Megadrought Alarm

By Rud Istvan,

Scanning Google News this morning (Feb 14), headlines from the New York Times and NPR caught my eye.

NYT: “How bad is western drought? Worst in 12 centuries, study finds!”

NPR: “Study finds western megadrought worst in 1200 years!”

Both headlines refer to a new paywalled paper in Nature Climate Change (of course). Lead author Park Williams is a UCLA ‘bioclimatologist’.  I did not waste paywall money, because NPR reporter Nathan Rott provided sufficient free context on today’s NPR.org website to write this brief post on this latest ‘research news’.

The NCC paper itself appears to be decent enough. Tree ring analysis (of roof beams) from Southwestern archeology sites dating back to 800 (Chaco Canyon being an example) were spliced together with living tree ring cores to form a complete SW US regional wet/normal/dry picture spanning about 1200 years. That coniferous trees grow better annually in wet (wider rings) rather than dry (narrower rings) conditions is well established (unlike Mann’s treemometers).

The trees tell a story of 5 major Southwest US droughts since 800AD. The worst is at present; the next worst was a period lasting 23 years in the late 1500’s. To a reasonable person, this should mean these periodic western droughts have little to do with climate change. But that would not get the paper published in NCC.

So of course, there is a claimed climate change link. Williams told Rott that the present megadrought is about 1/5 climate change. NPR subtitle: “Human Caused Climate Change Contributing” “Researcher Williams said roughly one-fifth of the current megadrought can be attributed to human caused climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are warming the world, speeding evaporation and disrupting weather patterns.” How did he arrive at that conclusion? The present trees show about 20% greater drought severity than in the late 1500’s. Sure. The difference MUST be completely climate change rather than natural variability. NYT says so. NCC says so. A bioclimatologist says so.

Williams closed the NPR interview with; “We cannot let ourselves get tricked by a few wet years into giving up on the progress we’ve been making.” By we, he must mean California. It sure isn’t India and China.  And Mauna Loa’s Keeling curve shows no CO2 progress ever. His own regional research shows normal and wet years will return, but don’t let that trick you.

[Addendum]

I received an email from reader JT this afternoon stating:
Tree ring drought study shown wrong by the drowned forests of Fallen Leaf Lake.
And giving this link to the story and study noted above.

I believe this is the study to which JT was referring.

[End addendum-cr]

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Scissor
February 14, 2022 6:12 pm

I’ve been in Colorado for most of the past 40 years. My eyes tell me the current drought is not even the worst since 1982.

Paul S.
Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2022 6:18 pm

I also have lived in Colorado for 40+ years and concur that this study is horse pucky. Tell me about the drought around 1250 that forced the Anasazi (Ancient Puebloans) from Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon to the Rio Grande valley.

Dr. Bob
Reply to  Paul S.
February 15, 2022 6:13 am

Snotel Indicates snow pack to date is 90 to 100% of normal. Hard to have a drought with normal snow cover.
Colorado SNOTEL Snowpack Update Report (usda.gov)
I have been in CO for only 15 years, but this is normal AFAIK.

Motheroftoddlers
Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2022 6:48 pm

I’ve been here for most of 20 years. This hasn’t even been the driest winter I’ve seen. We also had some incredibly wet years between 2015 and 2018. It’s probably my fault, anyway. Everywhere I live it stops snowing, then blizzards after I leave. Although, to balance that out, it pours every time I go camping, even in the desert.

Brian R
Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2022 7:00 pm

Remember Squares, Diamonds and Circles?

Last edited 7 months ago by Brian R
Scissor
Reply to  Brian R
February 15, 2022 5:25 am

As in trail maps?

Dennis
Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2022 9:19 pm

AUSTRALIA has had eight mega-droughts over the last 1000 years. The biggest was a 39-year drought between 1174 and 1212 AD during a century of aridity (1102-1212 AD) during the global Medieval warming.
There was a 23-year mega-drought from 1500-1522 AD. It was continent-wide. Tree ring studies in Western Australia covering the period from 1350 AD show many 30-year droughts during the Little Ice Age between 1300 and 1850 AD.PC
– Ian Plimer
Professor Ian Plimer’s latest book Green Murder (http://www.greenmurder.com) will be released by Connor Court Publishing in late November. Pre-publication orders are discounted are signed.

February 14, 2022 6:37 pm

The Southwestern US has been through 500 year droughts. The Anasazi were driven out by unusual, but normal climate change. Imagine if that happened now. It could. It happened before, and if we know anything, we know that anything that happened in climate before can happen again.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  John Shotsky
February 14, 2022 7:34 pm

The Anasazi extinguished themselves. Just as so many ‘advanced’ civilisations have done before

They cut and burned the forest One Time Too Many in their hunt for animals to eat and for fresh (fertile) dirt to grow crops in when they’d eaten all the easy-to-catch critters.

That’s what starving people do, they grow and eat sugar instead. It drives them mad. Literally.

Just as the corn growers and harvesters are doing now. One day soon they will go out to visit their crops and fields to discover they have blown away in the wind or washed away in the flash flooding.
But thanks to the dementia brought on by having eaten all that sugar, they won’t even notice.
Or if they do, will blame ‘climate change’

John
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 14, 2022 9:21 pm

Peta, exactly, and that is what really drives climate change. If you have the time Alan Savory explains the problem and the solution in this Ted Talk. How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change | Allan Savory – Bing video

ATheoK
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 14, 2022 10:01 pm

Sad ignorance.

The Anasazi were stone age people. Stone axes are notoriously poor at cutting down trees.

The Anasazi participated in or bred themselves a corn seed that drove an unusually long taproot deep down into the soil.
That is, their corn was able to thrive in arid environments because the roots reached soil moisture.

Native Americans planted their corn in support with other plants referred to as the “Three Sisters”; corn, beans and squash.

The squash plants shade the soil preserving soil moisture and keeping roots cool.
The corn grows tall and bears corn for consumption as fresh or dried corn.
The beans used the corn stalks as poles, fix nitrogen into the soil and provides beans for fresh and dried consumption.

All three plants are capable of providing healthy foods throughout the year. A very healthy dish is made from all three plants, succotash.

A better food process brought up from Mexico, is made from soaking corn seeds in lime or lye, i.e., Nixtamalization. Nixtamalization chemically improves the nutritional content of corn. Further improving population health and expansion.

Dried dung allows for smokeless fires, a definite benefit for a populace that lived in enclosed cliff communities.
Buffalo, mule deer, rabbits and birds were abundant most years. The Anasazi were skilled at using nets to harvest rabbits and birds.

As has happened repeatedly globally, corn provided more food than gathering ever did. So, populations boomed and civilization advanced.

Severe droughts lowered the water tables causing famine. Couple that with attacks by unknown enemies and Anasazi populations crashed. Eventually emptying all of the cliff dwellings.

The cliff dwellings were accessed by sparse handholds cut into the rock or by ladders. Easily defended, it can very well trap residents and prevent them from harvesting their crops, hunting or gathering berries, fruits and nuts. Starving the cliff dwellers when their cliff dwellings were surrounded by their enemies.

Anasazi is Navajo in origin, and means “ancient enemy.” A name given to the cliff dwellers by the Navajo. 

All of the Native Americans in the arid southwest eventually used and benefited from the long taproot nutritious corn.

Many populations benefited from and are still dependent upon ancient crops that are slightly adapted in modern times, corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, beans, peas, squash, brassica, etc. “Brassica oleracea” is represented by many foods sold under different names but are derived from the same plant; e.g. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, etc.

