200 Years Of Scorchitude: Professor Warns California To Brace For A "Mega-Drought"

Tyler Durden's picture

Two years into California's drought and locals are repeating (mantra-like) "we've never seen anything like it." They are right, of course, since this is the worst period of rainlessness since records began... but if Cal Berkeley professor Lynn Ingram is correct, they ain't seen nothing yet. The paleoclimatologist fears, if very long-run history repeats, California should brace itself for a mega drought, as National Geographic reports, a drought that could last for 200 years or more.


Via National Geographic,

California is experiencing its worst drought since record-keeping began in the mid 19th century, and scientists say this may be just the beginning. B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California at Berkeley, thinks that California needs to brace itself for a megadrought—one that could last for 200 years or more.


As a paleoclimatologist, Ingram takes the long view, examining tree rings and microorganisms in ocean sediment to identify temperatures and dry periods of the past millennium. Her work suggests that droughts are nothing new to California.




"During the medieval period, there was over a century of drought in the Southwest and California. The past repeats itself," says Ingram, who is co-author of The West Without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climate Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow. Indeed, Ingram believes the 20th century may have been a wet anomaly.




Unfortunately, she notes, most of the state's infrastructure was designed and built during the 20th century, when the climate was unusually wet compared to previous centuries. That hasn't set water management on the right course to deal with long periods of dryness in the future.


Given that California is one of the largest agricultural regions in the world, the effects of any drought, never mind one that could last for centuries, are huge. About 80 percent of California's freshwater supply is used for agriculture. The cost of fruits and vegetables could soar, says Cantu. "There will be cataclysmic impacts."



So what is causing the current drought?

Ingram and other paleoclimatologists have correlated several historic megadroughts with a shift in the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean that occurs every 20 to 30 years—something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The PDO is similar to an El Nino event except it lasts for decades—as its name implies—whereas an El Nino event lasts 6 to 18 months. Cool phases of the PDO result in less precipitation because cooler sea temperatures bump the jet stream north, which in turn pushes off storms that would otherwise provide rain and snow to California. Ingram says entire lakes dried up in California following a cool phase of the PDO several thousand years ago. Warm phases have been linked to numerous storms along the California coast.

"We have been in a fairly cold phase of PDO since the early 2000s," says Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center, "so the drought we are seeing now makes sense."


That said, scientists caution against pinning the current drought on the PDO alone. Certainly ocean temperatures, wind, and the weather pattern in the Pacific have contributed to the drought, says Nate Mantua, a professor in the department of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where the PDO pattern was first discovered and named. "But it's more nuanced than saying the PDO did this." After all, as its name suggests, the PDO is decades in the making.

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Droel's picture

All this green energy really fukked up the weather pattern.   Fire up those coal plants!


Yeah My first 1st.

monkeyshine's picture

They care more about fiat money than water

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Energy Makes Up Half of Desalination Plant Costs: Study



In California, What Price Water?


max2205's picture

Global boiling tax coming your way

National Blessing's picture

OK.  OK.  Blah, blah, blah.  The sky is falling.  We've heard it all before.  Blockheads.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Tyler, most of your sources are good. You are citing someone from the epicenter of libtardism, UC Berkley. No credibility whatsoever.

boogerbently's picture

Isn't that the guy that predicted the "Mayan Apocalypse" ?

FEDbuster's picture

What does the "Father of the Internet" Al Gore have to say about this? 

And how are the whores of D.C. and the bankster tribe going to make a buck off of it?

Atlas_shrugging's picture

But the S&P was up over 30% last year so everything must be OK, right?

MiguelitoRaton's picture

The PDO is a long trend that can be interupted by wet from El Nino or La Nina and it appears we may have an El Nino forming by around August. We'll see...

CheapBastard's picture

Drought + Fuki = they'll all move to Austin & Phoenix

balolalo's picture

For you retards who do not believe in what climate scientists are warning us about, STFU, lie down, and stop making noise like a toddler

It must be MAGIC (or God) that: makes your car move, turns your iphone on, makes your medicine if your sick, allows planes to fly, and delivers the food to the market.

You probably think water is blue.

Let grown ups handle this before you hurt more people by distracting them and taking them back into the dark ages.

Science ain't perfect but you sure do trust it with your life. I'll take a true scientist any day over any hack one of you climate change deniers can conjure up.

