Drought Makes its Home on the Range

From NASA

Cattle grazing on April 16, 2021 on a grassland that has turned brown.
Cattle grazing on April 16, 2021. This year, the annual grasslands in Schohr’s part of California turned brown a month earlier than usual, shortening the grazing season. Credits: Courtesy of Tracy Schohr

As Tracy Schohr goes about her day, water is always on her mind. She’s thinking of it as she rides an all-terrain vehicle around the pasture, looks up hay prices and weather forecasts, and collects data on grazing and invasive weeds for a scientific study.

Schohr is a rancher and farmer in Gridley, California, where her family has raised beef cattle and grown rice for six generations. She also aids in scientific research to study drought and other agricultural issues with the University of California Cooperative Extension.

Drought—a year with a below average water supply—is a natural part of the climate cycle, but as Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm due to climate change, droughts are becoming more frequent, severe and pervasive. The past 20 years have been some of the driest conditions in the American west on record. Right now, the western United States—including the part of California home to Schohr’s ranch—is experiencing extreme or exceptional drought that will likely have long-term impacts on the land and the people who depend on it.  

This year not enough precipitation, also known as a meteorological drought, threatened to kill the grass on Schohr’s ranch. Keeping vegetation alive is one of the main parts of her job. “We’re cattle producers, but we’re really grass farmers,” she remarked in June. “If you mismanage your grass then your cattle won’t survive.”

Signs of Drought from Space

“NASA is well-positioned to assess droughts because we have Earth observing satellites that provide frequent observations,” said John Bolten, associate program manager of water resources for the NASA Applied Sciences Program. We’re not just interested in our backyard; we’re interested in what’s happening regionally and globally.”

Drought is a complicated problem that requires innovative research and lots of data. From the vantage point of space, Earth-observing satellites from NASA and its partners collect data on various signs of drought, such as lack of precipitation (GPM) and snowpack (Landsat, Terra and Aqua), low water levels in reservoirs and streams (Jason-3) or dry soils (SMAP) and depleted groundwater (GRACE-FO). Then scientists at NASA and other institutions use this data to see historical trends, understand the current state of drought, and make projections for the future.

An infographic showing how Jason-3, GPM, SMAP, and GRACE-FO monitor various indications of drought.
Global Precipitation Management (GPM), a joint satellite mission between NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), provides global precipitation data every three hours. Used in conjunction with other weather data and forecasting efforts, GPM data helps quantify when, where, and how much it rains or snows around the world. The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) global observatory measures the amount of liquid water in the top 5 cm of the soil using a microwave-based radar. The effects of low soil moisture on vegetation is apparent in satellite imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, and from the joint NASA and United States Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat satellites. When used together these observations give a comprehensive view of water availability and water use, as well as actual soil moisture conditions in the soil – where farmers grow food. The Jason-3 satellite – a four-agency international partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, the French Space Agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), and EUMETSAT (the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) – provides information about the height of rivers and reservoirs, allowing scientists to estimate how much water they contain. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), estimates groundwater using a pair of satellites. The satellites fly in tandem about 137 miles apart and use microwaves to measure the distance between them. When one satellite passes over an area with stronger gravity – such as a spot with lots of groundwater and thus more mass – the satellite in the lead is pulled further ahead. By analyzing the distance between the satellites, scientists can track where water is on our planet. Credits: NASA / Jesse Kirsch

NASA’s upcoming Earth System Observatory, together with other planned NASA missions that are part of NASA’s “program of record” will continue many these observations in the future to provide key information that will guide decision-makers confronting challenges posed by climate change, such as drought.

Much of this data is incorporated into drought maps and global groundwater maps produced and distributed by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“What we’re able to do is bring in all of this data and use the best attributes of those tools,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center. Frequent satellite observations allow Fuchs and his colleagues to track rapidly changing drought conditions. The satellites’ view from space also provides routine, country-wide and world-wide snapshots of drought that can be accessed by local water managers.

A map of drought conditions in the U.S. as of August 17, 2021. Much of the west is in exceptional or extreme drought, shown in red and dark red respectively.
A map of drought conditions in the U.S. as of August 17, 2021. Much of the west is in exceptional or extreme drought, shown in red and dark red respectively.
Credits: U.S. Drought Monitor, provided by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln / USDA / NOAA

“We’re not experts in every part of the country, but we have people on the ground who know their backyards better than we do,” said Fuchs.

Schohr is one of those people. She uses the U.S. Drought Monitor maps, which provide a weekly assessment of drought conditions, to check the state of drought around the country and look at trends to help her make better decisions for the future. She is also one of the many ranchers across the country who sends updates and photos to the scientists at Drought Monitor to help refine their maps.

“That boots on the ground validation really helps us get a good local perspective on what the challenges are,” said Fuchs.

A Snapshot of Drought on the Ranch

Every year in early November, Schohr and her family load their cows into cattle trailers and drive them to annual grasslands about 35 miles away. While there, the herd rotates through several pastures, searching for grass and water. This protects the land from overgrazing, ensuring that the cows have enough to eat and that healthy grasses will regrow in time for the next. “We have to have grass to grow grass,” Schohr explains. “And what’s best for the land is also what’s best for our cattle operation.”

A cow and her calf eat out of a protein supplement tub on California annual grasslands.
During a drought, nutritional supplements and access to reliable water are essential. Here a cow and her calf eat out of a protein supplement tub on California annual grasslands. Credits: Courtesy of Tracy Schohr

With little rain last fall, the Schohrs opted to keep the cattle at their home ranch where the family could easily check on them. Schohr brought hay out to the pasture and checked the water levels in the naturally occurring streams and ponds every few days. She also gave the cows tubs of nutritional supplements, which she says is like a combination multivitamin and protein shake that’s sweetened with molasses.

