Churchill’s Inconvenient Truth regarding Al Gore's claims on Lake Chad

Story submitted by LeRoy Demarest

Illustration from United Nations Environment Programme, sourced from satellite imagery provided by NASA

According to Al Gore’s polemic Lake Chad is shrinking due to global warming, however, Winston Churchill noted the shrinking of the lake in 1899.

One of the evidences used by Al Gore in his Oscar winning and vacuous work An Inconvenient Truth is the shrinking Lake Chad. Gore shows a series of four images of Lake Chad on page 116 of his book. The pictures show the lake shrinking from about 25,000 square kilometers in 1963 to about 1,500 square kilometers in 2001. While largely debunked here and elsewhere it is has been a used canary of climate change by others pushing the narrative and more recently here . NASA and others make the point that the shrinking of Lake Chad is most likely due to irrigation draws, overgrazing, and poor land use management. While there is obvious validity to this argument and explanation, the knowledge that Lake Chad has been shrinking is old news.

Well over a 100 years old, old news. In Winston Churchill’s book The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan , published in 1899 , Churchill specifically mentions Lake Chad. (This can be read for free online .) Following an account of a dust up between British and French forces in the small outpost of Fashoda in the Sudan, Churchill takes some time to describe how Northern and Central Africa was to be divided between the Europeans/Egyptians. He writes:

Altogether France has enough to occupy her in Central Africa for some time to come: and even when the long task is finished, the conquered regions are not likely to be of great value. They include the desert of the Great Sahara and wide expanses of equally profitless scrub or marsh. Only one important river, the Shari, flows through them, and never reaches the sea: and even Lake Chad, into which the Shari flows, appears to be leaking through some subterranean exit, and is rapidly changing from a lake into an immense swamp.

Clearly, Churchill and his contemporaries new that the lake had been diminishing for some time. It was of no desire to the British Empire and was vanishing rapidly. Unfortunately for us, modernity has a way of blinding us to history. Prior to cars, significant industry and anthropogenic global warming, Churchill et. al were well aware of Lake Chad metamorphosis to a swamp.



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Bruce Cobb
June 8, 2016 8:02 am

Never let it be said that the Alarmists ever let the facts and truth get in the way of their Beliefs.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 8, 2016 8:29 am

“The Narrative” and The Facts need not have anything to do with each other. Time we all started reading the “SJW” playbook . . . know your enemy.

Reply to  Goldrider
June 8, 2016 11:26 am

Actualy Greg the saying goes “Know thy Oppressor”

Reply to  Goldrider
June 8, 2016 12:12 pm

Facts are an inconvenient truth to the likes of Gore they leak into a subterranean underground and rapidly change from what really happened into an immense swamp of manufactured misinformation.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 8, 2016 8:59 am

Interesting. NASA manage to present the series of maps as though 1963 was the “right” size and include this outline on all the other maps.
Was it even larger in Churchill’s day, or had it rehydrated from the “swamp” state by 1963. Any older maps from the turn of the century?

Reply to  Greg
June 8, 2016 11:34 am

This includes a map made to settle the Niger-Chad boundary in 1903:
On a globe of mine from the 1950s, it looks smaller than the 1963 image, but is too little to say for sure. Same for an atlas from 1939.

Reply to  Greg
June 8, 2016 1:40 pm

Research has found that precipitation in the Lake Chad Basin has actually been increasing over time and the Lake literally is leaking into an underground aquifer like Winston suggested.
Lake Chad was MUCH larger in the past (probably began shrinking following abrupt climate change in the Sahara around 5,500 years ago). The lake once stretched from 11-18 degrees north latitude within the basin.
Perhaps Al Gore thinks that there weren’t enough sacrifices of carbon credits to the priests of the day, that’s why the Sahara transitioned abruptly from a savanna to a desert.

Reply to  Greg
June 8, 2016 1:48 pm

It appears that on the far northern end of the prehistoric Lake Chad there is still an artesian well (aka an oasis in those parts) called Lac Arrigui. This basically proves that the Lake is draining into this aquifer as there is no where else for this water to have come from.

Reply to  Greg
June 9, 2016 12:55 pm

Here is the earliest map of Lake Chad from 1823:
Note that only the southern shore is reliable. Denham who drew the map didn’t visit the north shore.

June 8, 2016 8:04 am

Much like the Aral Sea.
PS… knew, not new.

Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 8:07 am

Any speculation as to why Gore chose such a weak example of “climate change”? He must have been well aware that the locals knew of the metamorphosis and used it anyway. Was there activism by another empty-headed biologist, papers and literature underneath Gore’s assertion? Why Lake Chad?
Maybe he gambled that he global Green Tax would be well underway by the time hes BS was found out by Demarest?
Also, how in heaven’s name did you come across this obscure tidbit of knowledge?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 8:31 am

Paul W.–Any speculation as to why Gore chose such a weak example of “climate change”?
I suspect it was because he “knew” that the great american public had been “dumbed down” by government controlled education, and conditioned to believe whatever any person of power/status (elites) tells them without question.

Reply to  jvcstone
June 8, 2016 9:44 am

Paul W.–Any speculation as to why Gore chose such a weak example of “climate change”?
I watched Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” yesterday. I guess it was supposed to be the tenth anniversary of the release of the movie and the PIVOT channel showed it all day long.
The movie is actually a very effective propaganda piece. To someone who has no knowledge of the issues involved, Gore makes a good case for humans being the cause of some of the climate events we see on Earth.
In the movie, this particular example is not what I would call weak. It’s pretty convincing if all you have to go on is Al Gore’s movie.
Propaganda works on ignorant people. And, BTW, ignorant doesn’t mean stupid. Ignorance can be fixed.

ferd berple
Reply to  jvcstone
June 8, 2016 11:25 am

conditioned to believe whatever any person of power/status (elites) tells them without question.
Sitting in a bar in the US years ago with a buddy, he asked the gal behind the bar if the TV could be switched to the Stanley Cup. She relied, “I’ll have to ask the manager.”
I remarked to my buddy – you are from Canada. in the States you don’t ask, you tell. I shouted out, “Miss, change the channel over to the hockey game!” She changed the channel.

Ipso Phakto
Reply to  jvcstone
June 8, 2016 6:52 pm

I think climate alarmists often pick remote, exotic locations as a “poster child” to keep scrutiny more remote and less likely to be intense – as well. Notice he didn’t take a shot at the Great Lakes.
It goes something like this….(I’m pretending)
“Deep in the mountains of Peru, where only a scant few indigenous people have ever been, there is a glacier rapidly disappearing. It is named Moxiquattle – which means …’Ancient, ever-present Ice Goddess River of life” in the native dialect of the seldom-seen tribe in the region. This didn’t start until Subaru’s first crossover sport utility vehicles hit the market in 1996. Correlation is certain. Here’s pictures of the devastating shrinkage.* (Actual pictures not available, Landscape generation models used to extrapolate possible shocking outcomes.)”

Reply to  jvcstone
June 8, 2016 7:59 pm

Ipso: you may yet be cited in the next feminist glaciology paper!

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 9:14 am

“… how in heaven’s name …
The following is not directed at you. It is just a fact.
Some people spend a lot of time reading.
[I know a person that knows everything, or seems to, about the The Lewis and Clark Expedition and anything related to it.]

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
June 8, 2016 1:02 pm

Ok. There is always somebody that knows that thing that is otherwise unknown, because he read it. OK

M seward
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 9:14 am

The use of the word “aware” in reference to Al Gore ….. surely that’s an oxymoron.

Reply to  M seward
June 8, 2016 9:40 am

Well he does wear stuff you know. We are all grateful for that.

Barbara Skolaut
Reply to  M seward
June 9, 2016 9:12 am

“The use of the word “aware” in reference to Al Gore ….. surely that’s an oxymoron.”
With emphasis on the “moron.”

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 9:24 am

Because he knew “useful idiots” never fact check… or listen to those that do.

george e. smith
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 11:08 am

Who knew there even was a Lake Chad ??
There’s your answer.
PS. My house in the California central valley, is just outside the shoreline of the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi River. We are talking about Tulare Lake, which is in Tulare County, near the cities of Tulare, and Visalia.
Well it is even closer to the city of Hanford, and also the Lemoore Naval Air Station, which I believe is the largest naval air facility in California. It certainly IS the largest Naval Base that is actually IN Tulare Lake, as is the city of Hanford.
Tulare Lake is an interesting google or wikipedism. It also is the reason why I have to pay for flood insurance in drought ravaged California.

