Drought and predictions of doom for the Southwest

droughtTony Davis has another climate scare story in the Arizona Daily Star: “Study: Worst SW drought in 1,000 years coming.” We should expect more stories like this because polling shows that “global warming” is not of great concern among the public, but many interests such as the money-grubbing IPCC, the EPA, and alternative energy companies depend on maintaining the myth of CO2-caused global warming. Tony writes: “Due to human-caused global warming, this region and the Great Plains are likely to experience droughts from 2050 to 2100 that are worse than the ‘megadroughts’ that lasted up to 60 years in the Southwest in pre-Medieval times, the study said.”

You can read the full study here. If you do, you will find that the study is based on failed computer models, statistical inference, and manipulation of data.

Bob Tisdale has some comments about this paper at the WattsUpWithThat blog. The thing about Bob is that he has this nasty habit of comparing computer model predictions against actual observational data.

Below, I show one of Bob’s graphs. This graph compares June-July-August precipitation data from 1979-2014 for both climate models (red) and observations (blue).

comparison

There are two things to notice about this graph. First, the models have always predicted that there would be twice as much precipitation than has actually occurred. Therefore a “modeled drought” might just be the model’s approach toward reality. Second, all the models show a slight decreasing trend in precipitation when in reality there has been a slight increasing trend in precipitation.

The drought scare seems to be a persistent theme. Back in August, Tony had another drought scare story featuring some of the same researchers (see: Megadrought and the Arizona Daily Star). In that previous story the researchers had this disclaimer:

“An obvious limitation of our work is that it is ‘blind’ to certain aspects of dynamically-driven changes in prolonged drought risk. For instance, changes in the magnitude, frequency, or teleconnection patterns of El Nino and La Nina (e.g., Coats et al. 2013) may alter the statistics of interannual variability in ways that are not captured by our simple models. Further, megadrought statistics over the last millennium may be forcing-dependent, as suggested by Cook et al. (2004), for instance, which shows that megadroughts were more common during the medieval climate era of 850-1200 CE. Another very serious limitation is imposed by the reliability of the models themselves to make realistic predictions of changes in climatological precipitation for the end of the 21st century.”

One other thing, both Tony Davis and the study authors claim “human-caused global warming.” Yet, to my knowledge, no one has presented any physical evidence to support the contention that our carbon dioxide emissions are a significant factor.

In a previous article, I show, with observational evidence, that the much touted enhanced greenhouse effect from our carbon dioxide emissions does not exist, see: Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect .

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Comments (32)

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    How convenient the promoters of the scary story have pushed the start date of their computer generated science fiction to 2050 .
    At least they are learning to stop making false predictions that they will be held accountable for .
    Wasn’t the Arctic supposed to be ice free by now and fossil fuels to be gone by 1946 .
    I predict, according to my computer model, that the same goofs making scary and unfounded predictions will still be selling their crap in 2050.
    Anyone want to dispute that ?

    Reply

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    Pete West

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    Well if he’s saying there were mega-droughts back in medieval times, before cars were even thought of, and there were no such things as coal fired power stations….he’s just shot himself in the foot

    Reply

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      David Appell

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      Pete: Are you aware of the origin of the “Sand Hills” (dunes) in Nebraska?

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Pete West

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        …no I’m not but I’ll look it up and see what hapened

        Reply

        • Avatar

          David Appell

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          The Sand Hills are sand dunes that formed about 1000 years ago in what is now Nebraska, during a megadrought. That was also around the time Mayan civilization collapsed, which some think was linked to megadrought. Then there’s the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

          So megadroughts are nothing to laugh about. The Ogallala Aquifer is already overutilized. A megadrought in the midwest could be the end of its useful life. Real people — both farmers and consumers — would be hurt by that.

          So megadroughts are serious. They can happen naturally, and climate change increases their chances. They aren’t anything to laugh about.

          Reply

  • Avatar

    amirlach

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    [quote]Bob Tisdale has some comments about this paper at the WattsUpWithThat blog. The thing about Bob is that he has this nasty habit of comparing computer model predictions against actual observational data.[/quote] Yep! And Comrade drewski calls that a “Trick” when I do it. It is the only one I know by his way of thinking, trouble is it only takes -one- model failure to invalidate a model and it’s hypothesis.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Appell

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      There are plenty of reasons why models might not agree with observations. They CO2 hypothesis is about the last of them — the science of radiative transfer is the simpliest and most thoroughly understood part of climate change.

