Climate change: drought benchmark is flawed, study says

Nov 14, 2012
Sunflowers in Toulouse, France, in September 2012, dried out due to an extremely low ground-water level after a lack of rain. A scientific method used in a landmark UN report that said warming was intensifying global drought is badly flawed, a study published on Wednesday said.

A scientific method used in a landmark UN report that said warming was intensifying global drought is badly flawed, a study published on Wednesday said.

Contrary to what the UN's () suggested in 2007, there is little evidence that global droughts have become longer or more extreme in recent decades, it said.

But, it cautioned, some regions have experienced more droughts and others less so.

Published in the journal Nature, the study takes aim at a technique called the Palmer Severity Index, or PDSI.

The PDSI was used as the basis by the IPCC in its 4th Assessment Report, a document that stoked deep concern about , leading to the 2009 Copenhagen Summit on climate change.

The 4th Assessment Report said it was likely that "more intense and longer droughts" had been observed "over wider areas" since the 1970s.

But, according to a team led by Princeton University Justin Sheffield, the PDSI is a blunt instrument that should be tossed out.

Developed in the 1960s to help allocate aid for stricken US farmers, it calculates drought risk on the basis of rising temperatures, but does not use other factors that affect soil evaporation, they said.

"The previously reported increase in global drought is overestimated because the PDSI uses a simplified model of potential evaporation that responds only to changes in temperature and thus responds incorrectly to global warming in recent decades," the investigators said.

"More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years."

Why the PDSI remains in use is "a curiosity," the team said pointedly, warning of the risk of overestimating the impacts from climate change.

The IPCC stepped back from its 2007 drought assessment in a special report on , published this year.

That report, dubbed SREX, said "there are still large uncertainties regarding observed global-scale trends in droughts."

In line with Wednesday's study and other recent research, SREX said some regions had seen an increase in drought trends, and others a decrease.

The 938-page, 4th Assessment Report came under attack from climate skeptics after one of its sections was found to have several inaccuracies.

In 2010, a five-month independent probe into "Climategate" recommended an overhaul of the IPCC's workings to avoid similar slips in its 5th assessment report, due to be published in 2014.

But it did not challenge its core findings, which are accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists.

Explore further: Green dream: Can UN summit revive climate issue?

More information: Paper: Nature, November 15, 2012. pp 435-438. www.nature.com/nature/journal/… ull/nature11575.html

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thermodynamics
4.7 / 5 (12) Nov 14, 2012
This is a good example of how scientists are constantly improving their models. It will be interesting to see how the GCMs respond to the improvement in the drought estimation.
Lino235
2.6 / 5 (18) Nov 14, 2012
Maybe they can start by issuing a retraction on a global scale.
Jeddy_Mctedder
2.3 / 5 (25) Nov 14, 2012
i'm waiting for the idiots accusing everyone who doesn't believe in their paniced alarmism to accuse us of being deniers. i'm also a denyer of the heliocentricity and denier of many things. it used to be people created a scientific principle and then focussed on ammasing the evidence for advocated it on a positive basis before thinking about how to convince everyone and implementing word programming scheme to convince everyone who disagreed with them were wrong.
ValeriaT
1.9 / 5 (14) Nov 14, 2012
The global warming indeed accelerates the spreading of droughts and deserts, because the hot atmosphere tends to switch the horizontal circulation into vertical one. Most of water evaporated from oceans therefore evaporates a well before it can reach inland areas. The coastal areas can suffer with floods and excess of water instead. Even the glaciers at the high altitudes suffer with lack of precipitation, rather than with elevated temperatures. The coastal glaciers retreat way more slowly, if at all.
ValeriaT
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 14, 2012
suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years
The lakes integrate these changes more reliably. Aral sea, Dead sea, Chad lake, Danube or Colorado rivers. The level or precipitation as measured with meteorological stations may be misleading, as it doesn't account into increased evaporation.
jyro
2.7 / 5 (29) Nov 14, 2012
NEWS FLASH:
Most of our ideas about global warming are badly flawed.
jonjermey
3.1 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2012
"But it did not challenge its core findings, which are accepted by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists."

Good thing you got that in, or next year's research funding might have been the next thing to suffer from a drought.
SuicideSamurai
3.2 / 5 (22) Nov 15, 2012
The ability of the average denier to understand what they read in an article is obviously sorely lacking. These findings concern a measurement system for droughts, not the entirety of climate science. In reality these findings affect any predictions of drought using that system. Anyhow look at it this way: Climate change is real. That is our climate is different than it has been. We can see that through ice cores, tree rings, etc etc etc. Anyhow the cause COULD be humans COULD be solar cycles, COULD be a lot of things.. But the evidence so far points to humans as the force behind climate change. Its not a matter of science and some silly conspiracy theory worldwide regarding funding, that doesn't make sense on so many many levels.
Dug
2.4 / 5 (20) Nov 15, 2012
The "climate industry" catch phrase "Global Warming" was changed to "Climate Change." Can't deny that climate is a state of flux. It is illogical to argue humans combusting 3.6 billion gallons of oil per day (30% is waste heat), but it doesn't mean that the human impact is always "the" climate driving factor (oil = 0.04% of the daily solar energy the earth receives). Nor does it mean that the earth's evaporative cooling engine isn't compensating for these heat inputs as it always, though lags in affects may produce additional climate change. Ice cores, tree rings and other natural indicators aren't the reason for our lack of precision in projecting climate change, but over expectations of our precision of measuring relatively current climate. We have a satellite system which is less than precise in both temperature and sea level elevation readings (300% above tide gauge readings) all of which drives limited variable computer models which produce results no more accurate than inputs.
wealthychef
2.3 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2012
I'm so glad they added this: "But it did not challenge its core findings, which are accepted by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists."
wealthychef
2.7 / 5 (17) Nov 15, 2012
The "climate industry" catch phrase "Global Warming" was changed to "Climate Change."

The reason for this is that laypeople were confused by it. They assumed it meant that the warming is uniform everywhere. The globe IS WARMING, despite the name change.
... It is illogical to argue humans ... [are] always "the" climate driving factor (oil = 0.04% ... blah blah ... lack of precision in projecting climate change,... blah blah satellite system blah blah limited variable computer models which produce [inaccurate] results

Oh, but it is SO logical to argue that you with your vast expertise are so much more knowledgeable than the experts about the effects of oil vs. solar forcing, the inaccuracy of the data and the precision of computer simulations, right. You missed this, I guess: "But it did not challenge its core findings, which are accepted by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists."
Caliban
4.1 / 5 (9) Nov 15, 2012
This is an expected step in the right direction, and rightly taken.

Are we to expect differently if we are operating under the principles of the Scientific Method?

When it is found that a tool or a method is faulty, then it has to be redesigned or replaced. This doesn't invalidate data derived via other tools and methods, for the same reason that you don't junk your car simply because of a flat tire.

And the criticism of this tool is a bit overstated. It is pretty rare for a drought to exist over an area that does not also include the area's watershed and groundwater recharge zones, or the soils from which the evaporative content of the overlying air's relative humidity content is derived.

Essentially, what they are criticizing is that the measure isn't fine-tuned enough to accurately quantify EVERY set of pertinent variables.

In broad terms, it'll still function adequately enough to provide a reasonably accurate measure.

