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Joe Romm’s Permanent Drought

October 7, 2018

By Paul Homewood


 Seven years ago Joe Romm announced the start of the Southwest’s “Permanent Drought”:



A massive dust storm has swept into the Phoenix area and drastically reduced visibility across the valley.

The wall of dust moved across the desert from the south on Tuesday and descended on the valley by nightfall. KSAZ-TV reported the storm appeared to be roughly 50 miles wide.

A 2-mile high, 50-mile wide Dust Storm enveloped Phoenix yesterday.  Tonight, on NBC (video here), Brian Williams called it “The Dust Storm that Swallowed Up an American City.”

Back in April, the USGS released a report on Dust-Bowlification that concluded drier conditions were projected to accelerate dust storms in the U.S. Southwest.  In large parts of Texas and Oklahoma now,  the drought is more intense than it was during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

In 2007, Science (subs. req’d) published research that “predicted a permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest” — levels of aridity comparable to the 1930s Dust Bowl would stretch from Kansas to California.  Last year, a comprehensive literature review, “Drought under global warming: a review,” by NCAR found that we risk multiple, devastating global droughts worse than the Dust Bowl even on moderate emissions path.  Another study found the U.S. southwest could see a 60-year drought this century.

So the monster dust storm — a haboob — that hit Phoenix is just the shape of things to come for the entire Southwest. Something future generations can thank us for again and again for a long, long, long time:  NOAA: Climate change “largely irreversible for 1000 years,” with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe.


Meanwhile, back in the real world:





Settled science!!

  1. October 7, 2018 11:37 am

    People like Romm have no integrity, otherwise they would apologise for getting it wrong.

  2. Athelstan permalink
    October 7, 2018 12:08 pm

    When did Romm deign to become a lowly weather prognosticator, living in his ivory towers, surely for one such self anointed, self proclaimed mover and shaker as he, this sort of speculative, thoughtless trash should be beneath him?

    and then again, maybe not and where’s his big mate these days – Gavin?

    Happy Trump day, lads, the easy days of doom saying climate advocacy politicized BS parties are at long last: coming to an end.

  3. October 7, 2018 1:20 pm

    “the monster dust storm that hit Phoenix is just the shape of things to come for the entire Southwest. Something future generations can thank us for again and again for a long, long, long time”

    The superstition + confirmation bias pattern is plain to see here and surprising to find it in individuals who pride themselves in being scientists. Science had hit a high with Einstein and the nuclear bomb and nuclear power and space travel but it has sunk back down to the level of witch hunts.

    • dave permalink
      October 7, 2018 1:54 pm

      “…confirmation bias…”

      “But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast
      to some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last.”

      The Irish poet, Thomas More, 1817.

      • October 7, 2018 3:03 pm

        One poet finds and strikes nail perfectly

  4. Ian permalink
    October 7, 2018 1:52 pm

    OT – message for Paul – if I open your email updates on my phone I can read them OK , but if I hit the “See comments” or “Make a Comment” buttons I get spam message I can’t get rid of. This doesn’t happen on my PC.

    • Ian permalink
      October 7, 2018 2:00 pm

      Or on any other website, I should have added. Same message every time. I can send screen caps if necessary.

  5. October 7, 2018 1:53 pm

    permanent drought

    Romm forgot the ‘change’ in climate change.

    • October 7, 2018 6:29 pm

      Surprised they haven’t rebadged it as climate deterioration yet…

  6. October 7, 2018 3:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  7. tom0mason permalink
    October 7, 2018 6:39 pm

    Off-Topic but…
    I note that Joanne Nova site is reporting about the inaccuracy of the HADCUT temperature record.

    All this after a Dr John McLean audited the record to find glaring holes, obvious inconsistencies, and fundamental error in the temperature compilation record.

    • tom0mason permalink
      October 7, 2018 6:47 pm

      Oops a bit late here, you’ve already got it up.

  8. October 7, 2018 7:57 pm

    Reporting in from Phoenix, Arizona – It rained cats and dogs last night! Thunder scared my dogs half to death – two of them jumped in bed and one got completely under the covers.

    • Athelstan permalink
      October 8, 2018 9:40 am

      yep, someone needs to tell romm that, even in the ‘desert’ – the rains cometh.

    • October 8, 2018 2:18 pm

      You mean that one Arizona dust storm does not a millennium drought make?

  9. dennisambler permalink
    October 8, 2018 10:21 am

    Joe Romm’s Climate Progress and Think Progress are part of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, part funded by George Soros when set up a few years ago. Romm is a “Senior Fellow” at CAP:

    Podesta is recently famous for asking a staffer in an e-mail, for his DNC access password, leading to the “Russian hacking” of the DNC.

    He was White House Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from October 20, 1998 until January 20, 2001 and as Counselor to President Barack Obama from January 1, 2014 until February 13, 2015 and a co-chairman of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.

    His biggest success was as chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, which led to the Trump victory.

  10. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 8, 2018 10:30 am

    What’s interesting about that chart is that there’s not much variability over time – the graph has a very small scale and almost every point is in range of 12-18 inches. Compared to say the UK, that’s no variability at all.

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