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It might be a little premature to declare a primary tenet of global warming theory "invalidated" ...

Analysis of rainfall and surface moisture trends have led to a number of studies investigating whether the Earth has been undergoing drying, or whether drying is reversing.

Fellow DailyTech blogger Michael Asher recently reported on one study that analyzed historical rainfall data between 1900 to 2000, and using wavelet analysis concluded that droughts were decreasing, and that major drought events were decreasing as well.

Another study, released just days before by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), analyzed the data on rainfall and concluded that worldwide the Earth is undergoing significant drying effects.  In particular, much of the Mediterranean area, North Africa and the Middle East are rapidly becoming drier. 

The study goes on to use this data to predict current weather patterns.

This study continues a long chain of research which supports a unanimous conclusion that the Earth is experiencing significant drying.

In 2006, the British government funded a climate study carried out by the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. 

Its conclusion: global drought increased 25 percent in the 1990s.

It also modeled possible future weather scenarios and found that indicated that extreme drought could affect 30 percent of the world's land surface, up from the current span of 3 percent.  Severe drought (the next worse) would rise from 8% land area to 40%, and mild drought would rise from 25% to 50%.

In 2005, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a U.S. government funded research center, released a study that the percentage of Earth's land area stricken by serious drought more than doubled from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

It also found that drought had increased and surface moisture had decreased, on average, worldwide.

Along the lines of the study mentioned in the other Dailytech article, it found that water vapor in the air and global precipitation have increased over the past few decades--however, warming caused the moisture to evaporate at a faster rate, and land moisture levels have been dropping, leading to droughts.

To examine how soil moisture has evolved over the last few decades, the NCAR researchers produced a unique global-scale analysis using the Palmer index, which for decades has been the most widely used yardstick of U.S. drought. The Palmer index is a measure of near-surface moisture conditions and is correlated with soil moisture content.

Interestingly, the study indicated that the U.S. has become wetter over the past 50 years, while most of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere has dried.

While rainfall has increased worldwide, the study found that it has decreased in Africa's Sahel and East Asia, leading to further expansion of dry soils.

The conclusions of these studies: the U.S. may be getting wetter, and rainfall may not be decreasing, but land moisture is definitely decreasing, due to increasing temperatures.  Decreased land moisture will lead to more droughts, and more extreme droughts, as the soil experiences further decrease in moisture.

While this is only one element of global warming and climate change theory, it certainly seems premature to declare it "invalidated," as some critics are inclined to proclaim.

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Oh boy
By Master Kenobi on 9/12/2007 1:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think I will stick to my military and space tech rather than get involved in the global warming debate between you and masher. >.>

RE: Oh boy
By Master Kenobi on 9/12/2007 1:19:05 PM , Rating: 5
On a side note, perhaps you two should pick a topic and do a point and counter-point article going back and forth. Might be more practical.

RE: Oh boy
By jskirwin on 9/12/2007 1:32:50 PM , Rating: 3


RE: Oh boy
By novacthall on 9/12/2007 2:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see that very much. Both Mr. Asher and Mr. Mick are clearly intelligent fellows, and to bring the differing viewpoints together in one forum would be a treat, indeed.

RE: Oh boy
By 3kliksphilip on 9/12/2007 4:11:24 PM , Rating: 5
It's good to see somebody capable of taking the other viewpoint. I've grown weary of Masher's attacks on anybody that even SUGGESTS global warming. At least by having Jason Mick Daily Tech can at least claim to offer both viewpoints. I logged on today, saw this article and laughed. It's made my day.

RE: Oh boy
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 7:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the idea of what you say, but this article seems thrown together and doesn't really stand up to serious analysis of Jason's conclusions.

RE: Oh boy
By James Holden on 9/12/2007 1:36:22 PM , Rating: 1
The only problem I have is GISS are KNOWN crackpots. I of course respect anyone in the science community; people actually doing something other than armchair scientists like myself.

But interview after interview of GISS New York employees makes me cringe. Those are just not centered researchers, and almost all of their research is doom and gloom to get more funding.

Maybe doom and gloom is the only scenario for our future. But if I saw GISS do at least one opposing study for climate change that didn't include images of water 20 feet high on the old WTC in 2080 then I would be more likely to believe them.

RE: Oh boy
By Ringold on 9/12/2007 2:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
All I had to do to know that is look at their homepage. Alarmist article after alarmist article, many of which have seemingly little to do with what "GISS" supposedly means.

Anybody that extreme isn't credible, and that therefore reflects for me on the blog posts credibility. That'd be no different than qouting studies done by known communist front groups to support a supposedly balanced blog post supporting communisms performance.

RE: Oh boy
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 3:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, GISS is a very shameful part of the federal government - they should be de-funded immediately.

RE: Oh boy
By PitViper007 on 9/13/2007 8:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed... ;)

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