California feels the heat: new report notes impact of climate change “significant and growing”

2008 Fires: California has seen an increasing incidence of wildfires

Climate change is not a problem for the distant future, or an issue that can be left to future generations to fix. The impacts are real and being felt today.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

California is feeling the effects of climate change far and wide, as heat-trapping greenhouse gases reduce spring runoff from the Sierra Nevada, make the waters of Monterey Bay more acidic and shorten winter chill periods required to grow fruit and nuts in the Central Valley, a new report says. 

Though past studies have offered grim projections of a warming planet, the report released Thursday by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment took an inventory of three dozen shifts that are already happening. 

“The nature of these changes is that they’re occurring gradually, but the impacts are significant and growing,” said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the health hazard assessment office, a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency. 

Among the effects detailed in the report: The number of acres burned by wildfires in California has been increasing since 1950, with the three worst fire seasons occurring in the last decade. Sea surface temperatures at La Jolla have risen by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century, twice as much as the global average. Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada are shrinking, and water in lakes, including Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake, has warmed over the last few decades. 

The changes associated with global warming can be irregular. Sea level rise in California, for instance, has bucked the global pattern and leveled off over the last two decades, the report notes. 

But the overall trend is overwhelming, scientists say.

Welcome to the new normal.

Image source: No Caption Needed

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132 thoughts on “California feels the heat: new report notes impact of climate change “significant and growing”

  1. […] 2013/08/12: WtD: California feels the heat: new report notes impact of climate change “signifi… […]

  2. Bill Jamison says:

    Okay John, provide the link.

    I am an atheist. I can’t imagine any religious person, nevermind a hardcore Christian, denying their faith online. Not sure why you want to try to make an issue out of this but the obvious reason would be to try to deflect attention away from your ignorant mistake in this thread regarding monthly anomalies. Not only did you not understand monthly anomalies – which are really simple and critical to understanding the charts you keep linking – but you also didn’t understand the simple math. Not sure why you couldn’t have just put the numbers into Excel and figured it out for yourself. If nothing else you could have done what I suggested several times – ask an expert at one of your preferred sites such as Real Climate or Tamino. Maybe you were afraid to expose your ignorance.

    So now you try to try to pretend that I’m a “closet christian” (or am I supposed to be a “closet muslim”?).

    While I am an atheist I do say things like “bless you” when someone sneezes out of custom. Silly to be sure but it doesn’t mean anything more than what it is – a common courtesy. I also sometimes say “gesundheit” even though I don’t speak German and don’t even know what it means.

    Of course you keep bringing up my statement about the earth being self-regulating. Yes I believe that our climate is self-regulating to a degree. You love to take statements and twist them and then lie about what a person has said. It’s obvious that you are a liar and lack morals. You will lie to try to make another person look bad instead of sticking to debating the issue at hand. That says a lot about your character – or lack thereof.

    As far as the climate being self-regulating, I think that should be fairly evident from paleo temperature reconstructions that show a relatively narrow range of temperature over the last million years. That doesn’t mean the earth’s temperature won’t increase as more GHGs are emitted to the atmosphere. It’s self-regulating to a degree. There are feedbacks that help regulate temperature.

    I realize you’re embarrassed by your public display of ignorance but let it go John. Admit your mistake, apologize, and move on. Stop trying to use personal attacks to focus the attention on me instead of your mistake.

    • john byatt says:

      bill ” thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers”

      • Bill Jamison says:

        John did I say that somewhere? If I did please provide a link or STFU.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Still waiting for you to provide a link John…

        • john byatt says:

          here are some nice photos instead.

          http://projectyose.com/

        • Bill Jamison says:

          John if you’re stalking me online then just admit it and post the link. Then everyone on this site will know just how creepy you are.

        • john byatt says:

          are you stalking me? No that is why i did not link,

          so that is what you were waiting for, a link to claim stalking, It was obvious , sorry not into that,

          complete fluke,

        • Bill Jamison says:

          You claim to have a quote from me posted in Nov 2012. Did you find one or didn’t you? Where did you look? Are you a stalker or not John?

        • john byatt says:

          did you like the photos?, good move billy,

        • Bill Jamison says:

          John you said “you made a comment some time ago it linked to you saying

          “bill ” thank you all for your thoughts and prayers”’ (see above)

          Are you going to tell everyone where you found it and admit you were stalking me online? Are you John? Or are you going to lie?

          Please tell everyone here where and how you supposedly found that quote John.

        • john byatt says:

          Now you will have everyone wondering

          why did he first deny it
          and
          then claim that it was found by stalking.?

          see your problem

          this conversation is over billy and i know that while you claimed to be an atheist you are actually religious
          not interested in everyone else thinking that you are atheist
          i know otherwise as you recently confirmed .

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Of course you want the conversation to be over John. Of course you don’t want people here to know that you’re a creep and that you stalked me online to try to prove that I’m a christian (I assume that’s what you thought I was anyway and most likely a creationist) even though I’ve told you a couple of times that I’m an atheist. So you went out searching to try to find ANY evidence to prove that I was really not an atheist. You stalked me. Admit it John. Admit that you searched the internet to find something on me. That’s creepy. And all you could come up with is me thanking people for their “thoughts and prayers”.

          Do you want to tell everyone what you did or should I John? It’s obvious that you’re still trying to distract everyone from the fact that you didn’t even understand the basic concept of monthly anomalies and you thought you could do it by claiming that I’m a christian or believe in god or something. That’s probably insulting to any posters here that really do believe in god. And of course they’ll recognize how creepy it is. A little scary in fact.

