Posted on | December 22, 2010 | 3 Comments
KQED’s Climate Watch, David Zetland’s Aguanomics, LA Observed and the LA Times are among the websites and news organizations shaking seeming contradictions from their collective umbrellas. Yes, this is a La Niña year, and yes, these are typically drier than normal. This being a far stronger than normal La Niña, chances were strong that it was going to be far drier than the already dry average across the American Southwest.
The short answer to why we’re having such a wet dry year is that we’ve had a rare incursion of a tropical rain system called “the Pineapple Express.” The longer answer might be that it is an indicator of climate change. We are not the only ones experiencing weird weather. From snowbound London, George Monbiot answers critics/skeptics who mistake weather for climate.
The snow outside is what global warming looks like opens: “There were two silent calls, followed by a message left on my voicemail. She had a soft, gentle voice and a mid-Wales accent. ‘You are a liar, Mr Monbiot. You and James Hansen and all your lying colleagues. I’m going to make you pay back the money my son gave to your causes. It’s minus 18C and my pipes have frozen. You liar. Is this your global warming?’ She’s not going to like the answer, and nor are you. It may be yes.”
Click here to keep reading.
Back in wet Los Angeles, yes, this is what this La Niña looks like, oceanographers such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Bill Patzert who spotted it were not wrong or silly, and a Pineapple Express is no assurance that our reservoirs will be full or that addressing water scarcity is no longer the region’s single most critical issue. The best possible outcome of our deluge would be if we had the wit to make policy and infrastructure changes to restore our streams and wetlands and to capture local rainfall instead of funneling it into storm drains while sapping the Sierra and Rockies.
Hat tip to David Zetland for e-mailing the Guardian link.