Print 55 comment(s) - last by Polynikes.. on Sep 15 at 3:09 PM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Related to Global Warming? Or other factors?
By TomZ on 9/13/2007 9:40:00 AM , Rating: 2
The difference between a world that warms 2 degrees and a world that warms 2.07 degrees is too small to measure. Far better to spend that trillion dollars actually helping people.

And that's really the point of AGW skeptics - we should be devoting our attention, time, and money to something that is worthwhile instead. A lot of people in the world are suffering due to poverty, malnutrition, disease, etc - TODAY AS IN RIGHT NOW - and so I think it is pretty irresponsible that people accept this as the status quo and instead focus money on some possible future hypothetical problem. Imagine what kind of impact the "Kyoto trillion" could have in helping people in need in Africa for example.

RE: Related to Global Warming? Or other factors?
By sxr7171 on 9/13/2007 12:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's because we in the west have it too good. We sit here in our big-ass SUVs driving alone to the mall and worry about "Global Warming." We have too much free time on our hands and we'd rather spend billions of dollars on curbing some stupid crisis we imagined because we have nothing better to do than imagine up all sorts of disaster scenarios. How about spending that money on poverty right here in the US? How about that for a fucking "cause." We are so pompous as to think that what we can cause any more than a tiny dent in something so vast and dwarfing as GLOBAL climate patterns. How about spending money on something we actually have half a chance at actually affecting? The worst part of this is that we sit in our SUVs and expect developing nations to impede their progress so that we can feel better about doing "something" for the environment. This is all feel good bullshit by hypocrites.

By TomZ on 9/13/2007 12:25:28 PM , Rating: 2

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
Related Articles
Researchers: Droughts Becoming Less Common
September 12, 2007, 9:13 AM

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki