Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Scientific American: Will California megastorms happen more often?

There’s a riveting online article raising the scary possibility of more frequent megastorms like the siege that struck California in 1861-62.

The Scientific American article says the rain started on Christmas Eve 1861 and continued 43 days, turning the Central Valley into an inland sea 300 miles long and 20 miles wide.

It apparently was not just a freak, the article says. New studies suggest this kind of storm hits every two centuries.

So will climate change increase the frequency? Just raising the question causes anxiety, and you can understand why. The article’s description of the 1860s event is like a script for a disaster flick.

Scientific American said: “Downtown Sacramento was submerged under 10 feet of brown water filled with debris from countless mudslides on the region’s steep slopes. California’s legislature, unable to function, moved to San Francisco until Sacramento dried out — six months later. By then, the state was bankrupt.”

It’s worth a read.


b2burns says:

Obviously this is a real and threatening trend – just look at the consecutive days of rain we’ve had lately in Fresburg? LOL Slow news day, boys and girls?

Tesla_x says:

‘Scientific American?’ More like ‘Histronic American’ …the magazine has become the poster child for tabloid junk science.

“So will climate change increase the frequency? Just raising the question causes anxiety, and you can understand why”

Mark, you are trying too hard to carry the alarmist ‘AGW OMG ARKstorm! save me with carbon credits! party line.

Note CO2 was well under 300ppm when the last big one blew thru….

So ‘just raising the question’ does not raise anxiety…

It raises eyebrows and annoys readers that would prefer not to have their intelligence insulted with flawed logic and shameless fear mongering, to help runious entities like CARB tax breathing, and destroy jobs with just another stupid revenue raising scheme.

P.S. note I linked to IPCC’s crap data to support my point. No skeptic data needed.

D Lighthall says:

This is an extremely important scientific discovery that should not be minimized. The scientific record is clear–it will inevitably happen again and when it does the impact on the state’s water transfer infrastructure could be catastrophic. Whether the state has the current resources and political will to plan for this remains to be seen.

Tesla_x says:

David, nobody disputes the historical weather record and that there are Long term cycles that we need to prepare for.

What is very much in dispute is that AGW/climate change has anything to do with it.

There is no statistically significant evidence for this.

There has been no global warming for 16 years.

The Pacific Ocean has not warmed for 19 years.

Ergo, any claims that AGW/climate change/co2 affects any of this is patently false and nothing more than pandering to green junk science interests.

If you disagree, take it up with Mother Nature….not even she is ‘cooperating’ with you guys anymore.

8TM says:

“…nobody disputes the historical weather record…” except you, Tesla_X?

“each of the last 11 years (2001–2011) features as one of the 12 warmest on record.” — Wiki

2011 “tied 1997 as the 11th warmest year since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This marks the 35th consecutive year, since 1976, that the yearly global temperature was above average. The warmest years on record were 2010 and 2005, which were 0.64°C (1.15°F) above average.” — NOAA

Tesla_x says:

Cherry picking and lying are great ways to scare stupid people into paying carbon taxes so we can solve problems that aren’t problems.

That way Barry and al gore get to pay off their buddies with more green tax and grant scams….not the wealth redistribution most were expecting either.

The voters get food stamps as regulations and green carbon scams steal from the taxpayer and other struggling businesses, and democrat cronies get billions….such a deal!

…but I digress.

If you were honest with yourself, you’d be charting the record lows too.

But then again, there is only warming when things are ‘adjusted’ and ENSO and PDO are ignored….as are cyclical long term cycles that have nothing to do with man.

More here:

In any case, I just don’t believe you or any of the other global warming minions at all.

Your constant scaremongering has become boring….and no one cares anymore.

8TM says:

Eppur si scalda.

Tesla_x says:

‘e tuttavia si raffredda’

Depends on where you put the thermometer, and if you count cooling too? The uk has set more than a few cooling records….but why mention that?

Inconvenient I guess.

Anyone can find temp extremes SOMEWHERE on the globe, but the averages are clear.

No warming in 16 years, no pacific warming in 19 years, and any warming ‘religiously’ attributed to man by the CO2 cult cannot in reality be separated from completely natural and cyclic ocean related ENSO/PDO cycles.

You guys are running out of contrived problems to ‘study’.

Try solving some real ones for a change, like getting more people access to low cost food and energy so we can grow our way out of this economic mess without a world war and lots of innocents dying.

Or are you against that too?

Creating artificial scarcity through excessive environmental regulations, low carbon fuels and carbon scams raises the cost of the 3 things which cause most wars and revolutions: water, food, and fuel for things like heating and cooking.

Or was that the plan all along?

A simple google of most save the earth type causes will invariably bring up the ugly undercurrent of most environmental organizations: population control…or what greenpeace’s calls the ‘population bomb’

Because it all comes back to control of 3 things: water, food, and fuel.

Look carefully back on the causes of any green org or NGO and regulators, and you will invariably find the goals and actions to limit these three abundant things….by hook or by crook.

Not very nice…is it?

8TM says:

Texla X the article doesn’t suggest the phenomena of these streams of moisture hitting California such as have been observed in the past is caused by global warming, merely that 6 out of 7 climate models suggest that warming would tend to enhance its probability. Whether you accept the evidence that our climate is warming or not (October was the 533rd month in a row of above average global temperature) the potential for rains of Biblical duration none-the-less exists.

Someone actually mapped out what that extent of flooding might look like.

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