The Case of the Missing Climate Crisis:  Greek Edition

News Brief by Kip Hansen  — 4 May 2023

A sharp-eyed reader suggested covering this new paper with the clever title:  “In Search of Climate Crisis in Greece Using Hydrological Data: 404 Not Found”, published 27 April 2023 in the hydrology journal Water.  [ .pdf copy available at that link ].

The paper, by Demetris Koutsoyiannis and seven others, all associated with the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens and/or the Department of Agriculture, University of Patras, is in response to the EU’s declaration of a Climate Emergency:  “Given the European declaration of climate emergency, along with the establishment of a ministry of climate crisis in Greece, this dataset was also investigated from a climatic perspective using the longest of the data records to assess whether or not they support the climate crisis doctrine.

You can guess by the title of the paper that, in regards to drought, the “Climate Crisis” was not found in Greece – your computer would have reported “Error 404:  Climate Crisis Not Found”.

Using the longest hydrology records available, the authors found:

“The two over-century-long rainfall time series of Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki) show that the record average and maximum rainfall depths occurred in the 19th or early 20th century. Compared to other locations on the globe with long time series, these two time series of Greece show much smaller to negligible climate variability, both in mean and maximum rainfall heights.”

“In terms of the annual average rainfall, the two most important climatic events that have occurred in Greece from the middle of the 20th century to the present day are (a) the grouping of the high records of the annual average rainfall depth, namely 1/3 of all stations, in one year, the hydrological year 1962–63, and (b) the intense and persistent drought before and after 1990, where the five-year period from 1988–89 to 1992–93 saw more than 50% of all record lows.”

Greece has seen this alternation of dry periods and wetter periods over the entire historical period, yet civilization flourished there over the same period:

“The alternation of dry and wet periods is also a notable characteristic revealed by the study of hydrological data. This behaviour has been known to Greek philosophers since the 6th century BC (cf. Xenophanes;). Besides, the dry conditions in Greece have not been an obstacle to the development of Greek civilization but rather a trigger for the development of science, technology, and management. The ancient aqueducts of Athens that are still operational to date are a living testimony of this fact.

“A modern repetition of the latter achievement is that, as a result of the successful management of the big drought 30 years ago, Athens now has a perfect water supply system. The successful handling of this crisis is arguably one of the greatest achievements of modern Greek public policy. It would have been impossible without competent and pragmatic leadership and public participation.”

The realities of climate, the shifting from dry to wet and back to dry periods, was the impetus for advancements in science and engineering and social policy, successfully overcoming the challenges presented by the real world.

There have been dry periods, some deep and spanning years and there have been wet periods.  This describes the Mediterranean climate type – the same climate classification as found in California and much of the Pacific Coast of the United States.   But Greece’s 2,000+ years of experience, wisely acted upon, have saved Greece from the downsides of the dry periods and allowed them to take advantage of the wetter times, establishing the infrastructure and policies that truly benefit the people and ensure a constant and adequate water source for the cities of Greece.   

Bottom Line:  Error 404: Not Found

Sorry European Union,  a thorough search of long-term hydrological data found no Climate Crisis-caused drought in Greece.

Kudos are due the authors of this study – fighting back against the tide of climate nonsense. 

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Author’s Comment:

[Try as I might, I could not recover the name of the helpful reader that suggested this paper as the subject of a post here. If it was you — please let me know in comments. ]

One of the many curses of modern society, found very often in the Sciences, is Presentism – the partiality to the present (conditions, attitudes, values) as opposed to taking a longer-term viewpoint.  Thus often in Climate Studies, we find the present (or very near past —  ‘when I was a kid’ ) being held up as the ideal. 

We find this in California’s battle with its own historical climate – dry periods followed by deluges of rain.  (See the Great Flood of 1862). 

But the prophets of doom, the prophets of crisis, must fail as they spread falsehoods based on perverse ideologies. 

Thanks for reading.

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May 4, 2023 10:33 am

Perceived rainfall seems related to population growth rate – more people needing to shower and drink water seems to leave the less water flowing across the countryside where people see it. Greece has grown from 8.3 to 10.6 million in 70 years, so Greeks can see most of the water they saw as children with only a small conservation effort.

Reply to  KevinM
May 4, 2023 3:13 pm

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) defines drought as a period of at least three consecutive months of below-average rainfall – a millimeter here or there makes all the difference. I’ve driven through “drought declared” areas that were verdant. Declaring a drought triggers government support – tax breaks, rural assistance payments etc.

Reply to  JHD
May 4, 2023 4:30 pm

Thanks. Fiscal transfers.

Reply to  KevinM
May 5, 2023 6:29 am

The South East of England receives less rain per head of population than Morocco. And then what water we do get is then allowed to leak in large quantities from the pipework but this is permitted by the government granting leakage allowances to the supply companies.