The Schohrs eventually moved their herd to the annual grasslands in mid-December. The cattle grazed in several pastures last winter, including a purple needle grass restoration site that is part of a research project to restore native species. The cows munch on invasive and non-native grasses, weeding out the competition for the native California purple needle grass that will grow in the spring.

As the cows mow down grass, Schohr is also checking that they have access to enough water. Cows need to drink between eight and 15 gallons of water per day. The annual grasslands don’t have much natural drinking water—especially this year, as reservoirs are depleted and streamflow is abnormally low, conditions signifying a hydrological drought, which California is currently experiencing. In winter, Schohr relies on solar-powered wells to keep her cattle hydrated. In the spring, she moves the cows to a pasture with seasonal ponds that are home to many California plant species and provide the cows with natural drinking water.

Later in the season, the cows move to a field filled with oak trees. The trees provide shade to keep the cattle cool as spring turns to summer, and the cattle mow down the grass so there’s less kindling in the form of dry grass come fire season.

The herd will usually stay on these annual grasslands until mid-June, but this year Schohr brought the cattle home in mid-May. California was not only dealing with low reservoirs and streams, but also low soil moisture, called agricultural drought, that causes plants—including that all important grass—to die. As green vegetation started to turn into swaths of brown, Schohr irrigated the pasture on her home ranch on April 1 to keep the grass alive so that the cows would have food to eat when they returned.

However, the natural food supply will only last so long. The current outlook suggests California will be in a severe drought at least through the fall, so Schohr is selling calves and stocking her barn with hay, corn and soybean stock in preparation.

Generations of Change

Tracy’s partner, Ryan Imbach (left), takes their son Colton (right) to the corral to check on the herd. The grass in the pasture where the Schohrs keep their cows during the winter was drying up.
Tracy’s partner, Ryan Imbach (left), takes their son Colton (right) to the corral to check on the herd. The grass in the pasture where the Schohrs keep their cows during the winter was drying up, prompting the Schohr family to decide which cows to sell and which to move back to their home ranch. Credits: Courtesy of Tracy Schohr

The challenges of drought that Schohr faces today are the same ones her grandfather dealt with. However, she says it’s easier to make better decisions and prepare for the future with the scientific data that’s available from sources like the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“We know the world we’re working in, whereas before—for my grandpa—he just knew the community he worked in,” Schohr said.

The Schohr family had to make a lot of tough decisions during the 1980s farm crisis, when farmers’ debt soared due to an economic recession, and the intense California drought in the 1990s. At one point, the family sold all the cows to instead focus on growing rice. After that, Schohr recalls her grandfather was always the first one there when a new calf was born or a cow was sick.

Her grandfather has since passed away, but Schohr remembers the lessons he taught her. She recalls riding on an ATV with him to check the water level in the troughs during a drought, listening to him talk about water management and seeing the sense of peace that came over him from watching the cattle grazing. “He loved the cows just like I do,” she said. “He believed that if he took care of the land, it would take care of him too.”

Humans’ Fingerprint on the Future of Drought

Climate science tells us that the world will be warmer and droughts are likely to be more frequent in the future. In addition, climate science models provide a better sense of what the future may hold, helping farmers, ranchers and water managers to make better decisions in preparation. However, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when and where droughts will occur in the future or predict how severe their impacts will be. But we do know that in certain regions, the fingerprint of human influence on drought is already visible.

For the first time, scientists at NASA GISS have linked human activities with patterns of drought around the world. Getting clues from tree ring atlases, historical rain and temperature measurements, and modern satellite-based soil moisture measurements, the researchers found the data “fingerprint” showing that greenhouse gases were influencing drought risk as far back as the early 1900’s. Credits: NASA Goddard/ LK Ward

This video is free to download at NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio.

Human activities emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that warm the planet. A warmer planet is a thirstier planet, because warmer air drives more evaporation of water vapor from the surface,” explains Kate Marvel, a research scientist at NASA GISS. As the climate changes on Earth, some places will become drier – and thus more prone to drought – while others become wetter and thus more susceptible to flooding.

If we continue emitting greenhouse gases, this trend is likely to continue. NASA’s climate models and others show that – under high emission scenarios – droughts could become much worse across the U.S. and globally. Drought-prone areas could enter persistent megadroughts, precipitation patterns and snowmelt could change drastically, the risk of dry soils could increase in many areas and some places could see more frequent and severe wildfires.

“The worst-case scenarios don’t have to come true. It’s not a prediction,” Marvel said. To prevent those worst-case scenarios from happening, greenhouse gas emissions will need to be reduced, she said. “That’s the main determinant of drought risk in the future.”

A banner image showing cows, cow print, drought maps, and satellite images of a reservoir during drought.
The signs of drought are visible from space, from satellite images of depleted reservoirs to drought maps using soil moisture and other satellite data. These indicators are important for ranchers trying to care for their cattle and the land. Credits: NASA/Jesse Kirsch/Drought Map from the U.S. Drought Monitor/Image courtesy of Tracy Schohr

By Sofie Bates

NASA’s Earth Science News Team

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Editor: Sofie Bates

1.7 15 votes
Article Rating
126 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pablo
August 24, 2021 2:15 am

“A warmer planet is a thirstier planet, because warmer air drives more evaporation of water vapor from the surface,” 

More rain for somewhere else then.

griff
Reply to  Pablo
August 24, 2021 3:41 am

Yes: the problem is it all comes at once… e.g Tennessee, Germany, China

Klem
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:46 am

Another problem could be that it doesn’t come all at once, right Griff?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:53 am

It has always done that. Your belief in the mystical powers of TheMagicMolecule™️ show how easily you are duped with pseudoscience. Sad.

