Breaking Bad In Climate Science

The American Meteorological Society has taken climate superstition to a new level. Far too much junk science to cover in just one blog post.  This post covers their first claim, that “climate change” caused the 2018 Four Corners drought.

New Research Examines Climate Change’s Role in 2018 Extreme Weather Events | YubaNet

I grew up in the Four Corners area, on the edge of the Jemez Mountains. Proxy studies done there show a long history of droughts and wet periods, going back 1,200 years. The AMS has determined however that the most recent drought was due to “climate change.”

Millennial precipitation reconstruction for the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

I have been fighting this superstition for a decade.  Many of the current residents of New Mexico moved there during the 1980s and 1990s, which were some of the wettest decades on record – so they assumed that was the normal climate.

I wrote an editorial in the Santa Fe Newspaper in 2012 discussing this misconception.

Reader View: Drought is normal for New Mexico – The Santa Fe New Mexican

Some of the most popular tourist attractions around Santa Fe are the giant Aspen groves, which are the result of massive forest fires during the droughts of the 1890s.

Spokane Falls Daily Chronicle – Google News Archive Search

Minnesota also had some of their worst fires that decade.

08 May 1890, 6 – Minneapolis Messenger at

This is what the burn area looks like now.

The September, 1925 issue of National Geographic had an article discussing Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, which was abandoned by the Anasazi after decades of drought in the 13th century.


The National Geographic Archive | September 1925 | page 1

Drought is the normal climate for the west.

Graphic: California’s droughts in the past 1,200 years – The Mercury News

The New York Times used to know this.

History Of Ancient Fires

Studying fire marks in giant sequoias, Thomas W. Swetnam and co-workers have discovered that major conflagrations sweeping across many mountain ranges in California and the Southwest were a long a common feature, occurring at least twice a decade and apparently linked to oceanic currents much farther south

In Unexpected Places, Clues to Ancient and Future Climate; Warming? Tree Rings Say Not Yet – The New York Times

Severe Ancient Droughts: A Warning to California – The New York Times

They also used to know about the Medieval Warm period and Little Ice Age.

In Unexpected Places, Clues to Ancient and Future Climate – Warming? Tree Rings Say Not Yet –

One hundred fifty-five years ago, California had a massive flood after two decades of drought. 

California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe – Scientific American

In 2016, Wired announced the California permanent drought.

Thanks El Niño, But California’s Drought Is Probably Forever | WIRED

A few months later California had their wettest winter on record.

NWS: Northern California now on pace for ‘wettest water year on record’ – SFGate

I was in Los Alamos, New Mexico during May, 2018 – when the drought ended.

Everything was very dry, but during my three days there there was heavy rain and the fairways got so soft that my ball almost sank completely below ground on my drive on the 18th hole.

I took these pictures later that summer in Colorado and New Mexico.

Phoenix had their wettest October on record.

By Christmas, Los Alamos was buried under record snow.

And by New Years, the snow covered the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

In February, Arizona had their snowiest day on record.

State of Emergency in Flagstaff after snowiest day on record |

And the ski area at Flagstaff had their longest ski season on record.

It’s gonna be May. – Arizona Snowbowl

My global warming superstition peaked in June 1994. I was living in Albuquerque when four days of record heat in the Southwest convinced me that we had ruined the climate. A year later I was living in Boulder during the coldest and snowiest spring on record, matched only by Spring 2019.

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9 Responses to Breaking Bad In Climate Science

  1. G W Smith says:

    Thanks Tony! Looking back at the historical record is like standing on a mountain top and understanding where you really are. We need more of it.

  2. John S says:

    So the ‘desert southwest’ is dry sometimes. time to panic.

  3. arn says:

    Climate “experts” always try to create the impressio.n
    that the pre-man made-co2 climate was perfectly balanced
    while in fact all the “extremes” we can observe nowadays
    had been the most normal things in many regions and had far more
    “extreme” and lasted much longer.

    Sadly they have 3 huge advantages they are missusing for their purpose.
    They have hundreds of different regions they can chose from-
    and therefore they will always find some places that have to suffer from some kind of climate extremes as it has always been since climate exists.

    Most people have no information about climate history ,therefore it is even possible to sell those people in dry regions even a year that is wetter than the average as a drought.

    The 90% rule.
    No matter what is said by experts/politicians/celebrities on TV.
    90% will instantly believe it.
    And then it is up to the remaining 10%(9% undecided,1% “deniers)
    to fight against the new “truth” and

  4. John F. Hultquist says:

    I think there is a tendency for folks to “live in the moment”, or some such descriptor. History classes seem to be a lot of names-&-dates, and not a lot of substance.
    An example:
    December 16,1944 (75 years ago Monday) was the day the Battle of the Bulge” began. This and other facts are well known.
    What isn’t much discussed is the weather that kept Allied planes from flying as the German troupes advanced and surrounded Bastogne.
    Patton’s forces found moving difficult. Gen. Patton went to church and complained to God about the weather. He asked for 4 nice sunny days, and returned to church later to thank God for the change from a stalled Low to a nice High.

    Thanks Tony for a great compliation.

    Next Monday – remember, it’s weather.

  5. Norilsk says:

    Check out this report on Environment Canada’s 2001 climate predictions. They’re 0/6. Just like Tony finds everywhere he goes. It’s time to fire the Canadian coach. You will enjoy this.

    Canada’s 2001 climate predictions. How did they do?

  6. -B- says:

    For thousands of years weather, climate, and astronomy cons are about knowing what is perfectly normal and portraying it as dire. This is how intellectuals become useful to the rulers. They carve out a nice position for themselves.

    There was a brief period of time where this human norm fell away in some places in the west, at least in part. This advanced human civilization. However things are now reverting back to the mean.

  7. Peter Carroll says:

    I have two questions for our climate change tragics, who constantly tell us, “climate change is real” and “climate change is happening”. They can’t answer either.
    Firstly. WHERE? Where on this planet is there recorded evidence that the climate IS changing? Alternatively, where has there been a recorded change of climate since 1950, or even 1850?
    Second. How much of the 130ppm increase in CO2 since the 1850’s, is natural and how much is from burning fossil fuels?
    I have seen figures for burning fossil fuel, ranging from 3% to 7%, the rest being from natural sources.

  8. just a thought says:

    woo hoo!

    Thanks, Tony. I’ve been looking for my bookmarked CA drought info., but now I don’t have to. Looks like lots of bonus material, as well. Much appreciated.

    ALSO… Nice Rattler. Just making sure you are aware that a 6 ft rattler has about a 3 ft strike range. Some say that they give them an even wider berth.

    As someone who treks out there all the time, you must certainly know more than I about the dangers involved, so I apologize in advance for telling you what you already know, …unless you don’t know this particular bit, in which case I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. Oh, and they don’t always warn you by rattling their tail as a warning, either.

  9. dp says:

    Climate describes common obsesrved weather events and trends or lack of them. Weather variability describes uncommon weather. Climate derives from weather observations over time, not the other way around. If what you see is uncommon it isn’t climate.

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