Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Fresno State study warns of climate effects on San Joaquin River

Two Fresno State professors say climate change will make the San Joaquin River’s annual runoff show up earlier — as much as six weeks earlier in the next century.

And one other thing:There will be a “significant decrease in annual stream flow,” said geology professor C. John Suen, who co-authored a study on the upper San Joaquin. Suen’s co-author was associate hydrology professor Zhi Wang.

The study, published in Hydrology Research, is more confirmation of findings in previous climate change studies, and it is not a pretty picture.

As water engineers and researchers have been saying for years, California’s reservoirs are built built to capture a gradual runoff from melting snow. More than half the state’s summer water supply is frozen in the snowpack each year.

If the state see more rainfall and earlier snow runoff, there could be big problems protecting communities and farms from floods.

In the San Joaquin Valley, the shift could be damaging for the multibillion-dollar economic base of agriculture.

This is about the place where the discussion turns to building larger reservoirs — such as Temperance Flat on the San Joaquin — or changing the way water and land are used. I’ll leave those issues to commenters here.

But Suen and Wang give us more reason to have the conversation.

Responses

Alan Kandel says:

There is an interesting study that shows chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs responsible for ozone depletion in the atmosphere to also be the cause of global temperature rise.

University of Waterloo Professor Qing-Bin Lu author of the paper: “Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect of Halogenated Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change,” from “Global Warming Caused By CFCs, Not Carbon Dioxide, Study Says,” (http://scienceblog.com/63480/global-warming-caused-by-cfcs-not-carbon-dioxide-study-says) states: “In fact, the data shows that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays caused both the polar ozone hole and global warming.”

Professor Lu contends the earth is in a cooling, not warming, state.

“‘What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined – matching the decline of CFCs in the atmosphere,’ Professor Lu said. ‘My calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline.’”

This revelation would appear to run counter to the hypothesis that “There will be a ‘significant decrease in annual stream flow,’” as referenced in “Fresno State study warns of climate effects on the San Joaquin River,” above.

8TM says:

Alan, you might also want to check out this in regards to the Lu claims.

Qing-Bin Lu revives debunked claims about cosmic rays and CFCs

“Critics point out that Lu’s paper fails to make the leap from correlation to causation, one of the most basic and most common scientific failings. This error is simply illustrated in the classic fable of the rooster who believes the sun rises because he crows. Two things may happen at the same time, but this does not mean one causes the other. A “physical mechanism” by which the two events are connected must be known, in order to fully understand causation.”

Alan Kandel says:

Thanks.

A question I have is: Is the earth in a warming or cooling state? If the earth is continuing to warm and continues to warm, this would not support Lu’s findings.

8TM says:

It continues to warm. An earlier post yesterday to that point ‘awaits moderation.’ The rate of surface warming hasn’t been as great this last decade, and this has been fodder for the denialists, but it’s still well within the IPCC model, though at the low end of the model prediction range, but this has all the significance of statistical noise.

Cesar says:

Ok my question is this. Will global warming produce more rainfall in the valley or less?

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