By Doug Struck
Monday, August 20, 2007
via climate progress
“Global warming will intensify drought, and it will intensify floods,” explains Stephen Schneider, editor of the journal Climatic Change and a lead author for the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Why?
“As the air gets warmer, there will be more water in the atmosphere. That’s settled science…. You are going to intensify the hydrologic cycle. Where the atmosphere is configured to have high pressure and droughts, global warming will mean long, dry periods. Where the atmosphere is configured to be wet, you will get more rain, more gully washers.”
The droughts will be especially bad. How bad? Richard Seager, a senior researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, looked at 19 computer models of the future under current global warming trends. He found remarkable consistency:
Sometime before 2050, the models predicted, the Southwest will be gripped in a dry spell akin to the Great Dust Bowl drought that lasted through most of the 1930s.
Droughts and water shortages already been driving conflict around the globe, even the US this summer.