompetent or malicious (Hanlon’s Razor).

June 7, 2016 9:39 am

“By various measures (drought area1 and intensity, climatic aridity index, and climatic water deficits), some observational analyses have suggested that much of the Earth’s land has been drying during recent decades, but such drying seems inconsistent with observations of dryland greening and decreasing pan evaporation. ”
Doesn’t exactly sound like the science is settled.

June 7, 2016 9:53 am

Australia, well known for droughts, is now experiencing flooding rains and is getting greener. To Tim Flannery’s horror the dams are full not dry.

June 7, 2016 10:33 am

CO2 affect on stomata leading to lower water going out from a leaf is, in part, countered by the larger leaf area CO2 engenders & thus the leaves total number of stomata being greater is a factor in how much water is going out into the air from soil. While this may seem insignificant it also relates to the physical characteristics any particular type of soil one is referring to; some soils readily “lose” water anyway & more stomata in a larger leaf area adds another factor to soil moisture dynamic.

June 7, 2016 10:44 am

Warning! After reading the Abstract, I assumed the study is a critique of climate models. Then I read the study. It is not a critique of models but of “offline analyses of model outputs” using a “potential evapotranspiration estimator” called the “Penman-Monteith method.” The paper explains that “Global climate models, despite their course spatial resolution and imperfect physical parameterizations, are nevertheless internally consistent representations of the climate system.” Hence “Care must be taken in the use of external impact models,” especially analyses of potential evapotranspiration (PET), “a hypothetical construct that generally is neither anchored by direct measurement no computed in climate models, but is nevertheless often used in several measures of impact.” The paper concludes that “Drying trends might more meaningfully be assessed by direct examination of climate-model variables (for example, runoff, actual ET [evapotranspiration], soil moisture, and relative humidity…” I think that’s a call for empirical studies but the authors do not elaborate.

June 7, 2016 12:29 pm

I note, that eventhough the range is no longer -20 to +20 in their data (now only -10 to +10) they left the color scale unchanged, so -10 still looks just as bad as -20 looked.

Rob Dawg
June 7, 2016 2:33 pm

Correct the record? When you are 2x wrong you retract.

June 7, 2016 6:34 pm

worse than we thought fails again

June 7, 2016 7:06 pm

I found the graphs rather confusing. They do not show where it was or is expected to be DRY or WET but where it is expected to be dryER or wetTER than it is now, so the legend is misleading. The top graph shows 2000-2009, which is in the past. The Red Heart of Australia is shown green, that is, wetter than “now”, whenever “now” was. But that does not mean floods in the desert. And the green coast of Australia is shown yellow, orange, and red. But that doesn’t mean actual droughts. The thing I would like to see is where is it expected to be too dry/just right/too wet for agriculture as currently practised in each region.
The other thing that occurs to me is that we’ve had six years of actual stuff happening that could have been
compared with the original and improved models. That’s what I want to see above all:
anomalies for 2010-2015 from the original model
anomalies for 2010-2015 from the improved model
anomalies for 2010-2015 from actual history
all on the same scales.

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