Warm and dry conditions greet those trying to solve Utah's water woes

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  • Utahutesthroughandthrough Murray, UT
    March 17, 2015 12:17 p.m.

    Droughts have happened before and will happen again. In fact from what I understand the latter half of the 20th Century. We are in a cycle were we are going into a drought. Cycles happen it is a fact of nature.... The Deseret news did an article about it about a month ago.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 17, 2015 11:03 a.m.

    An article published in the Guardian 12/08/14, “A report issued on Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said natural variations – mostly a La Niña weather oscillation – were the primary drivers behind the drought that has now stretched to three years.
    The study’s lead author, Richard Seager of Columbia University, said he and NOAA’s Martin Hoerling said 160 runs of computer models show heat-trapping gases should slightly increase winter rain in parts of California, not decrease.

    “The conditions of the last three winters are not the conditions that climate change models say would happen,” Hoerling said.

    Deke Arndt, climate monitoring chief for NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said by some drought measures, the current California drought “is slightly more intense than, but still comparable to, the late 1970s episode. I’d put them at 1a and 1b on the list of historical multi-year drought episodes affecting California in modern times.”

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 17, 2015 10:44 a.m.

    Ok I will defer to GaryO, he must have some evidence the drought in Utah and across the southwest is tied to climate change. Over the last 100 years the global temperature has increased by 1.36°F.

    From dramatic headlines we read "California facing one of the most severe droughts on record" It must be climate change right.

    But what we learn from tree ring studies, an actual record, the headline is telling us a lie.

    Droughts have been going on for thousand of years in the Southwest. The tree-ring data indicate that the West has experienced droughts that lasted ten times longer than anything the modern U.S. has ever seen. In a study published in 2007 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team from Arizona and Colorado found that the Southwest suffered a six-decade megadrought from 1118 to 1179.

    I did not know we had global warming back then, but if a 136 increase in global temperature caused the current drought, what caused the one in 1118 AD? Some body show me the evidence not just opinion.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 17, 2015 6:02 a.m.

    Hey Sven -

    "Tell us Warmers, how long has man been keeping empirical weather data? How do we know with certainty what "normal" is? "

    . . . Since 1896.

    And 2014 was the warmest year worldwide since then.

    In fact, several of the warmest years have occurred within the last decade. Look it up.

    Why do you suppose these warm years are clustered in such a recent period of time?

    . . . Just coincidence?

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    March 17, 2015 2:44 a.m.

    What does any of this water shortage for golf courses have to do with climate change? The problems is they have too many golf courses and hydraulic mining companies for the amount of resources the city, Wahshington county, and state has.

    This could be a political masterminded trickery to get the golfers and miners to approve more taxes for the pipeline to the Colorado river or shut down some golf courses. There is no water shortage, just too many golf courses. City is choosing to put recreational golf on the ballot over the needs of the people and farmers and ranchers who live in working communities that create better jobs than a golf course can.

    All these drop in foreign residents from coastal regions and tropical rain forests who never heard of deseret climates lack the water they are used to. St George is a recreational city and recreation is not as important as peoples lives and should regulate itself and industry with its resources.

    California did the same thing, they didn't regulate growth and run out of water and aquifers have dried up right in the middle of expansions. Chicken little advocates calls this greed global warming.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 16, 2015 4:49 p.m.

    we live in the high desert - these sorts of dry years have always happened since the first wagon trains pulled into Salt Lake Valley.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2015 3:29 p.m.

    Part 4:
    "Tell us Warmers, how long has man been keeping empirical weather data?"

    40 years if you want to count the satellites, around 130 years for land surface observations.

    "How do we know with certainty what "normal" is?"

    Normal is based on how you define it, generally 30-yr climate norms currently use 1981-2010. The word normal is not meant to be a representative value for the average temperature on Earth through all its' history.

