California Drought History

Sierra Foothill Commentary

During the last drought, I made about 85 posts on the issue, pointing out the drought history of the region was chaotic, with dry periods and wet periods, with some very long dry periods. In those posts, I supported the need for more dams to catch and store the feeble about of moisture collected during the dry periods, including the Centennial Dam Project.

This drought timeline tells the story of drought in the region;

california_drought_timeline

California is relatively drought-free right now, but if history is an indicator of the future we will have more drought.

california-drought-comparision

H/T to Watts Up With That for links to the Graphics.  

If you are interested in learning more about drought and flooding in the region, I recommend The West Without Water and books by Anthropologist David L. Stuart on the struggle of the Pueblo Peoples to survive in the South West. Our relatively wet period could…

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Greenland’s Glaciers Expanding Again

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

accumulatedsmb

http://www.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/#

As I reported last September, Greenland’s ice sheet mass balance had grown at close to record levels for the second year running.

To clarify again, the mass balance calculation accounts for:

1) Snowfall

2) Ice melt

3) Ablation

In other words, it does not include calving.

DMI’s Polar Portal has now published its report for the year. This is the summary:

image

Whilst NW Europe was enjoying a hot summer, Greenland’s was pretty miserable. This dipole is well known, and is sometimes known as the Atlantic see-saw. Often, when Europe enjoys hot weather, Greenland gets the opposite, and vice versa.

Greenland’s last really mild summer was in 2012, which Brits will not have forgotten was when we had record rainfall!

One statement which stands out is whilst glaciers have continued the development seen during the last six years in which they have more or less maintained their…

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Warmer California winters will reduce Sierra Nevada snowpack

Jerry Brown’s myopic view of climate from 2016:

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.:  “California droughts are expected to be more frequent and persistent, as warmer winter temperatures driven by climate change reduce water held in the Sierra Nevada snowpack and result in drier soil conditions. Recognizing these new conditions, the executive order directs permanent changes to use water more wisely and efficiently, and prepare for more frequent, persistent periods of limited supply.”  9 May 2016.

Source via Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20160520060004/https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19408

[edit, photo added below from KOLO 8 Reno, 7 Mar 2019]:

No photo description available.

 

Solar input to high latitudes and the global ice volume

Climate Etc.

by Donald Rapp, Ralf Ellis and Clive Best

A review of the relationship between the solar input to high latitudes and the global ice volume over the past 2.7 million years.

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Declining Solar Activity

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

BOB HOYE

In the 1990s, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston, called for a long decline in solar activity. This is the case and it is nice to see such work confirmed by events. Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s. The current run of consecutive Spotless Days is out to 33, or 75%, for the year.

The following table shows the record back to the minimum of Solar Cycle # 23 when the count was at 268 days, or 73%, for 2008.

So far this year, the count is out to 33 consecutive days, which is exceptional. So much so, that SILSO keeps a table of such long runs.

clip_image004

Solar Cycle # 24 is expected to reach its minimum by late in this year.

For hundreds of millions of years such changes in solar activity have been associated with changes from warming to cooling. And back again. The long run to the recent peak in activity was the strongest in thousands of years. Despite this, temperatures were not as warm for as long as set during the Medieval Warm Period. The end to that long trend and turn to cooling in the early 1300s was drastic, causing widespread crop failures and famine in Northern Europe and England. A book by William Rosen, “The Third Horseman” covers it thoroughly. The die-off from 1315 to 1320 is estimated at some 10 percent of the population. Deaths of cattle, sheep and horses were severe as well. All due to the turn to cold and unusually wet weather.

The change to what some are calling the Modern Minimum is significant. In geological perspective, it is now a built-in cooling force.

The next chart shows that the satellite record is again approaching the flat-lying trend, which is out to some 20 years. The El Ninos of 1998 and 2016 were distinctive weather- warming events.

clip_image006

NOAA’s Winter Forecast made on October 18th has been wrong on temperature and precipitation. North America has suffered a cold, snowy and lengthy winter, beyond what could be blamed upon the demon “Polar Vortex”.

Over time, diminishing solar activity has been likely to be accompanied by more cosmic rays and more cloud cover. Which would be associated with cooler and snowier winters. And possibly cooler summers, which the Danish Met Institute reported for 2018 and 2017.

Cold Kills: Rhode Island

sunshine hours

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Snow: They Are Going To Run Out of Room on the Graph

sunshine hours

I usually post Northern Hemisphere. But here is North America Snow Water Equivalent.

March 2000: According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Snow seems to be ignoring David Viner.

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Snow: Higher and Higher

Note on the chart:  The time series average and range between ±1 standard deviation (calculated for 1998/99 to 2011/12) shows how current conditions compare to historical variability.

Note 2:  Here’s the link to the Environment and Climate Change Canada site (they just had to throw in Climate Change): https://www.ccin.ca/ccw/snow/current

sunshine hours

March 2000: According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Snow seems to be ignoring David Viner.

