Link to Temperature Rise and Drought Progression Map

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Link to Temperature Rise and Drought Progression Map Empty Link to Temperature Rise and Drought Progression Map

Post by  on Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:58 pm

Planning your future - See this map first! You can set parameters to see the change by 2050 and 2080 as well as precip:

SETH BORENSTEIN,AP Science Writer - July 2012WASHINGTON (AP) — Is it just
freakish weather or something more? Climate scientists suggest that if
you want a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, take a look
at U.S. weather in recent weeks.

Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho").

These are the kinds of extremes experts have predicted will come with
climate change, although it's far too early to say that is the cause.
Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high
temperature records were set in the month of June.

Since at least 1988, climate scientists have warned that climate
change would bring, in general, increased heat waves, more droughts,
more sudden downpours, more widespread wildfires and worsening storms.
In the United States, those extremes are happening here and now.

So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in
wildfires, more than 113 million people in the U.S. were in areas under
extreme heat advisories last Friday, two-thirds of the country is
experiencing drought, and earlier in June, deluges flooded Minnesota and

"This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal
level," said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric
sciences at the University of Arizona. "The extra heat increases the
odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is
certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning

Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for
Atmospheric Research in fire-charred Colorado, said these are the very
record-breaking conditions he has said would happen, but many people
wouldn't listen. So it's I told-you-so time, he said.

As recently as March, a special report an extreme events and
disasters by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change warned of "unprecedented extreme weather and climate events." Its
lead author, Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution and Stanford
University, said Monday, "It's really dramatic how many of the patterns
that we've talked about as the expression of the extremes are hitting
the U.S. right now."

"What we're seeing really is a window into what global warming really
looks like," said Princeton University geosciences and international
affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer. "It looks like heat. It looks
like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters."

Oppenheimer said that on Thursday. That was before the East Coast was
hit with triple-digit temperatures and before a derecho — a large,
powerful and long-lasting straight-line wind storm — blew from Chicago
to Washington. The storm and its aftermath killed more than 20 people
and left millions without electricity. Experts say it had energy
readings five times that of normal thunderstorms.

Fueled by the record high heat, this was among the strongest of this
type of storm in the region in recent history, said research
meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storm Laboratory in
Norman, Okla. Scientists expect "non-tornadic wind events" like this one
and other thunderstorms to increase with climate change because of the
heat and instability, he said.

Such patterns haven't happened only in the past week or two. The
spring and winter in the U.S. were the warmest on record and among the
least snowy, setting the stage for the weather extremes to come,
scientists say.

Since Jan. 1, the United States has set more than 40,000 hot
temperature records, but fewer than 6,000 cold temperature records,
according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Through most of last century, the U.S. used to set cold and hot records
evenly, but in the first decade of this century America set two hot
records for every cold one, said Jerry Meehl, a climate extreme expert
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. This year the ratio is
about 7 hot to 1 cold. Some computer models say that ratio will hit
20-to-1 by midcentury, Meehl said.

"In the future you would expect larger, longer more intense heat
waves and we've seen that in the last few summers," NOAA Climate
Monitoring chief Derek Arndt said.

The 100-degree heat, drought, early snowpack melt and beetles waking
from hibernation early to strip trees all combined to set the stage for
the current unusual spread of wildfires in the West, said University of
Montana ecosystems professor Steven Running, an expert on wildfires.

But the vast majority of mainstream climate scientists, such as
Meehl, disagree: "This is what global warming is like, and we'll see
more of this as we go into the future."

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