BigJim's picture

 It must be MAGIC (or God) that: makes your car move, turns your iphone on, makes your medicine if your sick, allows planes to fly, and delivers the food to the market.

You know why the alarmists are always trying to equate successful areas of science - like physics & medicine - and the utterly unreliable predictions made by climate 'science'?

Hey, I guess I've answered my own question!

Get it into your head, morons: we trust the predictions of physicists not because we trust physicists, but because we trust physics.

When climate scientists can make predictions with respect to temperatures with the same ability that physicists can predict the movement of objects in orbit, we'll accord them the same respect.

johnQpublic's picture

the earth was once locked in an ice age

but the climate changed

The Black Bishop's picture

Hell yeah! I saw that in the Ice Age movies! Great educational flicks!




There wouldnt be any "climate" scientists if there wasnt money to be made! Mother nature takes a huge dump on the so called Climate Models every time she opens up a volcano for a few days. CO2 as polution is the most garbage argument to date. If these people were serious about climate they would strangle Japan and force a solution to Fukushima no matter the cost. And why isnt the food industry a bigger part of the environmental debate? Not just for people but for animals. The shit we feed the animals comes back to us. And GMO's, dont get me started on those. The entire debate and "science" is just one huge steaming pile of manure.

Doubleguns's picture

Southern California is s desert. What do folks expect in a desert. Klimate Kooks would have us believe its suddenly turning into a desert because of us screwing up the climate. Nuts I tell you...nuts. 

James_Cole's picture

Ok get ready for this everyone, about to blow your feeble little minds... climate modelling is based on......physics!! Oh snap!


BigJim's picture

James Cole strikes again!

Ok get ready for this everyone, about to blow your feeble little minds... climate modelling is based on......physics!! Oh snap!

If I were to predict that a feather were to fall with an acceleration of 9.80665 m/s2, that prediction would be 'based' on physics.

But it would still be wrong. Because it would fail to take into account drag... just as climate models fail to take into account whatever it is that stops them being even remotely reliable.

Try again, James.

Flakmeister's picture

I've heard of strawmen, but this is the first featherman I have seen...

Right out of a textbook about argumentative fallacies...

aerojet's picture

Years back, I worked on a climate-related project as a software contractor for the EPA.  I have firsthand knowledge of the datasets.  What struck me was how inconsistent to data was.  Worse than that was how they massaged the models--you could get practically any outcome you desired from those models just by tweaking a couple of factors here or there.  It was very eye-opening.  

The EPA should stick to controlling pollution and climate scienctists should settle down and stop letting leftist politicians use their research to push an agenda of control on the population.  Climate change theory in its present form is just a new, difficult to argue against justification for Communism.  There, I said it.

Flakmeister's picture

Making shit up...

Bad form...

xavi1951's picture

I love the way you throw around the term "climate scientists'.  Al Gore is NOT a scientist.  A rocket engineer from NASA is NOT a climate anything.  There are only a handful of Climatologists in the entire world, and guess what, they don't agree.  The science is NOT in.  Al Gore has made millions by peddling fear and is set up to make millions selling carbon $$$ on the market.

Flakmeister's picture

Funny you say that, the Schmitt NASA letter was exactly that, a bunch of non-climatologist attempting to muzzle GISS...

BTW, there are a few thousand and for the most part they all agree about the AGW....

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Genuine science is demonstrably verifiable. It is repeatable, it is proof, and any other scientist can do the experiment and obtain the same result. This is not true by the primary advocates of AGW. Their models have failed so this means that they are wrong. Period.

Flakmeister's picture

Making shit up does not make it so...

If you don't think we can model the global temperature you have not been watching closely


Be sure to follow the links to get really educated...

Lebensphilosoph's picture

The earth as a whole is not a system in thermodynamic equilibirum. There is no such thing as a 'global temperature'. An average calculated of many different local temperatures is not itself a temperature; it is in and of itself a practically meaningless statistic.

Flakmeister's picture

You are right, it is slowly warming up...

Clearly you have never heard of the Stefan Boltzmann law... And just because you are ignorant doesn't mean everyone else is...


By the way, how is an average of temperatures not a temperature?

aerojet's picture

And genuine science doesn't have a political affiliation.

TuPhat's picture

But Flakmeister does.  And here he is to save the world with climate BS.