  3. john byatt says:

    Bill If you had of said that you were a xtian but also a sceptic i would have left it at that,
    but you claimed to be an atheist,

    then you made a comment some time ago it linked to you saying

    “bill ” thank you all for your thoughts and prayers”

    that is something that only a christian would say but you had denied being xtian

    see the contradiction?

    so i think that you are not a sceptic at all but are bound by religious ideology which fits in with your claim of the planet having an inbuilt mechanism ( from god ) to maintain the temperature for humans.

    • Bill Jamison says:

      Okay John, provide the link.

      I am an atheist. I can’t imagine any religious person, nevermind a hardcore Christian, denying their faith online. Not sure why you want to try to make an issue out of this but the obvious reason would be to try to deflect attention away from your ignorant mistake in this thread regarding monthly anomalies. Not only did you not understand monthly anomalies – which are really simple and critical to understanding the charts you keep linking – but you also didn’t understand the simple math. Not sure why you couldn’t have just put the numbers into Excel and figured it out for yourself. If nothing else you could have done what I suggested several times – ask an expert at one of your preferred sites such as Real Climate or Tamino. Maybe you were afraid to expose your ignorance.

      So now you try to try to pretend that I’m a “closet christian” (or am I supposed to be a “closet muslim”?).

      While I am an atheist I do say things like “bless you” when someone sneezes out of custom. Silly to be sure but it doesn’t mean anything more than what it is – a common courtesy. I also sometimes say “gesundheit” even though I don’t speak German and don’t even know what it means.

      http://people.howstuffworks.com/sneezing.htm

      Of course you keep bringing up my statement about the earth being self-regulating. Yes I believe that our climate is self-regulating to a degree. You love to take statements and twist them and then lie about what a person has said. It’s obvious that you are a liar and lack morals. You will lie to try to make another person look bad instead of sticking to debating the issue at hand. That says a lot about your character – or lack thereof.

      As far as the climate being self-regulating, I think that should be fairly evident from paleo temperature reconstructions that show a relatively narrow range of temperature over the last million years. That doesn’t mean the earth’s temperature won’t increase as more GHGs are emitted to the atmosphere. It’s self-regulating to a degree. There are feedbacks that help regulate temperature.

      I realize you’re embarrassed by your public display of ignorance but let it go John. Admit your mistake, apologize, and move on. Stop trying to use personal attacks to focus the attention on me instead of your mistake.

  4. Bill Jamison says:

    If anyone else needs help understand monthly and annual anomalies and how mean values are calculated let me know. Based on some comments here it seems obvious that jb wasn’t the only one that didn’t understand it.

    • john byatt says:

      if you need help to understand why the earth does not maintain the same temperature with increasing greenhouse gases give us a yell and i will explain it,

      god will not save you bill

      • Bill Jamison says:

        Since I don’t believe in any gods I’m certainly not expecting “to be saved” by one. But then I’m confident I won’t need saving from some “planetary emergency” either. Do you think god will save you John?

        The earth’s temperature has been self-regulating for a long long time within a fairly tightly constrained range. Aren’t you aware of that? Haven’t you ever seen a temperature reconstruction going back a million years or more and showing temperature has varied less than about 20C?

        You really need to educate yourself on these things John. You are making yourself look foolish.

        • zoot says:

          Bill, you’re nowhere near as clever as you think you are.

        • john byatt says:

          well look at his authority

          http://www.oarval.org/Thermostat.htm

        • Bill Jamison says:

          “authority”? I just provided an example of a temperature reconstruction showing a limited range of temperature. You might want to read that link you posted because it does explain some of the mechanisms that transport heat from the tropics to the poles.

          If you don’t believe that “authority” I can provide more examples that show basically the same range. Can you give an example that greatly exceeds that range???

  5. Bill Jamison says:

    jb I’m doubly embarrassed for you now. Not only do you not understand anomalies you don’t understand basic math!!! Yikes. You are NOT qualified to even discuss these issues.

    You said “do the maths bill”. Well I didn’t need to do the “maths” because I already understood why the anomalies add up correctly – it’s a two dimensional matrix.

    But since you insisted I did the math for you. Let me break it down for you jb: if you have a series of 12 values that average 14 then it doesn’t matter whether all the values are 14 (as you claim) or whether they vary greatly. The only thing that matters is that the average of those 12 values is 14. So when you take those 12 values, whether they’re all the same or they vary, and add the anomalies to the values then divide by 12 you’ll get the same result. That’s MATH jb. Learn it.

    Now obviously you won’t believe me so I put it in a spreadsheet to demonstrate. I can send the Excel file to you or you can just replicate it for yourself. Here’s a screen capture of the results:

    Notice that regardless of which monthly mean values (MM) are used the final result is still 14.84 (okay well 14.84083 to be exact). See the yellow highlighted squares.

    No tricks were used. You can easily replicate the results. The formula used in column O is “=average(b2:m2)”. The formula used in row 10 is “=b2+b7″.

    Notice that on row 13 if the monthly mean absolute temperature in January was 0 then even though it has the highest anomaly the absolute temperture would still be 25.55 degrees lower than July.

    It’s not like you need to believe me I’ve already given you the link to the NCDC table of estimated absolute monthly mean temperatures. They vary by 3.8C. They average out to 14C but they vary significantly.

    • Bill Jamison says:

      In case anyone missed it john actually (sorta in a vague way) admitted he was WRONG.

      FINALLY.

      Damn that was tough. He seems to be intentionally dense at times. I wish one of you guys would have explained it to him since I have to assume that at least some of you guys understood why he was wrong.

    • Bill Jamison says:

      Has anyone else noticed that John never responded here after I proved that he was completely and utterly wrong? I think he’s hoping it will just disappear and others won’t notice his ignorance.

  6. john byatt says:

    bill “jb what the hell does ENSO have to do with January being colder than July globally??”

    it has a hell of a lot to do with monthly temperatures,

    you do not get any of this do you?