All of these and many other foods carefully cultivated for thousands of years with growers taking advantage of every beneficial mutation and cross breeding.
Humans have been tinkering with plant genes for many thousands of years.
Sad ignorance.

The Anasazi were stone age people. Stone axes are notoriously poor at cutting down trees.

The Anasazi participated in or bred themselves a corn seed that drove an unusually long taproot deep down into the soil.
That is, their corn was able to thrive in arid environments because the roots reached soil moisture.

Native Americans planted their corn in support with other plants referred to as the “Three Sisters”; corn, beans and squash.

The squash plants shaded the soil preserving soil moisture and keeping roots cool.
The corn grew tall and bore corn for consumption as fresh or dried corn.
The beans used the corn stalks as poles, fixed nitrogen into the soil and provided beans for fresh and dried consumption.

All three plants are capable of providing healthy foods throughout the year.
A very healthy dish is made from all three plants, succotash.

A better food process brought up from Mexico, is made from soaking corn seeds in lime or lye, i.e., Nixtamalization. Nixtamalization chemically improves the nutritional content of corn. Further improving population expansion.

Dried dung allows for smokeless fires, a definite benefit for a populace that lived in enclosed cliff communities.
Buffalo, mule deer, rabbits and birds were abundant most years. The Anasazi were skilled at using nets to harvest rabbits and birds.

As has happened repeatedly globally, corn provided more food than gathering ever did. So, populations boomed and civilization advanced.

Severe droughts lowered the water tables causing famine. Couple that with attacks by unknown enemies and Anasazi populations crashed. Eventually emptying all of the cliff dwellings.

The cliff dwellings were accessed by sparse handholds cut into the rock or by ladders. Easily defended, it can very well trap residents and prevent them from harvesting their crops, hunting or gathering berries, fruits and nuts. Starving the cliff dwellers when their cliff dwellings were surrounded by their enemies.

Anasazi is Navajo in origin, and means “ancient enemy.” A name given to the cliff dwellers by the Navajo. 

All of the Native Americans in the arid southwest eventually used and benefited from the long taproot nutritious corn.

Many populations benefited from and are still dependent upon ancient crops that are slightly adapted in modern times, corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, beans, peas, squash, brassica, etc. “Brassica oleracea” is represented by many foods sold under different names but are derived from the same plant; e.g. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, etc.

All of these and many other foods carefully cultivated for thousands of years with growers taking advantage of every beneficial mutation and cross breeding.
Humans have been tinkering with plant genes for many thousands of years.

Last edited 7 months ago by ATheoK
gringojay
Reply to  ATheoK
February 15, 2022 12:38 am

Maize growing in arid conditions shift more mass into their roots than above ground shoots. They up-regulate root tip loosening factors and specific enzymes (hyrol-ases & glucosyl-ases) that contribute to extension of root cell walls.

Maize genetics influence total root length and root dry weight (dry matter mass). But a greater total root length is not correlated with a greater corn kernel size.

The maize genetics works through the way drought alters the distribution of natural auxin phyto-hormone. Auxin instigates cell wall expansion and modulates enzymes.

Primary root growth is driven by auxin and root formation is enhanced by micro-nutrients like iron, boron, molybdenum and magnesium. I wonder if it was the case that Anasazi cultivation plots fortuitously had adequate levels of boron, since borax is common in the American west.

Because, when boron is low the local root auxin level essentially does not go up and root tip growth is restrained – there is low cell division in both primary and lateral roots. Of course there is a side effect of excessive boron, which is a decreased number of roots.

As far as the lower ratio of ambient CO2 than contemporary CO2 back in the Anasazi’s time I think this might not have been a significant limitation. Maize is a C4 plant and elevated CO2 dynamics are different than C3 food crops.

What is possibly more relevant is how as temperature rises this increases plant roots need for O2. In roots a reduction of available O2 causes an up-regulation of ethylene phtyo-hormone levels.

Now both auxin with ethylene are working to get root elongation. In fact auxin promotes up-regulation of ethylene and they have roles of hormonal cross-talk. It is excessive levels of ethylene in roots however [ like can occur in extreme soil temperature conditions with poor O2 content ] that inhibits lateral root elongation.

Ethylene excess induces the genetic expression of more of an enzyme (tryptophan amino-transfer-ase) which causes local auxin levels to rise in the root meri-stem (stem cell region). The subsequent accumulation of auxin held in that stem cell sector results in decreased root elongation; auxin is in the wrong place for lateral root elongation.

Ethylene impacts genes in, let’s call it, positive and negative manners; action of ethylene on roots is modulated by localization of auxin. To be precise: ethylene phyto-hormone has more effect on lateral root formation than being inhibitive of primary root growth.

I’ll stop here before detailing other phyto-hormone’s active in roots and just close with this. To start making root hairs both ethylene and auxin local root levels must temporarily go down for initiation of a root hair.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  ATheoK
February 15, 2022 12:49 am

When in France I’ve seen fields of maize and some sort of legume grown in conjunction. Relearning old lessons. I don’t recall any squash though.

Duane
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 15, 2022 5:59 am

Whoa! That’s a whole lotta misinformation in one post!

Nobody knows exactly why the ancient Puebloans (not called “Anasazi” any more) left the cliff dwellings and other settlements such as in Chaco Canyon. It is apparent from tree ring data that the climate did get drier in the 13th century. But there were other factors that played into it as well. There is substantial evidence of violent conflicts that took place in the 13th century, which is believed to have been the impetus for moving into the cliff dwellings in places like Mesa Verde from more open areas like Chaco Canyon. There was also an invasion of newcomers into the southwest from the northwest, who were Athabascans, who eventually became the desert peoples now known as Navaho, Hopi, etc.

It is also obvious that a lot of pine wood was harvested to build the large multi-story rock structures in places like Chaco Canyon, and that that deforestation likely led to loss of topsoil making their fields of corn, squash, and beans less productive.

These are all well established theories, but in fact, since no records were kept by those peoples, nobody really knows exactly what happened to cause the migration from the four corners area to to the Rio Grande valley to become the Pueblo peoples who still live there today.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Duane
February 15, 2022 12:29 pm

I’m not sure very many people appreciate the migrations of the native peoples around the continental US. The Iriquois nations began to push west as far back as the 1100’s as their population grew and they needed to expand their hunting areas. This caused the Sioux to eventually move from the forests they originally inhabited toward the great plains. It also affected the movement of tribes like the Osage toward the west. This was all before colonization by the Europeans. I’m sure there were numerous other migrations as well.

I am not an expert in any of this but I suspect that there were all kinds of migration influences among the native peoples before the Europeans came. There isn’t any doubt in my mind that there was some kind of an impact on the Pueblo peoples.

MarkW
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 15, 2022 8:11 am

The Anasazi never cut and burned the forests where they lived.
My diagnosis is a lack of sugar in your diet, it’s causing you to hallucinate.

Duane
Reply to  MarkW
February 15, 2022 10:00 am

Apparently you’ve never visited an ancient Puebloan ruin (not called “Anasazi” any more).

They all used lots of trees in the construction of their multi-story dwellings, which was the only practical way to build a floor, or to provide roofs for buildings and kivas. Indeed, tree ring dating has been used to provide dates for the construction, even if stone was the most common building material.

It most certainly believed by expert archaeologists that that local deforestation was the natural result of such tree cutting, to the point that larger trees were cut in the mountains and brought from long distances to provide the largest logs, and the smaller stuff such as juniper branches were cut locally, inside and above the canyon.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Duane
February 15, 2022 11:31 am

Another group trying to put a spin on a word to put them in a better light than shown on them by the Navajo.

https://indianpueblo.org/what-does-anasazi-mean-and-why-is-it-controversial/

Unfortunately, apparently no one has told the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center that the word “Indian” is also controversial.