Lebensphilosoph's picture

Verifiable? I believe a little man by the name of Karl Popper once wrote a book on that contention ...

Flakmeister's picture

And what you don;t understand about Popper is in that book...


Sean7k's picture

The religion of science can be quite hilarious. You shout to the heavens about your successes, but bury the failures. You claim godlike intelligence and ability, when most are just simple autistics. It did not require science to see a rainbow and infer refraction or to scoop water in a bucket and infer reflection. It was a scientist (philosopher, alchemist) whom figured out how to demonstrate it. It took a scientist to test for and find waves and particles- the unseen world. 

It was a caveman that figured out the wheel. It was early man that figured out propulsion using force could be useful. Throwing rocks, teaming horses, it was an engineer that figured out cars. Watching birds fly or fish swim encouradged engineers to seek formulas for lift. You see, science wants to seek claim to everything good. 

However, science is equally blind to its shortcomings. Pharmacology is classic. Creating medicines with limited knowledge of how a body functions is dangerous and has proven so. Worse yet, placing financial motivations ahead of safety is slow murder for the patient. Doctors are infants in the art of healing. This is because science requires a monopoly, much like religion- it must be believed- like the early "scientists" whom felt the Earth was flat or X-rays would cure cancer or smoking was harmless. 

It is science that has polluted the water, air and land. It is science that has created military destruction. It is science that has encouraged global population densities that are destroying the environment. It is science that has created the NSA, the drone, the robotic soldier and MKUltra. 

So, no, I use science that is useful, but I abhor most of it. I recognize the convenience made possible by it, but wonder why man is so foolish to embrace that which is deadly and destructive. Then I remember, the danger when priests are put in charge of religion and it all becomes clearer.

aerojet's picture

You say a lot, but I think you're an idiot.

Sean7k's picture

I guess I'm enough of an idiot to confound you.

Apocalicious's picture

You are confounding religion with science. True science is never blind to its own shortcomings. In fact, that's fairly decent summary of what the scientific method actually is: the search for evidence that is not consistent with the null hypothesis. If you find evidence that can't be explained by it, you reject it. If all the evidence is consistent it, well, it can serve as the most likely scenario until (if) some evidence can be found to contradict it.


Fanatics search for evidence that supports their hypothesis, and bury that which contradicts it. By defition, these are not scientists. 


I reject your BS as I reject fanatics claim to be "scientists." Fanatics created all that shit, not scientists. Aim better....

Sean7k's picture

It is the phrase "true science" that shows the alter you worship at. Just as every religion argues that it is the true interpretation. You reject my arguments, but you cannot argue against them? Then call me the fanatic? 

You're as dumb as a bag of hammers. Good luck with that.

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

it's called scientific method. rince and repeat. rince and repeat ad nauseam.


sir you're the only dumbass here.

Sean7k's picture

A method that is a complete failure. It is incapable of measuring the consequences of action nor is it free from bribery and coercion.. Another moron, without an argument. Unfortunately, it points out the deficiency with scientists in general- sociopathy.

Tough Mudder's picture

The problem with the "Climate Changers" is they do not follow scientific principles.  For a theory to be valid, it has to be provable or disprovable.  Yet the true believers, and they are just that, true believers, attribute any and all climate events as Global Warming Man Made Climate Change.  This also apparently includes volcanic erruptions according to the high priest of climate change Al Gore. 


Insults and ridicule are the last tools of party who has no arguement.  You do yourself a great disservice by resorting to those fallacious arguement styles.  If you are going to Troll, step up your game. 


Flakmeister's picture

Anything to backup your assertions, or just mere projection?

Sorry you don't like Al Gore, get over it...


Tough Mudder's picture

Not much, just standard scientific methodology.


You misunderstand, I LOVE Al Gore.  He is highly entertaining!