    • Bill Jamison says:

      ENSO has nothing to do with whether the world is warmer or colder in January on average. If there’s an El Nino then it will generally be warmer and if there is a La Nina then it will be colder generally.

      But that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whether the global mean temperature in January is colder than July and August.

  7. john byatt says:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts.txt

    2007 122 90 89 92 92 64 77 86 81 79 68 69 yearly anomaly 84

    Add all monthly anomalies divide by 12 = 84

    Divide by 100 to get changes in degrees Celsius (deg-C) = 84 divided by 100 = .84DegC

    14.0 degC base temp

    so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale

    =14.84DegC

    Why you cannot just apply to monthly, because the numbers are only to two digits,

    now bill will work it out

    • Bill Jamison says:

      John your calculation is completely correct. Congratulations.

      So what was the absolute temperature for January 2007?

      • john byatt says:

        jan2007 was the warmest of any month since 1880

        now either agree or work the year out and prove that it is not’

        you can not use the tables for monthly data
        why

        noticed that some years the yearly anomaly may be one or two higher than adding up years. the reason is not your nonsense, it is because the monthly data is to the nearest 0.01degc, the temps above those monthly figures are added in to give the final yearly total also to the nearest 0.01degc

        so the absolute temp to the nearest 0.01degc would be

        122 divided by 100 =1.22degc giving an approximate 15.22DegC

        now bill will work it out

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Okay that’s what I thought. You really don’t get it. I just wanted to confirm it and now I have.

          So you think every month has the same average temperature globally? You don’t think there are changes, that some months are warmer and some are colder globally just as they are locally?

          Please do some homework John. I’m embarrassed for you at this point.

          Can someone please help John out here? Obviously he won’t trust anything I say regardless of how many reputable sites I link to trying to explain it.

          BTW John if the January 2007 anomaly was 1.22C then the global absolute temperature was 13.22C not 15.22C.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          I’m trying to find another source that explains how the monthly and annual mean absolute temperature are calculated. In the NCDC FAQ it explains:

          “Global-average anomalies are calculated on a monthly and annual time scale.”

          http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.php

          Click on that link then click on “Mean Temperature Estimates” to see the monthly global mean absolute temperature estimates for the 20th century. For the NCDC it works out to a combined land + ocean annual mean of 13.9C but the monthly values vary from 12C to 15.8C.

        • john byatt says:

          Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14.0 deg-C or 57.2 deg-F,
          so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale

          “BTW John if the January 2007 anomaly was 1.22C then the global absolute temperature was 13.22C not 15.22C.”

          you idiot you have the jan 2007 temperature below the 1951-1980 baseline

          you failed to look at GISS monthly means,

          now work out the full year using your watts method and prove your point

          your global temp must be “so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale =14.84DegC”

          not too sure of yourself now ?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Okay last try.

          From the NCDC:

          “The global monthly surface temperature averages in the table below can be added to a given month’s anomaly (departure from the 1880 to 2000 base period average) to obtain an absolute estimate of surface temperature for that month. (Files of absolute estimates are provided below.)”

          Notice what it says: Add the monthly anomaly to the monthly average in the chart to get the absolute estimate for that month.

          Yes, I have the January 2007 absolute temperature below the 1951-1980 annual baseline. That’s because January is 2C COLDER (duh!) on average than the baseline since the baseline is an average of entire year.

          Seriously John try asking this question at one of your favorite sites like Real Climate or Tamino and hopefully someone will explain it to you so that you’ll believe it.

          Source for quote: http://physics.oregonstate.edu/~hetheriw/projects/energy/topics/doc/environment/climate/Global_Surface_Temperature_Anomalies_NOAA.html

          I’m both flabbergasted and embarrassed for you John. Please educate yourself. The earth doesn’t have the same average temperature every month of the year. It varies just like it like locally. As it turns out it correlates to northern hemisphere seasons (meaning colder in Nov through Feb and warmer in July through Sept). I’m not sure if that’s simply because that majority of land mass is in the northern hemisphere or because the majority of recording stations are in the northern hemisphere or a combination of the two. My guess is it’s the combination. That’s also why the northern hemisphere has warmer more than the southern hemisphere.

        • john byatt says:

          do the maths for the full year 2007, you are a dill saying that the 1951/1980 baseline temperature was warmer that the jan2007 temp

          do the maths for the full year, use the watts method or NCDC method if you wish

          do the maths,

          for each month and the year 2007,

        • john byatt says:

          you are an idiot bill

        • Bill Jamison says:

          John I REALLY REALLY hope you ask this question of a trusted source so you’ll know just what an idiot you are. You keep linking to that chart showing the January 2007 anomaly as if that proves your point. It doesn’t.

          As I already quoted: The global monthly surface temperature averages in the table below can be added to a given month’s anomaly (departure from the 1880 to 2000 base period average) to obtain an absolute estimate of surface temperature for that month.

          Add the total in the NCDC table for January (12C) to the anomaly for January 2007 (1.22C) and you get 13.22C. Yes it’s below the annual baseline temperature of 14C. But then July and August are substantially higher than the baseline period at 15.8C and 15.6C respectively.

          Isn’t there someone else you can confirm this with??? Seriously. UKI? Mike? Someone that knows what the hell they’re talking about???

          I can’t believe you think that every month as a mean temperature of 14C. Damn. That’s the ANNUAL mean temperature.

          It’s no different than calculating a monthly and average mean temperature for a single location.

          SMH

        • Bill Jamison says:

          What that also means is that you could have an July anomaly of -1.6C and it would still be higher than the annual baseline temperature since the monthly mean absolute temperature for July is 15.8C. So with a -1.6C anomaly you would still have an absolutely temperature of 14.2C.

          That’s how it works.

          Even if you had a July with an anomaly of -1.6C it would still be warmer (in absolute temperature) than a January with an anomaly of +2.0C. Absolute temperature for July would be 14.2C and January would be 14.0C.

