The Science of Dryness & California Droughts & Fire

Jim Steele

Jim Steele

This video provides the science revealing how droughts are caused by dry weather that then result in warmer temperatures. It also shows there is no correlation between rising greenhouse gases vs droughts and wildfires.

Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, and proud member of the CO2 Coalition.

Transcipt for this video is at:

The Science of Dryness and  California’s Droughts

Here I will deal with how people are being misled by a toxic mix of scientific truths re-framed by false narratives.

Increasing CO2 undeniably re-directs more energy back to the earth’s surface increasing the earth’s potential warming.

However, as easily demonstrated in this video, increasing CO2 is not causing more drought and wildfires

Physicists have reliably determined that CO2 is increasing the earth’s warming potential by about 2.5 watts per meter squared. That science is indeed settled.

However, how it will affect earth’s climate is definitely not settled. Depending on the earth’s sensitivity, different scientists hypothesize a doubling of CO2 concentrations since the mid 1800s has the potential to raise global temperatures somewhere between 1.5 to 4.5 Celsius.

So far, CO2 has only increased by about 40%.

So, to convince you that a 1 degree rise in a hundred years is deadly & dangerous, politicians like Al Gore repeat claims by alarmists like climate scientist Jim Hansen, that CO2 is adding the equivalent of 600 thousand Hiroshima bombs each day.

To justify that ridiculous scary narrative, they simply multiplied CO2’s 2.5 watts per meter squared by the earth’s 500 trillion square meters of surface area and then multiplied that result by over 86,000 seconds. Finally, they ignore how much energy quickly escapes back to space.

At the 2023 World Economic Forum a desperate Al Gore claimed those bombs were boiling our oceans. He must believe the public is stupid or just too scared to think critically.

The average temperature for the earth’s oceans is about 4ºC, just 4% of the temperature need to boil water! Even the warmest hot spots on tropical ocean surfaces only reach 33% of the boiling point.

If your kids or friends have been terrified by such lies, I suggest doing a real scientific experiment in your own home.

The average ranch house has a living room that is about 31 square meters large. A lamp with a 100-watt light bulb, will provide about 3.2 W/ m2 of energy to that room, a little more energy than currently being added by CO2.

Seal the living room off from the rest of your house and only use that light bulb to warm the room during the winter. It will be very clear that 2.5 watts/square meter is not providing dangerous heat nor preventing dangerous cold.

Click-bait media profits from cherry-picking disasters, fear mongering and misinforming.

For example, in November 2022 CNN announced California’s climate crisis is intensifying and taking a heavy toll on residents.

Reading on, they reported the stark reality of climate change in California is clear: record high temperatures, unrelenting drought and unprecedented wildfires.

I’ve addressed the wildfire misinformation in earlier presentations. Just google “Understanding Wildfires and How We Must Adapt” or “Setting Senator Whitehouse Straight on Climate and Wildfires”

Because climate alarmists can only claim that wildfires are getting worse because rising CO2 is raising vapor pressure deficits and drying out the land, this video focuses on the causes of drought and dryness.

First, using the Palmer Drought everity Index, an EPA time series for the United States contiguous 48 states, shows absolutely no trend in droughts for the last 125 years. The worst drought conditions happened in the 1930s.

Looking at 100-year regional trends, there have been fewer droughts in the eastern half of the United States.

The only region with a significant drying trend is California and the American southwest where drying due to La Nina-like conditions have the greatest impact.

And that drying trend will be greatly reduced with another year of data as California’s 2022-2023 water year is experiencing record high rain and snowfall.

Using tree rings of the Blue Oak, a moisture sensitive tree growing in the Sierra Nevada foothills, rainfall variability can be extended back to the 1300s. Yet again, there is no long-term drying trend. The 21st century is not experiencing any unusual precipitation trends, also called meteorological drought.

Similarly, NOAA modeled the Palmer Drought Severity Index back for the past one thousand years. This metric evaluates agricultural drought and soil moisture nonetheless they determined worse droughts happened when CO2 concentrations were much lower than today

NOAA’s data on California’s annual rainfall since 1900 also shows no trend.

So, there is absolutely no correlation at all with rising greenhouse gases.

There are better correlations with the all-natural Pacific Decadal Oscillation which refers to the 20–30-year switches between El Nino-like and La Nina-like ocean conditions.