ATheoK
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 24, 2021 3:23 pm

The words you are looking for is delusional and very desperate.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:53 am

You mean floods in China like this from Wikipedia?:
The 1935 Yangtze flood struck China during a decade of flooding, famine and social turmoil.[2] It is considered to be the fifth deadliest flood in recorded history, with a death toll of 145,000 and displacement of millions.

Then you, out of curiosity and a desire to learn more than you know already, look for the four more deadly floods you’ll find they were all were in China in 1931, 1887, 1939 and 1975. You have to back to 1634 for the deadliest flood in Germany.

The problem is that these floods you’re citing would hardly have been recorded before the invention and worldwide use of the telegraph. So floods in the same year across the world won’t register in the records. In the same way that droughts, tempests, hurricanes and late or early snowfall were local events pre-internet.

Just think, I know it’s difficult for someone born after the iPhone was invented, but news of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar took 15 days to reach London and this was an event of national importance to Britain. Australia was connection to the RoW by telegraph in 1872.

garboard
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 27, 2021 5:46 am

after New England was destroyed by the hurricane in 1938 , it wasn’t even the lead story in most newspapers because of the shadow of war in Europe . there was no tv .

Duane
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:06 am

It always does that, everywhere, all the time, throughout all history. The story of mankind is literally the story of coping with a changing climate.

After all, humans and our hominid ancestors have lived throughout all 26 glaciations and interglacials of the Pleistocene … massive climate changes that completely dwarf any current climate change. Humans didn’t have to worry much about having a little less grass for their cows when their home turf was covered by 2 km of pack ice … or the massive flooding that occurred during the massive ice melts of the interglacials.

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:24 am

The griffter has discovered that floods cause drought…floods in Germany and China….of course China has a history of floods…..drought?….not so much.

Reply to  Anti-griff
August 24, 2021 5:53 am

Every plavce I have ever investigated has had periods of flood and periods of drought.

Since the ark ended up on Mt Ararat (allegedly)

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:46 am

In each place more extreme than everywhen, and in any place more destructive than everywhere else…

Right, griff?… Anywhere the effect of “cilmate change” is double than everywhere else. Right, griff?…

bruce ryan
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 6:15 am

except exceptional rains are part of the natural pattern. Shit happened before you were born

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 6:33 am

Germany ? Drought or rain ? Or both ? 😀

MarkW
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 7:41 am

For the last two weeks, griff has been going on and on about how global warming causes more rain.
Now he wants us to believe that it also causes drought.

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:10 pm

Is there some way to temporarily block griff so that he isn’t able to use his app to find out when there is a new post and jump in right then? That would level the playing against professional trolls and reduce the clutter at the top of the comments.

YallaYPoora Kid
Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
August 24, 2021 4:06 pm

Just stop replying to him and his effect on the dialogue is very short

Scissor
Reply to  Pablo
August 24, 2021 4:35 am

I find it strange that Western U.S. Boulder Colorado’s precipitation is at least 25% above the 30 year average so far this year, which is well within the broad range of natural variability. In a semi-arid climate zone, being above average in precipitation is a blessing.

As far as temperatures are concerned, Boulder is much cooler this year than it was in the 1930’s and 1950’s. Does last week’s early snow at the Continental Divide portend a snow fall? Who knows?

Rationally, one should ask about the motivation of those who attribute the outcome of random events to one thing or another. Like the gambler at the craps table, maybe they just need a new pair of shoes.

Duane
Reply to  Pablo
August 24, 2021 5:03 am

“A warmer planet is a thirstier planet, because warmer air drives more evaporation of water vapor from the surface,” 

The problem with that simplistic notion is that more evaporation of water from water bodies means more water in the atmosphere, which leads to more precipitation, not less rain, and and also results in a greener biosphere. Also leads to more clouds, which tends to cool the atmosphere in an obvious negative feedback to “global warming”.

All historically cool eras have been dry eras, and vice versa.

The reality is and always has been that weather is extremely variable, with periods that are relatively dry sandwiched in between periods that are relatively wet … ditto with warm vs cool periods.

In point of fact, for the United States suffered our greatest and most damaging drought ever in the 1930s with the “Dust Bowl” – 90 years ago, long before SUVs reared their supposedly ugly heads, and long before massive electrification of the world had been powered by cheap coal.

Observer
Reply to  Duane
August 25, 2021 3:24 am

Wasn’t there a “mega draught” in California lasting hundreds of years within the last couple of millennia?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Pablo
August 24, 2021 5:11 am

Nailed it Pablo.
‘Somewhere else’ being = The Ocean ( 70% of the time due to the ‘layout’ of Planet Earth)
And is why, shocke horreur, quelle surpreeze. sea level is rising

And drier ground warms up more and faster than damp or wet ground does.
Dry ground has dry air above it.

There is no Trapped Heat – just the same amount as always but it is acting upon something dryer than before
i.e. Something that is easier to heat up. Temps rise.

Here it comes peeps, gird those loins, it is= Quiz Time.
A yes/no first impression answer only,
No 2nd thoughts,
No umming, aaahing or changing of minds
and
No fone-a-friend:

Is what I outlined there in any way describable as ‘Rocket Science’

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Paul Johnson
Reply to  Pablo
August 24, 2021 3:04 pm

Apparently we are in a moment of perfect balance. One more drop of rain is a flood, one less is a drought. Bipolar thinking.

August 24, 2021 2:32 am

More ahistorical blather from NASA. California has shifted from flood to drought irregularly throughout history, and proxies as far back as they can be read.

griff
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 24, 2021 3:42 am

But the proxies now show this is a 1 in 1,000 year drought…

And the heatwaves are setting new records…

Klem
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:49 am

And that means..bad, right Griff?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:54 am

Pulling claims from your nether regions again? There were a series of multi decade droughts during the LIA, so the claim of worst in a thousand years is bogus.