          Unfuckingbelievable.

        • john byatt says:

          this shows that you are wrong

          2007 122 90 89 92 92 64 77 86 81 79 68 69 yearly anomaly 84

          Add all monthly anomalies divide by 12 = 84

          if they were not absolute anomalies then adding them and dividing by 12 would not give the yearly anomaly, how hard is this and you still do not wish to comment on

          and you still not have done the full year,

          you keep quoting NCDC when i have been posting GISTEMP

          Do The Maths

        • Bill Jamison says:

          It doesn’t matter if you are talking about GIStemp, HADcrut, NCDC or any other temperature source. All that will change is the monthly anomaly value since they each compute their baseline using different reference periods. What doesn’t change is that they all computer a monthly mean absolute temperature then compute anomalies from that monthly mean.

          You’re going to feel really dumb when you finally figure out that I’m right. I was right about the error in the “State of Australian Cities” report and I’m right about this.

        • john byatt says:

          the GISS table data shows jan 2007 at 122 anomaly

          the http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif

          shows the jan 2007 anomaly as the highest temp on the graph again 1.22 degc

          now make your point , it will take you five minutes to do the maths and put up your monthly and year 2007 anomaly

          do the maths

        • john byatt says:

          You were not correct, you were correct in the graphs that you put up but did not read the text which stated that your graph would be misleading.

          what i have found is that you have a problem with logic and rely on watt watts tells you

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Okay you really are stupid. There can’t be any other explanation.

          “the http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif

          shows the jan 2007 anomaly as the highest temp on the graph again 1.22 degc”

          Yes, January 2007 has the highest anomaly of any month based on GIStemp data. That chart you keep linking doesn’t show temperature it shows anomalies. An anomaly is “Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.” In this case the baseline period for the January anomaly is all January temperatures from 1951-1980. Not all annual temperatures but only JANUARY temperatures. That’s why it’s a monthly anomaly.

          Want to prove it? Just add up all of the January anomalies in GIStemp from 1951-1980. Do you know what it adds up to? ZERO Why? Because it’s the baseline period. That’s how they got the average!

          Every other month will be the same – after dividing by 30 you’ll end up with zero since it’s the baseline period. I added up half of the months and got:

          January 0
          February 1
          March 1
          April 2
          May -1
          June -2

          Try it yourself and see.

          http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

          It’s a simple two dimensional matrix or array so of course the math adds up.

        • john byatt says:

          do the maths

          my maths shows that the monthly means added and divided by 12 gives the total year anomaly and the absolute temp of 14.84DegC

          now you do the same with your method

          you have had two days so far to put it up

        • Bill Jamison says:

          It’s a two dimensional matrix so of course the math adds up.

          Do some homework John and try to find another source for the absolute temperature in January then compare it to the absolute temperature in July. You’ll see that it’s much warmer in July. The earth’s temperature isn’t constant from month to month. It is, on average, 3.8C warmer in July than it is in January.

          There is so much that you can’t possibly understand if you don’t understand this relatively simple concept. There must be someone that can straighten you out on this since you won’t believe me.

        • john byatt says:

          bill, will not reply to you again until you do the maths

          the monthly temp GISS must all be based on the baseline 14Cdeg temperature otherwise it would not produce the correct years temperature of 14.84C

        • john byatt says:

          well I know why he will not do the maths, using his method the yearly temperature was not the same as the 14.84DegC yearly temp at GISS for 2007, it was out to buggery

    • john byatt says:

      notice where the 1.22 degC anomaly is?

    • Bill Jamison says:

      Yep the US has had an official policy that fire is “evil” and must be suppressed since the late 1800’s. That policy has significantly contributed to the catastrophic fires we’ve experienced over the last 5 to 10 years. More recently changes in logging policies and the environmental movement have also contributed to overgrown forests being at significantly higher risk for major fires. I saw one estimate that claimed that lodgepole pine forests in the US had 40 trees per acre when European settlers first arrived and there are now 400 trees per acre.

      • As per the article I cited it’s not just fire and it’s not just California.

        • john byatt says:

          No john we are only talking about fire in California, do not confuse him with facts

        • john byatt says:

          They have currently been burning here in the Gympie region for the past few weeks, hazard reduction, but as soon as the fire season starts and some house burns down due to fuel in the back yard then the greenies will be to blame

          the biggest anti hazard burn complaints comes from people with breathing problems and those drying washing on the line, none of whom are just greenies,

          they need an enemy to blame for their own lack of understanding that firestorms are becoming the new normal

        • Bill Jamison says:

          And it’s just this decade or even century either. A massive fire in Washington, Idaho, and Montana in 1910 burned about 3 million acres. Imagine if that happened today you’d have bloggers claiming “it’s the new normal’!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_1910

          In fact that fire is one of the reasons that the US adopted it’s fire suppression policy that ALL fires should be extinguished as quickly as possible. That 100 years of fire suppression has helped create the problems we face today – and not just in California obviously.

        • john byatt says:

          there have always been cyclones, there have always been storms, there have always been heatwaves, there have always been droughts, there have always been downpours. its a good line but fails to recognize the increasing trends,

          typical denier nonsense

        • It’s not just fire and it’s not just California. From NASA, http://climate.nasa.gov/news/966

  8. izen says:

    Well this blog is living up to its name. Enabling visitors to watch the deniers and their antics here in the posts!

    The common fault of assuming that discovering A cause of something excludes all other causes is in full evidence in the first post. Because fire suppression in the past has a role causing present fires to be more intense that is adduced as the SOLE cause of the increase in wildfire severity, as though the increasing warmth and drought conditions are rendered entirely non-causal.