Political hypersensitivity is the REAL issue here.
lengould100
3.3 / 5 (12) Nov 15, 2012
It's just science working properly. A position on drought previously arrived at turns out to be inaccurate, so it's taken out and fixed. All the deniers need to observe this action of healthy useful application of scientific method and acknowledge that regarding AGW, the science is operating correctly. And largely arriving at correct conclusions.
GSwift7
2.5 / 5 (16) Nov 16, 2012
thermodynamics:

This is a good example of how scientists are constantly improving their models. It will be interesting to see how the GCMs respond to the improvement in the drought estimation.


Actually, this is an example of someone (not a skeptic) pointing out that alarmist claims of unprecedented increases in severity and frequency of droughts have been false. It falsifies a major prediction of GCM's, and unfortunately this is one of the 'fingerprints' used for attribution to human causes.

That aside, here's a really intersting new thing:

You asked for me to keep you updated on Arctic news. The Dutch climate agency, KNMI (one of the world's formost experts in arctic climate) has started a new web site at the reccomendation of the panel mentioned above, which reviewed the IPCC AR4.

Here's a link: http://www.climat...gue.org/

They pick a topic and then post essays from top experts. Then the experts comment in a seperate section from the public. Take a look.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 16, 2012
For anyone who reads the Dutch web site I linked to above, what do you think about the three essays?

I personally thought the third one, from Dr Ron Lindsay, of UWa, was the best. The first and second both seemed like a hard push toward their own personal agendas, with little room left for thoughtfull conversation.
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2012
thermodynamics:

This is a good example of how scientists are constantly improving their models. It will be interesting to see how the GCMs respond to the improvement in the drought estimation.


Actually, this is an example of someone (not a skeptic) pointing out that alarmist claims of unprecedented increases in severity and frequency of droughts have been false. It falsifies a major prediction of GCM's, and unfortunately this is one of the 'fingerprints' used for attribution to human causes.


Actually, it only conditionally falsifies. Even if the data were incomplete or lack the called-for level of detail, the conclusion can still be at least partly valid, so essentially what we are waiting for is a refinement of the tool, which will then make it possible to understand how much observation diverges from calculation, and, at the same time, shed some light upon how useful this particular tool is. Baby/bathwater.

Howhot
3.7 / 5 (9) Nov 17, 2012
In the scientific process, refinement based on new information and data collection techniques is normal practice. New analysis and technologies can do away with older more cruder measurement techniques. That is the point of the article. The older PDSI method of drought assessment is just too crude to use for further analysis. It's not saying that the correlation between global warming and drought severity and duration is not present. That has already shown to be true just from NASA observations and satellite measurements.
ubavontuba
1.7 / 5 (22) Nov 17, 2012
Wow. Great article!

It's not saying that the correlation between global warming and drought severity and duration is not present.
Actually, (generally speaking) it is.

GSwift7 is entirely correct. As has been pointed out to them repeatedly, "alarmist claims of unprecedented increases in severity and frequency of droughts have been false."

Sadly, the climate change apologist nonsense from the resident alarmists, all but proves "AGW" really is a religion to them. Not even one admits they were wrong about the recent drought in the U.S. (most notably, where's Vendibot?).

I wonder, will they learn from this and practice a using a more pragmatic and objective approach in expressing their concerns? That is, will they stop jumping to premature and irrational conclusions?

Frankly, it seems unlikely.

Caliban
3.3 / 5 (10) Nov 17, 2012
Wow. Great article!

It's not saying that the correlation between global warming and drought severity and duration is not present.
Actually, (generally speaking) it is.

GSwift7 is entirely correct. As has been pointed out to them repeatedly, "alarmist claims of unprecedented increases in severity and frequency of droughts have been false."

Sadly, the climate change apologist nonsense from the resident alarmists, all but proves "AGW" really is a religion to them. Not even one admits they were wrong about the recent drought in the U.S. (most notably, where's Vendibot?).

I wonder, will they learn from this and practice a using a more pragmatic and objective approach in expressing their concerns? That is, will they stop jumping to premature and irrational conclusions?

Frankly, it seems unlikely.


Frankly, ubybooby, that's the typically inflexible viewpoint of and from a confirmed Denialist zealot.

ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (15) Nov 18, 2012
Frankly, ubybooby, that's the typically inflexible viewpoint of and from a confirmed Denialist zealot.
On the contrary. I have attempted to be both pragmatic and objective, even admitting that warming had apparently occured. Rather, your zeal has blinded you to all reason.

So, are you willing to admit all the alarmist whining about the recent U.S. drought was inappropriate?

Caliban
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 18, 2012
Frankly, ubybooby, that's the typically inflexible viewpoint of and from a confirmed Denialist zealot.
On the contrary. I have attempted to be both pragmatic and objective, even admitting that warming had apparently occured. Rather, your zeal has blinded you to all reason.

So, are you willing to admit all the alarmist whining about the recent U.S. drought was inappropriate?


Absolutely not.

That is just another of your unsupported assertions.

An imperfect tool is not the same as a broken or useless one.

But I include you in the latter class.

ubavontuba
1.2 / 5 (18) Nov 18, 2012
Absolutely not.

That is just another of your unsupported assertions.

An imperfect tool is not the same as a broken or useless one.
So you're still hooked on the falsified AGW religion, and you intend to continue jumping to premature and irrational conclusions?

But I include you in the latter class.
At least I have class.

Howhot
4 / 5 (8) Nov 18, 2012
Unfortunately Uba, I see you grasping at straws to support your own world concept. A belief in a fallacy that allows you dismiss global warming evidence to support your own crock of sheet.
ubavontuba
1.5 / 5 (17) Nov 18, 2012
Unfortunately Uba, I see you grasping at straws to support your own world concept. A belief in a fallacy that allows you dismiss global warming evidence to support your own crock of sheet.
So alarmist, hand-waving personal attacks are all you have now?

Howhot
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 18, 2012
Oh No Uba, it's just the opposite; I should ask you, "So denialism handwaving is all you have got?" Heck, how do you explain any number and frequency of climate change events (including the extreme droughts which are a huge climate change issue because it impacts the scale and amount of food that can be produced to support people). You can either dismiss it as you ALWAYS do like to troll you are, or you can jump on the people's side and start to join the collective movement of millions of scientist that accept the facts presented by the climate scientists and the scientific community.

So far there is not a shred of evidence from the climate change deniers that holds up even to the weakest of scrutiny. Not one mister. If you like to believe in fairies then keep on. Just don't think you opinion will count when real decisions need to be made about how to stop climate change. That will be painful for the oil/gas industry when their pipe lines are shut by a massive peoples movement
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 19, 2012
An imperfect tool is not the same as a broken or useless one.


So you're still hooked on the falsified AGW religion, and you intend to continue jumping to premature and irrational conclusions?


No, that would be you glomming anything that offers the slightest hope of supporting your Denialism.
And which you will now repeat over and over, ad nauseam, as "proof" that your denial is justified.

This comes as no surprise at all, considering your membership in the class of useless tools. If you were capable of rational thought, you would also be capable of distinguishing what circumstances are capable of invalidating a model. For now, tossing out the input of the PDSI tool makes the results conditional --until such time as a more definitive measurement can be made, which has not occurred yet.

But I include you in the latter class.
At least I have class.


That's right --it's the delusional ones that are always last to know.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2012
For anyone who reads the Dutch web site I linked to above, what do you think about the three essays?

I personally thought the third one, from Dr Ron Lindsay, of UWa, was the best. The first and second both seemed like a hard push toward their own personal agendas, with little room left for thoughtfull conversation.


