It’s probably closer to adults getting anxious over ghosts. After talking about a big rain event in California, 45 years ago, causing her property line to virtually vanish, leaving a big drop down the mountain side for her home, we learn
That led to anxious nights with images in my mind of our house sliding down the slope while I slept. Although our house never went over the edge, those feelings of anxiety sometimes recur during big storms.
Well, yeah, weather can worry some people.
A little research reveals that the worst storm ever recorded in California struck on Christmas Eve of 1861. The rains continued almost nonstop until February 1862, soaking California with almost four times its normal rainfall, and creating enormous brown lakes on the normally dry plains of Southern California. In the Sierra Nevada, the deluges filled rivers, transforming them into raging torrents that swept away entire communities and gold mining settlements in the foothills.
Wait, I thought that never happened before CO2 hit 350ppm?
Then there’s drought, and I recall living through the severest drought on record for many Western states, which happened during the winter of 1976-1977. In California, this period is known as “the year with no rain.”
That would be during the time when everyone was worried about a coming ice age. Anyway, the writer wonders what the “normal climate” of California is (hint, there is no norm)
Today, I am one of a small cohort of earth scientists trying to answer that question, by searching for evidence of past droughts and floods, wildfires, periods of warmth and cold and so on, over the geologic past — the period before humans kept records in the West.
If we step back and view our climate history over a very long time period — say, hundreds to thousands of years — we begin to see the forest for the trees. We can pick out extreme events and how often they occur. This natural history is written not in paper and ink, but in the earth itself, in sediment, stone, trees, ice. Like investigators at a crime scene, we try to piece together seemingly random and unrelated clues about our past climate, and eventually, we begin to see patterns.
And this can make her and others “anxious”, especially when they find that the 1862 flood was not unusual, and happens every 100-200 years, and can be even bigger. That there were at least two prolonged droughts in the Southwest US lasting over a century each, around 650-1,100 years ago (that would be a time which would include both cool and warm periods). Decades long dry periods are normal. Seems like climate likes to do stuff, eh? Wait, here it comes
It’s unsettling to think about the implications of extreme climate events and the reality that global warming may make severe weather much more frequent and even more extreme.
These days, of course, my adult mind can provide diversions, and some people are getting quite skillful at outright denial. This might alleviate unease in the short run, but I know that the best long-term solution is for scientists to prepare everyone living in our Western states for a future of unpredictable and extreme climate change.
It could be that B. Lynn Ingram is refering to natural global warming and climate change, but I seriously doubt it. She has all the data that these things have happened before, but she seems to want to take the Warmist proposition that “climate change” will make things worse. Sigh.