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Discussion > Sao Paulo drought. Climate change?

On Oct 27, 2014 at 12:19 AM I wrote of Sao Paulo

The lack of water infrastructure in the city has been well known for many years. This includes frequent flooding when there is heavy rainfall due to an excess of concrete and inadequate drainage systems.

On Nov 29, 2014 at 7:23 PM Entropic Man wrote

Floods on Wednesday in Sao Paulo . The weather gods have a keen sense of irony.
It has not done much to help the drought.

EM – The flooding is due to poor infrastructure, as is the critically low level of the reservoirs. Failure to allow for these factors gives an exaggerated impression of the natural severity of the drought.
I also remember when the droughts in England broke in both 2012 and 2006. There were doomsayers who said that the water tables could take years to recover, it at all. It was a similar case with the great Australian drought. They were wrong.

Nov 30, 2014 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

At current rainfall and consumption rates Cantareira will empty during the 1st week in March.

Nov 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Cantareira now at 8.0%

Dec 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I don't remember Anthony Watts expressing his view that tree rings weren't a good proxy for temperature. I believe that everyone and his dog believes that bristlecone pines, the foundation of the hockeystick graph, are a useless proxy for temperature, even the National Academy of Sciences in the US recommended they shouldn't be used.

Dec 8, 2014 at 6:42 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Paul Homewood does a piece on the BBC reporting on the Sao Paulo drought. Covers a lot of what has been discussed here.

Dec 13, 2014 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Paul Homewood has also tracked back some previous droughts that confirm my observation of two months ago. The cause of the drought appears to be that the prevailing easterly winds from the Atlantic have been making landfall in the dry state of Bahia instead of in the Amazon. Look at the graph for 2014-07-23 at
The severe water shortage is due to what locals have known for years - a lack of investment in infrastructure.

Dec 15, 2014 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

I didn't realise it had been this long since we discussed this topic. Almost a year, seems like only yesterday,

I was reminded of it by this posted by the Bishop earlier, but have only just got round to doing a little research.

And next door to this graph was the one that explains this dramatic transformation in the energy landscape in Uruguay. Yes folks, it had rained a lot, so they were able to replace thermal generation with extra hydro.

There appear to have been floods in Sao Paulo in February/March 2015 (Al Jazeera) and a Google search fails to reveal much information after that, which to me indicates a return more usual weather.

As a result can we say that the rain fell further south in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay? Possibly from the Bishop's analysis of Uruguay's power generation and reports like this.

Next year's energy report fro Uruguay might provide interesting reading.

Dec 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Sandy S

It doesn't seem to have helped Cantareira, still 7% below the old empty mark.

Conditions in the city do not seem to have improved either

Dec 8, 2015 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Could just be a feature of the current El Nino phase of ENSO.

Anomalously wet conditions prevailed in southeastern South America (SESA: southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and northeastern Argentina) during the 1877–1878 El Niño. The wet conditions and floods in this region during El Niño years were initially documented during the 1980s. Kousky et al. (1984) noted the above average discharge of the Paraná River during El Niño episodes, based on gauge measurements (1884–1916) reported in Mossman (1923). Furthermore, relatively wet conditions in the region have been associated with the negative phase of the Southern Oscillation (Ropelewski and Halpert 1987; Aceituno 1988).

Dec 8, 2015 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Sandy S

Did you notice this in the February flood report?

"Unfortunately, the main reservoir is located 60km to the north and did not see anywhere near enough useful rainfall during the storm."

The microclimate around the city seems to be wetter than around the reservoirs.

The normal flow bringing rain to southern Brazil comes in the from the northeast over Guatemala and Honduras this into the Amazon basin and then westwards towards the Brazilian coastal cities.

Do you have enough information to tell whether this flow has diverted further south, or that the extra rain coming into Uraguary is coming off the Atlantic?

Dec 8, 2015 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

it might just be natural variation or you could be an entropic twat in thrall to the groupthink of third-rate scientivists. Make your guess...Take Your Pick! If you cannot charaterise the variation then you know nothing meaningful. I propose that as an essay title to EM...

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

EM is an interesting case in self-deceit seeking company.
A drought in the region of the largest city in the world and there is a water shortage.
So the cliamte obsessed cripple minded true believer confuses a drought with "climate".
And seeks to slip that one by.
Is he a fool or a tool?
I think both.

Dec 9, 2015 at 3:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Entropic man
Did you look at the link to the forecast link I posted?