Paradoxically the narrative on how rising CO2 concentrations raise temperatures depends partly on increasing moisture, not increasing drought.

Here is the suggested mechanism. First, rising CO2 adds about 2.5 watts of energy and potentially raises air temperatures.

The air holds more moisture as temperatures rise.

Increasing water vapor is a greenhouse gas that amplifies that temperature increase by 1.7 times.

Despite the small temperature change, some very impressionable people who never think critically, become convinced that climate change is causing human extinction.

Those impressionable pawns of climate alarm have been misled by many so-called experts, such as those at the National Science Foundation funded UCAR Center for Science Education.

Their website writes-that global warming is causing “more evaporation, so there is more water in the air, so there will be more intense rainfall causing flooding.

But under the category that all things are possible if you just believe in the government

Their very next paragraph states the opposite dynamic where “more evaporation turning water into vapor causes drought”.

Thus, we are inundated with a pseudo religious scientific claim that with “CO2 all things are possible”.

Our impressionable and vulnerable children then become depressed falsely believing rising CO2 is destroying their future with both floods and drought!

In contrast, drier and warmer weather happens when greenhouse warming is most reduced.

Scientific consensus shows drier land causes higher temperatures, as measured in California’s Death Valley or the deserts of the Sahara and Middle East. Those deserts have been created by atmospheric circulation that brings dry weather.

Wet weather has more clouds and water vapor.

More clouds have a cooling effect by reducing solar heating.

More water vapor promotes more evaporative cooling.

But because water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas, absorbing 3 to 4 times more heat than CO2, water vapor increases greenhouse heating.

Still those combined dynamics show wet weather results in cooler temperatures.

Dry weather however brings clear skies and reduced water vapor. That increases solar heating.

Less moisture reduces evaporative cooling further warming the surface.

Reduced water vapor reduces greenhouse warming,

Thus, dry weather increases temperatures when greenhouse warming is most reduced.

Due to powerful moisture effects, there is no need for an increase in solar or greenhouse radiation to account for rising temperatures.

First, to be clear, joules are simply a measure of energy, and watts are a measure of how much energy is delivered each second.

So, to put joules into perspective, it takes 4.18 joules to raise a gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

But a whopping 2,257 joules are required to convert a gram of liquid water to water vapor. And despite absorbing that much energy, there is no change in temperature, which is why evaporation causes latent or “hidden” heating.

When there is no water to vaporize, all that energy will quickly raise air and soil temperatures. It only takes 1 joule to raise a gram of air by 1 degree Celsius. Because that energy input can be detected as a rising temperature, it is called sensible heat.

It is the shift from latent heat to sensible heat that accounts for the increasing soil and air temperatures as the soil dries. Soil temperature can rise by 10 degrees Celsius as the soil goes from 30% to 0% moisture content.

Air temperatures are primarily governed by contact with the ground. Air that contacts warm surfaces rises, allowing cooler air above to sink and warm. This convection loop determines the air temperatures used in climate science.

Accordingly, several scientific studies show the strong relationship between air and soil temperatures.

Human groundwater extraction lowers the water table and can reduce soil moisture, hasten the arrival of the local wilting point and preventing further transpiration, while shifting temperature control to greater sensible heating.

Stress from ground water depletion further amplifies the Southwest’s vulnerability to dryness and resulting warming

Urbanization further reduces soil moisture and removes cooling vegetation driving the urban heat islands. Climate scientist Dr Roy Spencer has presented evidence from his research showing that Urban Heat Island effects are largely indistinguishable from any theoretical CO2 driven warming.

Similarly, dog lovers concerned about dangerous surface heat that could burn their dogs’ paws present this warning:

When air temperature is at 95 F,

Dry black asphalt reaches 140 F, while lighter colored cement reflecting more sunlight, only reaches 125 F.

As asphalt and cement increasingly covered urbanized areas more surface temperatures increased by 35 to 50f higher than surfaces with living grass.

Weather stations in the Global Historical Climate Network are becoming increasingly urbanized and skewing global temperatures.

Only 13.2% of all GHCN weather stations can be called truly rural, where natural warming is best measured.

In addition, airport weather stations with their asphalt and cement runways and parking lots are increasingly becoming the backbone of weather stations in the climate network. So how often are alarmist scientists and click bait media incorrectly attributing warmer temperatures and natural droughts to rising CO2??