It is not unlike members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) complaining about being called “Colored” instead of whatever is in vogue at the moment. “A rose is just as sweet by any other name.”

Reply to  John Shotsky
February 14, 2022 9:17 pm

Ja. Ja. I told you.
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2019/09/22/revisiting-the-87-year-gleissberg-solar-cycle/

I think it will also spread east. Justl like the dust bowl drought. We could be heading for disaster again.

dk_
February 14, 2022 6:46 pm

National People’s Radio. Nuffsed.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  dk_
February 14, 2022 9:38 pm

National Panhandler Radio is more accurate since they suck on the taxpayer’s teat whether we want them or not.

AndyHce
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 14, 2022 10:28 pm

that sounds like a parasite to me

DonM
Reply to  AndyHce
February 15, 2022 1:32 pm

so, National Parasite Radio

John Garrett
Reply to  dk_
February 15, 2022 5:06 am

National
Propaganda
Radio

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  dk_
February 15, 2022 7:52 am

I thought it was ‘No Personality Radio.’
“If we read our liberal communist commentaries in a deadpan monotone, people will think we’re delivering objective news.”

gringojay
February 14, 2022 6:56 pm

I am reading the full original research report free on-line; clickedon O.P.’s last red link gettinf me to NPR blurb & in NPR’s text clicked on their link to the publication Journal Nature etc. Then the original research came through with a legend stating courtesy of “SharedIt”.

Anyway, the O.P. felt no need to read it and generated a guest blog based on some NPR writing. That does not seem like the ideal way to present one’s thoughts on what the original content reported.

gringojay
Reply to  gringojay
February 14, 2022 7:08 pm

Quote from researchers’ text: “… of all 22-yr. periods since 800 C..E. only two (1130-1151 and 1276-1297) contained more years with negative moisture anomalies than the 18 observed during 2000-2021 … [which] … ranked among the 5 driest 22 yr. periods locally across 61% of SWNA [south west north america] ….”

Now whether this type of data is conclusive concerning any extent of human roles I am not going to put forth my opinion. That the report authors attribute some human causation should not surprise any WUWT readers by now.

MarkW
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 8:15 am

One of the stupidest things to come down the woke pipeline in the last generation is this whole CE (Common Era) nonsense. Just converting AD to CE doesn’t make it common.
Every culture has their own year zero, and none of them are the same.

Last edited 7 months ago by MarkW
Robert B
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 1:01 pm

As in my comment below, LA airport had a number of years twice it’s mean rainfall, all between 1977 and 2005. It had almost three times it’s mean in 1997/1998. The 21 year period before 1999 appears to be it’s wettest on record, just as the warming that can be attributed to human emissions started.

I don’t know what it was like over the whole study area but the length of time is very short and appears to be cherry picked. Extending it by a few more years might have made a huge difference.

Robert B
Reply to  Robert B
February 15, 2022 2:12 pm

I’ve managed to read the paper. Interesting how the precipitation since 200/2001 was 8.3 % less than 1950-1999 average. The driest (below average) areas have been the most arid for the region (figure b) with the greatest variation. Figure a shows that the previous 22 years were the wettest.

Robert B
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 11:26 am

Felt no need to read it?

The ‘shared’ version is an image that can’t be magnified. It’s existence is far from evidence that the author ‘felt’ no need to read it rather than lamented an inability to read it, as stated.

Lefty alert!

gringojay
Reply to  Robert B
February 15, 2022 1:14 pm

@ Robert B – Quoting the Original Post writer here : ” I did not waste paywall money … because NPR … provided sufficient … to write this … post.”

O.P author did not use the word “felt” – he just apparently was enlightened about how he “did not want to waste”. I immediately got absolutely free full access to the supposedly “paywalled” actual report using O.P. links to links yet apparently the O.P. author deliberately did not do so.

Save the gratuitous “Lefty alert” exclamation for social media.

Robert B
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 1:59 pm

You used “felt”. The “lefty alert” was justified.

I swapped devices and can now magnify the image in order to read it. The actual article is paywalled. With what is given, I cant magnify and move to read the next section making it difficult to read even if free. I’m assuming that the author was not aware of the option rather than what his feelings were.

gringojay
Reply to  Robert B
February 15, 2022 3:31 pm

Playing word games still. And assuming facts not evidence about what an author was “aware of.”

Congrstulations! You have just won the prize for “lefty alert” bestowed for projection.

Last edited 7 months ago by gringojay
Robert B
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 3:43 pm

There is something very wrong with you. You can assert an emotion that is derogatory while I can’ assume the author thought something reasonable.

Or am I playing word games again?

gringojay
Reply to  Robert B
February 15, 2022 6:01 pm

Yes, unfortunately you are “playing word games again.” Maybe there is “something very wrong with you.”

You have apparently gotten the impression, as I understand your current comment, that the word “felt” is “an emotion that is derogatory.”

The word felt is derived from the verb to feel. To use felt as an adverb is to describe how one does the action of feeling (ex: I felt the keyboard). To use felt as an adjective is to describe, not how, but what one is feeling (ex: I feel free).

You seem to continue strenuously objecting to my original statement “[t]he O.P. felt no need to read ….” My usage was an adjective – a rendering that he was feeling about reading as being un-necessary. I did not qualify the adjective with negative descriptive words placed according to English grammar, so it (“felt”) stands alone as a common descriptive adjective – no more derogatory than saying one “felt like, or didn’t, doing x, y, or z.”

Robert B
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 8:28 pm

“felt no need to read it”

Who is playing games? You don’t have to answer. Everything is evidence that you are right.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 5:21 pm

Gringo, the post was NOT directly about the paper. It was about what NPR said after interviewing the lead author.

gringojay
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 15, 2022 6:31 pm

Rud, you’re an intelligent man and I like to read your comments. I think that O.P. is not your finest effort. I personally dislike NPR and wish it would be defunded by the federal government.

I’ll quote for your specific orientation to O.P. text. (Quote:) ” Williams closed … interview with; ‘We cannot let ….’ By we, he must mean ….His own regional research … but don’t let that trick you.” (End quote)

It is you, not NPR, writing “[b]y we … you ” closing your O.P. discussing the primary author of a report. You refer to his research and indicate that we be wary of a “trick.”

So I found and read for free the report you brought to the attention of WUWT.

DMacKenzie
February 14, 2022 7:21 pm

So which weather phenomenon do tree rings show, temperature or rainfall ? Or maybe just warm spring, or were the ones with really wide rings cuz they were near streams just taken by beavers, leaving only thirsty trees ? Or maybe how fast nutrients were able to leach through local soil conditions to the tree roots ? There seems to be a lot of variables that wouldn’t allow accuracy within 3 or 4 degrees C, or 6” to 12” of rainfall. The fact that you have old tree trunk rings in your hands, means it was a good time for trees, at least for that tree, and could mean that the live one you sample today to test against known climate conditions, would likely have a higher incidence of drought or high temperature showing on its rings than that old trunk…..

Last edited 7 months ago by DMacKenzie
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 15, 2022 3:48 am

“So which weather phenomenon do tree rings show, temperature or rainfall ?”

Exactly- they drew the conclusions they wanted. I have yet to see any proof that tree rings can give the info some people claim. Because I wanted to learn more about the subject I had numerous emails with several professors- including a few dendrochronologists. They just couldn’t offer me any proof. One suggested a textbook on the subject and that didn’t have any proof either. Tree rings are good for estimating the date when the rings were growing by comparing a series of trees- so archeologists like the technique. I suggest this problem of tree rings and what they can really say about climate is the Achilles Heel of the climatistas. Look how much damage Mickey Mann did with a few tree rings.

iflyjetzzz
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 16, 2022 9:52 am

Tree rings are magical.
Forged by the Elven-smiths of the Noldorin settlement of Eregion.