Alan M
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:10 am

Do you even understand what a “1 in 1000 year” event is ? Or is that an 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan M
Scissor
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:37 am

Your existence is at most a 1 in 4 billion year occurrence.

Captain climate
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:45 am

Show us a proxy that can resolve that. You’re full of shit.

fretslider
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:05 am

the proxies 

What proxies?

Your dreams?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:32 am

Will the griffter explain how there has been drought in the past when CO2 was much lower? According to the griffter, all bad weather is due to bad bad CO2.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:49 am

What proxies, griff? Those that NASA and NOAA have constructed by “cooling” the OBSERVED historical values?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:58 am

Oh please griff, the heatwaves are NOT setting new records. Its actually been pretty cool.

Just that given that there are tens of thousnads of temepariure gauges and recotds only go back 20 yers, it is statisciaclly CERTAIN that someoweher will set a record of something every year.

My sis in S Africa sent me a picture of ‘record SNOW’ in the mountains this year. And the dams are all full again

And drought is NOTHING to do with rainfall and EVERTHING to do with how much you have pulled out of the water table

To drink, or irrigate with, or flush down the loo.

Where does las Vegas get its water from eh?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 6:34 am

As the cold snaps do, forgotten ? 😀

MarkW
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 7:45 am

So what if it’s a 1 in 1000 drought. That just means that such droughts have occurred before. Indeed, the proxies show that such droughts have occurred before, and many of them have been worse.

As to heat waves, you seem to think that any record high temperature is proof of global warming. On the other hand, you have been quite vocal in declaring that any record cold is just weather.

The reality is that the historical record is simply too short to have fully caught all the potential highs and lows throughout the world.

Abolition Man
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 9:09 am

Hey, griffter!
Why don’t you do a little investigation before you pull numbers out of your a$$!!
In the last 2,000 years, Calizuela has had droughts of approximately 180 and 240 years in length! Those by definition would be 1 in 1,000 year events; this current dry spell is a blip on the chart in comparison!
The amount of rainfall or drought along the Pacific coast of North AND South America is controlled by ENSO and PDO fluctuations, not by your favorite source of all evil; the Dread Pirate CO2! See if you can get someone to help you with your mental condition; your head seems to be stuck in the same place you pull your supposed facts from!

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 10:22 am

Ayup all a bunch of Proxy Dust

BrianB
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 1:39 pm

This isn’t even a one in ten year drought. Four or five years ago we had two drier years in a row than the last two. In between we had two very wet years. That’s CA.
The mid seventies produced a more severe drought as well.
The overall trend in CA precipitation over the last 100+ years is slightly positive.
And the squealing about “extreme” is equally nonsensical. The largest recorded CA floods by far were in the 1860s.

ATheoK
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:45 pm

Again, giffiepoo mistakes daily weather as equaling 100 year, 500 year, 1,000 year, million year proxy resolutions.
That is, giffie’s inane claims regarding transient weather can not be compared to any “proxy”.

California’s drought index across history identifies true droughts that are much longer and far far drier.

As Tom Halla states so accurately, “More ahistorical blather from NASA”.
Unscientific, ignores history absurd claims by NASA.

Steve Case
August 24, 2021 3:03 am

Here’s NOAA’s Climate at a Glance on annual Precipitation for the USA-48 since 1895
comment image

That doesn’t look like a recipe for drought.

griff
Reply to  Steve Case
August 24, 2021 3:42 am

Now look at same data for California, or SW, rather than whole 48…

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:55 am

In the same way, one can locate 100 yr floods every year. That plus your comment only demonstrates your willfully blind ignirance.

Steve Case
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:59 am

comment image?w=620

Loydo
Reply to  Steve Case
August 24, 2021 4:17 am

A lot can change in 20 years.

fretslider
Reply to  Loydo
August 24, 2021 5:46 am

Yet a climate trend has to be over 30 years or more.

20 years doesn’t cut it.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  fretslider
August 24, 2021 8:52 am

Even 30 years is too short when you are looking at decade long weather patterns like the California drought/heavy rain cycles.

I think 30 years is a drop from the original 50 years and should really be stated as 30 or 50 “weather cycles”. “Years” are okay to hide annual patterns but centuries are needed to hide the decadal cycles.

LdB
Reply to  Loydo
August 24, 2021 5:52 am

Yep a lot of lefties and econuts are in the elderly bracket … lots of those jet setting celebrities should be gone by then.
CO2 should be over 500ppm by then so wonder what level of squealing we will have.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
Reply to  Loydo
August 24, 2021 6:35 am

Yes, in both directions, or alternating 😀

MarkW
Reply to  Loydo
August 24, 2021 7:48 am

So in other words, your argument is that all those previous droughts were natural, but the current one is caused by CO2.

Streetcred
Reply to  Loydo
August 24, 2021 1:36 pm

A lot can change in 7 days 😴

Last edited 1 month ago by Streetcred
Scissor
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:40 am

My feet are sore because my shoes are too small and my hat keeps falling down over my eyes because it’s too big.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:41 am

Much of California and for sure the Southwest is classified as Semi-arid Desert.

What happens in Deserts, Griff? Do you have a clue!

fretslider
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:07 am

Now…

Cherrypick the data…

MarkW
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 7:47 am

So griff, in your world, CO2 only impacts CA?
Or is it that you are demonstrating how what is happening in CA is merely regional and has nothing to do with global warming?

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 10:27 am

As has often been pointed out to counter the skeptic argument…One State (AKA California) is not the
Union and One Country (AKA the USA) is not global

Ron Long
August 24, 2021 3:28 am

These CAGW stories about drought are artificially generated nonsense. What about the floods in Tennessee and New England? It’s just as our parents read the story to us: Goldilocks and the 3 Bears “Somewhere there is a drought and somewhere there is a flood and somewhere it is just right”.

griff
Reply to  Ron Long
August 24, 2021 3:44 am

The other half of the equation…. warmer air holds more moisture: extreme rain events are on the increase too.

