California Drought Report #85: Centennial Reservoir Project EIS

I sent to the following to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in response to their request for comments on the Proposed Centennial Reservoir Project EIS, SPK–2016–00030

I was born in Nevada County in 1938, and a have lived there most recently from 1980 to 2015. I am a retired Air Force Officer Lt/Col, returning to Nevada County in 1980. I wanted my wife and four daughters to know the joy of living in the tall trees, swimming in the rushing rivers and ski the snow-covered mountains. Over time I became very interested in the climate, the impacts of climate change on the County, the State and eventually the Region.

Climate Change

As your engineering teams evaluate climate change issues, it is important they consider the long-term historical droughts in the region. Please see the attached graphic. There have been clusters of drought periods, interspersed with wet years. We can expect to experience similar droughts in the future. Our most recent five-year drought was broken by a very wet year, an almost cataclysmic flood year. If history is our guide, we will experience some additional drought years following this wet spell, which could last multiple years, as the El Niño weather pattern returns to the Pacific.

My point. We need to have additional water storage to capture the water generated during the wet years to carry us through the coming dry years.

One more comment. Climate history has proven that climate models have limited skill to forecast future temperatures and should not be relied on during your analysis of the future impact on the Bear River Watershed. History is a better indicator as it is driven by solar cycles and Central Pacific water temperatures, the La Niña and El Niño climate cycles.

The biggest impact of increased CO2 has been the greening of the Sierra, with little effect on temperatures, when measured by satellites. Land based temperatures have been compromised by urban expansion surrounding weather measuring stations and questionable adjustments to historical databases to put a chill on past readings, creating the image of rising temperatures, when temperature increases over the last 18 year have been flat.

My point. Claims of anthropogenic climate impacts on the Bear River Watershed should be considered with some scientific skepticism, and only accepted when claims are supported by extraordinary evidence. Climate models are not evidence; they are the product of the designer and computer programmer, nothing more! See Attached graphic.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my point of view. We need more water storage to survive the coming drought years.

Russell Steele

Attached Graphicssac_river_900_2100



About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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