They are controlled by the CAGW ring; the one ring that rules them all.

(For those that don’t get the joke, see JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings novels)

TonyL
February 14, 2022 7:24 pm

The headline puts the current state of Climate Science in a nutshell.
A modest and short drought on a yearly to decadal timescale is spun up to “Worst Drought in 1200 Years”. Oh please, spare me.
Anyway, I looked up “Fallen Leaf Lake” , and got some tidbits. Apparently, trees standing upright in 130 feet of water. And as they put it, trees at various levels above the ancient shoreline. So the lake was 100 feet lower than today and was like that long enough for trees to grow to a fairly large size.
Here:
https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2012/sierra-megadrought-fallen-leaf-lake

The article also has a link to a study “source” in Science Direct.
Be careful. The paper references something they call the “Medieval climatic anomaly” or MCA.
In my view, anybody who uses MCA as the new name for the Medieval Warm Period, (MWP) is wearing their Climate Change Alarmism on their shirt sleeve as a merit badge.

markx
Reply to  TonyL
February 14, 2022 8:09 pm

Thanks TonyL
Amazing. The current water level is 80 meters (~240ft) above a sustained medieval low …. so sustained fully grown trees grew above that lower waterline… and somehow the modern drought is worse??!!:

Duration and severity of Medieval drought in the Lake Tahoe Basin
Kleppe etal 2011
Quaternary Science Reviews. Volume 30, Issues 23–24, November 2011, Pages 3269-3279
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277379111002654

Abstract
Droughts in the western U.S. in the past 200 years are small compared to several megadroughts that occurred during Medieval times. We reconstruct duration and magnitude of extreme droughts in the northern Sierra Nevada from hydroclimatic conditions in Fallen Leaf Lake, California. 

Stands of submerged trees rooted in situ below the lake surface were imaged with sidescan sonar and radiocarbon analysis yields an age estimate of ∼1250 AD. Tree-ring records and submerged paleoshoreline geomorphology suggest a Medieval low-stand of Fallen Leaf Lake lasted more than 220 years. 

Over eighty more trees were found lying on the lake floor at various elevations above the paleoshoreline. Water-balance calculations suggest annual precipitation was less than 60% normal from late 10th century to early 13th century AD. Hence, the lake’s shoreline dropped 40–60 m below its modern elevation. 

Stands of pre-Medieval trees in this lake and in Lake Tahoe suggest the region experienced severe drought at least every 650–1150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene. These observations quantify paleo-precipitation and recurrence of prolonged drought in the northern Sierra Nevada.

Ed Bo
Reply to  TonyL
February 15, 2022 8:06 am

I visit Fallen Leaf Lake every summer. (It is just off the southern end of the much larger Lake Tahoe.) While there are huge year-to-year variations in the remaining snowpack of its watershed in July, I have never seen any significant dip in its water level in dry years.

For those interested, Climate Audit made a post back in 2006 on the subject of the water levels of Fallen Leaf and similar lakes:

https://climateaudit.org/2006/12/06/underwater-in-the-sierra-nevadas/

It has numerous references and links to the underlying scientific papers.

A quote from one of these papers: “The significance of this discovery is the fact that for these trees to be rooted below the surface of the lake, the lake must have been down at least 36.5 m for over two hundred years. ….The carbon dating of the raised tree samples indicated that the tree died in A.D. 1215 ± 40 years…”

Last edited 7 months ago by Ed Bo
Lil-Mike
Reply to  TonyL
February 15, 2022 9:56 am

All this talk about Fallen Leaf Lake … Fallen Leaf Lake and the Desert South West receive their water from different sources. Fallen Leaf Lake receives it’s water from the Pacific moisture, The Desert SW receives it’s water from the Gulf of Mexico Monsoon Season.

I’m not working there this year, and don’t follow the monsoon cycle.

The SW probably is drier right now. Ioneer is permitting a lithium mine near Tonopah, one of the ‘stuck at’ points is Tiehm’s Buckwheat (world wide it occupies ~10ac in Nevada). It seems that last year much of the Tiehm’s Buckwheat was eaten by the Pack Rats, Jerboas, Prong Bucks, Mustangs, and Big Horn Sheep.

The question becomes “what makes the monsoon?”

Robert B
Reply to  Lil-Mike
February 15, 2022 11:47 am

I can barely make out anything in the image of the shared version but it appears that they are claiming they studied an area from the Oregan/Cal border to the NM/Texas border.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  TonyL
February 15, 2022 11:49 am

About 25 years ago, the New Melones Reservoir (CA) on the Stanislaus River was the lowest it had been since the dam was filled about two decades earlier. A friend, who was formerly a white water raft guide on the river, before the dam was built, decided to take advantage of white water once again being available. He invited me to join him. While rafting down the river I was surprised to see a fig tree in a cove. It was probably planted by some miner in the 1850s. It had been completely under water since the reservoir was full. Somehow, it had managed to survive and was once again putting out leaves to absorb CO2.

Chris Hanley
February 14, 2022 7:38 pm
gringojay
Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 14, 2022 9:06 pm

The directly above cited report link specifies it is from 2010. The O.P. has referred to a drought report that states it includes consideration of 2021.

BrianB
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 9:52 am

So a 200 year drought can be exceeded by a 10 year drought by the addition of 11 more years? Interesting concept.

lee
February 14, 2022 7:49 pm

From the paper – “Using the 29 CMIP6 models with adequate data, the multimodel mean ACC trends account for 42% of the SWNA soil moisture anomaly in 2000–2021 and 19% in 2021.”

oh dear.

Editor
February 14, 2022 8:22 pm

Posted this earlier today in a large forum that shows INCREASING Precipitation trend since 1901 in the lower 48 states and the same for the world since 1901 too, there are charts there worth seeing.

LINK

LdB
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 14, 2022 9:09 pm

Yes climate change makes it wetter and drier at the same time and even in the same location.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  LdB
February 14, 2022 9:21 pm

It’s all about time.
It’s wetter, except when it’s dryer.

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 14, 2022 9:28 pm

Uhhhh, the above link is a selective one apparently used as part of contention in some forum. For WUWT here’s the image from the same source that is more specifically relevant to O.P.

And surprise, surprise there are extensive regions of the USA that have anomalies of lower precipitation. But hey, all of Vermont is wetter fo’ sho’, like totally man.

A7841D3F-E27A-4F4F-9808-2089440B7688.png
Dave Fair
Reply to  gringojay
February 14, 2022 11:34 pm

Percent change over what period, gringojay? There were some distinct warnings from early scientific explorers such as John Westly Powell (second head of the US Geological Survey) that then-current (1880s) patterns of western precipitation were abnormally high. Bureaucratic pukes (Deep State) then and now won’t listen to real scientists.

The conditions of the U.S. Southwestern States is perpetual recurring drought. CliSciFi pukes are liars.

Last edited 7 months ago by Dave Fair
gringojay
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 15, 2022 12:52 am

I did not choose the data source – it was Sunsettommy who posted a link where “… there are charts worth seeing.” You may follow his link if you want more specific details to your question; he mentions “since 1901.”

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 7:33 am

You have a problem with NCEI data?

You are free to show that their database is faulty and applied incorrectly, the onus is on YOU!

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 8:31 am

I used your own link and did not create anything other than what I found there. What I found there I posted and it shows you ignored the data which related to the O.P. trying to make a point.