UK 6% wetter in last 30 years,

The record-shattering rainfall that caused deadly flooding across Germany and Belgium in July was made up to nine times more likely by the climate crisis, according to research.
The study also showed that human-caused global heating has made downpours in the region up to 20% heavier. 

Climate crisis made deadly German floods ‘up to nine times more likely’ | Climate change | The Guardian

JohnC
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:59 am

Assuming that what you say is the case, it does not mean that there is a climate crisis or that Homo sapiens are responsible for the warming. The fact that there is warming is not disputed. Also the insistence that temperatures in the immediate pre industrial era are somehow “correct” and are the “ideal”.
Also, in the early part of the second millennium how can we know what rainfall was experienced?
What about the first millennium? We cannot know what the weather patterns were during the Roman colonisation of most of Europe and the Mediterranean region. We cannot know what the weather patterns were in the millennia BC for the Greeks, Egyptians and other civilisations in the middle and Far East.

fretslider
Reply to  JohnC
August 24, 2021 5:54 am

Griff, we do know that during warm periods in the past civilisations flourished. Did humans cause the Minoan warm period of of about 3,300 years ago? If not why did it get warmer?

Did humans cause the Roman warm period of about 2,100 years ago? If not why did it get warmer?

Did humans cause the Medieval warm period of about 1,000 years ago? If not why did it get warmer?

I look forward to the answers to those questions

UK 6% wetter in last 30 years

No it isn’t – and there was no barbecue summer, either.

Climate believer
Reply to  fretslider
August 24, 2021 11:00 am

C’mon, you know the Grifter doesn’t do history…among many others.

Reply to  JohnC
August 24, 2021 6:09 am

Actually, the fact that there is warming IS disputed, The equipment, the errors and the manipluations of the data means that really no ione is actually sure or not. All I can say is that my personal experience was that the 1990s in the UK were cingulraly lacking in cold winters, but we have had several since then, and as far as I can tell 2021 is as dull wet and miserable as any summer holiday when I was a kid in the 1950s. When we also had bad floods, and the coldest winter of all in 62/63
In short, i’ve seen nothing that natural climate cussedness cant account for

MarkW
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 24, 2021 7:52 am

If it isn’t warming, what has been causing glaciers all over the world to retreat over the last 200 years?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:43 am
  1. Rain happens when warm, wet air meets a cold front and the water precipitates out.
  2. If the planet is warming then you get fewer cold fronts and LESS rain, not more.
MarkW
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 24, 2021 7:53 am

More rain is one of the largest of all the possible negative feedbacks.
So the claim that global warming causes more rain, is also an argument that proves that the catastrophic projections made by the models simply aren’t possible.

Captain climate
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 4:48 am

6% wetter. Do you even hear yourself????? What’s the pre 1950 variability in precipitation look like?

Reply to  Captain climate
August 24, 2021 6:10 am

What’s the pre 1950 variability in precipitation look like?

rain coming and going, at a guess 😉

Climate believer
Reply to  Captain climate
August 24, 2021 10:56 am

Maybe the 6% wetter is the Grifters knickers every time the Guardian publish a new “climate change™” article.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 5:54 am

Odd that “extreme events” of rain and floods in Britain occur usually in winter, when the air is colder…, just like in France, Spain, Portugal, …

Am I missing something of the physical depth of your argument?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 6:05 am

I keepotelling you griff, 1342, just at start of the little ice age, a ten times bigger flood happened than Germany and Belgium 2021.
Any fool can say “Climate crisis made deadly German floods ‘up to nine times more likely” and get the Guardian to publish it.
Doesn’t mean it’s true, in fact it’s a guarantee that its hyped up EcoBollocks™

Like the quarter of a million peole who wre going to die of cancer ‘because Chernobyl’, and no one actually has

Or the quarter of a million people who DID die as a result of the collapse of ‘renewable’ energy dams in china. Won’t read THAT in the Guardian…

Ron Long
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 6:12 am

griff is off his meds again, guys, maybe you shouldn’t annoy him with the hope he returns to sanity.

MarkW
Reply to  Ron Long
August 24, 2021 7:54 am

When has griff shown evidence of sanity?

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 6:36 am

Warmer, wetter air needs to cool for raining. No cool, no rain 😀

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 24, 2021 4:09 pm

The cooling happens as the warmer wet air rises. Humid air rises because it is less dense than dry air (water has a molecular weight of 18, air has an average molecular weight of 29, being made of mostly nitrogen and oxygen with a bit of argon). The humid air rises until it cools enough to form a cloud. We may or may not get rain from that cloud, but a slightly warmer atmosphere means the air has to rise another 100 feet to hit the dew point. I remain unworried.

Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 7:14 am

You ever heard or read about the reasons why people migrated during LIA to Amerika ?
It was cold and wet on the chanel islnds, again for you, griif, cold and wet.
So, what is right in your opinion, warm and wet or cold and wet ?
And don’t forget the relevant weather patterns in your region.

dennisambler
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 7:36 am

https://notrickszone.com/2021/07/23/alarmists-scaremongering-ignore-germanys-long-history-of-massive-flooding/

“What was probably the most catastrophic flood event in recent history hit the villages along the Ahr already at a “CO2-free” time in 1804. According to the records of the then French administration, 129 residential houses, 162 barns and stables, 18 mills and eight forges were completely destroyed. In addition, hundreds of houses, barns and stables, as well as two mills and a blacksmith’s shop were severely damaged.

