A Fiendish Paradox — Exposed

Russ Steele

Our local left is all atwitter about a story in the Sac Bee “How global warming will hit home.”

Scientists project that global warming will cause both deeper droughts and fiercer floods – a fiendish paradox. Meanwhile, the laws of physics and chemistry assure that global temperatures will rise for decades to come even if emissions are reduced. The rising temperatures will, among other things, also melt snowpacks.

In California, snowmelt is the source of nearly one-third of the freshwater supply. The Sierra Nevada snowpack will shrink by 25 to 40 percent by 2050, according to the California Department of Water Resources. 

The challenge for California, then, is to prepare for both more water and less. Alas, we still have a long way to go. And perhaps nowhere is at greater risk than the state capital.

While the writer is worried about the flooding of the state capital, the real risk in Sacramento is politics.  They continue to insist that human caused global warming is going to cause deeper drought and fiercer floods, using the discredited UN IPCC and NASA/GISS computer models. These same policy makers also insist that the snow pack will soon disappear.  This is a political decision that is not based on real science.

If Mark Hertsgaard, the writer of the article, had done his home work, he would have discovered that the longest severest droughts in California were during cold periods, rather than during warm periods.  When the oceans are cool, there is less evaporation, less moisture to be squeezed out when clouds are force over the Sierra. If the California Department of Water Resources would stop using these dodgy computer modes and looked at history they would not come up with these wild claims of shrinking snow pack.

While we can all agree the globe has been warming since the last ice age, the warming has appeared to have slowed down, as show on the charts below, all the while the CO2 continues to rise, yet the temperature are not following “the laws of physics and chemistry assure that global temperatures will rise for decades.”

In an analysis of the Sierra snow pack from 1916 to 2009 by Dr John Christy, he found no significant trend.  Details HERE.


A time series (1916–2009) of annual snowfall totals for Huntington Lake (HL, elev. 2141 m) in the southern Sierra Nevada of California is reconstructed. A reconstruction is (a) necessary because HL data after 1972 are mostly missing and (b) possible because nearby stations reveal high correlations with HL, two above 0.90. The results show mean annual snowfall in HL is 624 cm with an insignificant trend of +0.5 cm (+0.08%) ±13.1 cm decade−1. Similar positive but insignificant trends for spring snowfall were also calculated. Annual stream flow and precipitation trends for the region again were insignificantly positive for the same period. Snow-water-equivalent comparisons, measured on 1 Apr since 1930 at 26 sites and since 1950 at 45, show similar small, mostly positive, and insignificant trends. These results combined with published temperature time series, which also reveal no significant trends, form a consistent picture of no remarkable long-term changes in the snowfall of this area and elevation of the southern Sierra Nevada of California since the early 20th century.

There was global warming from about 1977 to 1998. Look at the chart. Can you see decline on snow pack over the 21 year period from 1977 to 1998. Right, me either.

Remember all the concerns about the coming ice age in the 1970.  Look at the cool period from 1940 to about1976 on the Christy chart, note the decline in snow fall levels, with a couple of spikes of deeper snow fall, during this cooling trend.  Historically, colder climates results in less snow. It is time for the Water Resource Board to put away there models, and start dealing with the historical facts. California is cooling, even in hot Los Angles. Here is a plot from the latest BEST database.

Here is a larger look of the California Temperatures. Note the down turn from about 1940 to 1977, then the up trend from about 1977 to about 1998, then the trend is down again. The end result is noThere has been no statistically significant warming over the last 80 years in California.

Why is it that reporters never dig under the hood, when the our political leaders make claims that by 2050 the snow pack will disappear. It was just ten years ago these useful idiots were claiming that skiing the Sierra would only exist in our memories, and this year there was only 100 days from the end of the 2010 Sierra ski season to the beginning of the 2011 ski season.

Do you think we will see a correction to the story any time soon?  Me either!


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

One Response to A Fiendish Paradox — Exposed

  1. gjrebane says:

    Are you trying to confuse the issue again with facts Russ?

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