GS7: Thanks for the link. The references are going to keep me reading for a while. As for the approach, I like them adding scientists with varied points of view - but all real scientists. I was struck by the agreement between all three about "ice free" which no one really expects to be zero ice. I actually expected to see more variance between them over that issue. Again, thanks for the link.
GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (12) Nov 19, 2012
Developed in the 1960s to help allocate aid for stricken US farmers, it calculates drought risk on the basis of rising temperatures, but does not use other factors that affect soil evaporation, they said


I did some digging because that statement didn't seem to pass the sniff test.

Here's the NCDC page that describes the various indeces used. PDSI is only one, and it's NOT BASED ON TEMPERATURE, as they say above. Here's the link:

http://www.ncdc.n...mer.html

You have to read down below the top part, where they have maps for the last couple of years. Down below the maps it describes the indexes, what they are based on, and what they are supposed to tell you. They also discuss why it's hard to measure and label 'droughts'.

After reading what the terms mean, take a look at the following page, where you can get graphs from their data:

http://nidis1.ncd...NViewer/

Really neat tool.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 19, 2012
I was struck by the agreement between all three about "ice free" which no one really expects to be zero ice. I actually expected to see more variance between them over that issue. Again, thanks for the link.


Yeah, the format is really good. Curry added a bunch more over the weekend, and unfortunately she added a ton more links to follow, lol.

Yeah, 'ice free' is a subjective term. You'll never see ALL the ice melt, but if it gets down to a low enough level, everyone agrees that's close enough to call it ice free. Ice hidden in shady valleys and big thick chunks might not melt, but if 90% melts, then I'd call it ice free.

Yeah, there's not really much disagreement amongst the serious non-political scientist on most of the major issues that you see people argue about on the extremist blogs. Both extreme views are way out of whack with real science.

Notice also they all agree on the % contribution of AGW versus natural variation.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 19, 2012
If anyone actually follows the link I provided above, what does the data say for the CONUS over the past 100 years? Are we having increasing or decreasing droughts? The tool provides trend lines.

Now here's the kicker: What is the primary cause for the CONUS precipitation and drought trends over the past 100 years? (hint: the answer is a four letter acronym.)

I can provide a link to graphs that show correllation between my four letter acronym and the precipitation records, but I don't want to give away the answer.
ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 19, 2012
If anyone actually follows the link I provided above, what does the data say for the CONUS over the past 100 years? Are we having increasing or decreasing droughts? The tool provides trend lines.
Decreasing (but this doesn't include this past season).

Now here's the kicker: What is the primary cause for the CONUS precipitation and drought trends over the past 100 years? (hint: the answer is a four letter acronym.)
ENSO.

I can provide a link to graphs that show correllation between my four letter acronym and the precipitation records, but I don't want to give away the answer.
Did I pass?

GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (11) Nov 19, 2012
Decreasing (but this doesn't include this past season).


Yeah, but the past two years have been negative ENSO years, so that follows the pattern exactly. When we eventually flip back to positive ENSO, the drought will end. That doesn't look like it's gonna be this year, but ENSO isn't predictable beyond a few weeks, so you never know.

Did I pass?


Wow, you actually looked at the data. Nice.

You know, I wonder where the story above came from, and what thier agenda is here. After doing less than an hour of research I was able to falsify the guts of the story. That's not just a minor oversight; that's a major bald-faced piece of misinformation. I don't get it. Are they trying to rewrite the record somehow in order to show a different trend? Any bets on what they come up with? Bristlecone pines anyone?
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2012
I had to think about it for a while, but I decided to NOT downrank your posts above for the simple reason that pointing out a known correlation doesn't suffice, in and of itself, to warrant a downrank.

For the same reason, I didn't uprank the comments, either.

The reason for any hesitation at all is that neither of you made an outright claim that this in some way vitiates AGW.

Note the use of "outright". I know that both of you wish for readers here to make that connection in their own minds, but it simply does not follow.

ENSO itself is subject to modification by AGW, and hence, any modification of its duration or extent is an effect of AGW.
By extension, therefore, the extent and duration of episodic, cyclic, or extended drought is an effect of AGW, as well.
This is particularly true in CONUS --as you would have it-- but also globally, since the system of climate is a global whole.
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2012
Actually I was going to say the exact same thing Caliban. ENSO is easily subject to the influences of AGW. In fact there are some trend-lines that follow the increasing occurrences of drought in Ok, and Tx with global warming trends since the 40's. Good references G7.

ENSO.

Did I pass?
Only if you admit now, that global warming is man made by burning fossil fuels and with-in 100 years could doom the entire planet towards an extinction event!

It's 400ppm and ticking boys.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (11) Nov 20, 2012
ENSO isn't predictable beyond a few weeks, so you never know.
Well, in my neighborhood we're off to a pretty normal start for the the precipitation season.

Wow, you actually looked at the data. Nice.
Of course. I make it a practice to do so.

You know, I wonder where the story above came from, and what thier agenda is here. ...Are they trying to rewrite the record somehow in order to show a different trend?
I don't understand.

Are you suggesting they're wrong in asserting the PDSI method over estimates global drought severity for the past 60 years?

Are you suggesting they're wrong in asserting the use of the PDSI method in climate models over estimates global drought severity in the future?

Or, is there some other concern you're trying to express?

ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 20, 2012
ENSO itself is subject to modification by AGW, and hence, any modification of its duration or extent is an effect of AGW.
By extension, therefore, the extent and duration of episodic, cyclic, or extended drought is an effect of AGW, as well.
This is particularly true in CONUS --as you would have it-- but also globally, since the system of climate is a global whole.

So you're saying CO2 which is suggested by warmists to heat the surface layer of the atmosphere by about a degree or so, now has the power to heat the oceans as well? Do you even have any idea just how much energy density this water carries versus the surface layer of the atmosphere?

Did you know the ocean temperatures are still recovering from the last ice age?

Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2012

So you're saying CO2 which is suggested by warmists to heat the surface layer of the atmosphere by about a degree or so, now has the power to heat the oceans as well? Do you even have any idea just how much energy density this water carries versus the surface layer of the atmosphere?

Did you know the ocean temperatures are still recovering from the last ice age?


No, I'm saying that CO2(and the other greenhouse gases and aerosols] that are released through human activity(and which create additional feedbacks) ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAPPING AND RE-EMITTING HEAT over both land and sea.

I suppose that now, you are going to really confirm your status as a moron Denialist by stating that the sea doesn't absorb heat from the atmosphere.

ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2012
No, I'm saying that CO2(and the other greenhouse gases and aerosols] that are released through human activity(and which create additional feedbacks) ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAPPING AND RE-EMITTING HEAT over both land and sea.

I suppose that now, you are going to really confirm your status as a moron Denialist by stating that the sea doesn't absorb heat from the atmosphere.
Again, it's about the energy density. Do you understand the concept?

GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2012
The reason for any hesitation at all is that neither of you made an outright claim that this in some way vitiates AGW


Of course not. Melting in the arctic is surely a sign of AGW. Drought is not so clear because it is so strongly influenced by the ocean cycles. If recent trends are informative, which they may or may not be, then AGW might be helping to stabilize rainfall in the US. That's what the record looks like, but it's not a very long record, and it's very noisy.
GSwift7
2.4 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2012
I suppose that now, you are going to really confirm your status as a moron Denialist by stating that the sea doesn't absorb heat from the atmosphere


It goes both ways, but the bulk of heat transfer between air and ocean is from the ocean to the air, particularly at night. The ocean does a much better job of absorbing sunlight and re-emitting it as heat than the air does. The open water feedback in the arctic is a good example of this.