Reply to  george e. smith
June 8, 2016 12:50 pm

“Lake” Chad? Is that near “hanging Chad?” 😉 I think a guy in my class was named Chad . . .

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

“Any speculation as to why Gore chose such a weak example of “climate change”?”
Because no strong examples of “climate change” exist. Look at their other examples: polar bears, coral reefs, snow on Kilimanjaro, glaciers in India, hurricanes, droughts, no more snow, and the ice caps. Do you see any that represent a strong example?

June 8, 2016 8:08 am

Clearly, Churchill and his contemporaries new that … “knew” not “new”

Reply to  wallensworth
June 9, 2016 11:06 am

Yes, and while the article is interesting, the large number of typos and grammatical errors weaken it somewhat.

June 8, 2016 8:16 am

That man Churchill again. Some folk just have a rather big footprint on history.

Reply to  mothcatcher
June 8, 2016 8:28 am

Some footprints are good (Churchill) and some bad (Gore).

Reply to  Catcracking
June 8, 2016 8:58 am

Especially when it’s in their own mouth.

Reality Observer
Reply to  Catcracking
June 8, 2016 10:26 am

Map lines, now, they should have kept him away from. Or at least made sure he didn’t eat beans that day…

george e. smith
Reply to  mothcatcher
June 8, 2016 11:10 am

And he said more famous things than Yogi Berra.

FJ Shepherd
June 8, 2016 8:37 am

Climate alarmism is usually soundly refuted whenever history is presented.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  FJ Shepherd
June 8, 2016 9:04 am

Yes. It would be interesting to produce a new (not knew) version of “An Inconvenient Load of Crap” wherein one provides the real facts after each of Gore’s lies.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 9:36 am

Then let’s see what excuses the schools give for not showing such an outstanding example of critical thinking and analysis! Isn’t that what they’re supposed to be all about teaching?

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 9:58 am

John Harmsworth wrote: “Yes. It would be interesting to produce a new (not knew) version of “An Inconvenient Load of Crap” wherein one provides the real facts after each of Gore’s lies.”
Excellent idea.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 8:16 pm

Oh, John. Critical thinking and analysis means taking your betters’ talking points as gospel, and shouting down anyone who does not enthusiastically do the same. A particularly eloquent analysis is “Safe space! Safe space! Only approved thoughts are allowed in this area!!!” Another is “Everything is someone else’s fault, especially to blame are dead white males.”
Here is a thought: when Algore finally kicks the bucket, will the acolytes admit that he is to blame for all this crap?

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 11:47 pm

The fact that a counterblast to “An Inconvenient Truth” hasn’t been made is an indication of how low the level of funding for climate skepticism is. This film would have been green-lighted in a moment nine years ago if our side were well funded.

Jeff Hayes
Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 10, 2016 10:43 pm

“Not Evil Just Wrong – The True Cost Of Global Hysteria” 2009 is the reply to algore’s propaganda piece. I have not seen it so I don’t know how good or thorough it is, or if it’s available for download online.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  FJ Shepherd
June 8, 2016 9:29 am

That is why climate alarmists must adjust the historical record to remain viable.

June 8, 2016 8:40 am

From the blog post,
“While largely debunked here and elsewhere it is has been a used canary of climate change by others pushing the narrative and more recently here . NASA and others make the point that the shrinking of Lake Chad is most likely due to irrigation draws, overgrazing, and poor land use management. While there is obvious validity to this argument and explanation, the knowledge that Lake Chad has been shrinking is old news.”
This is an excellent example of the deliberate dishonest propaganda campaign of watermelon leftists,who care only to deceive people for power and control. They prey on lazy ignorant people,who could have found the reality easily with a simple check of the claims,to stand up and tell the liars to drop the crap and follow the documented evidence.
I went over this very thing on Facebook last year, pointing out the real causes of long term shrinking.They just continue to ignore the well documented evidence of mismanagement of the Lake,because they have a lie to sell, to those who are too lazy to look up the evidence for themselves.