      The CO2 problem is not going to go away. Ever.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        amirlach

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        What Co2 problem would that be?

        Reply

      • Avatar

        amirlach

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        [quote] The CO2 hypothesis is about the last of them — the science of radiative transfer is the simpliest and most thoroughly understood part of climate change.[/quote]

        That’s why they had to program the Co2/Water Vapor positive feedback into all of the models. Co2 alone would never produce any “alarming” warming.

        Then the positive feedback was refuted by 35 Million observations.
        http://joannenova.com.au/tag/missing-hot-spot/

        Reply

        • Avatar

          David Appell

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          [i]That’s why they had to program the Co2/Water Vapor positive feedback into all of the models. Co2 alone would never produce any “alarming” warming.[/i]

          Wherever did you get that idea? It’s wrong.

          CO2’s radiative effect, the water vapor feedback, and other forcings and feedbacks arise out of the physics. (The water vapor feedback is very basic and fundamental physics; see the Clausuis-Claperyon equation.)

          Modelers program the laws of physics into their model, as partial differential equations, and then run the model after initialization.

          Here’s a thorough description of what goes into an NCAR atmospheric model:

          “Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0),” NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN–464+STR, June 2004.
          http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/models/atm-cam/docs/description/description.pdf

          Reply

          • Avatar

            amirlach

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            [quote]Wherever did you get that idea? It’s wrong.[/quote] Nice Model. Tried to look up how and when it was “validated”. Maybe you can help? 😀

          • Avatar

            David Appell

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            That document is just the model’s description. Validation is a separate step. See Google Scholar — it returns many results for

            “NCAR Community Atmosphere Model” +validation

            such as

            http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3760.1

          • Avatar

            amirlach

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            Great, now I just need to see the skillful predictions it has made.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    David Appell You are correct about an ice free Arctic ….it was only supposed to be ice free in the summer . I’m sure you have seen the Al Gore presentation quoting some never to be held accountable climate forecaster .

    We have all heard peak oil scares , they go back decades, and you sound like you have been around long enough to know it .

    The over reliance on computer models that
    now have a track record of grossly overstating any warming let alone an almost immeasurable amount from human generated CO2,has provide cover for the promoters of one of the biggest scams in decades .

    Promoters of exaggerated global warming
    scam have lied to push their agenda and now
    have no credibility .

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Appell

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      Amber, I don’t take my science from what Al Gore says. I don’t understand the right’s obsession with him.

      Hubbert’s Law isn’t a computer model; it’s just a calculation. And if you have a way to project future climate without a computer model, now would be a good time to introduce it.

      No one has “lied,” and you should be ashamed for even suggesting it. You aren’t the only honest person on the planet, you know — almost everyone else is trying to do honest work using what you know. Deal with the science instead of cheaply trying to write off the entire other side.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    David at least it sounds like we can agree the science is not settled and it’s very much a work in progress . I agree also that Al Gore is not qualified to speak on the science.

    I wish it were left to scientists to study the field without rent seekers and politicians trying to manipulate the public to suit their agenda.Unfortunately that is not the case .

    When people stretch and bend the truth to
    take advantage or for political gain they are liars and deserve to be called out .

    No doubt the vast majority of scientists studying and contributing to a better understanding of climate are hard working honest people .Unfortunately the field has been hijacked by very few who have other motives .

    Just because two parties or more don’t agree is no need to proclaim the science is settled ..end of discussion …
    oh and by the way you are a “denier “.

    What I can’t get over is why the people that should know the most about the issues don’t say enough all ready …here is where we are at . We have made good progress in the following areas,we are short in our understanding in the following areas , and we still have more to learn before making definitive statements or speculative pronouncements one way or the other at this time .

    Instead the institutions we should be able to trust overlay their agenda ,polarizing people at the same time .

    Science +politics = politics

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Appell

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      The science is settled enough to show we have to do something about our huge CO2 emissions.

      Uncertainties cut both ways — because climate sensitivity is uncertain doesn’t mean we should take no action, because the end state could be on the high side of the uncertainties as much it could be on the low side.

