21 July 2015

El Niño 2015-2016?

According to reports in the L A Times, it continues to appear more and more likely that the winter of 15-16 will be an El Niño, possibly even stronger than the 1997-98 season, which was the last "very strong" El Niñ0 (although the winter spring of 04-05 brought even more rain).

One fear is that overall temperatures will be so warm that most of the precipitation, even in the mountains, will be rain, which would be bad news for California's water resource picture. The efficient functioning of water management requires that much of the water be stored as snow-pack, especially in the Sierras. Thus, even if El Niño ends, or interrupts, our years-long drought, it may not sweep away our water resource problems; indeed the flooding and other damage may make life in California more expensive and troublesome.

There is little doubt that Climate Change is having an effect, although exactly what that effect is virtually impossible to calculate.

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