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Influence of solar activity on European rainfall

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Press Release

Institute of Hydrography, Geoecology and Climate Sciences (IFHGK), www.ifhgk.org

15th February 2019

Influence of solar activity on European rainfall

A balanced level of precipitation provides the basis for a wide range of economic and social activities in Europe. Particularly agriculture, drinking water supply and inland waterway transport are directly affected. However, the amount of rain fluctuates strongly from year to year. While it may pour torrentially in one year, rain may remain absent for weeks in another year. The population is used to this variability and knows how to deal with it.

The chance discovery by an agricultural scientist from Münster, Germany, now suggests that in certain months rain over Germany and other parts of Europe follows a pattern that up to now has remained undetected. As part of agricultural consultation, Ludger Laurenz analyzed decades of rainfall records of his home weather station in Münster and noticed a constant up and down that followed an 11-year rhythm – especially in February. After detailed examination it was clear that this rhythm correlated closely with the activity of the sun: the well-documented 11-year sunspot cycle.

Laurenz next teamed up with two colleagues to examine the extent to which the observed pattern from Münster is reproducible in other parts of Germany and Europe, and whether the phenomenon also exists for the other months of the year. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke from the HTW University of Applied Sciences in Saarland gathered the precipitation data collected in Europe since the beginning of the 20th century. The physicist emeritus then developed a computer algorithm to determine the similarity of changes in rainfall and solar activity. All 39 European countries and every one of the 12 months of the year were quantified over a total of 115 years using mathematical correlations.

In order to include possible delay effects, the data series of rain and sunspots were systematically checked for shifts. For this purpose, the time series were gradually shifted in time against each other like combs and the respective change of the correlation quality was noted. The multidimensional data obtained in this way were evaluated for systematic trends by geoscientist Sebastian Lüning and visualized cartographically. Lüning is associated with the Swiss Institute of Hydrography, Geoecology and Climate Sciences (IFHGK) and is specialized in the research of solar climate effects.

The mapped out results show that the link between February precipitation and solar activity originally discovered in Münster is valid for large parts of Central and Northern Europe and has good statistical significance there. Towards southern Europe, however, the correlation weakens significantly.

The statistical investigation was also able to demonstrate systematic phase shifts across the continent. In Germany and neighboring countries, February precipitation was particularly low when the sun was very strong four years earlier. The delay seems to be due to the slow deep circulation of the Atlantic, as earlier work had already suggested. On the basis of the statistically-empirically determined correlation, February 2018 in Germany with particularly low precipitation can now also be explained, which followed a particularly high intensity peak of solar activity at the beginning of 2014.

Similar relationships between rainfall and solar activity have been observed in other months, although somewhat weaker, especially in April, June and July, which account for a large part of the vegetation period in Central Europe. The result was a complex interplay of sun and rain in Europe, which showed clear trends over 1000 km and varied strongly from month to month.

The study thus confirms the concept of a solar participation in the European hydroclimatic development, which had already been indicated by a whole series of local case studies of other authors. The exact mechanism by which the solar signal influences precipitation is still largely unclear and requires further research.

The solar precipitation effect now mapped out across Europe for the first time opens up new possibilities for improved medium-term precipitation forecasts. Agriculture in particular, but also protection measures against extreme weather damage in connection with heavy rainfall and droughts could benefit from this. The next step in refining the forecasting methodology is a more precise quantification of the effects of Atlantic Ocean cycles, which also play an important role in rainfall, especially in Western Europe.

Original publication:

Laurenz, L., H.-J. Lüdecke, S. Lüning (2019): Influence of solar activity on European rainfall. J. Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 185: 29-42, doi: 10.1016/j.jastp.2019.01.012

The pdf version can be downloaded free of charge at the following link until early March: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1YXWZ4sIlkiVhv

Taking down the latest Washington Post Antarctic scare story on 6x increased ice melt

Reblogged from Watts Up With That:

Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds
An alarming study shows massive East Antarctic ice sheet already is a significant contributor to sea-level rise

Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis

January 14 at 3:00 PM (Washington Post)

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.

The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure rose to 252 billion tons lost per year beginning in 2009, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That means the region is losing six times as much ice as it was four decades ago, an unprecedented pace in the era of modern measurements. (It takes about 360 billion tons of ice to produce one millimeter of global sea-level rise.)

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” said Eric Rignot, an Earth-systems scientist for the University of California at Irvine and NASA who led the work. But he said the weaknesses that researchers have detected in East Antarctica — home to the largest ice sheet on the planet — deserve deeper study.

“The places undergoing changes in Antarctica are not limited to just a couple places,” Rignot said. “They seem to be more extensive than what we thought. That, to me, seems to be reason for concern.”

The findings are the latest sign that the world could face catastrophic consequences if climate change continues unabated. In addition to more-frequent droughts, heat waves, severe storms and other extreme weather that could come with a continually warming Earth, scientists already have predicted that seas could rise nearly three feet globally by 2100 if the world does not sharply decrease its carbon output. But in recent years, there has been growing concern that the Antarctic could push that even higher.