    "Funny the Warmers never take into account that big ball of fire in the sky,"

    It's not in models because we can't predict it very well. However, it is very much a part of the context of interpreting data in the present and past. Solar insolation and Earth temperature do a good job of matching up from around 1900-1970. It then diverges pretty severely afterwards (declining insolation while Earth increased in temperature rapidly at the end of the century and has held mostly steady at the highest temperatures in the past century while we're in the weakest solar cycle in almost a century).

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2015 3:29 p.m.

    Part 3:
    Current sea ice levels are right where the models predicted Arctic sea ice would be at this time (in 2012 it was way below the entire model range, that bounce back in 2013-14 merely brought it to where the more aggressively melting models projected for those years).

    "*The Warmers and their "scientists" have had to misrepresent their data and outright lie in order to push the hoax of AGW (e.g. The University of East Anglia and Dr. Michael Mann)."

    That's not even true. If you understand the context, you'd see the key phrase you all latch onto ("Mike's nature trick") involves tree ring data not being reliable for certain periods so they chose to not use the data that wasn't reliable enough. The RSS and UAH satellite datasets have shown rates of warming trends above (RSS) and below (UAH) that of CRU (East Anglia), NOAA, NASA, and JAXA. Granted, the satellites are measuring lower tropospheric temperature which isn't the same as surface temperature, but one would think that if there were shenanigans in one group, it'd be an outlier, not in the middle.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2015 3:27 p.m.

    Part II

    Looking at only El Nino years, only ENSO neutral years, or only La Nina years is one way to filter out some of that natural forcing.

    "*The Warmers told us that we would see an increase in hurricanes and other forms of violent weather. "

    Actually climate scientists don't really predict much of an increase in hurricanes (it's intensity that is generally predicted to increase). In terms of frequency they mostly just predict that the likelihood of very early or very late season storms will increase because tropical waters will stay warm enough to sustain them for a longer period of the year. The IPCC report notes no connection between global warming and tornadoes. Increasing wind sheer is projected to increase their frequency but the declining temperature gradient between poles and equator would tend to reduce their frequency. Projection: little change.

    "*We were told that the Polar Ice Caps would be gone by 2013. "

    The IPCC report clearly predicted that Arctic (not all polar) ice caps would be essentially gone for a portion of the summer melt period (which tends to minimize in early September) by 2050-2100.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2015 3:09 p.m.

    @Sven
    "*The Warmers told us with great conviction and certainty; when CO2 increases in the atmosphere, temperatures would rise also. DIDN'T HAPPEN."

    Imagine, if you would, two plots. One is the equation y = .1x. The other is y = sin(x). The first is a straight line trending upward. The second oscillates. The first is kinda like the anthropogenic signal, the second is more like the natural signal. Sometimes the natural cycles are strong enough with negative forcings (weakest solar cycle in a century, frequent La Ninas the past half dozen years) to dampen out the anthropogenic signal. This is what the 1998-2014 period looks like (+.1F/decade). Sometimes the natural cycles have positive forcings and enhance the anthropoengic signal, this is more like 1980-1998 which had a much higher rate of warming (offhand I don't remember exactly what, but we all agree that the warming rate was higher in that span than the 98-14 span). Climate scientists don't say that every year will be warmer than the last because of CO2, they say that if you account for natural forcings the trend will be upward.

    Continued...

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    March 16, 2015 2:28 p.m.

    Sven:
    "when CO2 increases in the atmosphere, temperatures would rise also. DIDN'T HAPPEN"
    2014 was most likely the warmest year on record, the past decade most certainly was the warmest decade on record. So, it did happen.

    "see an increase in hurricanes and other forms of violent weather. DIDN'T HAPPEN"
    The average over the past century is about 10.5 north atlantic storms big enough for names. the past decade average is about 15. So, it did happen.

    "in fact both the North and South Poles have seen a large growth of Sea Ice Extent."
    The worst-case of gone by 2013 didn't happen, and there has been a bit of a rebound of polar ice: but overall, polar ice is still way below the 20th century average

    "Funny the Warmers never take into account that big ball of fire in the sky, and its role in climate change."
    More then deniers. the solar output has been on a down cycle the past 35 years.

    "weather and climate have always changed"
    And rapid change always brings problems for the extant species.