    The second classic problem with the denier position is also revealed. The pattern of denial asserted by one poster actually refutes the claims of another. The second poster who asserts that CO2 has no effect on the climate does acknowledge that CO2 is plant food and encourages greater vegetation growth. Exactly the pattern of events with denser forest undergrowth that the first poster highlights as a supposedly non-AGW factor in the increased wildfires.

    Why do deniers find multifactorial causation such a difficult concept to grasp?

    • Bill Jamison says:

      While the alarms point to every single event and say “See, we told you so!”. If you’re going to talk about something like wildfires then you should discuss all of the changes that have contributed to the increase. It’s disingenuous and misleading to simply discuss a change and climate change without giving readers the full picture. It’s pretty clear here in southern California that wildfires will increasingly be a problem regardless of whether the climate changes or not.

      • john byatt says:

        Mike has over 40 new normal posts here, you only want to look at each separately without acknowledging the existence of the overwhelming evidence in the literature for increasing extreme new normal events

        what do you expect when we had the warmest month on record only a few years ago jan 2007

        • Gregory T says:

          John, John, remember we don’t have high or low temperatures, we have anomalies. You know, those things outside the new normal.

        • john byatt says:

          He has made five idiotic comments just in this thread, I am trying to get him to make it six.

        • zoot says:

          It’s pretty clear here in southern California that wildfires will increasingly be a problem regardless of whether the climate changes or not.

          ORLY??

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Absolutely. New housing developments are constantly being built in areas that were previously brush and/or forest. Areas that haven’t burned in 50, 75, or even 100+ years have substantial fuel loads. Most of southern California is technically a desert and receives very little rainfall. Dry years are common and always have been. Drought isn’t unusual. Combine those factors and southern California will always have fire danger. The longer an area goes without burning the higher than risk for a catastrophic fire due to fuel load alone.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Turns out I didn’t even need to explain it all you had to do was read the full report:

          “California is one of the most complex, wildfire-prone and fire-adapted landscapes
          in the world. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, natural wildfires shaped the
          structure and function of the state’s wildlands, with an estimated 4.5 to 12
          million acres burning annually
          . This pattern changed dramatically as a result, in part, of post-settlement land use practices such as agriculture, grazing, logging and mining— changes that were further magnified by modern era land use practices
          and organized fire suppression (CalFire, 2010). ”

          The modern record is 1.4 million acres in 2008 which is one-third of what would have burned naturally before European settlers arrived in California.

          Fire suppression alone is responsible for a huge build up of fuel in areas that would have naturally – and safely – burned in the last 50 to 100 years.

          Think of it this way: If 4 million acres used to burn annually 100 years ago then every year that goes by those acres that don’t burn increase their fuel load. The number of acres at risk for a catastrophic fire increases with every passing year.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          “John, John, remember we don’t have high or low temperatures, we have anomalies. You know, those things outside the new normal.”

          Wow Gregory T you got it exactly backwards. I’ve been attempting to explain to john that we DO have absolute temperatures and you can’t tell from anomalies which month is warmer (when talking about absolute temperature) than another simply by comparing anomalies. January is 3.8C colder than July on average. So a high January anomaly doesn’t make it “warmer” than July globally.

          Of course no one talks about the base period being from 1951 to 1980 which was a period of cooling particularly in the northern hemisphere where most temperature stations are located.

          snip of that period from HADcrut4: http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/7668/d1xl.jpg

          Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.png

        • Gregory T says:

          Oh Bill, thank you so much for your Watts update. I noticed that he has been using the anomaly diversion quite a bit lately and I’m glad to see you emulating your mentor. I’m sure the people caught up in the extreme anomaly events, will breath a sigh of relief, to know they’re not real. OK now off you go with your denials..I’m reading about the unprecedented (anomalies) droughts in the Amazon, that according to scientists have the potential to inject over 5 billion tons of Co2 into the atmosphere instead of absorbing it, due to the trees dying. That’s about what the US injects yearly. The problem is though, the trees won’t be there to absorb anything, but what the hell who needs lungs, after all, it’s just an anomaly, aberration, unusual, exception, oddity, you pick one, or stick to your mentors.

        • john byatt says:

          . January is 3.8C colder than July on average.

          just a question, have you ever heard on ENSO ?

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Wow Gregory you lack of reading comprehension is impressive.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          jb what the hell does ENSO have to do with January being colder than July globally???

          You’re really digging yourself a hole her johnny. Why not ask someone at Real Climate or Tamino and see what they say – or better yet look up the information for yourself. I already gave you a link to the NCDC data showing absolutely mean monthly temperatures. I’m sure you could find other sources.

          It seems like you don’t even understand WHY anomalies are used instead of absolute temperature.

          So let me state it clearly for you: monthly anomalies are NOT relative to annual mean temperature. They are relative to the monthly mean temperature for that month over the baseline period.

          January 2007 was the warmest JANUARY on record and was .93C warmer than the average January temperature from 1951-1980 based in GISS.

        • john byatt says:

          love it

          “jb what the hell does ENSO have to do with January being colder than July globally???

          you are hopeless

      • Gregory T says:

        No Bill, I’ve learned to reject bullshit. Your a lot like our LOTO, a suppository of knowledge.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          It sounds like your understanding of the issue is as poor as jb’s. The ignorance of posters here is impressive.

        • Gregory T says:

          Look everybody! Bill is impressed with the ignorance of the posters on this blog. What great praise, from the acolyte, of the master of obfuscatory pronouncements.
          Do I have a amen?do I have a Hallelujah? We can only sit and wait and wonder, wattelhesaynext?

  9. astrostevo says:

    “Welcome to the new normal.”

