From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
By Paul Homewood
For the first time a new study has confirmed droughts across the world are developing more rapidly as a result of climate change.
The international study identifies flash droughts – which intensify in a matter of weeks – have become more frequent since the late 1950s over 74% of the world’s 33 global regions, especially those over North and East Asia, the Sahara and Europe.
The Met Office’s Dr Peili Wu is one of the paper’s authors. He said: “The transition to more flash droughts is being driven by a combination of rainfall deficit along with amplified rates of soil moisture loss.”
The paper highlights that the transition from slower-onset droughts to flash droughts is projected to expand to most land areas. This transition will become most pronounced with higher rates of global greenhouse emissions.
Obviously, a drought begins with a period with a relative absence of rain or snow. However, increased temperatures and sometimes stronger winds can rapidly amplify the loss of moisture in the soil, exacerbating the speed of the drought’s onset and impacts. This rapidity can lead to the creation of a flash drought. Droughts in their many forms can last for different time periods, from weeks to decades
This has all the trappings of a study written purposely to “prove” a preconceived agenda.
It is of course predicated on a half degree rise in temperatures, the sort of difference between temperatures in Sheffield and Birmingham. Does Birmingham have flash droughts and Sheffield none? Silly question really.
As Dr Wu admits, “flash droughts” do not actually exist, he himself had to invent the term a few years ago, no doubt to pin them on global warming.
The level of moisture in soils is governed by all sorts of factors, but particularly agricultural practices. To attempt to tease out a climate influence is to all intents and purposes impossible, as it would be undetectable.
But there are other serious issues about this study. The first is that global warming has made the world wetter on the whole.
The second is that extra CO2 in the atmosphere has helped to green the planet. In particular, higher concentrations of CO2 mean that plants lose less water to the air. In other words, transpiration is reduced.
Thirdly global cooling in the 1960s, 70s and 80s led directly to massively severe droughts across a wide swathe of the world, from the Sahel across to India and China. The cause was the expansion of the polar air mass which pushed the rainbelts towards the tropics.
Global warming does not lead to more severe droughts, whether flash or not – global cooling does.
Indeed, the world during the ice age was a very dry one, as cold air can hold less moisture. And it is dry air which sucks the moisture out of the ground like a sponge. That is why cold deserts like the Gobi are every bit as dry bas the Sahara.
There is very little global data with which to analyse droughts, but there is plenty in the US.
And NOAA’s data is quite explicit. Droughts are now much less severe than they were in the past.
I am quite sure that Dr Wu and his colleagues are perfectly aware of all of this. That is why they have invented flash droughts, which with some dodgy computer modelling has enabled them to claim something which does not exist.
via Watts Up With That?
April 17, 2023 at 09:09AM
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