James Snook
May 4, 2023 10:45 am

Presentísm is due to the way we have evolved. Those of our distant ancestors in the African Savannah that survived and passed on their genes did so by putting past threats out of their minds and concentrated wholly on immediate threats. Thus we naturally have poor recall of past calamities see any current ones as presaging a threatening future. The past is always seen in rosy retrospection. The Romans, for example, had an expression for it: “the past is always well (fondly) remembered”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 4, 2023 12:10 pm

As the Anglo Saxxon Chronicle often says
“As no man could remember”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 4, 2023 1:07 pm

Or it could just be that the vast majority are ignorant of their own past and the past of their own region or nation — certainly ignorant of the longer view of culture and climate.”

A perfect summation of climate alarmism in general. If you want a more precise example, just look to the governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee. To him, every wildfire is climate change, in spite of all the data showing wildfires were at least an order of magnitude worse throughout the state 100 years ago. He’s also ignorant of the reason the state is the Evergreen State, wildfires.

Bryan A
Reply to  James Snook
May 4, 2023 1:20 pm

Presentism – the partiality to the present (conditions, attitudes, values) as opposed to taking a longer-term viewpoint.
I often refer to this as Climate Science Du-Jour

May 4, 2023 10:46 am

As usual, evidence proves the doomsayers wrong. Getting the truth to the people is the problem when the worldwide MSM is controlled by a cabal that promotes fear to control the populace. It’s only a conspiracy theory until it becomes true.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 4, 2023 2:20 pm

🙂 I lost my last user name in WordPress when the switch was made. Somehow, somehow, this became my new user name and all my attempts to revert it to the previous one have failed. Any suggestions?

Tom Halla
May 4, 2023 11:01 am

As far as I know, all areas with a Mediterranean climate alternate floods and droughts. California politicians were pushing the drought last year as the new normal, the worst drought in thousands of years.

Bryan A
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 4, 2023 1:22 pm

Why wreck a perfectly good Climate Narrative. Drought is Drought, even the Wet Droughts

Bryan A
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 4, 2023 3:44 pm

And the Lord God said unto the unbelievers..
Behold I shall make it Drought for 40 minutes and 40 seconds and your toes shall grow parched and your toenail fungus shall weaken and wither and your nose hairs shall grow limp and wilt, forcing your leaders to decry the evils of CO2

Last edited 27 days ago by Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
May 4, 2023 3:52 pm

I prefer Ezekiel 25:17 –
(as delivered by Samuel L. (Jules) Jackson.)

Bryan A
Reply to  Mr.
May 4, 2023 8:48 pm

Definitely one of Hollywood’s better script moments

Rud Istvan
May 4, 2023 11:48 am

The 2012 Steriou and Koutsoyiannis paper presented at the European Geophysical Union is also important. It showed that globally there was an upward temperature bias in station temperature homogenization. Not a little, a lot.

Ben Vorlich
May 4, 2023 12:22 pm

Southern Spain is, as far as I know, suffering from a fairly severe drought.
A 1999 study/reconstruction says this in its abstract.
A reconstruction of rainfall characteristics in Southern Spain from 1500 to the present is described. Weather information was taken from original documentary sources in the region. A numerical index was established to characterize the rainfall and its evolution. Results were calibrated with modern precipitation data and with the results of other studies of historical climate. The main objective is to obtain a long precipitation record. A preliminary analysis of the obtained series shows a fluctuating behavior with alternating dry and wet periods. The wettest periods occurred at the end of 16th century, the beginning of 17th century, and at the end of 19th century. The driest periods in the pre-instrumental era occurred during the first half of the 16th century, and around 1750. A general decreasing trend in precipitation can be observed from 1960 onwards. Copyright © 1999 Royal Meteorological Society

Whether it still says that after 25 years I don’t know

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 4, 2023 2:35 pm

Spanish population increase 1960-today is about 40%.

Reply to  KevinM
May 4, 2023 2:38 pm

But the solution is in range:

“By age, 15.6% of the population is under 16, 42.6% is between 16 and 44, and 41.8% is 45 or over. Source: National Statistical Institute.”

Reply to  KevinM
May 4, 2023 2:41 pm

I’m not anti-population growth, more people is nice I just think that the more it lags productivity growth the better. We all get old.

Reply to  KevinM
May 4, 2023 3:23 pm

Ex-pats. Swapping out the miserable & cold.

Last edited 27 days ago by Streetcred
Reply to  Streetcred
May 4, 2023 4:32 pm

Yes … also drinking their 8 glasses of water a day and showering after yoga class.

May 4, 2023 12:24 pm

That’s them cancelled then!

May 4, 2023 7:55 pm

Judith Curry highlighted a paper on Twitter in February, which found a 50-ish year Atlantic Ocean oscillation cycle … hmmm, The last cycle was 1970 to 2020, seems like we see a trend to the same data here.

Judith stated this was a very important paper, however in trying to access it, I discovered my institutional access had run out … ah, the high cost of graduating.

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