    "why the need to misrepresent the facts?"
    you should answer your own question.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    March 16, 2015 12:34 p.m.

    Water shortage? I say it is a hoax as long as there is enough water to waste on golf courses, athletic fields, fountains in parks, water parks, car washes, and other water wasting uses. It is not a shortage problem it is a problem with use and allocation.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    March 16, 2015 10:24 a.m.

    It must be frustrating for the Warmers that their "science" and climate models keep getting it wrong...time and time again:

    *The Warmers told us with great conviction and certainty; when CO2 increases in the atmosphere, temperatures would rise also. DIDN'T HAPPEN.

    *The Warmers told us that we would see an increase in hurricanes and other forms of violent weather. DIDN'T HAPPEN.

    *We were told that the Polar Ice Caps would be gone by 2013. DIDN'T HAPPEN; in fact both the North and South Poles have seen a large growth of Sea Ice Extent.

    *The Warmers and their "scientists" have had to misrepresent their data and outright lie in order to push the hoax of AGW (e.g. The University of East Anglia and Dr. Michael Mann). If "the science is settled", why the need to misrepresent the facts?

    Tell us Warmers, how long has man been keeping empirical weather data? How do we know with certainty what "normal" is? The fact is, in our earth's long life, weather and climate have always changed.

    Funny the Warmers never take into account that big ball of fire in the sky, and its role in climate change.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 16, 2015 9:35 a.m.

    Hey Goodnight - Goodluck

    "Just don't call it global warming or climate change, and oh if those things do exist they're not man caused."

    Absolutely, the drought in Utah has NOTHING to do with Climate Change.

    Just ask Rush Limbaugh.

    God is mad, that's all.

    Utah is being way too nice to gays and Democrats and other sinners.

    It's time to start stoning people and get the nation going in the right direction again.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    March 16, 2015 7:45 a.m.

    Why are Utah's Water Officials Federalizing Utah's water and allowing the Federal Government to hoard Utah's water?

    Utah pays off the federal water loans, but the Federal Government keeps the title to the water right (owner of record) like it did on the Strawberry Project.

    The Federal Government has filed applications to appropriate (get for free) over 4.4 million acre-feet of Utah's water worth $22 Billion.

    Some water applications filed in 1946 are 68 years old, and the State Engineer does not deny these applications, but denies water applications filed by small Utah water users.

    For context, all 243 cities, all businesses, and all industry other than Agribusiness use 1 million acre-feet, the amount of water in Strawberry Reservoir.

    If there really is 4.4 million acre-feet of wet water in the system to give to the Federal Government, then why isn't that water rented to California, or Las Vegas until needed by Utah?

    1 million acre-feet can rent for $500 million.

    From 68 year old federal water applications, to house water regulations not updated in 35 years, to irrigation regulations not updated in 30 years wasting enough water for 312,500 new homes along the Wasatch Front.

    Utah needs new water managers.

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    March 16, 2015 7:27 a.m.

    Just don't call it global warming or climate change, and oh if those things do exist they're not man caused. NASA scientists say California has about one year of water left. But our leaders continue to suck up the $$$ from the fossil fuel industries and deny that we are the cause of the problem. Sad to say it's time to wean ourselves off of carbon and get on the clean renewable train.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    March 16, 2015 7:08 a.m.

    This isn't the first time that has happened in the history of Utah nor the last. All I can say is the last one to leave Salt Lake, be sure and turn off the lights.

  • cah orem, UT
    March 16, 2015 5:51 a.m.

    There is no shortage of water. There is a shortage of cheap/free water. We need to allocate water by market pricing just like we do land, gasoline, steel, .... everything. Higher water prices will reduce demand and motivate more supply. Econ 101.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    March 15, 2015 11:30 p.m.

    And in other weather related news:

    "BOSTON (AP) — Boston's made history by having the snowiest, and probably most miserable, season since 1872.

    The official measurement of 108.6 inches at Logan International Airport Sunday night topped a season record of 107.9 inches set in 1995-96, according to the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts."