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        El Nino is the name given to periodic changes in the Eastern Pacific near South America, when surface water temperatures hit a peak high. This has a cascading effect on weather, wildlife, fisheries, food production and more. (La Nina is a swing in the other direction.) Typically, this happens over the course of several years.

         Well, guess what? 2014 just might be the year when El Nino kicks in again. Big Time. This NASA video via Smithsonian.com explains what's up:  http://youtu.be/...

More below the Orange Omnilepticon.

         Because it can take years for ocean temperatures to build to El Nino levels, long term prediction is chancy. As the video above indicates, however, it looks like the process is well under way.

          Back in April, Adam Mann at Wired was putting the pieces together.

Official NOAA Climate Prediction Center estimates peg the odds of El Niño’s return at 50 percent, but many climate scientists think that is a lowball estimate. And there are several indications that if it materializes, this year’s El Niño could be massive, a lot like the 1997-98 event that was the strongest on record.

“I think there’s no doubt that there’s an El Niño underway,” said climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. “The question is whether it’ll be a small or big one.”

       As of June, the consensus still seems to be that an El Nino is on the way and it could a big one. Kiyoshi Ando at Nikkei Asian Review covers an aspect of this that touches on Climate Change denial.
    If conditions flip to a potential El Nino episode this summer, it could amplify the effects of global warming.

     It is understood now that global average temperatures are being driven upward by human activity. But in recent years, there has been a hiatus in overall average temperature rise. This can in part be attributed to the series of La Nina episodes that have occurred since the 1997-1998 El Nino.

Time for a shift

The hiatus has stopped global temperatures from rising, and the reason, as explained by University of Tokyo associate professor Masahiro Watanabe, is because conditions now favor the accumulation of heat in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. When the ocean can absorb more heat, it takes this heat away from the air, keeping global warming in check. This hiatus is caused by a large-scale change in the distribution of water temperatures in the Pacific.

     However, if these favorable conditions break down because of a powerful El Nino episode and make it easier for the atmosphere to warm up, the hiatus in global warming would end.

      Climate Change deniers have seized on the post 1997 El Nino period when temperatures stopped rising as evidence that Global Warming is a hoax. With the trade winds getting interrupted and a Kelvin Wave heading towards South America, the upward trend could resume. Kevin Schulz at Scientific American cites the latest odds on it happening.
Scientists speaking at a press conference yesterday afternoon said the odds that El Niño will develop during the summer have risen from 65 to 70 percent. The prediction comes in a new monthly report from the U.S. National Weather Service and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University. The experts also said there is up to an 80% chance that El Niño will develop during the fall and winter.

Regions across the U.S. that are normally wet can dry out during El Niño conditions, while normally dry regions can flood. Worldwide expectations related to El Niño are not always accurate, however. “There is an expectation of drought, but not in every single El Niño event do we actually have drought,” Lisa Goddard, director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, said during the briefing.

emphasis and links added; briefing summary here

    If the picture is not more defined, part of the reason is the deficit hysteria and budget wars in Washington. As noted here,

    A regime shift has a major impact on climate, and it also leads to a sudden change in fish catches.

     To predict a regime shift requires long-term and precise monitoring of events at sea.

     To this end, the Jamstec and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are collaborating in the tropical Pacific. But because of budgetary difficulties, the number of monitoring buoys at their disposal has declined in recent years.

     As of the spring of last year, 24 of NOAA's 55 buoys were unable to operate and send data, and the situation is no better today.

     El Nino conditions may be developing, but a lack of buoys could hinder the ability of scientists to monitor the situation.

emphasis and links added

Implications

        The odds are increasingly likely that 2014 is going to see an El Nino event, and indications suggest it could be as large or larger than the 1997 El Nino. How it will play out is still too chaotic to predict. It may start to make its effects felt by this summer, though fall into winter is more the usual pattern. Adam Mann's article at WIRED gets into all of the possible consequences. Here's a sampling of just a few of the possibilities.

A strong El Niño could start affecting the world as early as the fall. The Pacific hurricane season, which gets active around September, is greatly enhanced during El Niño. This likely means more tropical thunderstorms that could affect eastern Pacific areas such as Mexico. In contrast, Atlantic hurricanes are suppressed, meaning fewer and less severe storms with a lower chance of making landfall and doing damage.