However, radiative transfer isn't the primary mode of energy transfer between the ocean and the air. Evaporation is several orders of magnitude more efficient at moving energy from the ocean into the air. Then of course, there's the positive feedback of the water vapor after it evaporates.

If you're only looking at the effect of CO2 on this balance, then you are correct. The direction of that forcing is to prevent the ocean from radiating heat through the atmosphere, effectively causing the ocean to be warmer than it would otherwise be.
Howhot
4 / 5 (4) Nov 20, 2012
Of course not. Melting in the arctic is surely a sign of AGW. Drought is not so clear because it is so strongly influenced by the ocean cycles.


I agree with you G7, Droughts are not clearly as linked to AGW, however follow this train of thought; AGW heats the atmosphere and evaporates water more than typical historic weather. Clouds are lifted higher into the atmosphere meaning that chances for rain are lowered. However, when a front does move the clouds into rain event, the additional moisture will make the rain and storms much stronger. So AGW=stronger storms with very heavy rain falls.

But, the clouds are higher, the water vapor is higher so less rain falls creating droughts. So AGW=droughts for more and more land mass.

Caliban
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2012
No, I'm saying that CO2(and the other greenhouse gases and aerosols] that are released through human activity(and which create additional feedbacks)[...]by stating that the sea doesn't absorb heat from the atmosphere.


Again, it's about the energy density. Do you understand the concept?


Yes, and a trend of INCREASED heat addition from Greenhouse gas re-emmission, in addition to insolation, will continue to raise the temperature of the oceans, which feedbacks from and to all of the interlinked systems.

The heat capacity of the ocean, as a practical matter, is NOT INFINITE, and it will re-emit the heat stored in the upper layer faster than it will expand that layer downward -after a certain point, and depending upon the vigorousness of mechanical mixing, evaporation, and radiative transfer.

If you add heat to a system, it becomes more energetic. The increase in energy is expressed as temperature increase.

Do you understand the concept?

GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (13) Nov 21, 2012
I agree with you G7, Droughts are not clearly as linked to AGW, however follow this train of thought


That's one reasonable possibility, and it makes sense in theory. However, climate response is strongly affected by topography; mountains and such. Regional effects of the placement and topography of continents must be taken into account. The amount and frequency of precipitation in the southwest US is a good example of topography dominating the process. In positive ENSO conditions, the jet stream shifts north, allowing warm/wet air from the Gulf of Mexico to travel all the way up to Ohio along tornado alley. In a negative ENSO, the jet stream shifts south, pulling dry/cool air down from Canada, causing drought. If not for the Rocky Mountains, this wouldn't be the case. Central US would get rainfall directly from the Pacific if not for those mountains blocking it. Similar effect happens (opposite direction) with the Andes in South America.

These 'could' overwhelm your theory
GSwift7
1.9 / 5 (11) Nov 21, 2012
As for the response of ENSO to climate change, that's still very uncertain. Some models assume amplification, while others assume diminished or no change in ENSO in response to climate change. Here are a few links that talk about it in more depth:

From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

http://www.pnas.o...578.full

Real Climate blog:

http://www.realcl...warming/

WIREs Climate Change:

http://140.208.31...1003.pdf

And NOAA's NCDC:

http://www.ncdc.n...ing.html

As mentiond on the NOAA page, some archeological evidence seems to show that ENSO has persisted throughout multiple clacial/interglacial cycles, and it seems to change independently of global temperature conditions. If that is true, then it doesn't seem likely for a few degrees of warming to have much effect on ENSO. I guess we will have to wait and see.
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (11) Nov 21, 2012
Continued:

Our instrumental record of Pacific Ocean conditions only goes back about 150 years. Since ENSO is, on average, a 4 year cycle, That doesn't give us much history to observe the response of ENSO to changes in global average temperatures. Depending on what year you consider to have been the beginning of human caused global warming, that further reduces the number of cycles that have occured since global warming began. So the question becomes: how many ENSO cycles need to be observed before you can discerne a statistically significant change in ENSO due to global warming? Since the magnitude and frequency of ENSO cycles has a large range of variability, and we do not have a very tight constraint on the possible magnitude of that variability, it makes it difficult to answer that question with currently available data. That's why there is such a wide range of possible effects programmed into various climate models, in regard to ENSO and global warming.
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2012
Two points to add G7, the ENSO is not the only factor controlling weather events. The entire Southern Hemisphere is controlled by other weather factors besides ENSO, and they are having droughts with the severity and frequency as us up north. (Example Australia.) That indicates that drought is not a localized effect of ENSO, but of a global effect caused by global warming (and lets face it, Anthropogenic Global Warming).

There are so many things that can effect weather, and the ENSO may be one of them, but I've always been doubtful that ENSO is cyclic. There is no physical reason for it to be cyclic unless it's some sort of spawn of chaos theory; but that doesn't make sense given the solar inputs. The Pacific ocean is incredibly massive and does spawn weather that effects North-America, but the increase in droughts globally can not be attributed to that one effect.



GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (12) Nov 23, 2012
That indicates that drought is not a localized effect of ENSO, but of a global effect caused by global warming (and lets face it, Anthropogenic Global Warming).


It's only the southern half of Australia that is having drought right now. That's a local effect of weather, connected to the arctic ocean. The northern half of Australia is having average conditions, in response to the slightly negative ENSO right now.

Here's a link to the official record:

http://www.bom.go...ht.shtml

Besided, Australia has a long history of drought, but the quality of the records are so sparse and so poor that new 'records' are set more frequently that you would see in Europe or the US. You can tell that Australian drought is normal because all the plants and animals there are adapted to survive long term drought, just like the desert scrub species you see in Texas and Oklahoma.
GSwift7
1.9 / 5 (11) Nov 23, 2012
Here's the link to support my previous statement regarding the short and sparse records in Australia:

http://www.bom.go.../#tabs=4

Thier record only begins in 1900, and though they don't say it on that page, it was only in a few places. Most of Australia is still sparsely populated, and was even more so until the mid 1900's.

Also note that their definition of drought is not just a measure of rainfall. They also take water use versus supply into account. Increased water use by mining and agriculture contribute significantly to the current water problems there.

As you can see from the following page, rainfall in Australia is not normally constant from year to year. Extended regional floods and drought are the 'normal' for Australia, and the recent events are not a sign of any kind of change in that.

http://www.bom.go...ndex.jsp
Howhot
4 / 5 (4) Nov 24, 2012
Looking at Australia and drought conditions isn't that fruitful when looking for overt signs of global warming, but if you look at the continent as a whole for extreme events (rains and droughts) you begin to see areas in the south and north that are simply out of the norm. Rain conditions in the north are extreme, and droughts to the southeast are extreme. The one map where there is unity between the north and south are rising temperatures. Temperature anomalies towards the hotter side, are more and more frequent.

If you step back and look at the global drought picture, it becomes a little more clear.

http://drought.ms...ght.html

It's hard to see an ENSO influence in the global picture. If you focus in on the Pan-handle of Texas and Oklahoma maybe. Hard to say for certain.
Caliban
5 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2012
And once again, G, you've shifted debate from the topic of the article to a discussion of the relative scale, duration, and severity of ENSO-attributable weather phenomena.

As Howhot has already pointed out, ENSO is only one of many interrelated localised drivers of weather.

And it bears repeating: is itself subject to amplification/modification by continued warming.