    Yes, indeed. Welcome to the weather for the rest of our lives and beyond. There’s a very good clip on that here :

  10. Bill Jamison says:

    Here’s the actual report the LA Times story was based on. I hate it when they don’t include a link to the paper so people can read for themselves instead of having to rely on a reporter’s interpretation and summation.

    http://oehha.ca.gov/multimedia/epic/pdf/ClimateChangeIndicatorsReport2013.pdf

    Considering that California has 840 miles (1351km) of coastline it’s pretty ridiculous to take one location – La Jolla – and try to make any point about ocean water temperature increase based on changes at that one location.

    • izen says:

      @- Bill Jamison
      “Considering that California has 840 miles (1351km) of coastline it’s pretty ridiculous to take one location – La Jolla – and try to make any point about ocean water temperature increase based on changes at that one location.”

      Why do you claim that reporting ocean temperature at one location makes claims about rising ocean temperature ridiculous?
      I suspect, but haven’t examined the record, that the ocean temperature measurements at La Jolla are used as it has a reliable long term record. But it is well known that ocean temperatures have massive regional correlation. In other words they do not vary much over thousands of kilometres. The only exceptions being the well mapped sites of cold current upwellings.

      What would be pretty ridiculous is to take the measured ocean warming at one location and claim it has NO implications for the rest of the ocean.
      Unless you can identify a specific local factor that would make the ocean temperature at La Jolla unrepresentative of the coastal ocean warming.

    • john byatt says:

      So what if had ten thousand miles of coastline they are referencing la jolla

      Among the effects detailed in the report: The number of acres burned by wildfires in California has been increasing since 1950, with the three worst fire seasons occurring in the last decade. Sea surface temperatures at La Jolla have risen by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century, twice as fast as the global average. Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada are shrinking and water in lakes, including Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake, has warmed over the last few decades.

      Yet the changes associated with global warming can be irregular. Sea level rise in California, for instance, has bucked the global pattern and leveled off over the last two decades, the report notes.

      But the overall trend is overwhelming, scientists say.

      • john byatt says:

        Data Characteristics
        Daily SST is measured from the end of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier in
        La Jolla CA. The proximity of Scripps Pier to the deep waters at the head of La Jolla
        Impacts on Physical Systems Page 111submarine canyon results in data quite representative of oceanic conditions along the
        California coast, and throughout much of the California Current marine ecosystem
        (Roemmich, 1992

        you have uttered your usual nonsense without checking bill

        • Bill Jamison says:

          no jb you still can’t take a single data point and try to make it out to be more important than it is. As an example – the current water temperature off Fort Bragg in northern California is 51F while off La Jolla it’s 70F. If we get an upwelling that could drop 5 – 10F overnight. You can’t point to ocean temperature changes off La Jolla and claim “Ah ha!” because it has gone up 1.8F any more than you can look at the temperature average for San Diego and draw conclusions about climate for the entire state.

          To claim otherwise is ridiculous.

        • john byatt says:

          too stupid, ignore

    • MikeH says:

      I hate it when people make claims about a report that they clearly have not read.

      The indicator shows the rising trend in sea level (measured as annual average tide level) measured at two California stations: San Francisco and La Jolla. While sea level data from only two California stations are presented, long-term data from 10 of 11 California stations show increases in sea level. (Flick, Murray et al., 1999).

      * La Jolla is near the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego so has a long history of observations.

    • Bill Jamison says:

      You can’t take one data point – in this case ocean water temperature in La Jolla – and try to create significance out of it any more than you can the temperature of a single city. California has several currents and in shore waters are primarily effected by cloud cover, upwelling, winds, and then on a larger scale by ENSO and the PDO.

      Maybe ocean water temperature across open water is well correlated over a distance of 1,000 km or more but that certainly isn’t the case in California where the water temperature from the northern end of the state to the southern end varies by 20 or 30 degrees or more. Currently it’s about a 20 degree difference between Fort Bragg in northern California and San Diego. So a 1.8F warming trend in La Jolla doesn’t signify a state-wide warming trend and more than if San Diego showed a warming trend when other cities didn’t.

      • john byatt says:

        Data Characteristics
        Daily SST is measured from the end of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier in
        La Jolla CA. The proximity of Scripps Pier to the deep waters at the head of La Jolla
        Impacts on Physical Systems Page 111submarine canyon results in data quite representative of oceanic conditions along the
        California coast, and throughout much of the California Current marine ecosystem
        (Roemmich, 1992

        you have uttered your usual nonsense without checking bill

      • MikeH says:

        I was wrong. Despite the quote from the report showing clearly that more than a single observation point was used, you are doubling down.

        Here is the quote again – direct from report.

        The indicator shows the rising trend in sea level (measured as annual average tide level) measured at two California stations: San Francisco and La Jolla. While sea level data from only two California stations are presented, long-term data from 10 of 11 California stations show increases in sea level. (Flick, Murray et al., 1999).

        This is actually quite sad Bill. Ideology is clearly overpowering your ability to be honest.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          I didn’t say a single thing about sea level rise MikeH. Not sure why you would include that quote since it’s certainly not relevant to anything I posted.

  11. Dan Pangburn says:

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide is an odorless, tasteless, transparent gas that is absolutely necessary for life on earth. Plants must sort through 2500 molecules to find one that can be used to make food. More CO2 results in more food.

    Calling CO2 a pollutant is technologically incompetent.

    Any credible change to the level of non-condensing greenhouse gases doesn’t have, has never had and will never have significant effect on average global temperature.

    The influence of solar activity on earth’s average global temperature is accurately quantified by a proxy which is the time-integral of sunspot numbers.

    GW ended before 2001. http://endofgw.blogspot.com/

    AGW never was. http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html

    • Steve says:

      Dan,
      Your certainty is very reassuring.

    • john byatt says:

      yet the last decade was warmer than the previous

      GISS has both 2005 and 2010 warmer than 1998

      the warmest month was january 2007

      and the highest global temperature the same year was over 1DegC.

      rewrite blogpost and resubmit

      • Bill Jamison says:

        jb you do realize that January 2007 wasn’t “the warmest month”, right? It has the highest anomaly which isn’t the same thing. If you need I can explain the difference to you.