The winter is when El Niño really gets going, though. Moisture flows from Hawaii to southern California in an atmospheric river colloquially known as the “Pineapple Express.” This creates heavy rainfall that dumps on the region. Though this could bring some relief from California’s drought, it also comes with the risk of flash floods and mudslides because the ground has been so hard and dry.

El Niño has other effects further into North America. It tends to enhance the jet stream, creating a wall that prevents Arctic air (and the Polar Vortex) from dipping down to mid-latitudes. East Coast winters are generally drier and warmer during El Niño years, which is probably good news to those still smarting from this recent frigid season. The mild winter has interesting downstream effects, like a boost for the U.S. economy during the Christmas season.

        California is definitely hoping for some drought relief, although they'e not counting on it. El Ninos can vary widely as to what areas they effect. And then there's such a thing as too much of a good thing. In the winter of 1861-62, the Pineapple Express started conveying water to California and didn't stop for weeks. The result was massive flooding that turned central California into a vast lake.
This enormous pulse of water from the rain flowed down the slopes and across the landscape, overwhelming streams and rivers, creating a huge inland sea in California’s enormous Central Valley—a region at least 300 miles long and 20 miles wide. Water covered farmlands and towns, drowning people, horses and cattle, and washing away houses, buildings, barns, fences and bridges. The water reached depths up to 30 feet, completely submerging telegraph poles that had just been installed between San Francisco and New York, causing transportation and communications to completely break down over much of the state for a month...
        One effect of a big El Nino is that it may convince those skeptical of Climate Change. Annie Sneed at Scientific American cites a poll that finds:
...Americans who trust climate scientists tend to keep their global warming views, while the one-third of Americans suspicious of climate scientists seems to be swayed by the previous year’s average world temperature record. When the media declares that last year was the Earth’s hottest or coldest (or second hottest or coldest and so on) on record, apparently this news influences whether or not that latter group accepts that global warming is real.
emphasis added

     2015 could be an interesting year. If an El Nino does drive temperatures up again, it might make it easier to campaign on Climate Change, as the skeptics will be less likely to reject the message. On the other hand, if the El Nino is followed by more cooler years, the deniers could come back in full force. This could be a good time to place some weather bets with denialist friends; odds are they've heard nothing of this in the Wingnut bubble world. It also might be a good idea to review your weather emergency plans, since it's been a few years since we've last had this. (It'd be a good idea in any case; the weather is becoming more variable, regardless of El Nino events.)

       Interesting times ahead.

UPDATE: From the comments, it looks like a number of people are really interested/concerned over just how an El Nino might play out over California. There's a serious need for water to put a dent in the drought, but also fears of fire/flooding/mudslides and all the other ways weather can interact with the local landscape. Are flood control structures in good shape? Are people prepared for what can happen, especially those who may be new to an area and don't know the local weather history? Multiply this by global effects from the weather conditions that follow from an El Nino, and we'll just have to see.

      All we know at this point is that an El Nino looks increasingly likely. What it will bring with it is still an open question, and which areas will feel the greatest effects can only be guessed at, at this time. One of the problems with Climate Change is that it is pushing us into unknown territory, which affects our ability to predict the future based on what happened in the past.

      Keep your fingers crossed.

Poll

When it comes to predictions of an El Nino on the way...

2%3 votes
3%4 votes
11%13 votes
18%21 votes
46%53 votes
12%14 votes
2%3 votes
1%2 votes

| 113 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (69+ / 0-)

    This is probably not a good year coming up for the insurance industry - but disaster recovery might see a boom. Start battening down the hatches now!

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 07:43:28 PM PDT

  •  imo el nino is a term for "energy bank" (4+ / 0-)

    - a natural mechanism to spread the energy, like all the other natural mechanisms.

    when it breaks down, when it splits at the seams, those global warming deniers need to be thoroughly denied any credibility

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:01:04 PM PDT

    •  I wish we could bloody sue those who fund (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, Tinfoil Hat, certainot

      climate change denial AND the Republicans who have stymied every attempt to deal with climate change!

      If not..I have tar and feathers waiting...I can warm the tar real quick.