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 9:21 am

Still nothing comes from you.

I posted the data you never show it is false over it.

That is YOUR problem.

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 1:40 pm

@S…y – I posted the soecific data below from your own link source – not anything false, unless you now repudiate your own source.

If the below image is “nothing” then why does it show a disparity between precipitation in the western USA ( despite other images you link to showing total USA precipitation) ? It is you who repeatedly ignores the chart below and is only expounding about total rainfall mis-directing WUWT readers from the O.P. , which is about drought.

Those are YOUR problems. I’ve heard the best defense is to go on the offense and now think that is what WUWT readers are seeing in your comments’ content.

8631DAE5-6F28-4C33-8D57-5AC313CD7E61.png
Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 1:56 pm

Nowhere have I disputed the chart YOU posted which came from my link saw it myself from the start thus you can relax.

I have NEVER disputed the dry area of the Southwest has been in an ongoing drought you have a hard time understanding what I am doing here.

The problem YOU have is you still don’t understand why I FOCUS on the INCREASING precipitation rate of USA and the world which clearly shows that droughts worldwide are on the decline.

That is what I have been doing all along.

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 4:14 pm

Nowhere have I disputed the chart YOU posted a link to, thus you can relax.

I have NEVER disputed the O.P. was about Southwest drought and so it should not be a hard time understanding what I am doing here.

The problem YOU have is you still don’t understand why I FOCUS on the the DECREASING precipitation where there is USA drought because that is the O.P. subject.

That is what I have been doing all along.

Now that we once again share a common editorial linguistic framework let me repeat that I have not stated your declarations of increasing precipitation and declining drought worldwide are false. I simply do not wish to digress from the O.P. into discussing those elsewhere at WUWT nuances.

I think that selective focus is my prerogative as a long time WUWT commentator. As is continuing to respectfully call out rudeness by other commentator’s, both in standing up for myself and contributing toward preserving a presentable tone for things seen on WUWT.

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 7:31 am

I find it hilarious that you downplay the first two charts and promote the third chart which means you tried a dead-on arrival deflection attempt.

You never did show the first two charts are wrong which shows INCREASING precipitation over a 120-year period a fact you ignored.

The data is there in the link which you can see for yourself.

Climate at a Glance is temporarily down but I can pull up a post at another forum where I showed the Precipitation increase for over 3/4 of USA is significant since 1970.

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 8:57 am

@ Sunsettommy – the passive aggressive format of your opening sentence suggesting your supposed hilarity is yet another unimpressive attempt to cover for your earlier misdirection of WUWT readers. The O.P. is not about the entire USA precipitation trend – it was hear say using only NPR’s writing about a published report that is concerning a part of the USA where drought is an issue.

I never disavowed your link or denied the content of your selected diagrams.
All I did was reveal to WUWT readers a chart from your own data source which showed where in the continental USA rainfall had not increased, but rather had decreased. In other words I took the time to read and follow what you were saying because I thought you merited that – don’t get upset that I found something particularly relevant where you indicated I look.

Strictly relative to the O.P. for this drought related thread it would be irrelevant seeing yet another of your “post at a other forum” about “over 3/4 of USA”. I am not challenging any of your data anywhere about USA continental precipitation, so don’t take my comments as an insult and if you create a Guest Post about precipitation I will read it if see it up.

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 9:54 am

Here is my entire comment you are so excited over:

“Posted this earlier today in a large forum that shows INCREASING Precipitation trend since 1901 in the lower 48 states and the same for the world since 1901 too, there are charts there worth seeing.

LINK

How is that misleading WUWT readers when I didn’t mention a word about the OP in it and that I make an observation that is factual and supported by the database?

Now you are aggrieved because the first two charts show a clear INCREASE in Precipitation then you imply it isn’t, quoting you,

All I did was reveal to WUWT readers a chart from your own data source which showed where in the continental USA rainfall had not increased, but rather had decreased. In other words I took the time to read and follow what you were saying because I thought you merited that – 

and claimed you read in the link I posted; well I think you are confused since this was in MY link you magically failed to see:

“Key Points

  • On average, total annual precipitation has increased over land areas in the United States and worldwide (see Figures 1 and 2). Since 1901, global precipitation has increased at an average rate of 0.10 inches per decade, while precipitation in the contiguous 48 states has increased at a rate of 0.20 inches per decade.
  • Some parts of the United States have experienced greater increases in precipitation than others. A few areas, such as the Southwest, have seen a decrease in precipitation (see Figure 3). Not all of these regional trends are statistically significant, however”

Has it ever occurred to you that the first two charts already have all the drought effecting data in it from 1901 to 2020? after all it records ALL precipitation data which varies every year can go waaay up and go waaaay down in individual years it is always different every year.

Has it occurred to you that Droughts always exist in various places in America and in rest of the world? It is already factored into the Rainfall data.

Precipitation has INCREASED over all despite the regional droughts since 1901 that is a fact.

Posted THIS at a forum yesterday showing the Palmer Z-index showing an INCREASE in Decreasing drought trend in America since 1901.

LINK

A significant DECREASE in Droughts since 1968 is obvious on the chart.

Your style is to fog up the thread with irrelevant comments.

Last edited 7 months ago by Sunsettommy
gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 1:25 pm

You are hijacking the Original Post to discuss first increased precipitation you have a link for.

You then want to digress from the O.P. to insist you’ve 2 charts have a component of drought factored in. And reach to include the “rest of the world” which is “irrelevant” to the O.P. subject.

Somehow you want WUWT readers to follow yet another of your Links to show droughts decreasing since a 1968 timeframe.

You are doing WUWT a disservice by presenting your bio as ” Editor” and repeatedly insulting commentators. My style is not “to fog up … with irrelevant comments.” I post polite comments and do so trying to discuss the subject – in this case the O.P.

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 1:45 pm

The OP discusses changes in Precipitation levels over time and focuses on low Precipitation years.

Your complaints are hurting YOU since everything I have posted has been on topic and based on official published data which I always post the link to.

I hope the following on topic additional precipitation data doesn’t hurt your feelings this time since it covers the main region the OP covers.

Meanwhile here is the still on topic comment this time based on the NOAA data 1895-2021 showing a tiny decrease in Precipitation from the Southwest region.

-.03/decade

LINK

Periodic droughts have been regular occurrence in the region for a long time.

Cheers

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 4:43 pm

I have made no “complaints” about scientific matters. I just don’t let WUWT commentators address me insultingly without responding. Of which, you seem to have now snuck in your snide “I hope … doesn’t hurt your feelings …”

You declare you are posting “on topic” and post links. I am not interested in receiving reading assignments from you. But, at no time have I declared your posting(s) erroneous.

For some reason you that the OP’s discussing “Precipitation levels over time and … low Precipitation years” in the context of south west north America means I have to participate into digression(s).

As for your ending LINK: it seems you want to now discuss 1895-2021 Southwest precipitation. You like that data then present to WUWT readers how that relates to the O.P.’s underlying report data presentation – those authors’ published contention is they’ve evidence “intensification” of drought was occurring in the last 2+ decades through 2021.

It’s the O.P.’s introduced report that we are talking about. It is not my published position, nor definitive concurrence, but I read it and quoted synoptically [“…xy…lm…z…” is my style – for brevity] from it.

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 16, 2022 7:42 am

I hurt your feelings too easily apparently of which you complain in public about it.

I hope the following on topic additional precipitation data doesn’t hurt your feelings this time since it covers the main region the OP covers.

Meanwhile it was YOU who complained that I wasn’t on topic when all I talked about what changes in Precipitation values over country, world and at the target region which you talk about over and over when people would normally have long stopped responding.