        • john byatt says:

          oh dear, bill “2010 was not the warmest year it just had the highest anomaly”

        • Bill Jamison says:

          jb we’re not talking about the “warmest year” here. I specifically mentioned your claim that January 2007 wasn’t the “warmest month”. Do you really not understand the difference between highest anomaly and absolute temperature?

          If Melbourne had it’s highest ever anomaly in July would that likely make it the warmest month on record? Of course not it’s the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere!

          I can’t believe I have to explain some of these things to you john. Sheesh.

        • john byatt says:

          If Melbourne had it’s highest ever anomaly in July would that likely make it the warmest month on record? Of course not it’s the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere!

          we are not talking about melbourne winter it is the global highest monthly temperature for all months for all years since 1880

        • john byatt says:

          and we do not refer to anomaly when talking of melbourne july temperature records,

          you get everything backwards you drater

        • Bill Jamison says:

          You really can’t handle being wrong, can you jb?

          Face it, January is NOT the warmest month of the earth for earth. So when January 2007 had a higher anomaly it still wasn’t the “warmest month” on record.

          Sorry you have a problem with facts there jb. You can call me names or try to distract but it’s clear to anyone reading this that you’re WRONG again.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          “we are not talking about melbourne winter it is the global highest monthly temperature for all months for all years since 1880″

          You need to look at absolute temperatures per month and then maybe you’ll see your mistake. Hint: January isn’t the warmest month of the year for the earth.

        • john byatt says:

          WTF

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Wow so you really don’t know? You really think that January 2007 was hotter than July or August 2007 globally?

          REALLY?

          If you REALLY believe that then you should look at the NCDC data – or any other source – and find the average global temperature for each month. The whole point of using anomalies is to be able to provide a baseline measurement. That way if January is 0.7C warmer it means it was 0.7C warmer than the average temperature FOR JANUARY.

          http://vlb.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.php#mean

          If the combined land+sea mean surface temperature for January is 12C and it’s 15.8C for July, then the January anomaly would have to be +3.8C just to MATCH the average July temperature.

          GET IT???

          It’s not a hard concept. If you can’t understand something this simple and so intrinsic to temperature reporting then you should find another hobby jb.

          So if you want to claim that January 2007 had the highest anomaly go ahead but it was certainly not “the warmest month on record”.

        • zoot says:

          Bill, you’re shouting.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Yes jb that’s another source of anomalies. It doesn’t show absolute monthly temperatures it shows temperate as a variance – anomaly – from the mean.

          I’m pretty flabbergasted that you really don’t understand that concept.

          BTW you’re correct to use the annual anomaly to compare one year to another. You just can’t use the anomaly to compare absolute January temperatures to absolute July or August temperatures because there’s such a large difference. As I already pointed it out it’s 3.8C warmer in July than it is in January globally based on NCDC data.

          So if you want to claim that “2010 was the warmest year on record” I won’t argue with you. Your statement that January 2007 was the “warmest month on record” is wrong. It had the highest anomaly.

          smh

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Sorry that first paragraph should have been

          Yes jb that’s another source of anomalies. It doesn’t show absolute monthly temperatures it shows temperature as a variance – anomaly – from the mean.

          BTW in this case the “mean” is the average monthly and yearly temperature from 1951-1980.

        • john byatt says:

          bill

          here is 2010

          2010 66 74 87 82 70 60 56 59 56 65 75 45

          add up all anomalies, divide by 12, gives you the yearly anomaly which you can then convert to temperature above 14C

          you can only do that because anomalies are related to each other

        • john byatt says:

          Do you now agree that Jan 2007 was the warmest of any month since 1880 ?

          2007 93 65 67 70 63 55 57 57 61 56 53 46 62 64 77 67 56 57 2007

        • Bill Jamison says:

          No john January 2007 was not the warmest month recorded it had the highest anomaly. I keep trying to explain that to you.

          It’s no different than if we looked at temperature for Melbourne and created a mean for each month and then talked about anomalies. If the anomaly for July was 5C that wouldn’t make it the warmest month in Melbourne’s history even though it could be the highest anomaly.

          It’s really not that difficult of a concept.

          If you want to know the warmest month ever recorded then figure out which month has the highest absolute temperature globally then find which year had the highest anomaly for that month. That will tell which month was the actual warmest on record.

        • john byatt says:

          you are confusing NCDC with GISTEMP.anomalies

        • john byatt says:

          GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index in 0.01 degrees Celsius base period: 1951-1980

        • john byatt says:

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Okay I’m going to try one more time. Find any source you’d like to answer the following two questions john:

          What is the mean absolute temperature globally in January?

          What is the mean absolute temperature globally in July?

        • john byatt says:

          last try

          bill add up all monthly anomalies for 2010 divide by 12 that will give you the yearly anomaly for the record year and you can then get the absolute temp above the baseline

          so each of the months in GISTEMP must be absolute to the baseline

        • Bill Jamison says:

          “so each of the months in GISTEMP must be absolute to the baseline”

          BZZZZ you’re wrong.

          If you had answered the two questions then you possibly would have understood your error.

          Each month has a mean temperature over the baseline period of 1951-1980. You average all the readings for January from the baseline period and you come up with the January baseline temperature. From that you can then start tracking the monthly anomaly. If the average global absolute temperature in January from 1951-1980 is 12C (and it is according to NCDC) then if January 2007 was 12.93C globally the anomaly would be .93C. That’s how it works.

          Since the mean global absolute temperature for July is 15.8C (again, according to NCDC) then in in July 2007 with a global mean temperature of 16.33C you get an anomaly of .55C. So even though the January 2007 anomaly was .93 and the July 2007 anomaly was .55C it was still warmer in July 2007 than it was in January.