      A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

      by Gwennedd on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:12:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the update, even if it's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells, xaxnar, enhydra lutris

    probably bad news for most.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:07:35 PM PDT

    •  Possible Relier for California (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, Tinfoil Hat

      For those of us who live in California, we could really use an El Nino this winter, but it carries with it a high risk/reward.  

      Across the state, lakes are drying up or have dried up, rivers are experiencing records low water flows, wells have dried up and vast aquifers across the state are in urgent need pf being replenished.  However, with the drought being so severe for so long, torrential rains this winter could lead to major flooding across the state - and depending on what happens this summer and fall in terms of wold fires, could cause massive devastation.

      One of California's biggest problems in its management of water across the state is its inability to capture storm water runoff in urban/suburban California.  

      The National Defense Counsel and the Pacific Institute has prepre a paper that is a must read titled "Stormwater Capture Potential in Urban and Suburban California."

      Communities throughout California are facing serious and growing threats to their ability
      to provide a safe, reliable supply of water. Drought, coupled with over-allocation of existing
      water sources, is affecting cities, farms, businesses, industries, and the environment all
      across the state. For many communities, 2013 was the driest year in a century, and the
      lack of precipitation has critical implications for the continued viability of surface water and
      groundwater resources that supply our cities. The long-term effects of climate change are
      likely to exacerbate this. Capturing and using or storing stormwater runoff when it rains can
      help communities increase water supply reliability—so they have the water they need when
      it doesn’t.
      While some of the run off is being captured, most storm run off is ending up in the Pacific ocean:
      There is a tremendous need, and opportunity, to capture
      more stormwater as a way to sustainably increase water
      supplies. For example, a one-inch rain event in Los Angeles County can generate more than 10 billion gallons (roughly 30,000 acre-feet) of stormwater runoff, most of which ultimately flows into the Pacific Ocean. In the Central and West Coast groundwater basins on the coastal plain of Los Angeles, approximately 54,000 acre-feet of rain and storm water runoff per year are currently captured and recharged, primarily by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District ( Johnson 2008). But the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, which manages the groundwater
      basins, also must import roughly 30,000 acre-feet of water per year to make up for excess groundwater pumping by water rights holders. At the same time, an estimated 180,000 acre-feet of stormwater runoff is lost to the ocean each year from its service area (Water Replenishment District 2012), representing a lost opportunity to increase local water supplies.
      Take a look at the report - it's appalling how much water the state of California allows to be lost to the Pacific Ocean.

      http://pacinst.org/...

      "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

      by unapologeticliberal777 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:58:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless you live from Stockton to Marysville.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, elfling

        The lowest elevation areas of the Central Valley where the outlets to San Francisco Bay all come together can be a real problem in El Nino years. As many here know, the levees are not in good shape to keep the American River in its bed, and several other rivers are in just as bad condition.

        Development and Urban Sprawl between cities in the lowest of the lowlands are definitely at risk, as is Central Sacramento, Yuba City, Merced, Tracy, and several other major cities and suburbs of the Bay Area.

        I hope there is some planning going on...if El Nino gets going, there will be some dislocations happening this winter. It should not be a surprise.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 06:26:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Drought or no drought (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        the amount of water that can land on the state during an atmospheric river is no joke.

        And a pineapple express, which is a warm atmospheric river, is worst of all, because it falls all as rain, melting what snow might be already on the ground and creating massive floods. There's not really a practical way at this point to engineer our way around it - these events are flat out dangerous and perversely, could leave us with a very low snowpack and still have us short on water the following summer.

        That said... I'd sure like a little rain.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 09:16:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Climate terror threat color codes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary Mike

    might be showing up in the still version of the Youtube before you start it.

  •  I'm just amazed at the quality of our computer (6+ / 0-)

    graphic imaging. I come from pencil & paper days and I can only imagine the amount of programming and the scientific calculating and cooperation that goes into having that, and having the satellites to get the data, etc. I'm just marveling at it all (we may be just an atom in the toenail of a giant, but look what we can do when we put our minds to it!) and thinking I remember people talking about Republicans trying to stop funding NOAA, but not enough to link to it...

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:23:00 PM PDT

  •  Well, Buoys and Gulls, NOAA needs an Ark, now ;) (6+ / 0-)

    Dudehisattva...

