The media is once again attempting to portray the current California drought as historically unprecedented. See: Californian water source at 500-year low: “We should be prepared for this type of snow drought to occur much more frequently because of rising temperatures,” lead author Valerie Trouet, a professor at the University of Arizona, said in a statement. “Anthropogenic” –- or manmade –- global warming “is making the drought more severe,” she added.
But recent peer-reviewed studies and historical data refute these drought claims.
Two new studies show that global warming is not behind California drought – there is a gigantic warm blob in the Pacific Ocean that is fueling California’s four-year-long drought, and it has nothing to do with global warming. Two new studies released in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters”, explain how this large expanse of warm ocean water is affecting California’s weather as well as the East Coast’s past two brutal winters. Read more here.
Other studies counter the notion that California is experiencing unprecedented drought.
AMS Journal study finds California drought is ‘not unprecedented’ over past 440 years: 9 other droughts as bad or worse – Published in American Meteorological Society journal – Study: ‘An analysis of the October 2013–September 2014 precipitation in the western United States and in particular over the California-Nevada region suggests this anomalously dry season, while extreme, is not unprecedented in comparison with the ~120-year long instrumental record of water year (WY, October–September) totals, and in comparison with a 407-year WY precipitation reconstruction back to 1571. Over this longer period nine other years are known or estimated to have been nearly as dry or drier than WY 2014. The three-year deficit for WY’s 2012–2014, which in the California-Nevada region exceeded the annual mean precipitation, is more extreme but also not unprecedented, occurring three other times over the past ~ 440 years in the reconstruction.’
NOAA Study: Causes of Calif. drought are natural, not man-made – Natural weather patterns and climate variability, not man-made global warming, are causing the historic drought that’s parching California, says a study out today from federal scientists. “It’s important to note that California’s drought, while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state,” said Richard Seager, report lead author and professor with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. The report, “Causes and Predictability of the 2011-14 California Drought,” was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say – ‘The state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began’ – Scientists who study the West’s long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began. Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.’
E&E News on 2012 U.S. drought: ‘For the scientists who take the long view of history, it’s merely a climatological blip’ — 1930s ‘Dust Bowl & 1988 both eclipse 2012 drought, scientists say’ – ‘Scientists say  drought is practically embryonic compared with severity & extent of others in America’s past…The Dust Bowl held on for as many as 8 years in some parts of Great Plains, with successive dry spells hitting in 1934, 1936 & 1939-1940. The multiyear drought of 1950s began in SW but eventually spread to cover 10 states before it ebbed in 1957. The current drought, in contrast, is just about 2 months old’
In addition, many other peer-‘reviewed studies and data refute the notion of unprecedented drought in California or elsewhere.