Geomorphology, as I already pointed out, only tells part of the tale, as well --you are aware that there are coastal deserts along South, Central, and North America on the SEAWARD SIDE of the mountains. Drought/desert conditions are not uniquely found on the LANDWARD side.

The fact of the matter is that drought conditions are developing and persisting over more area than has been the case historically, and the scientists who conducted this research have done nothing by way of further explication of that fact.

They have simply introduced more noise into the model, by using their new metric.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (11) Nov 26, 2012
Again, it's about the energy density. Do you understand the concept?
Yes, and a trend of INCREASED heat addition from Greenhouse gas re-emmission, in addition to insolation, will continue to raise the temperature of the oceans,
Obviously, you do not get the concept.

The water, at the surface, is about 800 times more dense than sea level air. This means (in a perfectly conductive system) the atmosphere (at most) could heat the ocean's surface .00125 degrees for every degree of energy added to the atmosphere (volume for volume). But of course it's not a perfectly conductive system, so in reality this isn't even close (can you say, "Imeasurable.")

The heat capacity of the ocean, as a practical matter, is NOT INFINITE
Wrong, As opposed to the atmosphere, as a practical matter, the ocean is a virtually infinite heat sink.

The ocean is primarily heated by direct sunlight (and slightly by the earth's mantle/volcanism)

This is why ice and cloud cover is so important.
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2012
Obviously, you do not get the concept.The water, at the surface, is about 800 times more dense than sea level air. This means (in a perfectly conductive system) the atmosphere (at most) could heat the ocean's surface .00125 degrees for every degree of energy added to the atmosphere (volume for volume). But of course it's not a perfectly conductive system, so in reality this isn't even close (can you say, "Imeasurable.") The heat capacity of the ocean, as a practical matter, is NOT INFINITE Wrong, As opposed to the atmosphere, as a practical matter, the ocean is a virtually infinite heat sink.


Obviously, you do not understand that the PRIMARY heat sink is in the uppermost layer of water, where virtuually all of the heat transfer takes place.

Thus, any increase in the heat density of that layer leads --for all intents and purposes, to a virtually instantaneous transfer of heat to the atmosphere.

Year over year trend of increased heating = global warming.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (12) Nov 27, 2012
Obviously, you do not understand that the PRIMARY heat sink is in the uppermost layer of water, where virtually all of the heat transfer takes place.
Arm-waving nonsense. Show some references. How thick a layer? How much heating?

Thus, any increase in the heat density of that layer leads --for all intents and purposes, to a virtually instantaneous transfer of heat to the atmosphere.
The ocean predominately cools the atmosphere.

Year over year trend of increased heating = global warming.
Again, prove it. Where are your references?

Here's one from me:

Global sea surface not warming.

Caliban
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 27, 2012
Obviously, you do not understand that the PRIMARY heat sink is in the uppermost layer of water, where virtually all of the heat transfer takes place.
Arm-waving nonsense. Show some references. How thick a layer? How much heating?

Thus, any increase in the heat density of that layer leads --for all intents and purposes, to a virtually instantaneous transfer of heat to the atmosphere.
The ocean predominately cools the atmosphere.

Year over year trend of increased heating = global warming.
Again, prove it. Where are your references?

Here's one from me:

http://www.woodfo....8/trend


Yes, I've seen this bullshit trick from you a hunde=red times, already.

But look --I magically invalidate your claim by selecting another starting point for the plot:
http://www.woodfo....8/trend
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (11) Nov 27, 2012
Yes, I've seen this bullshit trick from you a hunde=red times, already.
I noticed you completely ignored my call for science validating your ocean to atmosphere warming claims. Why is that?

But look --I magically invalidate your claim by selecting another starting point for the plot:
Not at all. All you did was hide the current trend. Why are you so afraid of the current trend? If your claims are correct, shouldn't the ocean surface have been warming, as atmospheric CO2 increased, these past twelve years? Why is it currently cooling?

Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2012
Yes, I've seen this bullshit trick from you a hunde=red times, already.
I noticed you completely ignored my call for science validating your ocean to atmosphere warming claims. Why is that?

But look --I magically invalidate your claim by selecting another starting point for the plot:
Not at all. All you did was hide the current trend. Why are you so afraid of the current trend? If your claims are correct, shouldn't the ocean surface have been warming, as atmospheric CO2 increased, these past twelve years? Why is it currently cooling?



I have provided an exactly commensurate quality and quantity of citations to counter those provided by yourself.

Funny how that works, innit?

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (12) Nov 27, 2012
I have provided an exactly commensurate quality and quantity of citations to counter those provided by yourself.

Funny how that works, innit?
Onus probandi argument (shifting the burden of proof). You're the one making the extraordinary claims. Prove them.

Or, are you admitting your claims were false, all along?

Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2012
I have provided an exactly commensurate quality and quantity of citations to counter those provided by yourself.

Funny how that works, innit?
Onus probandi argument (shifting the burden of proof). You're the one making the extraordinary claims. Prove them.

Or, are you admitting your claims were false, all along?


Projection is a very well known and understood psychological process, the purpose of which is to accuse another of one's own faults, shortcomings, inadequacies, and --most notably-- wrongdoing, to thereby (unilaterally)relieve oneself of the burden of responsibility.

You should familiarize yourself with the mechanism, as it is a very pronounced aspect of your mental disorder, as you have so well illustrated with the above comment.

As you insist upon contradicting the overwhelmingly accepted view, you are in the position of making extraordinary claims, and therefore must provide the extraordinary proof.

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (10) Nov 28, 2012
Projection is a very well known and understood psychological process, the purpose of which is to accuse another of one's own faults, shortcomings, inadequacies, and --most notably-- wrongdoing, to thereby (unilaterally)relieve oneself of the burden of responsibility.
Evidently, you should know.

You should familiarize yourself with the mechanism, as it is a very pronounced aspect of your mental disorder, as you have so well illustrated with the above comment.
A personal attack in lieu of supplying the requested science. Should I be impressed?

As you insist upon contradicting the overwhelmingly accepted view, you are in the position of making extraordinary claims, and therefore must provide the extraordinary proof.
I'm certainly not the one making the claims under discussion.

This part:

"Year over year trend of increased heating = global warming."
- Caliban

...I already proved wrong with a simple graph showing more than a decade of cooling.

What have you got?

GSwift7
1.9 / 5 (12) Nov 28, 2012
As Howhot has already pointed out, ENSO is only one of many interrelated localised drivers of weather


I was only using ENSO as an example of one of the many regional conditions which, in combination with regional topography, may or may not produce the response to AGW that Howhot was suggesting farther up in the thread. He and I were having a fairly good discussion, and neither of us was driving off the cliff with alarmist or denialist sensationalism. If you didn't read the beginning of our rather long conversation, then you should, and you might understand the context of my statement about how the magnitude and effects of ENSO on drought in the US are so strongly affected by the Rocky Mountains. I was actually talking more about the location of the mountains than ENSO, and that was just one specific example of how topography might cause exceptions to the theory he suggested.

I did say that his theory sounded sound. I merely wanted to discuss it in more depth with him.
GSwift7
1.9 / 5 (11) Nov 28, 2012
As for the existing record of droughts:

It appears that you have high confidence in our records of drought over the past 100-200 years. If you aren't willing to discuss the quality of those records, then we don't even have a starting point for a discussion about what the data shows or doesn't show.