You write this,

You are hijacking the Original Post to discuss first increased precipitation you have a link for.

You realize that YOU are the only one responding to them which seems to comically elude you of that reality.

The readers for the most part show support to me over them and none and worse negative to you.

Then you say,

You declare you are posting “on topic” and post links. I am not interested in receiving reading assignments from you.



Suggest you let it go and give it a rest since you are overreacting big time, you have never been censored or even warned at all.

Cheers

Last edited 7 months ago by Sunsettommy
Steve Keohane
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 9:36 am

I/m in west central Colorado and had 110% of average precipitation for the last water year, not 90% as your chart shows.

gringojay
Reply to  Steve Keohane
February 15, 2022 1:49 pm

Figure is not for annual rainfall, it is from a set of diagrams from a Sunsetttommy link compiled from 1901 data forward in time – it is not my chart; I just found it in plain sight following said link to it’s original source. Casually reviewing the image I see not all of Colorado is green coded and some beige; apparently the state has not uniformly experienced the same up or down precipitation pattern.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 11:54 am

Funny how the rain knows where the state boundary lines are!

gringojay
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 15, 2022 2:22 pm

Only in Vermont. Apparently clouds take the last part of the State motto “Freedom and Unity” as an imperative!

RickWill
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 14, 2022 10:34 pm

That is consistent with land warming up and cycling more water in the land/atmosphere system.

The freshwater fluxes however are declining, which is consistent with land warming up more than oceans. Exactly what has been occurring since 1585 when perihelion last occurred before the austral summer solstice.
https://www.bafg.de/GRDC/EN/03_dtprdcts/31_FWFLX/freshflux_node.html
Since 1585, land has been getting more sunlight while oceans have been getting less due to the global distribution of water dominating the SH.

Robert B
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 11:57 am

“Serious drought continues worldwide. Damage from drought often continues long after rainfall returns.”

I thought that was sarcasm, an attempt at parody!

But it does bring up the issue of how drought is assessed now compared to using proxies like tree rings. Especially trees from mountain sides. That springs thaw and rain is all that will determine that years growth.

CLIFFORD MASS
February 14, 2022 8:25 pm

Read the paper…major problems. First, they start by only considering 22 year droughts to optimally match the current event. If they selected a 30 or 50 year period, the current situation would fade in comparison to historical events. Then their method for determining the global warming component to the current “drought” is totally biased. They use CMIP6 models…which are far more sensitive than CMIP5…and not correct. Then they assume the difference between the models and observations during the past century is the GW signal…but that assumes the models are essentially perfect…and we know they have major flaws, including failure to simulate natural variability (such as PDO)…..just poor work….but the media eats it up…cliff mass

Editor
Reply to  CLIFFORD MASS
February 14, 2022 8:47 pm

Thank you for that helpful comment, Dr. Mass.

John Aqua
Reply to  CLIFFORD MASS
February 14, 2022 8:58 pm

Right on as always. Cliff Mass. Next we will have Griff tell us this is all caused by climate change. And, of course, there will be no supporting data except anecdotes and farcical hymns sung by the warmunista bands.

Dave Fair
Reply to  CLIFFORD MASS
February 14, 2022 11:43 pm

Dammit! Hadley Circulations ensure perpetual droughts in the SW U.S. CliSciFi pukes are liars.

Robert B
Reply to  CLIFFORD MASS
February 15, 2022 1:13 pm

I’m using a smart phone so I can’t do much research. I just had a look at LA airport data. Interestingly, five of the 6 years that were near twice the mean or more were between 77/78 and 97/98. The 5th was 2004/2005. The year 97/98 had almost 3 times the mean rainfall.

That choice of 22 years is very dodgy.

Robert B
Reply to  Robert B
February 15, 2022 2:20 pm

Managed to read it. Figure a shows that the previous 22 years were the wettest since 800 CE. Probably not real, just a case of comparing modern measurements with proxies.

Izaak Walton
February 14, 2022 8:37 pm

You have to admire the chutzpah of somebody who starts by admitting they haven’t read the research in question but then proceeds to trash it anyway. It is almost as if they have prejudged the question and are refusing to look at any evidence that might persuade them differently.

LdB
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 14, 2022 9:13 pm

How is that different to Climate Change publications that assume scenarios like 8.5 and then extend into obvious ridiculous trash …. you don’t complain about that?

Editor
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 14, 2022 9:15 pm

You didn’t read the paper thus you are blowing smoggy fog here.

Dr. Mass read it and is highly critical of the paper maybe YOU can address his comment instead but that will never happen.

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 14, 2022 10:16 pm

Well I have read both the paper and also C.Mass’s comment elsewhere criticizing the paper’s use of “… CMIP6 models … which are more sensitive than CMIP5 … and not correct.” Let’s go to the report’s own words about this.

Quote: “… using the 29 CMIP6 models … ACC [anthropogenic climate change] trends toward around 42% of the SWNA [south west north america] soil moisture anomaly in 2000-2021….The 42% ACC contribution … is similar to the 46% value previously found for 2000-2018 using CMIP5 generation … suggesting little change to how models simulate ACC effects on SWNA hydrology.”

So the “more sensitive” model CMIP6 put the 21 year contribution to SWNA drought as lower (42%) than the CMIP5 model puts it’s 18 year contribution to SWNA drought (46%). I do not perceive a 4% variation disqualifying about this for data with just a small percentage of difference in duration (18 vs. 21 years). Now, none of this addresses the limitations of said models, or any dynamics of “natural variability” as C. Mass phrased it.

This comment is posted here because when the skeletally sketched out O.P, is criticized by I.Walton an “Editor” accuses him of “blowing smoggy fog here.” The 2nd sentence reminds me of: “Let’s you and him fight!”

Dave Fair
Reply to  gringojay
February 14, 2022 11:57 pm

Are you effing crazy, gringojay? Using UN IPCC CMIP6 CliSciFi models tuned to the late 20th Century as proof of anthropogenic causation of current SW U.S. drought? Jaysus, talk about circular reasoning; people in the 19th Century knew that was wrong.

gringojay
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 15, 2022 1:06 am

@ D.Fair – Why be rude in your first sentence?

I do not create models and I do not make any claims about models myself on WUWT – never have. The O.P. says he did not read the report and I specifically present a quote from the report.

Wait, is that Neil Young I hear typing a WUWT comment that I should be banned?

Dave Fair
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 7:55 am

I’m rude, gringojay, because your comments are obvious nonsense; quoting nonsense is perpetuating nonsense. In this case, all one need do is review a little history in order to debunk current politicized CliSciFi lies.

Cute quotation of current hipster memes is not argumentation, gringojay. I never said you should be banned on WUWT. I continue to assert that you spout CliSciFi lies. Let the buyer beware.

gringojay
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 15, 2022 9:02 am

You are not engaging in a mature discussion for some reason. I do not perceive a logical presentation developing your analysis of issues related to the original post.

Editor
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 8:33 am

As usual you tell only part of the truth here is the full quote:

“Both headlines refer to a new paywalled paper in Nature Climate Change (of course). Lead author Park Williams is a UCLA ‘bioclimatologist’. I did not waste paywall money, because NPR reporter Nathan Rott provided sufficient free context on today’s NPR.org website to write this brief post on this latest ‘research news’.”

bolding mine

Now YOU are blowing some fog too…..

gringojay
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 2:13 pm

@S….y, – What next can I expect from an “Editor” like yourself at WUWT – yo’ mamma chops?