    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:31:32 PM PDT

  •  Bad news for the Earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus

    Good news for Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

  •  El Nino will probably be a good thing. (8+ / 0-)

    It tends to enhance winter/spring precip in the Southwest, & as the diarist notes, much of the Southwest--most especially CA--is in desperate need of enhanced precip.  A strong, persistent El Nino would eventually cause flooding problems, but the drought (itself symptomatic of climate change) is such an awful problem already...  in the short term.

    What's indisputably NOT a good thing is deep ocean warming; we have yet to really witness its effects as they are slow to build & manifest.  Their effect on the ENSO cycle is something we have yet to witness, & it doesn't seem likely that the effect will be beneficial to the stability of the global climate.

    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:34:30 PM PDT

  •  I've been following this one since they (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, lineatus, G2geek, flowerfarmer

    first started saying tht one looked like it might be in the offing. A great many Californians have, el nino is a familiar phenomenon here and we could really use a hefty one about now. Since that initial tease, they have been all over the map as to a) probability and b) likely severity.

    It seems, having folowed all the statements, that we are extremely likely to have one of some sort, but the probable severity still runs the gamut from meh to wow.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:42:54 PM PDT

  •  My comment: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    not much can be done about it, except to practice and support energy alternatives and force the fundies & climate deniers to wake up.  And have the Koch Bros and their friends have a change of heart and brain.  

  •  Curious post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, G2geek

    Here in California weather extremes are a part of life.  I may have missed the thrust of your point, and if I have I apologize, but an El Niño is not a political happening.  We count on them here cyclically to busts droughts, and we really could use one now.

    It's the lack of el Niño's that would signal greater global climate change, not the occurrence of one, severe or not.  Forecasts are that the needed, expected, 2015 El Niño will not be as intense as once expected, needed, and hoped for.

    •  I think a big El Nino in CA would be a huge (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, wu ming, G2geek, Gwennedd, flowerfarmer

      political event. BDCP - They have been pushing Jerry's Tunnels Under The Delta since 2006. It is boiling and roiling with the current drought. We get the flooding like '97-98 and a whole hell of a lot of people are going to be asking - Why do we need to spend 60 billion on tunnels when we could have stored this excess water to use in a drought year?

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:51:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, and hope we are both right. I don't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        like it regardless of the price tag. I don't like what it does to the Delta and I don't like subsidizing big ag. AND the biggest population in the state--LA south--will get not one drop of water from it all.

        But you are exactly right... it might show that the Emperor's got no clothes. I will never, however, support more dam building.

        The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

        by cany on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:20:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The tunnels are a terrible idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        and they'd also do nothing in a year like this one because there's no water to flow through them anyway.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 09:19:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am convinced that CA will be getting a huge (6+ / 0-)

    El Nino this year. 97-98 was ugly. DH's RWNJ buddy living in Loma Rica had 20+ flood refugees staying with him. We were living in Modesto at the time - when the gates broke at Don Pedro there was some epic flooding on the south side of Modesto. Sherman Island (where we live now) - was almost lost. The levee was ate more than 1/2 way through in a lot of places. So I take this pretty f'n srsly.  

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:29:44 PM PDT

  •  We're trying to sell our house. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, Calamity Jean

    It's on our agenda anyway, listing July 1st, but this makes selling imperative.  We got 3 feet of snow during the 1997 winter El Nino.  It was horrible.

    People act on the outside how they feel on the inside. If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:35:01 PM PDT

  •  What I dread with an El Nino (7+ / 0-)

    here in Southern California is not the excessive rain, but what happens with all that water if we have any big brush fires in the area before EN arrives.  

    I'm praying for at least a quiet Santa Ana wind season this fall, which will lessen the chance of fires raging out of control as they have in the past, and the subsequent mud/debris tsunamis that ensue when the rains come.

    My home town suffered one of the worst of those events way back in 1933-34 (it happened on New Year's Eve).  My dad and his brothers were living nearby and saw the destruction of lives and property it caused.  Never again, please...

    •  I'm right there with ya, ellenbee. I know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      exactly what your concerns are cuz they are the same concerns here.

      The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

      by cany on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:17:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been watching this very carefully. (6+ / 0-)

    We got just pummeled in 2010 with a focused downpour that left almost all of my community with mud and debris in some places 3-4 feet high. I couldn't get out for days. In my area, hillsides collapsed and sent thousands of TONS of debris downslope blocking culverts and streams and flooding homes. We did NOT get FEMA help and homeowners are still struggling to pay the $20-40K worth of damages their ins. wouldn't cover.  Some homes were permanently red tagged.