Democracy depends on a better-informed public. A public succumbing to fear mongering and lies only opens the door for bad solutions and government tyranny.

Thank you

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March 21, 2023 6:21 am

My dad used to say just look to see if his lips are moving. Some things haven’t changed.

March 21, 2023 6:29 am

As always a simple but thorough explanation. We appreciate this.

Henry Pool
March 21, 2023 6:49 am

I notice of course that those on radio and TV do not ask to pray for rain [anymore]. They just “explain” that the drought time is due to ‘man made’ climate change;
…..hence, the lack of rain is simply your own fault….
To understand about drought times you should first read this report:
It was also published in Dutch, see here:

The GB cycle is a quasi sine wave function where the speed of warming/cooling has a wavelength of 87 years, on average. That means you are at the same point every 43 years, on average. Give or take a few years. Drought years seem to be caused when the speed of warming ‘stands still’ on the top of the hill and in the bottom of the valley.

Last edited 2 months ago by Henry Pool
March 21, 2023 6:57 am

“More clouds have a cooling effect by reducing solar heating.”

This is a powerful effect. 70% of the planet is covered by water. 65% of the planet is covered by clouds. Albedo of ocean is below 10% and Albedo of clouds can be 70%. Where a cloud DOES NOT exist over the ocean, about 80% of the incoming sunlight produces water vapour relatively immediately. A while later the water vapour contributes to increased temperature in the atmosphere by IR absorption of a few watts/sq.M., but another hour later, the water vapour turns to cloud due to convection.

Suddenly hundreds of watts of sunlight then DO NOT reach the surface reducing the clouds generated by the atmospheric heat engine…cooling the surface back down again….The effect is literally so strong that calculation of the difference between LW and SW results in a planet wide Net Cloud feed back of basically ZERO watts, allowing confused thinkers to say “see the numbers…clouds have almost no effect”.

This is akin to believing that the gas pedal on your car had no effect on your car’s speed for the last hour, while ignoring that your “cruise control” is ON….

Last edited 2 months ago by DMacKenzie
John Shewchuk
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 21, 2023 7:14 am

The IPCC is still to figure this one out …

Reply to  John Shewchuk
March 21, 2023 8:46 am

Fortunately, we have another 10 years to figure out how to avoid climate collapse.

Does anyone ever really need a sarcasm tag?

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 21, 2023 10:25 am

Clouds have no effect on climate CHANGE unless the type, quantity and timing of clouds changes. Not exactly easy to measure. Clouds block some sunlight but also have a greenhouse effect in the other direction. Clouds are complicated. Much simpler to blame climate change on manmade CO2.

John Shewchuk
March 21, 2023 7:05 am

The longtime standard, Palmer Drought index, is being overtaken by a newcomer — the U.S. Drought Monitor which uses “subjective” methods and “experts” to obtain increasingly scary drought data …

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  John Shewchuk
March 23, 2023 3:39 am

Not again.

When the data doesn’t tell the right story, change the metrics to make the story appear to be true.

Also see the criteria for “named storms” being expanded and subtropical cyclones now being added to ACE totals.

John Shewchuk
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
March 23, 2023 3:46 am

Yes — Neil Frank pointed that out some time ago and I have been tracking that and reporting that in my climate talks. Climate data manipulation is happening at every opportunity. Plus, I still can’t find data proving last year’s Nicole hit Florida as a Cat 1.

March 21, 2023 7:27 am

Excellent again Jim

Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 21, 2023 8:54 am

I agree, excellent article. Relevant to asphalt, global warming could be reversed with this stuff, CoolSeal.

Not recommended for cold places like Edmonton, where the streets are often covered with snow and ice or in places like Philadelphia where it might be construed as racist.

Anyone have any personal experience with CoolSeal?

Last edited 2 months ago by Scissor
Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Scissor
March 22, 2023 1:54 am

Who knew? Well, apart from the Greeks who have been whitewashing not only their houses, but also walkways, walls and much of the infrastructure for centuries.

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March 21, 2023 8:02 am

“Here is the suggested mechanism. First, rising CO2 adds about 2.5 watts of energy and potentially raises air temperatures. The air holds more moisture as temperatures rise.
Increasing water vapor is a greenhouse gas that amplifies that temperature increase by 1.7 times.”