Frequent frontal boundaries along with ample moisture from the Atlantic Ocean will lead to an unsettled winter across northern Uruguay, northeast Argentina, Paraguay and southeast Brazil.

Dec 9, 2015 at 7:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

We are continually being told that "climate" is not "weather" by the same people who say that this or that "weather" event is a sign of "climate" change. Would anyone like to explain this?

Or should the phrase be "Climate is not weather but weather is climate"?

To test climate change is happening now theory, why don't we use the WMO categorisation of climate types, equatorial, mediterranean, snow, polar, arid and temperate and perhaps the scientists could tell us which of these defined regions of climate type has changed is definition and what it has changed from and to?

Dec 9, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

And that is why it is more commonly referred to as climate change – it is such a vague concept that anything, but anything, can happen and have climate change blamed for it occurrence: flood/drought; heatwave/cold snap; ice/no ice; strong winds/calm; storms (oddly, “no storms” does not enter this argument; not scary enough, I suppose).

Dec 9, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR, I still recall reading, back in the 1990's, that the scientific climascenti said the rate of change was the important thing.[*] It wasn't said that the final temperature as an endpoint would be a problem, but that the rate of change would not allow the biological world to adapt quickly enough.

How quickly that was dropped when the rate of warming slowed to crawl, or even turned negative.

[*] It's amazing, now, to look back on those days when I thought they were merely being selective or duplicitous, whilst allowing the MSM a free ride to write whatever they wanted without criticism. It shows how low they have sunk that I now consider it a time of, almost, honorable scientific behavior.

Dec 9, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

@Geronimo All ail, to Gore, it seems we have some mortals questioning the ways of the climate priests, I see seditious words from Cinwwics.

C limate
I s
N ot
W eather
W eather
I s
C limate

Dec 14, 2015 at 9:18 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Botton line it rained 18% above avergare for last 5 months, but the managers were so bad it the past that the water reserve is still only back up to 15% Chicago Tribune interviews the water chief

As 2015 draws to a close, reservoirs are filling up again and Sabesp has finished a series of quick-fix infrastructure projects that should help it weather prolonged droughts going forward.
Water execs being arrested for corruption in water projects
The person said Elmar Varjão, OAS president, and the other people arrested Friday are alleged to have overcharged the government on contracts for a project to divert water from a Brazilian river to a dry region of the country

..(The previous boss had been arrested for corruption as well)

OK , As well as overpopulation, corruption, bad planning, high's partially cos the idiots have cut down so many trees near rivers say Christian Science Monitor

Dec 14, 2015 at 9:42 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I see in the news there have been 3 recent flooding events reported in Sao Paulo
2 March, 2016
15 February 2016
20 December 2015

Without doubt caused by human activities.

Can't find any recent reports on reservoir levels though.

Mar 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, any reports that this flooding is due to climate change?

When this thread was started, Entropic Man made reference to articles blaming the drought on climate change.

It is almost as though the climate just changes of its own accord, without seeking consent from climate scientists. The climate is very naughty for not reading the IPCC's extensive reports, prepared by the planet's top experts.

Mar 12, 2016 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Stewgreen's comment of Dec 14, 2015 at 9:42 AM confirms points I made in the midst of the drought in Oct 2014. Much of the extreme effects of the drought are due to poor resource management. The main reservoirs were first constructed before WW2, when the conurbation has less than a tenth of the current population. Rather than accepting this failure to manage natural climatic variations, people instead promote a crackpot theory of how humans are changing the climate. Only in the case of São Paulo rather than GHG emissions it is the alleged impact of chopping down the Amazon rain forest. The actual cause appears to have been a shift in prevailing winds that end up over São Paulo. Rather than going over the Amazon they shifted South over a much drier area of Brazil. There was no thus no moisture to dump on the city. This confirms Golf Charlie's comment of yesterday.

Mar 13, 2016 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Kevin Marshall /Golf Charlie
Yes the water went further south, natural variation as I said in three pages of discussion with EM.

The problem is that if no-one pointed out to EM that perhaps the region was returning to more usual weather patterns he might go on thinking he was right, he probably will anyway.

Mar 13, 2016 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Dunno - End of this page seems to show most systems are close to full or over with 2 systems being lowish, but far higher that than the 8% talked about.

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:10 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


You may well be right The Otto paper in BAMS last year puts the drought down to a combination of natural variation, deforestation and population growth outgrowing their water supply infrastructure.

Looks like the Brazilians did it to themselves.

Mar 14, 2016 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man