I have seen other WUWT commentators posting your O.P. excerpt and addressed it in those place(s). Frankly I do not see here, in this particular comment segment, where I even tangentially wrote anything relevant to what you have now interjected.

As I see it you just tried to discredit me with your leading declarative statement that I “[a]s usual … tell only part of the truth.” I said I read the original of what the O.P. brought up, and not only that demonstrated the report authors made specific mention of both CMPIs 5&6.

PCman999
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 14, 2022 9:25 pm

One has to detest the chutzpah of yet another climate scientist using flimsy, barely relevant data to push the climate scientology. The study goes back 1200 yrs using a few tree rings, finds the second-worst year is from the 1500’s, and yet the current conditions are somehow unprecedented. What about the 1500’s? Martin Luther’s SUV caused draughts back then too?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 14, 2022 11:46 pm

Izaack, please describe the effects of Hadley Circulation on the SW U.S.

MarkW
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 15, 2022 8:18 am

The mere fact that the conclusions don’t match the data is enough to trash the research.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 15, 2022 5:29 pm

Izaak, late return. In case you did not read the post, it DID NOT analyze the paper per se, since was paywalled. Even complemented the general archeological wet/normal/dry tree ring methodology. Post commented on the NPR interview with the first author, and inferences soley therefrom. You take offense that I no longer waste money on silly paywalled papers. Pay yourself then defend—you cannot, because above Cliff Mass who has university free access destroyed the back half of the paper itself. Whine on.

February 14, 2022 8:40 pm

I have a proposal. It is expensive, but it will solve the problem with the desertification of the American Southwest. The best new green deal ever. Save the American South West and make it green! This is how. https://lenbilen.com/2022/02/13/the-best-new-green-deal-ever-save-the-american-south-west-and-make-it-green-this-is-how/

ATheoK
February 14, 2022 9:18 pm

Their tree ring reconstruction sound dubious, especially as it includes a smoothing function based upon distance.

Each grid cell’s final reconstruction comprises the best-performing reconstruction among an ensemble produced using various combinations of calibration period, search radius (maximum distance between a grid cell and a tree-ring site) and spatial smoothing of the reconstruction’s target soil moisture dataset (for large search radii, spatial resolution of the target was reduced).

There is enough finagling there to force reconstructed data to fit their preconceived biases, before they append modern records and resolution to reconstructed 1,200 years using tree rings.

Then they have a kludged model that blames mankind automatically.

To assess climate change impacts we use monthly outputs of precipitation, mean daily maximum and minimum temperature and mean relative humidity simulated by 29 climate models through the CMIP6 historical (1850–2014) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathway SSP2.45 (2015–2100) experiments (Supplementary Table 1).
Multimodel mean trends since 1901, assessed as 50-yr filtered time series for temperature and relative humidity and 100-yr filtered time series for precipitation, are considered to represent ACC trends following Williams et al.”

Nor should their biased assumptions be overlooked.

While there have been single-year breaks in these anomalous conditions, aridity has dominated the 2000s, as evidenced by declines in two of North America’s largest reservoirs, Lakes Mead and Powell, both on the Colorado River. In summer 2021, these reservoirs reached their lowest levels on record, triggering unprecedented restrictions on Colorado River usage

No mention is included regarding the massive water withdrawals by multiple states and cities for drinking, washing, sewage and irrigation. Instead, they carefully imply the declines are caused by drought.
The NPR press release for this research also blamed wildfires on the climate and drought.

gringojay
Reply to  ATheoK
February 14, 2022 11:08 pm

Quote from the report itself: “… throughout the 2000s drought anomalies have accumulated as fast or faster than the most intense 22-yr, drought anomalies … without ACC [anthropogenic climate change] 2000-2021 would not even be classified as a single extended drought event….”

The authors do not claim declining levels of reservoirs are “caused by drought”. But rather the inverse, namely the recent span extension of drought (with concomitant reservoir “declines”) has a significantly large component of human impact. For those who may be curious, elsewhere they asses that impact of ACC to be 42% and explain their methodology.

Dave Fair
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 12:30 am

Uh, gringojay, their results reflected: Multimodel mean trends since 1901, assessed as 50-yr filtered time series for temperature and relative humidity and 100-yr filtered time series for precipitation, are considered to represent ACC trends following Williams et al.” 50 and 100-year filtering removes any lesser period signals (e.g. 22 years), if I understand classical filtering.

The report did, in fact, say that drought impacted reservoir “declines.” Don’t lie.

gringojay
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 15, 2022 1:24 am

Argumentative and accusatory – try for a trifecta next time, maybe you will be right about one thing. Your repetition presenting in bold of this sub-thread quote makes no statement of what you argue.

“Uh”, the quote you accuse me of being a liar is about factors “… considered to represent ACC trends.” Which is just more of what I quoted the authors way of saying: that if they did not have compounding by ACC they wouldn’t be making a big thing about the drought they define as extended.

Dave Fair
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2022 7:44 am

Oh, bullshit, gringojay. There is no such thing as “Anthropogenic Climate Change” (ACC) trends. The SW U.S. is subject to random, reoccurring droughts. Pseudo academic dicking around with statistics is just that. Samuel Clemens said it all.

gringojay
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 15, 2022 9:07 am

I have not promoted ACC as a personal belief. It is the O.P.’s subject report that does so. I quote that report to reveal what it actually is saying because the O.P. writer states he never read it.

MarkW
Reply to  ATheoK
February 15, 2022 8:20 am

How do they determine the “best performing reconstruction”?
The one that best matches their assumptions?

RickWill
February 14, 2022 9:41 pm

Greenhouse gas emissions are warming the world,

No there not.

The “greenhouse effect” is a belief system that has no bearing on Earth’s energy balance or climate.

Where does sea ice get covered in the “greenhouse effect” belief system?

If the nuclear reactor in the sun stopped tomorrow, how long before the oceans are solid ice? The answer is never because there would still be water as long as there was geothermal activity on Earth.

Even without geothermal activity, it would take 35,000 years for just the top 2000m of the oceans to freeze solid.

With 17% of the ocean surface sea ice, the insulating properties of ice play a vital role in keeping Earth warm. Where is this mentioned in the “greenhouse effect” bible.

R. Morton
February 14, 2022 11:28 pm

I have lived in the DESERT Southwest for the past 25 years. Its a DESERT.
Isn’t ‘drought’ THE climate when it comes to deserts???

I’ve noticed a concerted effort on the part of our ‘media’ in recent years to stop using the word desert when referring to the region whenever spewing their climate BS.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  R. Morton
February 15, 2022 8:01 am

That’s what I keep wondering about. How long does a drought have to be before one must consider those conditions “normal?”

Tim Gorman
Reply to  R. Morton
February 15, 2022 2:38 pm

Our media are singularly ignorant. Most climate scientists are as well.

They have no idea that places like central California and the great plains are semi-arid deserts as well. You can tell when driving by hill cuts where they are putting in new highways. The native grasses have roots that go 8ft or more deep. That’s to survive during times of drought. The roots let them reach down to where remaining water exists. The tops can go dormant but the grass survives.

The climate scientists speak of 2-5yr droughts being caused by climate change over the area from N. Dakota to Texas. But they are *common* over both recent and distant history in this area. Central California isn’t any different, the weather just has different drivers.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  R. Morton
February 16, 2022 9:48 am

Climate scientists don’t really study climate, The have no idea about anything except CO2 and the atmosphere. Cross knowledge of other areas of study like geology would interfere with their belief system.

Michael in Dublin
February 15, 2022 3:59 am

I keep seeing alarmist headlines of climate articles that are paywalled.