If the alleged positive water feedback existed, adding CO2 into the picture would not be necessary. There are plenty of more powerful reasons for temperatures to increase other than CO2. A spike in temperatures for any reason would cause further warming.
But never in geological history climate has shown runaway warming, strongly suggesting that the overall water feedback is negative.

Reply to  Someone
March 21, 2023 8:57 am

Yes. Water does everything CO2 does and more and there’s more of it.

Reply to  Scissor
March 21, 2023 10:31 am

Water vapor does not directly cause climate CHANGE.
CO2 emissions do.

Reply to  Richard Greene
March 21, 2023 12:30 pm

In my opinion, it’s a much more important greenhouse gas than CO2, contributing to temperature, though in more complex ways because of it’s physical properties and abundance.

Last edited 2 months ago by Scissor
Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 21, 2023 12:49 pm

Sorry but water vapour almost completely covers the same absorption bands as CO2, pretty well removing CO2’s capability to heat anything. CO2 level at 0.04% water vapour 1% to 4% sorta points out who controls whom. Plus it is a log function so the law of diminishing returns also applies to CO2’s capability. Three strikes your out. 🤷‍♀️🤔

Jim Steele
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 21, 2023 12:51 pm

But water and vapor do affect the temperatures by which the causes of climate change are attributed

Reply to  Jim Steele
March 21, 2023 1:03 pm

Yes, IPCC has to discount the importance of water just like they have to convolute the lifetimes of CO2 in the atmosphere, otherwise there is nothing alarming to their theory.

They have modified the scientific method to exclude looking at factors which could falsify a hypothesis. This is essentially the same as Fauci science. The safety signal does not exist if it’s not sought.

Reply to  Richard Greene
March 21, 2023 6:09 pm

what specific climate has changed as a result of CO2 emissions?

(maybe as example, tell me what plants can’t grow where they grew 35 years ago? or what area does not support the same plants that it did 35 years ago?)

gimme sumthin specific here.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DonM
March 22, 2023 2:22 am

Over the past 100+ years the Earth has grown slightly warmer and wetter. Along with CO2 fertilization that has driven the greening of the planet, with concommitment increases in food production. Significantly, no extreme weather metric has become more frequent, intense or of longer duration. That includes extreme heatwaves, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts and wildfires.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 23, 2023 3:41 am

Sorry, but no. Zero empirical evidence indicates that “CO2 drives temperature.”

A good deal of empirical evidence says it does not.

Reply to  Someone
March 21, 2023 10:30 am

But never in geological history climate has shown runaway warming, strongly suggesting that the overall water feedback is negative.

False conclusion
The lack of runaway warming probably shows there is a negative feedback to the water vapor positive feedback. More water vapor in the troposphere leads to more clouds, blocking more sunlight, would be a logical possibility for limiting the water vapor positive feedback. Hopefully, I will get a Nobel Prize for this theory?

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Greene
Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 21, 2023 12:52 pm

Or there is no water vapour positive feedback. As a much simpler and more likely correct explanation.

Clyde Spencer
March 21, 2023 9:01 am

Democracy depends on a better-informed public.

Therein lies the problem! Most of the ‘news’ media promotes a leftist bias with the public being fed a diet of cherry picked facts and unsupported speculations, devoid of numeric support and quantitative uncertainty.

The Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 21, 2023 10:32 am

Why should climate science be different than every other subject?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 21, 2023 3:09 pm

That’s it in a nutshell!

Ireneusz Palmowski
March 21, 2023 9:43 am

It will rain heavily in Southern California.
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Last edited 2 months ago by Ireneusz Palmowski
Steve Case
March 21, 2023 9:58 am

You Tube time mark 2:19 “The average temperature of the oceans is about 4 degrees centigrade just 4% of the temperature needed to boil water.” 

You need to convert all temperatures to Kelvin to get percentages. 
Water boils at 373 K and converting 4 degrees centigrade to Kelvin
comes out to 277 K So your percentage is 74% not 4%

However Al Gore is still spectacularly wrong, and only stupid people
believe that the oceans will boil due to CO2 induced Climate Change.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 21, 2023 10:15 am


4 C is 4 % of 100 C. 100 C is the boiling point for water. To raise from 4 C to 100 C would take 96 C. Since the Cp for water is 1 Btu/lb/F, the amount of energy required would be proportional to the change in temperature. It still works out to 4% on the centigrade or Farenheight scale. It still takes another 1000 Btu/lb to boil it.

