Worse-Moon Rising

October 21, 2010

A new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) describes a gosh-awful state of affairs for the planet in just a few short years.
From ClimateProgress and the NCAR’s report author, Aiguo Dai:

“We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognized by both the public and the climate change research community,” Dai says.
“If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous.”

(Illustration found here).

I’ve been aware of the term, “desertification,” for a couple of years — the persistent degradation of dryland ecosystems by variations in climate and human activities — with some studies touching upon the encroaching desert of north Africa into the southern reaches of Europe, but this new report creates an even more drought-sand through the climate-change hour glass.
Again, from ClimateProgress:

A climate change expert not associated with the study, Richard Seager of Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, adds:
“As Dai emphasizes here, vast swaths of the subtropics and the midlatitude continents face a future with drier soils and less surface water as a result of reducing rainfall and increasing evaporation driven by a warming atmosphere.
The term ‘global warming’ does not do justice to the climatic changes the world will experience in coming decades.
Some of the worst disruptions we face will involve water, not just temperature.”

A lot of the interest points to similarities to the Dust Bowl found in the US during the 1930s, but apparently that was nothing compared to what’s coming, and that Great Depression sequence only lasted less than a decade — this time around it will last hundreds of years.
And what’s even worse than worser?
Climate prediction models, and a procedure called the “Palmer Drought Severity Index,” which classifies drought strength by tracking precipitation and evaporation over time and comparing them to the usual variability one would expect at a given location, appear to show uncertainties in drought patterns in the future.
It’s as if this future is beyond our grasp and in being so, don’t look good.

“The fact that the current drought index may not work for the 21st century climate is itself a troubling sign,” Dai says.

One item one must keep in mind with dates and how far along we are in this horror story is that most climate peoples indicate global warming is coming quicker than anticipated and beware of any good climate-change news — it’s bogus.
A visitor comment from the ClimateProgress post summed up the whole shit-eating mess:

There is not a safe place and only anarchy awaits in these scenarios we are about to enter.
The survival of the entire human species is at stake.
Those remaining face several other scenarios originating from the chaos unleashed.
You cannot plan for this, because of the extended time frame.

While the political climate football is kicked about this election cycle with almost no one shouting at the top of their collective lungs: If we don’t do something, and quick, we’re fucked!

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