Drachma's picture

I‘ve noticed some common threads amongst fanatics who can only spout vitriol towards anyone who would disagree with them and their supposed iron-clad ‘science’ of ‘climate-change’;

#1. They put their complete faith in a political organization parading as a scientific institution (i.e. IPCC). Who are these so-called climate experts on the IPCC panel, which the faithful congregation seem to defer all critical thought to? Well let’s take a look at just some of the contributors to WGII Fourth Assessment Report and their expertise on climate science:

Patricia Craig (Web Designer), Judith Cranage (Administrative Assistant), Susan Mann (Administrative Assistant) and Christopher Pfieffer (Network Administrator), Peter Neofotis (2003 graduate in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology), Marta Vicarelli (PhD candidate in ‘Sustainable Development’), Gianna Palmer (was scheduled to graduate from Wesleyan University in 2010), Johanna Wolf (working in the department of ‘Development Studies’ at East Anglia), Anna Taylor (researcher whose focus is “stakeholder engagement in adapting to multiple stresses, including climate variability and change, water scarcity, food insecurity and health concerns”), Susanne Rupp-Armstrong (at time, contributor to one academic paper), Maureen Agnew (researcher whose focus is “Public perceptions of unusually warm weather in the UK: impacts, responses and adaptations” and “Potential impacts of climate change on international tourism”), Katherine Vincent (specializing in “Social Capital and Climate change” at University of East Anglia), Farhana Yamin (international lawyer, based at the University of Sussex), Rachel Warren (“environmental consultant”), Paul Watkiss (“environmental consultant”), Kate Studd (employee for Catholic Agency for Overseas Development).

And of course we can’t forget the man with the most qualifications as a climate expert, IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri (train engineer).

I’ll leave it to the believers themselves to research the rest of these so-called expert climate scientists they put their faith in.

#2. They have forgotten that a real scientist is by definition a skeptic and not a follower of consensus. Climate doomsayers seem to have no powers of analysis of their own and are just herded from one manufactured crisis to another. In true tribal fashion they fall for the ‘divide and conquer’ techniques of those holding the reins of power, and immediately seek to alienate and vilify anyone not on their righteous team fighting for the greater good of humanity.

#3. They seem to think that theirs is a grass-roots ‘David and Goliath’ movement of innocent, courageous individuals saving the earth from the evil giant corporate monsters that seek to destroy the helpless planet. Simultaneously they buy into the false narrative that humanity is the problem, some going so far as to urge suicide in order that they may do what’s best for mother earth.

#4. They believe that computer models equate to unquestionable science. This is never the case, even under optimal conditions, yet alone when emails amongst East Anglia ‘global-warmists’ prove that the data sets those models are based on had been manipulated, omitted or generally bastardized beyond recognition in order to arrive at foregone conclusions based on political agendas.

#5. They generally believe that authority (i.e. someone in a suit with a fancy title who has more power than them) cannot be corrupted and always puts its interests secondary to others.

There are more of course, but that would require a book. Rant over.

Flakmeister's picture

A lot of irrelevant dribble...

To a climate scientist debating AGW is akin to debating gravity... The deal is done, you can debate how fast and how severe, that is about it....

BTW, regurgiting Climategate nonsense is flogging a long dead horse...

Out of curiosity can you tell us if the IPCC does original research for their reports? Do you know?

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

dumbass debate the fact that none of them is a fucking climatologist.


then shut the fuck up troll

Flakmeister's picture

You clearly have no idea what the IPCC actually does then, do you?

The IPCC does not carry out its own original research, nor does it do the work of monitoring climate or related phenomena itself. The IPCC bases its assessment on the published literature, which includes peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed sources.[7]

Thousands of scientists and other experts contribute (on a voluntary basis, without payment from the IPCC)[8] to writing and reviewing reports, which are then reviewed by governments. IPCC reports contain a "Summary for Policymakers", which is subject to line-by-line approval by delegates from all participating governments. Typically this involves the governments of more than 120 countries.[9

James_Cole's picture

Tyler, most of your sources are good. You are citing someone from the epicenter of libtardism, UC Berkley. 

Yeah, UC berkeley bunch of dumbasses, only 20+ nobel laureates in science and almost a dozen Turing recipients among their alumni / staff. 



hungrydweller's picture

Meaningless.  Sycophants, all of them.

pods's picture

Broad brush. Peter Duesberg is also a Berkeley guy.


For those who do not know of him, he is a scientist that has questioned the whole HIV/AIDS scam.


drendebe10's picture

Some how the Nobel halo effect has lost some of its sheen since they gave one to the arrogant narcissistic pathological lying illegal alien kenyan muslim sociopath squatting in the white house.  Goes to show politics n power will annihilate knowledge and competence hands down every time.