Steve Case
Reply to  Mason
March 21, 2023 10:51 am


Four degrees Centigrade converts to 39 degrees Fahrenheit and boiling is 212 Fahrenheit 39/212 x 100 equals 18%

So what is it, 4% 18% or 74% ?

Reply to  Steve Case
March 21, 2023 11:44 am

Not to be too pedantic, but raising water (at sea level) to the boiling point (212F) is 1 BTU per degree per pound of water, but to actually boil requires a phase shift and a pound of water will absorb 970 BTUs of latent heat before it is completely shifted into steam (at 1 atmosphere of pressure).
An absolute energy requirement precentage like the 4% given should be calculated from absolute 0Kelvin. But there is another phase shift requiring 144 BTUs to go from frozen to liquid.
491 BTUs to freezing + 144 BTUs to phase shift + 8 BTUs to 4 degrees = 643 BTUs
171 BTUs to 212F, but to actually boil water the phase shift needs to start, so some percentage of the 970 BTUs will be required also.

At 4 degree C we are 79% on the way to 100C

Jim Steele
Reply to  Steve Case
March 21, 2023 11:36 am

I understand your arguments but chose to ignore them.

  1. The public doesnt think in terms of Kelvin, so I avoided that measure.
  2. At ~0C water is ice. So the temperature range from water to vapor (boiling) is 100 C.
  3. 4C is 4% of 100C and the math is easy .
  4. True if I used Fahrenheit, the % difference would be 18% instead of 4% due to the oddities of the different metrics
  5. But if I used degrees instead of % then 94C vs173F, also due to oddities of the different metrics
  6. So I settled on the simple math of 4% and I suspect most people got the simple point that Gore was nuts and grossly exaggerating!
Reply to  Jim Steele
March 21, 2023 11:44 am

Gore exaggerates so often that even the consensus climate scientists (leftist CO2 scaremongers) complain that he does not report their wild guesses of a coming climate doom accurately. This has been true since the 1990s.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  Richard Greene
March 21, 2023 12:59 pm

Oh so that’s how the consensus climate scientists justify getting everything wrong so far 🤦‍♂️ 🙄

Steve Case
Reply to  Jim Steele
March 21, 2023 12:53 pm
  1. 4C is 4% of 100C and the math is easy .


Um OK, but anyone who knows what’s what, knows that that’s wrong.

Jim Steele
Reply to  Steve Case
March 21, 2023 1:39 pm

Damn Steve, You are needlessly nitpicking an d trying to reframe the issue why? To show your superiority? Is your nitpicking helping the public better understand the issues in the article??? That 4C is 4% of 100C is TRUE! The 4% argument was not framing the issue of what percent of total energy in BTUs or temperature in Kelvin starting from absolute zero! As dumb as Gore is, his comment was not referring to CO2 raising water from absolute zero to boiling. Get over it!

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Steele
March 21, 2023 10:06 am

“4 C, just 4% of the temperature needed to raise the water temperature to boiling.” However, to boil the water you need another 1000 btu/lb. 4 C delta is about 8 btu/lb.

March 21, 2023 10:09 am

Due to the average global temperature being higher than last year by LESS THAN 0.1 degrees C., more people suddenly decided to go to the forest and start accidental, or deliberate, fires.

It’s a well-known fact that a mere +0.1 degree C. change in the average temperature radically changes human behavior. A slightly warmer temperature — actually too small a change for humans to notice — makes people go berserk. They immediately want to go to the woods to start fires, and that change also causes electric lines to get knocked down by trees. Yeah, right.

In reality, there is no logical connection between the number of forest fires and the average temperature, because up to 90% of fires are manmade. A tiny change in the temperature is not going to change human behavior.

Growth in the population will increase the number of accidental fires.

We Climate Realists should not debate the fake climate change – wildfire count claim. It does not deserve the respect of a debate. It is as ridiculous as blaming a rising crime rate of climate change. We should ridicule anyone who blames wildfires on climate change.

A few small errors near the beginning of the aricle:

“Depending on the earth’s sensitivity, different scientists hypothesize a doubling of CO2 concentrations since the mid 1800s has the potential to raise global temperatures somewhere between 1.5 to 4.5 Celsius.
So far, CO2 has only increased by about 40%.”

CO2 is estimated to have increased +50%, not +40%, since 1850, with 1850 being a rough estimate from ice cores. From 280ppm to 420ppm is +50%

The old +1.5 to +4.5 ECS WILD GUESS from the 1979 Charney Report was arbitrarily changed to a new WILD GUESS range of +2.5 to +4.0 degrees C. by the IPCC a few years ago, because the old +1.5 degrees C. was not scary enough.

These ECS numbers are wild guesses. To call them hypotheses is giving them too much respect. ECS is not even the right number to mention. Because ECS is for 200 to 400 years into the future — and if that is not a WILD GUESS, then I don’t know what is.

The right number to mention is TCS, using the reasonable RCP 4.5 CO2 growth rate scenario, rather than the usual ECS with the RCP 8.5 CO2 worst case scenario.

TCS with RCP 4.5 predicts about half the warming rate predicted by ECS with RCP 8.5. About the same warming rate as from 1975 to 2023.

And the TCS prediction is for 70 years in the future, not 200 to 400 years in the future. Meaning the IPCC’s own WILD GUESS for 70 years in the future CONTRADICTS their claim of a coming emergency that they have been blabbering about since 1988.

And even before 1988, starting in about 1970, there have been ALWAYS WRONG predictions of climate doom every year for 50 years in a row. First an alleged coming GLOBAL COOLING crisis, from about 1970 to 1975, and then an alleged coming GLOBAL WARMING crisis, from 1979 to 2023.

Lessons Learned
A climate crisis is allegedly always coming
A climate crisis never shows up
Never trust the government.

Honest Climate Science and Energy Blog: George Carlin’s first rule could be the motto of this blog

A WILD GUESS of the average temperature in 70 years probably will not be accurate, but should be more accurate than a WILD GUESS for 200 to 400 years in the future.

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Greene
Ireneusz Palmowski
March 21, 2023 10:14 am

Is this the end of La Niña? 
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March 21, 2023 10:38 am

Excellent post. Very informative.

There is one small part of your explanation with which I disagree . . . or perhaps I misunderstood when you wrote, “More water vapor promotes more evaporative cooling.”

I’m thinking wet bulb/dry bulb temperature measurement . . . lower wet bulb temperatures result from evaporative cooling and more cooling is the result of lower humidity. In other words, less (not more) water vapor, at any given temperature, promotes evaporative cooling.

Jim Steele
Reply to  StephenG
March 21, 2023 11:25 am

I dont follow your logic Stephen. I suspect you are conflating 2 different dynamics.

Due to the moisture on the wet bulb, the temperature of a wet bulb is always lower than the dry bulb due to evaporative cooling.

The rate of evaporative cooling however is affected by relative humidity. The drier the air the more rapidly the wet bulb will lose its moisture.

dry bulb.png
Reply to  Jim Steele
March 22, 2023 9:13 am


” . . . the temperature of a wet bulb is always lower than the dry bulb due to evaporative cooling.”

Not “always.” I brought in wet bulb/dry bulb to remind you that cooling slows as Relative Humidity increases until, at 100%, cooling stops.

I know you agree because now you write, “The drier the air the more rapidly the wet bulb will lose its moisture.”

Exactly! But so different from your earlier, “More water vapor promotes more evaporative cooling” to which I have objected.

If I’m conflating two different dynamics perhaps you’ll explain where/how that works.

Jim Steele
Reply to  StephenG
March 22, 2023 11:13 am

Hmmmm OK I’ll say it again. You are conflating different dynamics.

I’ll accept that my comment “More water vapor promotes more evaporative cooling” in the context of relative humidity, that definitely slows the RATE of evaporative cooling, my words could cause confusion. In my attempt to simplify the science, and the larger context I did not foresee your confusion.

However, in the context of a wet vs dry environment that my words word were explaining my flow chart, more water vapor is usually associated with a wetter environment. Condensing vapor at the dew point wets the ground and vegetation and then promotes cooling as it evaporates during the day. Wetter soils promote more water vapor. Likewise. in the context of the flow chart, and the next illustration, with dry air and soil there is no evaporative cooling. The point being cooler temperatures shift from being governed away from latent heat to higher temperatures from sensible heat as evaporative cooling.

In the context of wet/dry bulbs that you are focused on, the wet bulb will continue to be cooler than the dry bulb until the wet bulb is no longer wet. So you could also argue, the wet bulb will stay wetter longer the more water vapor that is present.

March 21, 2023 11:45 am

Nice report.

Ireneusz Palmowski
March 21, 2023 2:30 pm

Heavy rainfall in central California.
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Last edited 2 months ago by Ireneusz Palmowski
March 21, 2023 2:53 pm

Does water policy in California enhance drought?

The wetland area in the Central Valley today is only 5-10% of what it was prior to 1850. The rivers and wetlands are contained by concrete dykes and the water is diverted to the metropolitan areas on the coasts and diverted via concrete channels out to sea. Groundwater pumping is being restricted reducing the amount of agriculture that might lead to transpiration of water vapor and higher humidity in the valley and foothills. I can’t see how these policies don’t desiccate the valley’s air leading to lower overall humidity and higher temperatures.

March 21, 2023 7:54 pm

Jim Steele:

You spin a good tale, but you are 100% wrong in your analysis.

First, CO2 has no detectable climatic effect.

Second, you totally ignore the major role of SO2 aerosols in our atmosphere.

The more they decrease, the warmer it becomes. Decreases in the amount of atmospheric SO2 aerosols due to Net Zero and “Clean Air”efforts are the reason for the current heat waves, droughts and Atmospheric Rivers around.the world. And unless they are halted, we will quickly surpass the 1.5-2.0 deg. C. threshold, possibly as early as this year.

I have three articles which support what I have said:

“Net-Zero Catastrophe Beginning?”

“The Cause of Atmospheric Rivers”

“The Definitive Cause of La Nina and El Nino Events”


Science advances as new information becomes available.

Jim Steele
Reply to  BurlHenry
March 21, 2023 8:17 pm

AAAAH Burl, Still pushing your obsession with your belief that its reflective SO2 aerosols control the climate.

First what climate effect are you suggesting I have presented? All I have said is that CO2 back radiation has added 2.5 W/m2 and has a warming POTENTIAL but its affect on earth’s climate is definitely not settled.

Second, your 50-year data to argue SO2 aerosols cause El Nino and La Nina cycles doesnt make sense at all. So maybe you can show me how SO2 aerosols control ENSO cycles throughout the Holocene as seen in this graph

itcz increasing enso.jpg
Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Steele
Reply to  Jim Steele
March 22, 2023 12:07 pm

Jim Steele:

I said that CO2 has no Climatic effect, meaning that warming due to back-radiation is nonsense.

My data set was for 70 years, not 50.

If you studied my graph,it shows 100% correlation between decreased SO2 aerosol emissions and the formation of an El Nino.

Most telling is that whenever there was an American Business recession temperatures increased, due to fewer SO2 aerosol emissions from idled foundries, factories, etc. Clearly, SO2 related.

Also shown on the graph is that temperatures rise whenever there is 4-5 years, or more, between volcanic eruptions, when all of their aerosols have settled out of the atmosphere. Again, clearly SO2 related.

Regarding your graph, if I understand it correctly, it shows “El Nino” peaks during the Minoan Warm Period, The Roman Warm Period, and Medieval Warm Period. All of these were eras when there were very few volcanic eruptions, with the result that most of the time there were no volcanic SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, and temperatures soared because of the absence of air pollution.

So, I have provided an answered your question.

Ireneusz Palmowski
March 21, 2023 11:27 pm

This is not the end of the rainfall in California.
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Last edited 2 months ago by Ireneusz Palmowski
Ireneusz Palmowski
March 22, 2023 11:58 pm

Is California ready for more fronts from the northwest?
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March 23, 2023 1:53 pm

John Steinbeck From “East of Eden” “The water came in a 30-year cycle. There would be five to six wet and wonderful years when there might be 19 to 25 inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of 12 to 16 inches of rain. And then the dry years would come …”

My experience growing up in Ventura County 1959-1966. They built giant open concrete culverts as big a rivers every where that were dry as a bone. I watched them build them…. in the old dry river beds where I would dig for geoids and other interesting stones…and may be gold. No one lived in the hills. It was too dangerous…mud slides and fires. Only the old timers lived up there….the old WWI pilots who still flew their biplanes spaying over the wide expanses of green beans and strawberries between the large stands of Eucalyptus trees.

It never rained until it did. And when it did the hills would fill up with snow and those giant concrete rivers that the would become fearful rushing torrents up to the brim and sometimes over.

It was never a problem. It was just they way it is in California. Now every thing is a crisis.

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