Consider the logic of the writers and publishers:

  1. We are facing catastrophic climate change
  2. We need to take the following drastic measures to address these
  3. We want all people to be informed and to act immediately
  4. You need to pay for this life and death information

If I were convinced of an impending disaster and wanted to warn the public I would either get this published and pay out of my own pocket or find a sponsor so that it could be free and easily accessible.

My conclusion is that neither these writers nor publishers actually believe that the demise of the human race can be prevented by these alarmist articles – or even that it will really happen.

Last edited 7 months ago by Michael in Dublin
Duane
February 15, 2022 5:48 am

The term “western drought” is itself completely misleading. Droughts never cover the entire western half of the nation, only very limited portions reflecting at most only single digit percentages of areas of the western states of the US.

Secondly, wherever its dryer than normal somewhere in some particular portion of the land surface, it is virtually certain to be wetter than normal immediately “next door”. Wetness vs. dryness can only be defined on a watershed basis or even on much smaller political divisions such as counties . Although the more granular the data, the better.

Most western states track annual precipitation volumes, usually the majority of which is in mountain snow pack that melts each spring, on at least a county by county basis, or else or in addition to watershed by watershed basis. And again, look at one watershed that appears to be in drought, and more likely than not the adjacent watershed will be in state of greater than average precipitation. The western states do this because in general the west has always been “water starved” in the lowlands suitable for agriculture, thus relying upon irrigation flows derived from upland mountain snowpack, with flows controlled in man made reservoirs.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Duane
February 15, 2022 2:41 pm

The great plains have always had intermittent “water starved” periods. Historically they have not been watered from upland mountain snowpack. But they are still only *semi*-arid deserts. If it were historically worse than semi-arid the vast herds of bison roaming the plains before European settlers arrived would not have survived.

Rosalind
February 15, 2022 6:18 am

The fallen leaf lake story is here (not the reference given above): https://www.hcn.org/issues/44.22/underwater-forest-reveals-the-story-of-a-historic-megadrought

Editor
February 15, 2022 7:31 am

Williams and Cook have been writing a whole series of studies along the same line, several of them published this year.

One recent one (not the one everyone is talking about, except that it is really the same study, just with slightly varied text and under a new title) is available as pdf

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20205001039/downloads /BCookScienceLargeReprint.pdf

Michael E McHenry
February 15, 2022 7:39 am

It’s in the Wall Street Journal as well. It says this about human/CO2 contribution ,

drought wsj.png
February 15, 2022 7:52 am

From the Nature paper, Figure 9 caption:

For the first 7 droughts shown, soil moisture anomalies come from our tree-ring reconstruction. For the final drought (2000–2021), anomalies come from our observation-based record.

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Did their splicing method create some of all the post-2000 negative SWNA offset?

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Looking at the lowest years in their SWNA, 1934, 2002, 2013, and 2021:

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None of the four years of NOAA data has a #1 regional ranking for either precipitation or drought, but there are some similarities to the Nature study data. The Nature study claims a higher resolution than the regional NOAA maps, but did they have tree rings for each grid point? Doubtful.

Wharfplank
February 15, 2022 7:52 am

LA Times and KTLA 5 are making hay with front page and top[ of the hour breathless coverage. This is hanging on my fridge…

Wharfplank
Reply to  Wharfplank
February 15, 2022 7:58 am

Sorry, pic wouldn’t post. Tree ring study E R Cook @ Earth-Science Reviews.

February 15, 2022 7:58 am

The drought conditions for 2020-21 were caused by months of lack of evaporation in the central Pacific, producing clearer skies and higher land temperatures during the La Nina:

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February 15, 2022 8:11 am

The quality of todays catastrophism just keep going down, down, down

The latest is that the moon will kill us all in 2030

NASA says it apparently

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/video/other/why-the-moon-could-cause-the-end-of-the-world-by-2030/vi-AATS7NE?ocid=entnewsntp

February 15, 2022 8:29 am

Is a drought a local phenomenon, or a global phenomenon? What is this fuss about?

Doonman
Reply to  Curious George
February 15, 2022 1:58 pm

The “fuss” is that anything that keeps politicians in a spending spree mood and the populace in a state of hysteria so they will keep re-electing the spendthrifts will be promoted by those that benefit from it.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Curious George
February 15, 2022 2:43 pm

It’s local. Oklahoma can be in drought while Kansas and TX are not.

Rhee
February 15, 2022 8:58 am

the current alleged mega drought here in Los Angeles doesn’t even begin to measure up to the drought that gripped the region in the first decade of the 2000s, so how can it be the absolute worst in over a millennium

Ireneusz Palmowski
February 15, 2022 10:01 am

The Niño 3.4 index is falling again.comment image

Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
February 15, 2022 12:22 pm

The December sunspot bump is over. Remember there is a 27-54 day TSI lag from SN.

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More sunspots please.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  Bob Weber
February 15, 2022 12:55 pm

Weak solar wind, weak La Niña and extended in time.comment image

Robert B
February 15, 2022 12:50 pm

I had look at LA rainfall at the AP.
http://www.laalmanac.com/weather/we09a.php

There have been quite a few dry years in the past decade 30% of the mean, and some that are 50% more. There are quite a few years before 2005 that had more than twice the mean rainfall for the year, all after 77/78. The year 97/98 had 19.5 inches more than the 11.7 inches mean.

21/22 is 30% above the mean so far, but because Dec had 3 times it’s mean rainfall.

I assume that it’s even more variable away from the coast. Is it real science to compare this data with proxies like tree rings? Is very high rainfall in December going to show up as large growth of a tree on a slope of a mountain (where the larger beams would come from). Or is early spring rain going to thaw out snow up the slope leading to drier ground in late spring?

LA airport goes back 76 years and the past 38 years is wetter than the first 38, which lines up well with beginning of late 20thC warming. 21 years seems to be cherry picking.

It might look sciency. I can’t read the details on what was made available for free but it’s way to short to have properly accounted for the many issues when comparing apples with tomatoes (love apples, according to the French)

Editor
February 15, 2022 1:08 pm

Tony Heller on a rampage over this nonsense paper as he posted previous research that were published in the NYT showing long known major droughts of the past and posted a lot of sources showing droughts in the region happened quite often and the Precipitation rate in the region doesn’t show anything unusual going on.

Posted today.

Flaunting Their Fake Climate News

Nicholas Harding
Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2022 3:11 pm

So this mega drought from 1200 years ago was man made? Says, who? On what evidence? If it happened by forces of nature 1200 years ago, why not forces of nature today? Oil and gas not a factor then, probably not a factor today.

Editor
Reply to  Nicholas Harding
February 15, 2022 3:27 pm

Huh?

You must be confusing me for someone else since I never said it was man made 1,200 years ago.

I have posted in this thread hard evidence that as of NOW the worlds precipitation rate is INCREASING and even more so in America and rate of droughts are decreasing.

Also showed that the rate of drought is DECREASING worldwide in the link below.

LINK

LINK

LINK

Enjoy.

zack aa
February 15, 2022 9:34 pm

How about addressing the real issue being population growth outstripping the infrastructure. In the always arid west, whether 10kya, 800, 1215, 1560 or 1920 AD; they all had magnitudes less people survivng in the ecosystem. California has sold tens of billions in bonds in recent years and achieved no significant additional storage to keep up with the population growth that already occurred since the last new dam opened circa 1970. Co2 as a concerning issue is so small in relevance that it only points once again to the unseriousness of it’s proponents.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  zack aa
February 16, 2022 12:11 am

California should invest in underground water reservoirs. It’s a shame the water will melt in the mountains and summers can be hot because of la Niña.

David Kahn
February 16, 2022 7:30 pm
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