    1997-1998, a big El Nino year here, was big but we didn't have such focused precipitation.

    I will be getting debris/mudslide/puppies falling out of the sky insurance at the FIRST hint of a severe year despite the fact that my home survived the horrendous 1969 floods here which washed homes away, took out every single bridge and killed six people. I would rather pay up front than try to find the money to restore.

    And like ellenbee, above, I hope to God we don't have a massive fire season because after the fire here in 2007--even with a small rain winter after that--it was mud, mud, mud and more mud. For some, what the fire didn't destroy, the rain did.

    Because we are so small, we will NEVER get FEMA help. N E V E R. Therefore, I take this shit extremely seriously and the information I get will help me determine what I do and don't spend on NOW, and what I spend on in the fall.

    Thanks for the diary. Very helpful.

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

    by cany on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:15:27 PM PDT

  •  1997 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reflectionsv37, wu ming, G2geek, Gwennedd

    In Sacramento and especially Olivehurst we had helicopters taking people and animals off rooftops.  OK with me if we get another Pineapple Express because even underground we are dry.  Some rural areas do not have enough water this summer to take a real shower or have the Grandkids visit.  Can't imagine a flood with all the empty underground areas ready to store water.  We have land sinking in some areas.  We have salt water coming up the Delta hurting fish and crops.  We know we have to re-plumb our water and change our habits, but a little break this year would be very nice.  Too bad it may not come until next year especially in time to give us a snow pack in the Sierras.

  •  Thanks for posting this! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, xaxnar, elfling

    That Scientific America article on the 1861-62 floods was outstanding. I lived most of life in California and never heard of these floods. It's mind boggling to even think that the entire city of Sacramento could be underwater. Or that 300 miles of the Sacramento Valley could be underwater. A flood like that today would cause so much loss of life and property that I'm not sure anyone is capable of even imagining it.

    I believe it was back in the 1997 El Nino that Yuba City was threatened with flooding as they expected a major levee to break. I know at that time there was a push to strengthen and reinforce the levees. I wonder if that is still a consideration today.

    I fear those levees are going to be tested this winter.

    •  i wonder if such a flood could even happen now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reflectionsv37

      given all the changes to drainage in the valley since then. they drained the hell out of the valley in the late 19th century.

      sac was flood risk #2 after new orleans, so people here got antsy in 2005 after they saw what went down after katrina. i just hope the natomas levee is solid.

      •  A few weeks ago there was a diary posted... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, LillithMc, elfling

        about the 10 population areas that would be most affected by a seas level rise of 10 feet. Surprising to me, Stockton, Ca. was one of those 10. The diary linked to a map that showed how the land area would change. A good deal of the low lying areas in the delta and valley areas would be affected.

        I think many have forgotten/never knew just how severe the flooding in Calif. could be. I sure never heard about those floods of 1861-62. With the dependency on levees to hold back and direct that flow of water, it only takes a few major failures and the whole system could risk failure.

        There is a waterway just south of Sacramento, I think it may be called the Yolo byway adjacent I-5. It is part of the flood control system. IIRC, it overflowed and flooded that area in 1997. I remember being shocked when I saw all the water along I-5.

        With all the cutbacks in government in the past 10 years, I'm not sure how much faith I could put into those levee systems. They only seem to get attention when they're on the verge of failing.

        •  the yolo bypass is west of sac (3+ / 0-)

          yolo county had the sense not to develop on our side of the floodplain, so it takes the pressure off when the floodwaters roll in. it's designed to spread the water out, and works pretty well. most wet years, the causeway fills up. some years I-5 is temporarily flooded, then it drains out again.

          the hydrological state of the valley in the 1860s was radically different from what we have today. rivers were deepened and widened, etc. while i would expect a few levees to go boom in a really wet year, and more than a little flood damage around the valley, it's not going to turn into an inland sea. hell, it'll take a while for the water to even run off, the aquifers and reservoirs are all so absurdly empty that the first several waves of rain are going to get mopped up like a gigantic sponge.

          •  I couldn't believe the pictures... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LillithMc, wu ming

            I've seen of Folsom lake this year. I don't ever remember the lake being so low. The reservoirs can certainly catch quite a lot of water before they have to open the floodgates.