Vineyards and fruit trees in the Ahr Valley were largely destroyed and nearly 30 bridges collapsed. Along with numerous horses and cattle that drowned in the floods, 63 people also lost their lives.

Another catastrophic flood later occurred in 1910. Although it was not quite as powerful as the one in 1804, there was again immense damage to houses and state buildings, as well as to the Ahr Valley Railway, which was just being constructed. Interestingly, between these two historic catastrophes and the current one, the time intervals are just over 100 years.”

MarkW
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 7:50 am

The problem for your religion dear griff is that such rans have happened over and over again over history. If you examine the entire record you find that these rains are neither extreme nor unusual.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  griff
August 24, 2021 3:22 pm

The headline misrepresents the text:
“It found the climate crisis has made the extreme rainfall between 1.2 and nine times more likely to happen and that such downpours in the region are now 3% to 19% more intense”.
As usual they present the extreme as click-bait.
In any case it is computer models again, to Guardian types like our friend above, computer predictions are facts.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
August 25, 2021 6:39 am

Plus to what JohnC said.

How much man made modification to the natural terrain contributed to the flooding. Things like housing, parking lots, changes to river channels? When houses are built in a natural waterway they slow the water and the result is higher water levels.

You can’t just pick one little factoid and make it the biggest factor. All the little factoids add up to the end result.

Reply to  JohnC
August 24, 2021 6:11 am

More propaganda from the Boy Buggering Communists?

August 24, 2021 3:50 am

In my adult lifetime, Southern Arizona in August has never been greener than now.
Weather. Not climate.
Just say “No,” to the climate scam.

Scissor
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 24, 2021 4:44 am

Same in the Front Range of Colorado.

I’m not complaining but I’ve become aware of the narrative that when we are in drought, we are part of the Western U.S. but otherwise we are not.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 24, 2021 8:19 am

The plants and animals are thriving in their new “pasture lands” in the Sonoran Desert. The green hills and mountains are looking more like the Front Range these days. Griff moved on to other areas just as the rains started here. Just as ocotillo start to green up when the humidity rises, Griff moves on to other crisis claims. It’s the Gore effect in the desert.

ATheoK
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 24, 2021 4:40 pm

ocotillo start to green”

Say it isn’t so.
Ocotillo, proof against any man or animal,
Best defense for a house’s windows.
So long, as the homeowner never waters it!

And they turn green?
Must be a personal instruction to giffiepoo, i.e. “grab here”.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 24, 2021 9:17 am

Joel,
I don’t have your long history, but this is definitely the wettest Southwest monsoon I’ve seen since I escaped from Commifornia 8 years ago! My tomatoes and jalapeños love it, but they keep complaining that it isn’t hot enough, and a bit more CO2 would be greatly appreciated!

ATheoK
Reply to  Abolition Man
August 24, 2021 4:46 pm

So, you’re saying it’s a great year for New Mexico Hatch Chiles?

They are the real deal.

shrnfr
August 24, 2021 4:28 am

As soon as I saw “rice” I stopped reading. If you have a drought, you do not grow rice.

Captain climate
Reply to  shrnfr
August 24, 2021 4:48 am

I had the same thought.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  shrnfr
August 24, 2021 8:55 am

Not a good idea at any time in a semi-arid environment

Captain climate
August 24, 2021 4:43 am

Droughts are becoming more severe and frequent, but they’re sneaky, so they don’t show up in the data. I’m so sick of these articles.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Captain climate
August 24, 2021 6:33 am

The alarmists are blatant liars. They have to be in order to try to sell the Human-caused Climate Change scam.

Joe Ebeni
August 24, 2021 4:48 am

California has droughts— 1841, 1864, 1924, 1928–1935, 1947–1950, 1959–1960, 1976–1977, 1986–1992, 1999-2004, 2006–2010, 2011–2017, 2018 and 2020. Much of it is a desert. Much of it is Mediterranean Climate and completely dependent for rain on ocean conditions, currents and oscillation. Many of those droughts were followed by flooding rains. There are more drought periods localized to Southern California.  After the alarmist proclaimed “perpetual drought”, in 2019 all the reservoirs were full, dangerously so from a flood control perspective. So what happened in two years from water abundance and dam failure to grounded boats and parched farms?   The California State Water Board drained the reservoirs.  

H.R.
Reply to  Joe Ebeni
August 24, 2021 5:17 am

Joe: The California State Water Board drained the reservoirs.”


Perhaps someone should waterboard the Water Board.

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
August 24, 2021 10:32 am

Maybe they should tour Getmo and learn what Water Boarding is

ATheoK
Reply to  H.R.
August 24, 2021 4:49 pm

Or have them walk the plank where Humboldt squid swim…

Peta of Newark
August 24, 2021 5:04 am

Quote:“If you mismanage your grass then your cattle won’t survive.

Close, nice nice try hun, but no
no no no no no

Lets fix it for ya..
If you mismanage your soil/dirt then you and your cattle won’t survive.”

and if a cow farmer don’t know that, we really are in some very deep shit

yirgach
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 24, 2021 6:21 am

On the same note, if you mismanage your reservoirs you won’t have any water left for a real drought.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 24, 2021 8:25 am

No wonder they are last on the priority list for water policy in CA–they are not looking up at the gold dome and the lobbyists headed for lunch. The river delta flow rate is more important than farms and families.

Michael in Dublin
August 24, 2021 5:15 am

as Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm due to climate change, droughts are becoming more frequent, severe and pervasive

Generalizations like this are disingenuous. Looking back over more than sixty years I do not see this happening in the areas I know and where I have lived. Droughts and floods, heat and cold, wind storms and a spate of hot days with barely a breeze keep repeating. I would like to see details of these droughts, their duration and area covered as well as where the opposite has happened with good rains in low rainfall areas. Will records of the past century support this droughts generalization? I think not.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 24, 2021 6:40 am

“Generalizations like this are disingenuous.”