I can say undisputably that century-long regional droughts are 'normal' accross the globe, in all of human recorded history, and as indicated by archeological records. North Africa has been through repeated periods of dry and wet, lasting 100's of years, just in the past 10k years. Same goes for Central America and Austalia.

It is possible that AGW will cause increased droughts, though some models disagree on this point. However, don't you think you should be cautious in attributing current conditions to AGW, or saying that anything happening now is out of the ordinary when the paleo records clearly show that they aren't? Droughts lasting more than a century are common in many place
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
GS7: You said: "If you didn't read the beginning of our rather long conversation, then you should, and you might understand the context of my statement about how the magnitude and effects of ENSO on drought in the US are so strongly affected by the Rocky Mountains. I was actually talking more about the location of the mountains than ENSO, and that was just one specific example of how topography might cause exceptions to the theory he suggested."

I think this is something that people lose track of. If we have any sense at all, we have to realize that the global climate and the subset of weather is intertwined with interactions of every mountain, wind, current, solar perturbance, change in atmospheric composition, cloud cover,.. and the list goes on. That is why the models are complex and getting bigger. They are also getting better. We get caught up in looking at local results and don't see the big picture (probably because it is big). (continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
As an example of what I mean by our getting caught up in local matters, we are constantly arguing on here about an area of glaciers or flooding in a region. Those are important because of their impact, but they don't shine a light on global change. Some get caught up in the "no temperature change for 16 years" as though it were more than a single indicator. This is hard to get comfortable with, but it is really the total enthalpy change over the time period that is important. We are not doing a good job of watching the enthalpy change of the earth. For insteance, the melting of polar ice is isothermal in nature. However, it is not holding enthalpy still, nor is entropy going down. There are a lot more thermodynamic variables that are much more important than temperature and are harder to find data on (G7 can probably point us to thermodynamic data - because he keeps a closer eye on this than I do - I always learn something from his posts).
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
Projection is a very well known and understood psychological process, the purpose of which is to accuse another of one's own faults, shortcomings, inadequacies, and --most notably-- wrongdoing, to thereby (unilaterally)relieve oneself of the burden of responsibility.

"Evidently, you should know."


Yes. Yes I do know. Having encountered sufferers such as yourself in the past, I went to the trouble of understanding the phenomena.

You should familiarize yourself with the mechanism, as it is a very pronounced aspect of your mental disorder, as you have so well illustrated with the above comment.

"A personal attack in lieu of supplying the requested science. Should I be impressed?"?


A personal attack? Hardly. Just pointing out the obvious, to call it to your attention.

No need to be impressed. But I would urge you --again-- to familiarize yourself with the mechanism. Acknowledging that you have a problem is an important first step.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
As you insist upon contradicting the overwhelmingly accepted view, you[...]making extraordinary claims, and therefore must provide the extraordinary proof.

"I'm certainly not the one making the claims under
discussion."


You most certainly are, and as soon as you felt the ice thinning, you began squirming to try and find a way out of the predicament you put yourself in.
It's not my responsibility to educate you in the science that underpins AGW. If you feel that you are qualified to discuss it, then you have to bring sufficient knowledge and understanding of your own.

"This part:

"Year over year trend of increased heating = global warming."
- Caliban


OK, here I failed to be precise enough. Replace "heating" with "average surface temperature".

...I already proved wrong with a simple graph showing more than a decade of cooling.


You proved nothing of the sort.

What have you got?


YOUR source graph, showing COOLING over an EVEN LONGER interval.

Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
As Howhot has already pointed out, ENSO is only one of many interrelated localised drivers of weather

I was only using ENSO as an example of one of the many regional conditions which, in combination with regional topography, may or may not produce the response to AGW that Howhot was suggesting farther up in the thread.[...]

I did say that his theory sounded sound. I merely wanted to discuss it in more depth with him.


You made much more emphasis of it than that, especially earlier in the thread. If what you said is true, then drought would come and go every few years. This is not the case. Drought is entirely absent for decades or longer at a time. I agree that the south central and west US is far more sensitive to ENSO due to the Rockies, but this doesn't even come close to explaining the frequency and severity of droughts in N central, N east, and S east US.

My comments were by way of pointing out this lack in your analysis.



Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012
As for the existing record of droughts:
[...]I can say undisputably that century-long regional droughts are 'normal' accross the globe, in all of human recorded history, and as indicated by archeological records. North Africa has been through repeated periods of dry and wet, lasting 100's of years, just in the past 10k years. Same goes for Central America and Austalia.


All true enough --in general. However, you are making conclusions on a more specific scale based upon generalizations. The relative availability of data in the last 200 years is quite well supplememted by paleoclimate and proxy data of sufficient resolution to understand that well-defined cyclic patterns of drought lasting for extended periods exist in some areas, but that the same does not exist elsewhere.

The exact opposite holds, in fact.

The point is that it appears that drought conditions are appearing in more places, and appear to be intensifying in more of those places than in the past.

Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2012

It is possible that AGW will cause increased droughts, though some models disagree on this point. However, don't you think you should be cautious in attributing current conditions to AGW, or saying that anything happening now is out of the ordinary when the paleo records clearly show that they aren't? Droughts lasting more than a century are common in many place


Again, you draw conclusions from generalizations.

The paleoclimate/proxy data show that, yes --drought conditions persisting for a century or longer occur in many places globally. This isn't new news.

However --these cyclic droughts(and deserts) are of long standing, and affect very specific areas, while the rest of the world is and has been relatively free of them. What is of concern is that the "relatively free of them" areas of the world are experiencing more, and more persistent, drought, and that many of the areas that are regularly subject are experiencing longer episodes.
VendicarD
4 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2012
Duggie isn't bright enough to know what the CC in IPCC stands for.

"The "climate industry" catch phrase "Global Warming" was changed to "Climate Change."" - Duggie

The IPCC has never been called the IPGW.

Poor Duggie. He seems like such a gullible Tard.
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2012
G7, Caliban just hit the issue on the nose;
What is of concern is that the "relatively free of them" areas of the world are experiencing more, and more persistent, drought, and that many of the areas that are regularly subject are experiencing longer episodes.

Caliban is pointing out a disturbing trend in weather. More an more of these "minor" droughts are permeating the land mass of the globe. It's another monkey on humanity's back that just straight up needs to be dealt with.

Engineers will want to paint all roofs white. The physicist will calculate the percentage of roof coverage over the surface of the earth. The artist will say it needs to be green.

GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2012
Caliban is pointing out a disturbing trend in weather. More an more of these "minor" droughts are permeating the land mass of the globe


I think a discussion of drought data would be helpful for everyone here.

Can I start by asking a few questions and letting you answer?

What is drought, how is it measured, and how good are the records? I'm sure you know this already, but I want to clarify for the benifit of people like Caliban and Vendicar, just to make sure we're on the same page.

Caliban, I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but trying to answer your shotgun blast of disconnected comments would take this thread on a lot of different tangents. I would prefer to continue my reasonable discussion with Howhot in stead. I suggest you go back up the thread and follow my link to NCDC, where you'll find a fact sheet about how drought is measured and the problems with drought records. That should be informative in regard to your comments on recent drought trends.
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2012
You made much more emphasis of it than that, especially earlier in the thread. If what you said is true, then drought would come and go every few years. This is not the case


Actually it is. Annual and seasonal droughts are normal, and have not increased.

Here's a graphic from NASA on US precipitation trends:

http://www.epa.go...ion.html

Notice that precipitation has increased, not decreased. You wouldn't think that's the case based on news headlines, but oh well.