            •  i just drove past lake shasta yesterday (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xaxnar, reflectionsv37

              and while it was pretty low (and holy shit, mt. shasta barely has any snow!), i remember it being even lower in the fall of '93, when i left the state to go to college, at the end of the 7 year drought in the 80s/early 90s. i expect that it'll be that low or lower by the time the rains start in earnest this fall.

              the difference between 2013-2014 and 1976-1977 was that we were already deep in the hole before 2013. it's going to take a while to climb out of it.

        •  It's easy to forget that Stockton has a port (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, reflectionsv37

          that can handle 60,000 ton vessels up to 900 feet long. It's basically at sea level, with the official elevation at 13 feet.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:12:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  westher west has been calling a big one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Pat K California

    for some time now, here's the latest post. lord knows we need the rain here in CA, but i fear it's going to be a brutally hot summer.

  •  Wasn't global temperature down in 1997? (0+ / 0-)

    The huge spike in 1998 is attributed to El Nino warming, but it was after the actual event, if I recall.

    So global temperature measurements might actually go down for a little bit before the warming spike hits...

  •  After 3 + years of drought, (0+ / 0-)

    I welcome El Nino here in New Mexico,  where  we are having a  wetter cooler spring than we could have imagined.

    Last year at this time the Pecos River here was bone-dry.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 07:13:31 AM PDT

    •  You and me both, claude. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA

      I enjoyed the rains we got in Santa Fe, and hope for more snow in the winter, even though I'm actually a summer girl.  We need the moisture!

      I couldn't make myself look at the Pecos River.  It would have depressed me had I seen it bone-dry.  Never in my lifetime... we used to fish that river every spring and summer when I was growing up.  I can't even imagine it bone dry.  Don't even want to.  :(

      I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

      by KayCeSF on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 04:50:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need a good El Nino (0+ / 0-)

    Los Angeles averages about 15 inches of rain a year, but most years we get less than that and then we count on really wet years with 30 or 40 inches to make up for it. It might have an effect on the climate change debate, but it depends on which way it goes. The Earth's temperature always rises during El Nino years, the question is how much. If we get a strong El Nino and it results in a massively hot year, then yes, the climate skeptic argument will be weakened. If, however, a strong El Nino results in a relatively mild increase in global temperatures, followed by a big dip afterwards, then that will go against the arguments of those who have blamed the "hiatus" on the relatively weak El Nino's that we've had since 1997-98. There are other explanations for the hiatus.

  •  Coral Bleaching (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, FrY10cK

    One of the most devastating effects of El Nino is the bleaching of corals. They are highly sensitive to temperature and also to the increasing acidification of the ocean water caused by the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Many scientists believe the world's corals are in grave danger.

    Here's NOAA's information: http://www.coral.noaa.gov/...

  •  In 1997, the corn turned black in the fields in (0+ / 0-)

    Iowa.

    A small El Niño would be much better than a large one.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 08:29:37 AM PDT

  •  In the meantime, my flood insurance increased 7... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    In the meantime, my flood insurance increased 70% come this August.

  •  California not only drought state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, soarbird

    You Californians seem to think you are the only ones suffering from drought. New Mexico has seen drought condition every year but 2 this century. Most of the state is at 10% or less of normal precipitation this year, after 2 years of well below normal snowfalls and weak monsoon seasons.
    We are praying for an early, strong and long El Nino.

    •  Good to have a counter to some of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      Golden State-centrism that can work its way to the surface at daily kos.  Thanks for picking today, and this diary for joining our conversation.

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:01:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I rather expect people in... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a gilas girl

        Mexico, Central America, and South America would have some opinions on this as well.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:15:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No doubt. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar

          ;-)

          Wouldn't it be cool if we could get some folks from those parts to be part of the dk community, too?

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 03:55:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the next version of DK has a Babel Fish option- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a gilas girl

            We might really open things up if this place becomes language neutral. It would be cool to be able to click a button to see everything in the language of your choice via automatic translation. It would also become a cool way to learn other languages.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 05:02:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  worse flooding in Ca I remember... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar

    'bout 50 years ago, very heavy snow pack met tropical rain storm, not pretty...
    are we preparing for this likely occurrence?

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