Ian L. McQueen
Reply to  Sunsettommy
June 8, 2016 8:54 am

To add to Sunsettommy’s excellent posting I would like to add journalists and their editors. How much do they know about “science”? Journalists (and politicians, the ones who actually make the laws that affect all of us) generally are the ones who get as far from genuine science as possible,
Ian M

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Ian L. McQueen
June 8, 2016 5:47 pm

There’s an old canard about journalism that goes something like “You don’t realize how ignorant journalists are until they write about something you know.” The other day I read an article about the three named tropical storms that have appeared so far, and how three named storms hadn’t appeared in early June since 1887.
Storms weren’t named until 1953. The article also mentioned the storms being from the Atlantic, while the most recent one formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

June 8, 2016 8:51 am

Seriously funny. Never let facts stop you from telling a good tale. It’s all about how you feel, not what’s real.
“Chad, a lake of northern Central Africa, is situated about 850 ft. above the sea in the borderland between the fertile and wooded regions of the Sudan on the south and the arid steppes which merge into the Sahara on the north. The area of the lake is shrinking owing to the progressive desiccation of the country, Saharan climate and conditions replacing those of the Sudan. The drying up process has been comparatively rapid since the middle of the 19th century, a town which in 1850 was on the southern margin of the lake being in 1905 over 20 m. from it.” — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

Reply to  Vox
June 8, 2016 12:39 pm

“The European Space Agency has recently presented data showing an actual increase in lake extent of Lake Chad between the years of 1985 to 2011.”

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Vox
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

The “Sudan” mentioned above is not the current country called Sudan but what is now referred to as “Sahel”. The expression had to be changed when the country took for its name an expression that had been used to describe a particular semiarid region of northern Africa south of the Sahara.

Gary Pearse
June 8, 2016 8:57 am

I haven’t heard much about Lake Chad since 2007. I had heard that it seems to have stabilized and that the very obvious greening being caused by CO2 in the Sahel is probably starting to retain soil moisture and reduce the drying out. I was in Nigeria during peak Lake levels in the mid 1960s and was mapping the geology in the dry savanna to the south (I was a civil servant with the Geological Survey of Nigeria, not a technical aid person). The population of northern Nigeria in that period was about 30 million (45 million for the whole country). The population of Nigeria is now 175 million with ~3/4 of it Northern Nigeria. Certainly, this is all you need to understand why this lake has shrunk. Agriculture has always been a big deal in the region and both the lake and the rivers feeding into it have been exploited for their water.
Global warming is not particularly evident. It was normally in excess of the low 40sC every day when I was working (we had to get out of the area during the rainy season because I was using the dry rivers for roads – a standard procedure. Regional greening is the most obvious change because of elevated CO2, this is growing with successive fringes expanding into the dry area. This is also a boon for agricultural production with less water drawn for irrigation and more retained in the soil. Were it not for the massive positive contribution to this region from elevated CO2, I firmly believe that the Lake would be all but dry by now. If advance of the greening continues, it will progressively take pressure of the lake and river water.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 8, 2016 10:01 am

Interesting perspective, Gary. Thanks.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 8, 2016 11:02 am

. . . off the lake and river. . . Very pertinent comments. Thanks.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 8, 2016 12:04 pm

Hi G. Pearse, – I was an agronomist in E.Africa early 1970s & you reminded me of rattling along river beds. Think you might be interested in the following desert CO2 dynamic .
After 10 years of elevating CO2 in Mojave (USA desert) & looking
at both C3 & C4 photosynthesizers, whether shrub or grass, the predicted increased canopy & biomass boon was not actually found. This does not mean there can be transitional CO2 boost of greater leaf coverage & better plant water use.
Researchers make the case for how variable the rain is each year
as to how much regular growth happens in the long term that can be attributed to higher CO2. If interested see (2013) “No cumulative effect of 10 years of elevated CO2 on perennial plant biomass components in the Mojave Desert”, by Newingham, et al.
In regards to your Sahel reference, I wish to point out that unlike
Mojave experiment my assumption is the greenery initiated by rising CO2 has also been getting fertilization input from herdsman livestock.
The relevant point is that not only variable rainfall (per Mojave data) but to a large degree how much nitrogen a plant can get under elevated CO2 is going to make a difference. To put it another way, once look beyond short term CO2 parameters nitrogen use is a rate limiting.
Elsewhere in another post I broached the issue of phosphorus & will now only remark phosphorus availability also integrates with
plant CO2 impact. There are additional inter-connections between levels of phosphorus & levels of nitrogen that regulate plant growth independent of CO2 levels.