          So it appears that July 2011 *might* be the warmest month on record since it is the warmest month globally in absolute temperature and had the highest anomaly for that month (based on GISTEMP anomaly of .66C).

          At the end of the GIStemp data they explain how you can add or subtract the anomaly to 14C to get absolute temperature for annual data only.

          “Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14.0 deg-C or 57.2 deg-F,
          so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale
          (this note applies to global annual means only, J-D and D-N !)”

          http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    • MikeH says:

      “carbon dioxide is an odorless, tasteless, transparent gas”

      You have to hand it to Dan. You cannot sneak anything past his sharply tuned powers of observation.

      • john byatt says:

        I once dropped a kilo block of that stuff on my toes, didn’t see it coming?

        • john byatt says:

          Why do animals need CO2
          sensing? CO2
          detection could have evolved as a mechanism to
          recognize CO2
          -producing sources (18, 37)—for
          instance, to avoid fermenting foods. This view
          would be consistent with the recent discovery of
          a specialized CO2 taste detection in insects where
          it mediates robust innate taste behaviors (38). Alternatively, Car4 may be important to maintain
          the pH balance within taste buds, and might gratuitously function as a detector for carbonation
          only as an accidental consequence. Although CO2
          activates the sour-sensing cells, it does not simply
          taste sour to humans. CO2 (like acid) acts not only
          on the taste system but also in other orosensory
          pathways, including robust stimulation of the
          somatosensory system (17, 22); thus, the final
          percept of carbonation is likely to be a combination of multiple sensory inputs. Nonetheless,
          the “fizz” and “tingle” of heavily carbonated
          water is often likened to mild acid stimulation of
          the tongue, and in some cultures seltzer is even
          named for its salient sour taste (e.g., saurer
          Sprudel or Sauerwasser)

    • Steve says:

      Dan, Of course stating that carbon dioxide is transparent is correct in the sense that transparency refers to visible light.
      However an important property of carbon dioxide is that it is NOT transparent to some wavelengths of light.

    • Dan: ‘CO2 is plant food!’

      That’s SO cute! I haven’t seen that denier meme for a while – I was starting to worry that it had been abandoned out of embarrassment. Keep’em coming, Dan! Do you take requests? Could you do the ‘Hockeystick is broken!’ meme? – That’s one of my favourites!
      :-)

    • Dan does raise an important point that we’ve all overlooked: The fact that odorless, tasteless, transparent things, like radiation, cannot be possibly be harmful.

  12. Bill Jamison says:

    The quote I includes should have also included this paragraph:

    “Southern California forests are two to three times denser than they were then, Minnich said, and pack far more ground fuel. The thickly wooded peaks of Mt. San Jacinto hadn’t burned in 130 years he said – more than twice the site’s historic 50-year fire cycle.”

  13. Bill Jamison says:

    It’s easy to blame climate change for California’s wildfires but of course that’s a very simplistic explanation. Reality is much more complex. For example, the Mountain Fire recently burned several thousand acres near Idyllwild which is near Palm Springs:

    ‘A 1898 timber assessment by U.S. Geological Survey surveyor John B. Leiberg stated that the absence of decayed ground cover and leaf litter in the San Jacintos makes “the occurrence of hot and lasting fires in the forest impossible.”

    More than a century later, museum researcher Lori Hargrove said, “I don’t think anyone would describe the forests in the San Jacinto Mountains that way today!” ‘

    The problem is a century of fire suppression. That’s true for most of the US. Regular fires – every few decades at most – are beneficial to the forest and necessary to keep it healthy. But a long time ago it was decided that fire was “evil” and all fires should be fought and extinguished as quickly as possible. We’re paying for that decision even now.

    The other obvious issue is that homes have encroached into forest areas and areas with high fire danger. That problem has gotten much more severe in the last 30 or 40 years and is only going to get worse.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Jul/28/environment-fire-idyllwild-grinnell-transect/2/?#article-copy

    So we can either be simplistic and claim “climate change!” or we can be realistic and realize that the problem is indeed man made and is only going to get worse regardless of whether the climate changes or not.

    • MikeH says:

      The report is not blaming climate change for California’s wildfires.

      As the report notes, wildfires were much more extensive prior to European settlement.

      Prior to the arrival of European settlers, natural wildfires shaped the structure and function of the state’s wildlands, with an estimated 4.5 to 12 million acres burning annually.

      What they do note is a dramatic increase in wildfire acreage burnt in the last decade relative to the 1950-2000 period.

      the annual average since 2000 is 598,000 acres, almost twice the annual average for the 1950-2000 period (264,000 acres).

      So your simplistic claim that it is all solely due to more ground fuel relative to 1898 does appear quite ridiculous. Are you suggesting that this factor only kicked in in 2000?

      The report notes that the reasons are complex (where did I hear that?).

      Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack and earlier spring snowmelt, and increased frequency of Santa Ana conditions have been identified as factors that have influenced the increase in wildfires

      • Bill Jamison says:

        It’s not blaming climate change??? Really? In a report titled “Indicators of Climate Change in California” they include this paragraph:

        “Large wildfires
        Since 1950, annual acreage burned in wildfires statewide has been increasing in California. The three largest fire years occurred in the last ten years. A large spike in annual average acreage of conifer and shrubland burned statewide occurred from 2000-2008. In the western United States, large wildfires have become more frequent, increasing in tandem with rising spring and summer temperatures.”

        In addition, the LA Times article uses the image included in this blog post.

        How can you claim they aren’t blaming climate change? They specifically mention “rising spring and summer temperature” and fail to mention any other cause. If the increase ISN’T due to climate change then why would they mention it at all???

        Strange logic you’re using.

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