I would call them blatant lies.

“continues to warm”, they say. Well, it’s actually cooling right now. It’s 0.5C cooler now than 2016, the warmest year in the 21st Century. The alarmists just assume, with no evidence, that temperatures will continue to climb and climb above the 2016 levels.

And then they say, “becoming more frequent, severe, and pervasive, when the readily available statistics for these events shows they are not becoming more frequent, severe or pervasive.

Blantant Lies, used to promote a political agenda, with Human-caused Climate Change as the Trojan Horse.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 24, 2021 8:31 am

Tom

Perhaps I should have used another word rather than disingenuous. I avoided calling them blatant lies because the naive public does not recognize them as obvious lies. I wanted to convey that these statements are deceiving the masses of undiscerning people.

A good place to begin is to make sure our children and grandchildren have a grounding in the four Rs: reading, writing, arithmetic and reasoning. I am shocked how many of my educated friends with long professional careers behind them do not want to listen to a cogent argument against climate or covid alarmism.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 24, 2021 9:24 am

Michael,
The late, great state of Oregon has decided that requiring proficiency in those subjects of minority students is “racist”! I’d say it’s the opposite!
Why do totalitarians always try to dumb down their subjects, and usually have an easily visible racist streak about a mile wide!?

DrEd
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 24, 2021 5:26 pm

You’re too kind. They are blatant liars, and they know it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 24, 2021 5:55 pm

I wasn’t being critical of you, Michael.

fretslider
August 24, 2021 5:44 am

 NASA’s climate models and others show that…

They’re consistently wrong

Tom Abbott
Reply to  fretslider
August 24, 2021 6:41 am

Have been wrong for decades, with no end in sight.

August 24, 2021 5:49 am

Excerpt from the NASA article:
“Human activities emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that warm the planet. … If we continue emitting greenhouse gases, this trend is likely to continue.”
The above NASA statement is highly misleading and essentially FALSE. Earth’s temperature is insensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2. There is no fossil-fuel-caused global warming crisis. That allegations is a 50-year-old fraud.
Evidence:
THE CATASTROPHIC ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING (CAGW) AND THE HUMANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISES ARE PROVED FALSE
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng., January 10, 2020
https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/the-catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-warming-cagw-and-the-humanmade-climate-change-crises-are-proved-false.pdf
Excerpt:
There are numerous highly credible observations that falsify the CAGW hypothesis and many are listed herein, but as Albert Einstein famously stated “One would be enough”.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
The reality is that earth’s climate is not primarily controlled by atmospheric CO2 concentrations, it is primarily controlled by solar activity, and Earth has been getting colder since ~Feb2020, just as we predicted in 2002.
Evidence:
THE REAL CLIMATE CRISIS IS NOT GLOBAL WARMING, IT IS COOLING, AND IT MAY HAVE ALREADY STARTED
By Allan M.R. MacRae and Joseph D’Aleo, October 27, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/27/the-real-climate-crisis-is-not-global-warming-it-is-cooling-and-it-may-have-already-started/
Recent updates:
See hundreds of recent record-cold events all over the planet at Electroverse.net –  we should prepare for a cold late Summer, Fall and Winter.
 
The 50-year-old climate fraud and the recent Covid-19 lockdown fraud are unscientific falsehoods, scams concocted by wolves to stampede the sheep – for political and financial gain.
Evidence:
CLIMATE CHANGE, COVID-19, AND THE GREAT RESET
A Climate, Energy and Covid Primer for Politicians and Media
By Allan M.R. MacRae, Published March 21, 2021, Update 1e published May 8, 2021
https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/climate-change-covid-19-and-the-great-reset-update-1e-readonly.docx
Excerpt:
Rode and Fischbeck, professor of Social & Decision Sciences and Engineering & Public Policy, collected 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse going back to the first Earth Day in 1970. With the passage of time, many of these forecasts have since expired; the dates have come and gone uneventfully. In fact, 48 (61%) of the predictions have already expired as of the end of 2020.
 
Climate doomsters have a perfect NEGATIVE predictive track record – every very-scary climate prediction, of the ~80 they have made since 1970, has FAILED TO HAPPEN.
Fully 48 of these predictions expired at the end of 2020. Never happened! Never will!
What are the odds at 50:50 per prediction? 3.6*10^-15 = 0.0000000000000036 That is one in 281 Trillion!
There is a powerful logic that says no rational person or group could be this wrong, this utterly obtuse, for this long; they followed a corrupt agenda, and they lied again and again.
The ability to predict is the best objective means of assessing scientific competence, and the global warming alarmists have NO predictive track record – they have been 100% wrong about everything and nobody should believe these fraudsters – about anything!

The political objectives of these scammers are described for Canada in this paper. These scam objectives also apply to all the western democracies including the USA, the UK, Australia, etc.
Evidence:
THE LIBERALS’ COVERT GREEN PLAN FOR CANADA – POVERTY AND DICTATORSHIP
by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., October 1, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/01/the-liberals-covert-green-plan-for-canada-poverty-and-dictatorship/
Excerpt:
In a recent Washington Post report, one of the leading players in the rise of New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal let the cat out of the bag. Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff for Ocasio-Cortez, said: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all… Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Naomi Klein, in her new flamethrower, “On Fire, The Burning Case for a Green New Deal”, also makes it clear that the climate is a “powerful motivator” to overthrow capitalism. “The idea is a simple one: In the process of transforming the infrastructure of our societies at the speed and scale that scientists have called for, humanity has a once-in-a- century chance to fix an economic model that is failing the majority of people on multiple fronts. … Challenging these underlying forces is an opportunity to solve several interlocking crises at once.”
The clear intent is to use the global warming smokescreen to restrict economic and political freedoms by transforming Western countries into tightly controlled totalitarian states.