Reply to  gringojay
June 8, 2016 1:58 pm

The less open stomata due to greater CO2 impacts nitrogen levels in leaves; roots may have nitrogen to load into vascular xylem but under reduced upward water flow to “lift” that sap 2 overlooked events occur. Nitrogen (& other solutes) then make a denser sap that becomes harder to lift & thus the earlier ease of nitrogen supply to above ground shoots/leaves declines. This is one factor in why research shows that higher CO2 results in leaves (& pollen/grain) with lower protein.
Often CO2 is just discussed in photosynthesis rates with regard to carbon fixed as leaves.However leaves can only send so much of that extra carbohydrate carbon elsewhere because vasculature phloem does not have unlimited linear carrying capacity for leaf stores; different plants have different phloem carbohydrate capacity that I assume contributes to range of response to higher CO2.
Meanwhile the leaf registers it’s nitrogen supply level is not keeping pace with exponential early growth above ground & there
are adaptations made to send more leaf carbohydrates down to the root so roots can grow to “get” more nitrogen to send up. This is why high CO2 grown plants show a higher ratio of root biomass. The fact that elevating CO2 also raises the plant hormone auxin, which has differential influences on root growth,
means plants that evolved over the last 400,000 years under variable 180-300 ppm CO2 have integrated adapted to variable CO2 in several ways.
A final comment is in regards to the repeated refrains how greenhouse growers add CO2 & higher CO2 increases productivity. Agriculturally added nitrogen is in part one of the
drivers of that data (that & the fact greenhouse growers don’t
pump in CO2 around the clock); fertilized fields can have 10 – 70 times more NO3- nitrogen that otherwise occurs. Fertilization with nitrogen means there is more nitrogen in the leaves, which in consequence means more of the CO2 derived leaf carbon can be used above ground (nitrogen uses carbon synthesizing proteins & crop productivity ensues).

Gary Pearse
Reply to  gringojay
June 8, 2016 7:15 pm

Hi gringojay
I love the education I get here and your contribution is one the fine examples. I had a layman’s awareness that overall plant growth can’t benefit significantly if one or more individual fertilizers amounts are limited. I had a mixed farm for about 15 years when I was raising a large family – dairy cow, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, a horse and a 5 acre garden. I believe the Sahel does have reasonably good plant nutrient levels in their soils and even parts of the Sahara. Certainly the dried lake bed should be fertile. In any case, the ‘greening’ is quite noticeable in satellite images and was noted by NASA (2010? 2012?) not that many years ago (maybe they knew earlier) so it probably takes a couple of decades before it becomes noticeable.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  gringojay
June 8, 2016 7:30 pm

June 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm
Here is an image of the greening: Note the Sahel, Western Australia, and arid parts of the US.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 8, 2016 1:40 pm

50,000 years ago, the lake covered 2 million square kilometres

June 8, 2016 9:02 am

Environmentalists live in a very special universe. Nothing ever changes in it, and if it does, it must therefore be our fault. It’s actually a very creationist viewpoint in that we’ve spoilt the Garden of Eden.

Monna Manhas
Reply to  Pointman
June 8, 2016 11:19 am

Pointman says, “It’s actually a very creationist viewpoint in that we’ve spoilt the Garden of Eden.”
Actually Pointman, you are mistaken. if you read the Biblical account, we no longer live in the Garden of Eden. God kicked Adam and Eve out, then put an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance so they couldn’t return.

Reply to  Monna Manhas
June 8, 2016 1:13 pm

Whatever happened the the Garden and the guard?

Reply to  Monna Manhas
June 8, 2016 1:13 pm

Whatever happened TO the Garden and the guard?

Reply to  Monna Manhas
June 8, 2016 7:46 pm

You know, the green propaganda actually makes a little more sense if it is a really bad fan fiction meant to continue after the first few chapters of Genesis. Call it “Truthiness: The Battle to Return to Eden!” See, global warming is a secularized version of the cherubim with the flaming sword, and we must beat it (them) to regress back to the innocent, pure climate of the past. The AGW acolytes are the secularized prophets, calling us to repentance and encouraging sackcloth and ashes. (Unlike the prophets of old, the AGW lot are not required to do the whole penitence thing.) It all fits!
I prefer Adam and Eve’s act: invent agriculture and make babies. 🙂

June 8, 2016 9:02 am

Wiki has an impressive list of prehistoric lakes, most of which date to the end of the last ice age.
Lake Chad is itself a remnant of prehistoric (before 5000 BC) Lake Mega-Chad, an inland sea (like Lake Bonneville in the US’ Great Basin) of some 1,000,000 sq km extent – larger than the current Caspian Sea and 40 to 100 times it’s current size.
Al Gore seems to believe the world was created in 1900 AD, and everything from 1899 and earlier is mythology.

June 8, 2016 9:02 am

Another excellent example of how pulling water for irrigation does not send it into the oceans.
Whether the water is pumped from lakes, rivers or underground sources, it does not end up in the oceans.
•Plants, maybe but unknown.
•Evaporation, likely but unknown.
•Underground moisture, maybe but unknown.
•Plant transpiration, likely but unknown.

Reply to  ATheoK
June 8, 2016 11:25 am

Evaporation could end up in the ocean when and if the vapor condenses and falls as rain.

Reply to  Gabro
June 8, 2016 6:55 pm

Speculation and assumptions.
Classic gerrymander the possibilities, endlessly.

Tom in Texas
June 8, 2016 9:10 am

Presently on Lake Chad, it appears that the land retrieved from shrinking lake is highly fertile. There is resistance to refilling the lake because of the profit from this fertile land.

June 8, 2016 9:16 am

Notice how the lake kind of formed into 2 sectors (1997 map) which made the different sectors lose water volume easier. The following (2011) study irrigation demand contributed to lake’s inability to restore continuity & goes on to conclude the practical solution given human usage is to re-open continuity of the southern sector with more northern one.
See cross section of lake to get beyond aerial visualization in Fig.1; in Fig.2 can see when close to 40 years ago the divergence was cast & Figs. 3 + 4 tries to integrate irrigation influences.Free full pdf with Figs. with clearly read colored variables is available on-line: “On the causes of the shrinking of Lake Chad”, by Gao,et al.; originally published in Environmental Research Letters #6

Bob Burban
June 8, 2016 10:09 am

“Let There Be Water” by Seth M. Siegel is a fascinating read dealing with water usage in dry regions.

Snarling Dolphin
June 8, 2016 10:10 am

…”Oscar winning and vacuous…” Bravo Mr. Demarest. Well written!

Reply to  Snarling Dolphin
June 8, 2016 10:28 am

The only thing more driven by politics than the Nobel Piece Prize, is the Oscars.

John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 10:10 am

Here in Saskatchewan in Western Canada we have the Quill Lakes. Looking at an on-line realty site I find a section of good land in that area selling for approximately 1/4 the going rate! This is because the lakes have been growing for the last few years and flooded out many square miles of land along with roads and other infrastructure. This is next door to Alberta, where the fires are supposedly caused by AGW. Someone please tell Nigeria and Al Gore we found their water!
We’re supposed to be having drought here according to Al. And intolerable heat, instead we are still unable to surpass records we set in the 1890’s and 1930’s. 47C or 117F in 1937!

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 11:47 am

John Harmsworth wrote: “47C or 117F in 1937!”
Ouch! That’s hot. In Canada, at that!
Has Canada hit 117 F in the modern era of this the “hottest decade evah!” My guess is no. The weather was much more extreme in the 1930’s.
We are still in a “long-term” temperature downtrend from the 1930’s to today.

June 8, 2016 10:15 am

Took a look at Lake Chad via Google Earth. Looks like the western and southern segments of the lake are either marshy or still a shallow lake. Looks like dunes are encroaching from the north. Roads seem to run through it and at least one airfield on the dry eastern side.

June 8, 2016 10:49 am

Those photos might not have been taken at the same time of year. Lake Chad’s size fluctuates seasonally. It actually gained area from 1985 to at least 2011:
And of course it was a gigantic megalake or inland sea during the warmer than now Holocene Climatic Optimum, c. 7000 years ago.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Gabro
June 8, 2016 11:45 am

That’s interesting. Definitely warmer then but much wetter. Hey Al! What do you make of this?