And, as you can clearly see from the graphic, droughts happen every couple of years, and sometimes wet or dry conditions can sustain for several years in a row. From 1990 to 2000, for example there were 10 years of way above normal precipitation. Our current drought, only lasting 2 years, should come into perspective for you now.

Global trend: 2% per century. The data speaks for itself.
GSwift7
1.5 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2012
oops, I changed the link to an EPA page, since the NASA page only had data up to 2005, and the EPA page goes to 2009. That's the most current I could find.

You must remember that the quality of the data is limited though. Global precipitation records are very sparse and consistent record keeping wasn't an issue more than 50 years ago.

If you compare the precipitation records to drought records, you'll see that drought has more to do with water use than anything else. Most drought indexes are designed to help with agriculture, so they focus on water availability rather than rainfall. In the central US, a bad judgement by the Army Corps of Engineers in regard to the rate of release in reservoirs can cause a drought regardless of how much rainfall there is. In fact, there's a big controversy about that going on right now. They are talking about lowing the river levels to the point that barge traffic will stop. That has grain people really upset.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Nov 30, 2012
You made much more emphasis of it than that, especially earlier in the thread. If what you said is true, then drought would come and go every few years. This is not the case


Actually it is. Annual and seasonal droughts are normal, and have not increased.


Good job of taking that quote out of context. I was under the impression that you were capable of a little more discernment than that, and would therefore realize I was speaking of ALL drought, since you were trying to make the case that it is driven by cyclic ENSO-like weather patterns and their effects with respect to topography, etc.

I see that I was mistaken in that impression.

GSwift7
1 / 5 (8) Dec 03, 2012
Good job of taking that quote out of context. I was under the impression that you were capable of a little more discernment than that,


lol.

I started by saying that your posts were kinda confusing. I was doing my best to try to make and sense of what you were trying to say.

What kind of droughts are trying to say are on the increase?

I would also like to ask if you really mean droughts or precipitation? As I pointed out, droughts can happen independently from changes in precipitation. For example, India and China both have drought problems, though their rainfall hasn't decreased. Their population explosions, agricultural modernization, and increasing urbanization is the cause, not climate change. If you look at the data from any source, you can see that actual rainfall has gone up, not down, though I would not be surprised to see rainfall fall back down to normal eventually. That's what is actually happening in the SW US right now, you know.
Caliban
5 / 5 (2) Dec 03, 2012
I started by saying that your posts were kinda confusing. I was doing my best to try to make and sense of what you were trying to say.

What kind of droughts are trying to say are on the increase?



Ok, I'll cede the confusion point.

For the purposes of this discussion, there are two kinds of drought --those that are more or less regular and cyclical, and those that arise erratically and episodically. I made that distinction early on, and my point in doings so was to differentiate between them, because you had lumped them all into the former catergoryby claiming that they are all driven by ENSO-like phenomena, which, if it were true, would make ALL drought, everywhere, cyclical. This is not the case.

For the third time, now.


Howhot
5 / 5 (2) Dec 03, 2012
Ok, I'll cede the confusion point.

No, the confusion point is you are arguing with a bunch of wingbats that have loyalties to the Oil industry. To them, anything that supports oil is a good thing.

The oil industry workers need to change that mind set. They ARE the cause of global warming, they ARE the destroyers of oceans, they ARE the cause of total environmental collapse.

ENSO is a make believe Bull-S that these oil freaks want to pass off as some sort of science for the cause of the mid american droughts. No, the present day droughts are clearly linked to AGW (anthropocentric global warming... ie. man-made industrial scale CO2 pollution).

Unfortunately, CO2 has a 4000 year linger time when it's in the atmosphere so when you spike the atmosphere burning burning and burning carbon bases materials... BOOM!

That "boom" effect is what I would be concerned about with ENSO.
And since that is already happening, I wonder how climate deniers can take the positions they do.
GSwift7
1.1 / 5 (10) Dec 05, 2012
For the purposes of this discussion, there are two kinds of drought --those that are more or less regular and cyclical, and those that arise erratically and episodically. I made that distinction early on, and my point in doings so was to differentiate between them, because you had lumped them all into the former catergoryby claiming that they are all driven by ENSO-like phenomena, which, if it were true, would make ALL drought, everywhere, cyclical


Wow, lots to talk about there.

First, that's not what I was trying to say. There are many things that effect drought conditions. ENSO is one of them, but it doesn't act alone. Persistent El Nino or La Nina can 'push' the trends toward or away from drought. You can see that practically the entire decade of 1990-2000 was we in the US, due to repeated strong el nino with only short and weak or non-existent la nina. ENSO isn't really a cycle, though it is called a cycle by some people. It can trend one way or another for decades.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (10) Dec 05, 2012
continued:

If you didn't already, please check out the following link, and read the second half of the page.

http://www.ncdc.n...mer.html

Second, your classification of drought as either cyclic or episodic is silly. There are no cyclic droughts that I am aware of.

There is a huge difference between long term and short term droughts as well as local versus regional. Please take note of the following statement from NCDC:

Long-term drought is cumulative, so the intensity of drought during the current month is dependent on the current weather patterns plus the cumulative patterns of previous months. Since weather patterns can change almost literally overnight from a long-term drought pattern to a long-term wet pattern


This hasn't changed in recent times, since it's always been that way, all over the world, all throughout history.

What aspect of drought are you claiming has changed in the past 100 years?
GSwift7
1 / 5 (10) Dec 05, 2012
Supporting my previous statements:

Here's a primer on why ENSO isn't actually cyclic. It is actually refered to as "quasi-periodic", rather than an acual cycle.

http://en.wikiped...illation

And, as you can see from the following source (only updated to 2009, unfortunately), drought in the US has greatly decreased in the past 100 years. Though I've seen papers that suggest the increase in US rainfall we have seen in the past 100 years might be a fluke, and they warn that the US might return to 'nomal' drier conditions any time. That would be really bad news for Phoenix, Las Vegas, L.A., etc. since they are struggling for water, even with the recent abundance.

As you can see in the link I just provided, no single 'cycle' alone dictates climate in any specific region at any specific time. They have listed 10 major cycles, but there are probably more, since we didn't discover some of these until the past couple decades. They all interact in complex ways.
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2012
Swifty,

I'll respond to you most recent series of posts thusly:

Blah, blah, blah...blah blah, blah, blah, blah...

This pretty much sums up what you said. Your long-winded hairsplitting and obsessive attention to marginally relevant detail is plainly intended to obscure and evade.

You haven't explained or clarified anything about what your position is --other than to assure yourself that you disagree with mine.

You'll have to do better than that.

GSwift7
1.2 / 5 (9) Dec 07, 2012
You haven't explained or clarified anything about what your position is --other than to assure yourself that you disagree with mine


My position is the same as NOAA/NCDC. I provided references as such. I don't see how I can be any more direct or provide any more relevant sources of information about drought than the NCDC main page on drought.

Unlike you, I did not attempt to create my own imaginary classification system for droughts.

You still have not said what you think has changed about drought due to climate change. Are they more severe? Do they last longer? Are there more small droughts in more places? Are today's droughts unprecedented?

I linked to the best records available above, and the answers are easy to see.

If you don't like the historical records, then here's a very recent NOAA paper which attempts to predict drought using climate models:

http://www.gfdl.n...1001.pdf

Once again, it's ENSO that dominates drought
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2012
My position is the same as NOAA/NCDC. I provided references as such. I don't see how I can be any more direct or provide any more relevant sources of information about drought than the NCDC main page on drought.

