1930s Dust Bowl Drought – and Current California Drought – Caused By Warm Ocean Anomalies

A scientific paper published last month in the journal Climate Dynamics by a scientist from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and three universities found that the 1930s drought was exacerbated by an anomalous warm spots in the ocean:

Unusually hot summer conditions occurred during the 1930s over the central United States and undoubtedly contributed to the severity of the Dust Bowl drought. We investigate local and large-scale conditions in association with the extraordinary heat and drought events, making use of novel datasets of observed climate extremes and climate reanalysis covering the past century. We show that the unprecedented summer heat during the Dust Bowl years was likely exacerbated by land-surface feedbacks associated with springtime precipitation deficits. The reanalysis results indicate that these deficits were associated with the coincidence of anomalously warm North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific surface waters and a shift in atmospheric pressure patterns leading to reduced flow of moist air into the central US. Thus, the combination of springtime ocean temperatures and atmospheric flow anomalies, leading to reduced precipitation, also holds potential for enhanced predictability of summer heat events. The results suggest that hot drought, more severe than experienced during the most recent 2011 and 2012 heat waves, is to be expected when ocean temperature anomalies like those observed in the 1930s occur in a world that has seen significant mean warming.

Similarly, a warm “blob” of ocean water is currently floating off the West coast of the U.S. And – as reported by the Washington Post, NBC News, and CBS – scientists say that the warm anomaly may be causing the California drought.

Postscript: Scientists say that the warm seawater anomalies are associated with shifts in atmospheric pressure patterns, which may – in turn – be caused by periodic fluctuations in the “Pacific decadal oscillation” or the “North Pacific mode“. And see this.

Interestingly, these patterns may, in turn, be effected by fluctuations in the output from the sun.  For example, National Geographic reported in 2008:

The sun’s fluctuations can help predict extreme climatic events on Earth decades ahead of time, new research suggests.


The cycles, which are driven by the sun’s magnetic turbulence, may influence weather systems on Earth, particularly the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, a periodic climatic system associated with floods and droughts mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.


The Southern Oscillation Index, which measures the El Niño-Southern Oscillation system, seems to correspond with a 90-year sun cycle, Baker found.


Periods of greater solar disturbances are associated with rainy periods, whereas a calmer sun dovetailed with times of drought in Australia, Baker said.


El Niño and La Niña, which creates opposite climatic effects from El Niño, also affect North America.

That means long-range forecasting is possible for water availability in Mexico and the western United States, where droughts are often severe, Baker said.

How solar cycles may influence Earth’s weather systems is not well understood, but Baker speculated that cosmic radiation is a factor.

For instance, Baker’s research shows that periods of high cosmic radiation coincide with particularly long La Niñas, Baker said.

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  • Redbird

    and geo engineering activities

    • nomadfiles

      It’s hard to take this debate seriously. On the one hand you have people with empirical evidence on their side rightfully concerned about catastrophic global warming. On the other is a surprising number of people with countervailing calculations who deny global warming. Diametrically opposed positions. Right? Guess what they have in common.

  • nomadfiles

    To the Six blind men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,…
    There is an elephant in the room.

  • Nov 24, 2014 Quiet Atlantic hurricane season spares U.S. for ninth year running

    (Reuters) – A combination of cooler seas and a quiet West African monsoon season made for a less active Atlantic hurricane season, giving the South and East Coasts of the United States one of their lengthiest reprieves in history from a major hurricane, forecasters said on Monday. “This is the longest without a major hurricane hitting the U.S. since the Civil War era,” said Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist for Weather Underground.



  • Sarastro92

    NOTE WELL- The ocean hotspots are NOT the result of Human Activities or part of a catastrophic climate change. These are natural, sunlight driven processes played out in ocean dynamics that affect weather patterns on land.

    While the US West Coast is affected by the unusual “hot blob” in the nearby Pacific, cooler, wetter weather in the East is the result of ocean conditions in the Western Atlantic.

    Indeed, the rise in temperatures in the 80s-90s was the result of monster El Ninos, not CO2 levels. Changes in CO2 has limited impact on global climate… probably the nest estimate is that a 30% rise in CO2 levels in the 20th century caused, at most, possibly .3 C… hardly cause for hysteria.

  • kimyo

    Can Solar Activity Cause Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Extreme Weather?

    They found an impressive degree of correlation for global volcanic activity (>80.6%) and for the largest USA earthquakes (100% of the top 7 most powerful) versus solar activity lows.

    i’ve seen some good arguments against it, but increased underwater volcanic activity in the vicinity of the ‘warm blob’ may be a factor.

    i can think of no better argument for guaranteed income than the drought in california. many need to leave (no water, no livelihood, increasing fire threat, not to mention accumulating hot particles from fukushima) but have no savings with which to do so and no one to sell their properties to.

    when will investors notice that with a significantly reduced population, california’s bonds will be worth diddly?

  • Davathm

    Imam Al says, this is all Blasphemy. .. A logical explanation, in most circles of the scientific community, will most of the time ring louder than a hysterically contrived theory.

  • nomadfiles

    I can’t believe this… what I can’t believe is that nobody is paying attention. Not our elected officials. Not our news media. Not even our environmental activists! Not a peep. They, the PTB, whoever they may be, are stretching this sheet of poison over us almost everyday, and nobody’s saying a word.