That kind of sea-level rise would result in the inundation of island communities around the globe, devastating wildlife habitats and threatening drinking-water supplies. Global sea levels have already risen seven to eight inches since 1900.

The full drivel here


Why do I call it “drivel”? Three reasons:

1. Anything Chris Mooney writes about climate is automatically in that category, because he can’t separate his fear of doom from his writing.

2. The math doesn’t work in the context of the subheadline. Alarming? Read on.

3. Data back to 1972…where?

First, let’s get some data. Wikipedia, while biased towards alarmism in this reference, at least has the basic data.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_ice_sheet

It covers an area of almost 14 million square kilometres (5.4 million square miles) and contains 26.5 million cubic kilometres (6,400,000 cubic miles) of ice.[2]A cubic kilometer of ice weighs approximately one metric gigaton, meaning that the ice sheet weighs 26,500,000 gigatons.

Now for the math.  

So, if the Antarctic ice sheet weighs 26,500,000 gigatonnes or 26500000000000000 tonnes

252 billion tonnes is 252 gigatonnes

Really simple math says:  252gt/26,500,000gt x 100 = 9.509433962264151e-4 or 0.00095% change per year

But this is such a tiny loss in comparison to the total mass of the ice sheet, it’s microscopic…statistically insignificant.

In the email thread that preceded this story (h/t to Marc Morano) I asked people to check my work. Willis Eschenbach responded, corrected an extra zero, and pointed this out:

Thanks, Anthony. One small issue. You’ve got an extra zero in your percentage, should be 0.00095% per year loss.

Which means that the last ice will melt in the year 3079 …

I would also note that 250 billion tonnes of ice is 250 billion cubic meters. Spread out over the ocean, that adds about 0.7 mm/year to the sea level … that’s about 3 inches (7 cm) per century.

As you said … microscopic.

w.

Paul Homewood noted in the email thread:

Ice losses from Antarctica have tripled since 2012, increasing global sea levels by 0.12 inch (3 millimeters) in that timeframe alone, according to a major new international climate assessment funded by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).

https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2749/ramp-up-in-antarctic-ice-loss-speeds-sea-level-rise/

0.5mm per year.

Not a lot to worry about.

“They attribute the threefold increase in ice loss from the continent since 2012 to a combination of increased rates of ice melt in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, and reduced growth of the East Antarctic ice sheet.”

Translation: The volcano riddled West/Peninsula is melting bit more and the Eastern Sheet is growing a little less than usual.

Paul Homewood adds on his website:

Firstly, according to NASA’s own press release, the study only looks at data since 1992. The Mail’s headline (Taken from the Washington Post – Anthony) that “Antarctica is losing SIX TIMES more ice a year than it was in the 1970s “ is totally fake, as there is no data for the 1970s. Any estimates of ice loss in the 1970s and 80s are pure guesswork, and have never been part of this NASA IMBIE study, or previous ones.

image

Secondly, the period since 1992 is a ridiculously short period on which to base any meaningful conclusions at all. Changes over the period may well be due to natural, short term fluctuations, for instance ocean cycles. We know, as the NASA study states, that ice loss in West Antarctica is mainly due to the inflow of warmer seas.

The eruption of Pinatubo in 1991 is another factor. Global temperatures fell during the next five years, and may well have slowed down ice melt.

Either way, Pinkstone’s claim that the ice loss is due to global warming is fake. It is a change in ocean current that is responsible, and nothing to do with global warming.

Then there is his pathetic claim that “Antarctica is shedding ice at a staggering rate”. Alarmist scientists, and gullible reporters, love to quote impressive sounding numbers, like 252 gigatons a year. In fact, as NASA point out, the effect on sea level rise since 1992 is a mere 7.6mm, equivalent to 30mm/century.

Given that global sea levels have risen no faster since 1992 than they did in the mid 20thC, there is no evidence that Antarctica is losing ice any faster than then. To call it staggering is infantile.

NASA also reckon that ice losses from Antarctica between 2012 and 2017 increased sea levels by 3mm, equivalent to 60mm/century. Again hardly a scary figure. But again we must be very careful about drawing conclusions from such a short period of time. Since 2012, we have had a record 2-year long El Nino. What effect has this had?

But back to that previous NASA study, carried out by Jay Zwally in 2015, which found:

A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses 

Far from losing ice, as the new study thinks, Zwally’s 2015 analysis found the opposite, that the ice sheet was growing.

OK, Zwally’s data only went up to 2008, but there are still huge differences. Whereas Zwally estimates ice gain of between 82 and 112 billion tonnes a year between 1992 and 2008, the new effort guesses at a loss of 83 billion tonnes a year.

It is worth pointing out that Zwally’s comment about the IPCC 2013 report refers to the 2012 IMBIE report, which was the forerunner to the new study, the 2018 IMBIE.

Quite simply, nobody has the faintest idea whether the ice cap is growing or shrinking, never mind by how much, as the error margins and uncertainties are so huge.

The best guide to such matters comes from tide gauges around the world. And these continue to show that sea levels are rising no faster then mid 20thC, and at a rate of around 8 inches per century.