      Writing “Science +politics = politics” only shows you can’t disprove the science, and so are trying to dismiss the issue by other tactics. I see scientists producing science. The responses to that science is where the politics lie, not in the science itself.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        [quote name=”David Appell”]The science is settled enough to show we have to do something about our huge CO2 emissions. [/quote]

        No, it isn’t. None of the disastrous predictions have come true, and virtually all the models are failures.

        Failure is settled science? 😀

        One minute CO2 is going to cause floods, and the next it is droughts. More and less snow.

        None of it is true. Observations show no increase in severe weather or climate.

        David is a political science writer, and not a science writer, he has a ‘team’ he roots for.

        The science is not settled, and saying it is makes you a liar David.

        There are suffering humans that need our help now, and not another failed model, or another junket for the rich to some exotic locale.

        What is it David? Do you wish to continue denying assistance to people crying for help now? Or would you like to play pretend with your models and let them die?

        Reply

        • Avatar

          David Appell

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          [i]One minute CO2 is going to cause floods, and the next it is droughts. [/i]

          Sure, if you pervert what the science says, anyone can prove it “wrong.”

          Until the state of the science is accurately communicated, such comments aren’t worth a reply.

          And as soon as you start into ad hominem attacks, like “liar,” I know you don’t have a scientific arguments. I’m not interested.

          Reply

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Yes David, run away from your lie. Keep running.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Amirlach thanks for the link to inaccurate forecasts of an ice free Arctic going back decades . Peoples memories are short and at the time the people and institutions may have believed just like they do now .

    I wonder if they were so beholding to politicians and others hoping to cash in on the scare . Some how I doubt it .

    I started to wonder when I saw people walking around with titles like “Climate Protection Manager ” people flogging “carbon offsets ” Al Gores scary and inaccurate movie ,and then it really went goofy with commercials blowing up kids that even questioned scary global warming and it’s rebrand Climate Change.

    Any notion that this is about the science is complete rubbish . I wish it was so the scientists could get on with what they do best .

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Appell

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      While models overpredict melting of Antarctic sea ice, they *underpredict* the melting of Arctic sea ice. See the figure in this article, and the Stroeve et al 2012 paper:

      “The Puzzles Involving Sea Ice at the Poles,” The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, March 20, 2014. http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2014/03/the-puzzles-involving-sea-ice-at-the-poles/

      By the way, ice is properly measured by mass, not extent, and Arctic sea ice is disappearing 10 times faster than the Antarctic is gaining sea ice.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        Ice melts David, always ahs and always will. Or did they not teach that to you in your physics classes.

        The Arctic has been ice free before.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          David Appell

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          Ice always melts? Then why is the Arctic gaining sea ice at the moment?

          Reply

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            Gator

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            I thought you said it was melting down.

            Make up your mind! 😀

            Oh, that’s right, I keep forgetting that CO2 is the God Particle. 😀

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            [quote]why is the Arctic gaining sea ice at the moment[/quote]

            The Arctic is gaining ice because WATER IS FREEZING AND TURNING TO ICE.

            Water cannot melt, until it freezes, and [i][b]becomes[/b][/i] ice.

            You should really seek a refund from your alma mater.

      • Avatar

        amirlach

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        A model that “underpredicts” is as invalid as one that overpredicts. And should be adjusted to fit observations.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          David Appell

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          So why don’t you show us your model, presumably superior?

          Or how to do a better job with existing models?

          BTW, the underprediction of Arctic SIE is worse than an overprediction of Antarctic SIE, because Arctic SIE has a bigger influence on climate in the Northern Hemisphere, which has 2/3rds of the planet’s land and 90% of its population.

          Reply

          • Avatar

            amirlach

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            A better job with existing models? 😀 The one’s that failed? The one’s that don’t make “predictions” because those are “impossible in principle”?

            I’m not the one claiming climate is unnatural. First you need to prove it’s not simply natural variability, but you would first have to quantify the 7 of 11 known climate factors the IPCC has a very low level of scientific understanding (LSU).

            I’ll watch your Video while I wait.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Hmmm. 11 [i]known[/i] forcings. But what of the rest?

            [i]”There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”[/i]

            And this is just one truth that the alarmists will not admit.

            They do not know.

            Or as Ronnie used to say…

            [i]”The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”[/i]

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