Is the California Drought Caused by Global Warming?

Yesterday, in Fresno, President Obama was quoted as saying,

Obama tied the drought directly to global warming: "Unless and until we do more to combat carbon pollution that causes climate change, this trend is going to get a lot worse."

There is just one problem: It isn't true.

Here is the Palmer Drought Index for last month (note, the drought has gotten incrementally worse since then). Red and dark magenta are the the colors corresponding to the worse drought conditions.
Here is the Palmer Drought Index for April, 1977:

Which would you judge to be the worse drought?

Now, let's look at world temperatures:
At left is temperatures during the California drought of the '70's and the right arrow indicates temperatures last month corresponding to the top map. If you can get an equal or worse drought with lower world temperatures then global warming is not "causing" the current California drought. Period.


  1. I am a bit confused by the maps. I usually look at the "U.S. Dought Monitor" :

    The current map dated Feb. 11 is substantially different than the first one above in your post, with substantially less magenta, suggesting the benefit of recent torrential rains in central and northern California.

    Perhaps you use a different resource?

  2. The may have been some slight improvement with the recent rains. However, the drought in California -- over all -- has grown worse since the January map was created.


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