Once again, it's ENSO that dominates drought


No, Swifty, you don't have a position, other than whatever serves for the moment to sidestep your questioner.

NOW you say that ENSO "dominates" drought, even though earlier you said that it was primarily the Western mountains of North America that were responsible for the weather of the interior.

Along the way, you implied that ENSO-like cycles were the cause of all drought.

Now you back off everything and state that your position is that of NOAA/NCDC. Which is to say that you have no position, since NOAA/NCDC don't take an "official" stance in these matters, which you know full well.

Your purpose, as always, is to taint AGW science with doubt by your vague avuncular jibber-jabber.

GSwift7
1.3 / 5 (9) Dec 10, 2012
No, Swifty, you don't have a position, other than whatever serves for the moment to sidestep your questioner


Nice. I don't see any question I haven't answered. Can you copy and paste the unanswered question you're talking about? What about my question: how has climate change affected drought?

NOW you say that ENSO "dominates" drought, even though


I didn't say that, NCDC did. Here's the quote from the Indroduction section of the paper I linked to:

The dominance of the Pacific forcing stands out in these results, with secondary yet notable impacts forced by the North Atlantic and the globalscale warming trend


Now, the actual results of the powerful forcing of ENSO on the South Central US are also affected by the placement of the Rocky Mountains. It's the mountains that cause the bi-modal switching of the jet stream there, as a response to ENSO. So, yes, ENSO is the biggest driver of drought there (though not the only one).
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 10, 2012
Now you back off everything and state that your position is that of NOAA/NCDC. Which is to say that you have no position, since NOAA/NCDC don't take an "official" stance in these matters, which you know full well


That's not true at all. I have maintained my original 'position' on the matter, and tried to explain a complex topic to you in more detail as you continued to seem more and more confused about how it works. I am guessing that your understanding of this weather/climate patter is rather limited, and the more I attempt to go into detail, the more confused you get. Did you bother to follow any of the links I gave?

NCDC is far from not having an opinion on this matter. They have stated over and over that the current records do not show a clear link between global warming and any trend in the drought records. The modelling paper I linked to from NCDC indicates that future warming may cause more pronounced extreme events, both drought and rainfall (pluvial) events.
GSwift7
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 10, 2012
Your purpose, as always, is to taint AGW science with doubt by your vague avuncular jibber-jabber


Look, you seem to be forgetting what got that entire discussion of ENSO and the Rocky Mountains started in the first place. I was responding to a reasonable theory proposed by Howhot. I was just pointing out that while his theory sounded good theoretically, in the real world other things come into play and can have a powerful influence on the results. I was using ENSO and the Rocky Mountain situation as an example of a regional condition that does not respond intuitively, as his theory suggested it should. There are many other similar situations in other parts of the world, just like Chile, which I also mentioned in my original post. I'm not understanding why you are so fixated on that one part of my post.

I was deliberately ignoring you earlier in the thread because you weren't making much sense, and it seemed more like trolling than serious comments. Looks like that was true
Howhot
5 / 5 (1) Dec 10, 2012
G7, that was an interesting discourse, but let me say, it sounds a lot like
Blah, blah, blah...blah blah, blah, blah, blah...


I think what has been shown in science is that ENSO in not the controlling factor for all drought conditions but it has some effect on conditions west of the Rocky Mountains. Agreed. And, lets add that ENSO is effected by global warming strengthening the resulting ENSO conditions.

G7 my good friend, at what point is the situation not related to some CO2 grave situation? If it's CO2 related, it's out of the USA hands to effect change, except through the UN. Etc. etc.

This is a great little website. Enjoy:
http://co2now.org/

Caliban
not rated yet Dec 11, 2012
Your purpose, as always, is to taint AGW science with doubt by your vague avuncular jibber-jabber


Essentailly, as Howhot reiterates, your above posts are just more blah, blah, blah...so I'll get right to it.

I was deliberately ignoring you earlier in the thread because you weren't making much sense, and it seemed more like trolling than serious comments. Looks like that was true.


You were ignoring me because I took you to task. I've made it clear in the past that I understand your strategy -which is to pay lip service to the reality of AGW merely to set up your stealth attack against it.

I am aware that you are certainly intelligent enough to locate and cite useful supporting documents. I am also aware that supporting documents rarely tell the whole story, but are frequently used --as you have used them-- to undermine by way of misdirection and manufacturing doubt.

You make the pretense of being reasonable and open-minded, when in reality you are anything but.

GSwift7
1 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2012
And, lets add that ENSO is effected by global warming strengthening the resulting ENSO conditions


That is NOT true. All evidence suggests that ENSO is not sensitive to global air temperature. Geological evidence from ocean sediment cores suggests that ENSO has been persistent throughout several glacial/interglacial periods. There is no evidence to support your statement.

http://co2now.org/


lol. I'll stick with NOAA/NCDC. It's interresting that Canadians seem to be so much more willing to accept climate activism than the rest of the world.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2012
Essentailly, as Howhot reiterates, your above posts are just more blah, blah, blah...so I'll get right to it


Yes, the truth is almost always boring compared to sensationalist or alarmist hand-waving.

Don't worry, in 20 years we will see where things stand. I'll bet the co2 thing continues to fade into obscurity and some new source of concerne is found for the headlines and fundraising efforts.
Caliban
not rated yet Dec 11, 2012
Essentailly, as Howhot reiterates, your above posts are just more blah, blah, blah...so I'll get right to it


Yes, the truth is almost always boring compared to sensationalist or alarmist hand-waving.

Don't worry, in 20 years we will see where things stand. I'll bet the co2 thing continues to fade into obscurity and some new source of concerne is found for the headlines and fundraising efforts.


Yes, and in the meantime, my only hope is that I won't be subjected to any more of your anal-retentive ruminations upon what you alone decide constitutes necessary and sufficient proof of AGW.

Now, go knit a cozy for your woodshop Dustbuster.

GSwift7
1 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2012
ruminations upon what you alone decide constitutes necessary and sufficient proof of AGW


I think you have me confused with the deniers around here. I don't doubt global warming from co2. I do have a problem with people attributing normal weather to global warming, and you should too. It takes away from serious discussions about what actually IS caused by global warming.

Extremists never seem to understand that the average person has a fairly good eye for bull, even if they don't know what the true answer is, it's usually easy to recognize when something doesn't smell right.

The fact that you get emotional and start slinging insults tells me volumes about the strength of your arguments and your knowledge about the subject. Most people who have strong emotions but little knowledge about a subject can't handle hearing information that conflicts with their preconceived misconceptions. Go running to your activist web sites for information. They won't upset you like NOAA
Caliban
not rated yet Dec 12, 2012
I think you have me confused with the deniers around here. I don't doubt global warming from co2. I do have a problem with people attributing normal weather to global warming, and you should too. It takes away from serious discussions about what actually IS caused by global warming.


Like you trying to decouple AGW from observed changes in climate and weather patterns?

Extremists never seem to understand that the average person has a fairly good eye for bull,


Quite so. And virtually every time you venture into the AGW arena, it begins to stink to high Heaven.

The fact that you get emotional and start slinging insults tells me volumes about the strength of your arguments and your knowledge about the subject.


Yes, and it should. It should tell you that I take exception to your odorous outpourings. If you attempt misdirection, vagueness, meandering and labyrinthine disengenuousness, then you should certainly expect to be challenged, chastised and straitened.