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

Yes, that’s because a warmer world means a stronger African monsoon. This is counterintuitive and therefore most people think it should be the other way round. Especially warmistas love it to warn against a growing Sahara owing to more CO2.
But in reality more atmospheric CO2 will perform quite the opposite: Its beneficial and mild warming effect will help to strengthen the African monsoon again, and as a plant fertilizer, it improves the water efficiency of vegetation and helps to green the half deserts of the world, as e.g. the Sahel.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 4:33 pm

The Carbonari don’t want to be be confused by scientific facts, but ruled by their simple, blind faith alone. Certitude not only in the absence of all facts but against them is the path of all True Believers.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 8, 2016 4:36 pm

A colder world is a windier and drier world. Not only cold deserts but the hot ones expand during ice sheet advances. There are however periglacial lakes, as in North America with Lake Bonneville, much larger ancestor of the Great Salt Lake, and its fellows in the Basin and Range province of Utah, California, Oregon and Nevada.

Reply to  Gabro
June 9, 2016 2:46 pm

The truth is that Lake Chad has undergone extraordinary changes in the relatively recent past. The Lake Chad of 1963 was just a tiny remnant of what is known to paleontologists as “Lake Megachad.” Just a relatively short six to seven thousand years ago, when Badarian culture was populating upper Egypt and the Yangshao and Longshan cultures of prehistoric China were cultivating grains, domesticating animals and making villages, Lake Megachad was the biggest lake in the world! It was 400,000 square kilometers – five times bigger than Lake Superior is today! 7000 years ago its surface area was 16 times bigger than it was in 1963, and its volume was dozens of times greater. In the Journal The Holocene, Drake and Bristow (2006) point out that Lake Megachad may have been as large as 800,000 square kilometers further back in time.

June 8, 2016 12:15 pm

This is very easy to find with just a few clicks of QUERTY,
From Lake Chad Basin Commission website,
History of the Lake Chad Basin
Selected Excerpt:
History of the physical dynamics of Lake Chad
During the post-glacial periods, climatic conditions in the Sahara were much more clement than they are today. The actual desert did not have its current proportions, it was much smaller.
According to historians, the Sahara was largely covered by Mediterranean woody vegetation, particularly in the central massifs, which were surrounded by many lakes and dry grasslands. This state of affairs was more conducive to the proliferation of all kinds of wildlife and game.
Depending on the alternation of wet and dry phases, Lake Chad could stretch or retreat, but from 4000 BC. BC to date, the waters have shrunk at a fast pace, corresponding with the advent of aridity and desert encroachment with several origins.
Variations in Lake Chad, as shown in pictures below, indicate that many changes occurred on the following landmark dates:

June 8, 2016 1:10 pm

And before Churchill was Jules Verne! In Jules Verne’s 1869 adventure novel “Five Weeks in a Balloon”, the protagonists travel across Africa in a hot-air balloon and visit for a while Lake Tchad. From the novel describing the lake, “It had already changed greatly since 1847. In fact, Lake Tchad is very difficult to trace with exactitude, for it is surrounded by muddy and almost impassable morasses…”, and “From year to year these marshes, covered with reeds and papyrus fifteen feet high, become the lake itself. Frequently, too, the villages on its shores are half submerged, as was the case with Ngornou in 1856…”
Perhaps global warming can extend back in time. ;->
P.S. If you have a Kindle, for less than $2 from Amazon you can get “The Collected Works of Jules Verne: 36 Novels and Short Stories”. It is an incredible bargain.

June 8, 2016 2:06 pm

It’s somewhat humorous that when ever Algore opens his mouth he always has a Diquce in it…
True story

June 8, 2016 2:40 pm

There’s another aspect to the metamorphosis of Lake Chad into a swamp. Using a geologic time scale, all lakes are temporary. Usually, the means of death is slowly silting up and becoming…*surprise!!*…a marsh. But, this knowledge requires the understanding that earth, its surface features, and its climate are ever changing, are always in a state of flux.
There are only two types of people who don’t understand this: those ignorant of how the physical world works, and those in deliberate denial of science. The latter group includes fundamentalist religious peoples who take their holy book as wholly factual, who believe earth was created as is, and any changes have occurred only since the singular creation. Then, there are those adhering to the new religious scientism, whereby they proclaim science as holding all the answers, whilst denying all scientific evidence that doesn’t fit their world view. These people believe earth evolved over the past 4.7 billion years to become exactly what it is: perfect, and any changes are bad, dangerous, and must be the fault of humans.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Richard
June 8, 2016 8:45 pm

Richard June 8, 2016 at 2:40 pm
“…and those in deliberate denial of science. The latter group includes fundamentalist religious peoples who take their holy book as wholly factual, who believe earth was created as is,…”
I do not know which “holy book” you are referring to, but my Holy Book revealed facts of science hundreds and even thousands of years before being discovered by “science”:
Job 26:10 He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness.
Richard, when did scientists discover the Earth’s terminator?
Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.
Richard, when did scientists discover the Earth is surrounded by space?
Zechariah 12:1 …the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth,…
Richard, when did scientists discover the universe is expanding?
This same Holy book tells those who actually read it that the Earth is NOT the same today as when God created it.

Reply to  Steve Reddish
June 9, 2016 5:31 am

I like the one about “Let There Be Light!” Was that writer descibing aspects of the Big Bang, in Genesis?
I’m not saying the writer was, but it’s an interesting question, I think.
Genesis 1 New International Version (NIV)
The Beginning
1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
That’s sounds like the correct sequence of events.

June 8, 2016 3:20 pm

There has been a plan in the works since the 1960’s to divert the Ubangi river, that forms the northern boarder of the Congo, into the Chari River which empties into Lake Chad and thereby revitalizing the lake and helping millions. If both river systems were under control of one government and if that government was forward looking and if that government was un-hindered by environmentalists claiming that diverting rivers was bad for the environment, then it would be done by now.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  Joel Sprenger
June 8, 2016 11:34 pm

You would start with clearing out the shoreline brush of tens of kilometers wide, sucking down water. Then worry about diversions and water use.

June 8, 2016 4:46 pm

I blame the French.

Reply to  RoHa
June 9, 2016 9:37 am

That’s always a good start.

June 8, 2016 5:03 pm

I was in Tchad and Northern Cameroun in 1994 for a week on a field expedition to study a certain genus of flower bulbs. One day we decided to visit Lake Tchad, and although we drove for many km inside the boundary of the lake listed on our map, we never observed any standing water and eventually decided to give up the mission.
Had a similar experience in 1996 concerning Lake Ngami in Southern Africa. We drove the entirety of a dirt road which completely bisected the boundary of the lake and never observed any standing water; in fact there were areas where there were many trees in the 20-30ft height range.

June 8, 2016 6:13 pm

An inconvenient truth for The Inconvenient Goof

Gary Pearse
June 8, 2016 7:46 pm

How’s this for climate change! Here are two chunks of redwood found at the 300m depth of the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, a couple of hundred km from the arctic circle. The diamond pipe – an explosive volcano erupted violently creating a crater in the middle of a redwood forest and broken chunks of these trees fell back into the crater along with much of the blasted volcanic rock that went skyward plus fountains of lava rock still issuing from the throat. The event occurred 50 million years ago, but the wood is beautifully fresh and even has gum in the fractures. Imagine a redwood forest near the arctic circle!

Donald Kasper
June 8, 2016 11:32 pm

If conditions are right for a lot of broad shoreline vegetation to take root, say, from a drop in water level causing a change from steep shoreline to very shallow incline, then the plants themselves are going to uptake a huge amount of water and may account for the “acquifer” theory.

June 9, 2016 3:42 am

…Clearly, Churchill and his contemporaries knew ….

June 9, 2016 12:05 pm

“Exaggeration in temperature records seems quite plausible to me, because the human element can easily be skewed, whether it is wind or temperature.”
“Exaggeration in temperature records seems quite plausible to me, because the human element can easily be skewed, whether it is wind or temperature.” or lake levels

Reply to  Steven Mosher
June 9, 2016 1:32 pm

It would be helpful if you elucidated what if any your point is here. You have a habit of just throwing out cryptic comments like these, and expect the reader to know what your thoughts are. Churchill made an observation, he did not assign any number or record data from his observation.
You really need to improve your commenting style.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
June 9, 2016 3:38 pm

“You have a habit of just throwing out cryptic comments like these, and expect the reader to know what your thoughts are.”
You are assuming that Mosher knows what his thoughts are himself, and that there is some continuity or stability to them. Judging from his posts, this is not clear.

June 10, 2016 10:08 am

“, and is rapidly changing from a lake into an immense swamp.”
This is ambiguous… It changes from a lake (close to the river in the South) into an immense swamp in the North ? Without any evolution in time… Only in geography.

Rudolph Hucker
June 13, 2016 1:42 am

If only Mr Gore and his cronies possessed a quarter of Mr Churchill’s wisdom the World be a much better place!!

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