California Weather Blog: Special update: The Extraordinary California Drought of 2013-2014: Character, Context, and the Role of Climate Change

From Daniel Swain at the California Weather Blog:

ca_ca_pmdiThis special update is a little different from what I typically post on the California Weather Blog. In the paragraphs below, I discuss results from and context for a study that my colleagues and I recently published in a special issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (Swain et al. 2014). Unlike the majority of content on this blog, this report has undergone scientific peer review—an important distinction to make in the science blogosphere—and claims made on the basis of our peer-reviewed findings are marked with an asterisk (*) throughout this post. I would like to thank my co-authors—Michael Tsiang, Matz Haugen, Deepti Singh, Allison Charland, Bala Rajaratnam, and Noah Diffenbaugh—all of whom played critical roles in bringing this paper together. ... “

For more on the drought, it’s depth in relation to other droughts, the likely cause of the incredibly warm and dry conditions, and whether climate change has increased the risk of similar droughts as we’re experiencing, continue reading here:   Special update: The Extraordinary California Drought of 2013-2014: Character, Context, and the Role of Climate Change

One Response

  1. gymnosperm

    A complete crock. Firstly, they should be using the San Francisco data which extends back another 47 years. It is a point location, but it is very near the middle of the state and thus straddles the desert regime to the south and the rainforest regime to the north. The 2013-14 drought did not even make the top ten in this dataset and I very strongly suspect that the trend line proudly advertised as “peer reviewed” would be substantially different. Secondly, trend lines are nothing but foolishness. If I chose to start a trend line in 1130 when the Anasazi abandoned Chaco Canyon, it might show an upward trend in rainfall, but then again, it is entirely possible that the Pacific northwest and northern California were experiencing above average rainfall even as Chaco parched.

    The “peers” doing the reviewing need to set aside their superstitions, quit looking for omens in every unusual weather event, and get back to objective review and hard data.


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