August 24, 2021 5:52 am

Easiest way to create a drought is to steal the water upstream for irrigation or drinking, or flushing down a loo.

MarkW
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 24, 2021 7:58 am

Water flushed down the loo winds up back in the river after treatment.

Jim Steele
August 24, 2021 6:05 am

Watch my video Drying and Warming our Earth. It describes how enlightened land management can make landscapes more resilient to drying and heatwaves. It reports the most recent research showing heatwaves are not made worse by rising CO2 but by altering the earth’s surface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2G-DZVm-s&t=47s

Last edited 1 month ago by Jim Steele
Reply to  Jim Steele
August 24, 2021 7:53 am

Pity people did not listen when I predicted this.
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2019/09/22/revisiting-the-87-year-gleissberg-solar-cycle/
I did not need satelites or fancy equipment….

Abolition Man
Reply to  Jim Steele
August 24, 2021 9:28 am

Great video, Jim!
They can’t go wrong by buying your book, Landscapes and Cycles, either! It’s one of several I keep at my desk for quick reference for refuting climate moron claims!

Pablo
Reply to  Jim Steele
August 24, 2021 1:32 pm

Thank you for such a revelatory explanation of the power of evaporative cooling.

Recommend everyone on this thread to view 7.00 to 8.30 in.

Andrew Kerber
August 24, 2021 6:22 am

I believe if they look at the long term historical record, ie before the 20th century, they will discover that the late 19th and 20th century was actually unusually wet for the desert southwest. This is a return to normal, not a ‘historic drought’.

The Dark Lord
August 24, 2021 6:50 am

this is just childish nonsense … hotter = more evaporation … right ? except the hotter is less than a tenth of a degree … which technically does mean more evaporation but how much more they never say (mainly becasue it would be miniscule more) …

BobM
August 24, 2021 7:05 am

Isn’t this why people build dams?

Jim Whelan
Reply to  BobM
August 24, 2021 8:59 am

Isn’t this why people build dams?

Maybe so but in California the politicians tear them down. Because, you know: fish!

dk_
August 24, 2021 7:54 am

“The past 20 years have been some of the driest conditions in the American west on record.”

Not really. It was drier in the 1930’s, but mitigated by then early development of water management and irrigation in California. It has been in the last twenty years that the population has increased dramatically while public agencies in charge of water, forestry, and land management have consistently failed in their charges due to un-scientific concern over incoherent fake environmental causes and virture signaling, as well as the transfer of funds to ill-conceived intermittent energy programs. It isn’t the weather, and the weather isn’t climate, but the waste of sierra snow melt by a politically managed water control board that is the issue.

Gary Pearse
August 24, 2021 8:56 am

No mention of the inadvisable release of water from storage by the climate wroughters, who love a drought. ⁵ g

DMA
August 24, 2021 9:40 am

“Drought—a year with a below average water supply—is a natural part of the climate cycle”
If this is meant to be their definition we can expect 50% of the years to be classified as drought.

Reply to  DMA
August 24, 2021 12:26 pm

The only real difference between the past and now in respect to dry periods is the increased population and agricultural needs around the world. In 1975 a dry period started which led to no rain falling in Northern California from April 1975 to the first week of June 1976. Looking back I see these dry periods occurring for one or several years in each solar cycle.

Michael E McHenry
August 24, 2021 12:55 pm

Anyone who wants to know the frequency of drought in California you can get a pretty good idea by searching the digitize New York Times. It covers 150 years+. Just enter the words drought and California and you get lots of hits even for the shortened time period 1920-1980.

ATheoK
August 24, 2021 3:20 pm

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Drought is a complicated problem that requires innovative research and lots of data. From the vantage point of space, Earth-observing satellites from NASA and its partners collect data on various signs of drought, such as lack of precipitation (GPM) and snowpack (Landsat, Terra and Aqua), low water levels in reservoirs and streams (Jason-3) or dry soils (SMAP) and depleted groundwater (GRACE-FO).”

NASA: “Look!, The grass is dry! It’s now a drought!

“Drought—a year with a below average water supply—is a natural part of the climate cycle, but as Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm due to climate change, droughts are becoming more frequent, severe and pervasive. The past 20 years have been some of the driest conditions in the American west on record.”

Apparently, historical records have been ignored in order for authorities to make fools of themselves.

Loren C. Wilson
August 24, 2021 3:37 pm

“A warmer planet is a thirstier planet, because warmer air drives more evaporation of water vapor from the surface, explains Kate Marvel, a research scientist at NASA GISS” What goes up must come down, in this case as rain or snow. While some areas will be drier due to slightly higher evaporation, the net effect of a warmer planet is a planet with more precipitation. Dr. Marvel neglected to mention this salient point.

Furiously Curious
August 24, 2021 6:05 pm

Doesn’t more CO2 allow plants to be less water dependent, through them not having to open leaf pores as much.? Effect??
1400 pages of recorded extreme weather events from 1AD to 1900. It’s fun just dipping into, but 1400 pages would suggest there have been some precedents?

http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Weather.pdf

JamesD
August 25, 2021 2:29 pm

Darn that CO2 works fast. Just a few years ago we had the Oroville dam failure. Too much rain caused by global warming. And last year the reservoir was full again. Now it is empty. Or maybe it is something called La Nina, which produces droughts in California.

garboard
August 27, 2021 5:54 am

after J W Powell was the first scientist to explore the desert southwest he testified before congress that the entire region lacked sufficient water and rain to support human settlement . no one listened . California has always see- sawed between drought and flood , like the mega flood of 1862 which created a lake 300 miles long and 50 miles wide , submerging 15,000 square miles of what is now the heart of US agriculture .

%d bloggers like this: