Cruces Atmospheric Sciences Forum – In science, the debate is never over!
Author: Robert Endlich
Robert W. Endlich served as Weather Officer in the USAF for 21 Years. From 1984-1993, he provided toxic corridor and laser propagation support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range. He has published in the technical literature and worked as software test engineer. He was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while a Basic Meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has a BA degree in Geology from Rutgers University and an MS in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.
and the future of water storage for the lower Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico.
By Robert W. Endlich
Laura Paskus’ 3-part series on the current drought, its effects on farmers and residents, and the coming US Supreme Court decision, starts with a question, ”Elephant Butte is at 3 percent capacity; what happens next?” Let me introduce measurements, missing from Paskus’ series: Elephant Butte Lake levels, temperature, rainfall, and climate patterns. My analysis: nothing in the current meteorological/climatological situation is worse than the past century. History and study show that either water availability must increase, or water costs will increase.
On 25 April 2015, I attended a Climate Change Lecture at New Mexico State University presented by Dr Gregg Garfin of the University of Arizona, who is Co-Convening Lead Author of the Southwest States Chapter of the National Climate Assessment. The lecture and the graphics for Dr. Garfin’s presentation are available on line.
[Meeting the Convening Lead Author, Southwestern States Chapter, National Climate Assessment at NMSU’s Climate Change lecture.]
This post is in four sections: before Convening Lead Author Dr Gregg Garfin arrived at NMSU, the lecture itself, the question I asked during the “Q and A” session and concluding thoughts. There is also an addendum.
[Dr Gutzler conducted the 1 March 2018 “Lush and Lean” water conservation workshop in Las Cruces in the Roadrunner Room of the Branigan Library from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM: About an hour-long lecture of 21 Slides, followed by questions and answers. The nominal topic was, “Learn about projecting future water supplies in a rapidly changing climate.” I prepared this memo the next day, 2 March 2018 and have edited it a bit in the time since. I provide it in this post as a small part of the overall climate debate.]
Overall Gutzler did only a fair job explaining the development of the present La Nina and the present and impending drought conditions; I rate it as ‘only fair’ because he did not mention either the 2016 El Nino or features of El Nino-Southern Oscillation, he mentioned the Pacific Decadal Oscillation but did not explain it, or it’s 60-year periodicity.
Dr. Gutzler devoted perhaps only 5 minutes to the “increasing greenhouse gasses are causing anthropogenic climate change,” but this point was the last one in the three points he emphasized in his concluding slide.
A significant weather system which affects the globe was not even discovered until the 1970s, perhaps because it is stronger in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern. This system, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, is an area of enhanced rainfall with these characteristics:
The enhanced precipitation anomaly starts in the Indian Ocean; it always moves eastward, and usually moves from Indian Ocean into mid-Pacific at speeds of 9-19 Miles/Hour. In addition to the enhanced precipitation area itself, there is an associated area of suppressed precipitation, an out-of-phase area ahead of it, usually way out ahead of it. The disturbed weather areas usually last 30 to sometimes 90 days.