Tom Friedman writes an editorial today in which he doesn’t come right out and blame global warming for the Southern California fires, but he sure does suggest it may be one of the reasons behind it:
One should never extrapolate about climate change from any single weather event or season, but it does seem that we keep having more and more weather events and seasons that are modified with the words “since records have been kept” — as in the Los Angeles Times fire report on Monday, which noted that forecasters from the National Weather Service “couldn’t recall such intense winds in Southern California,” a region that meteorologists said was “already dealing with the driest year on record.”
So a question has started gnawing at us as we observe events like Katrina and the California wildfires. I asked my friend Nate Lewis, an energy chemist at the California Institute of Technology, what is that question? He thought for a moment and answered: “Did we do that?”
Is man’s cumulative impact on the climate now as responsible for the weather as Mother Nature herself? “That is the question Katrina really introduced for the first time — the sense that soon, if not already, what we used to call acts of God are really acts of man,” Professor Lewis said.
We may have introduced enough of man’s economic activities — enough CO2 emissions — into Mother Nature’s operating system that we cannot determine anymore where she stopped and we started. As Professor Lewis would say: Did we make it hot or did she make it hot? Did we make that drought or did she make that drought? We don’t know anymore.
He goes on to interview one of those good Doctors who believe fervently in man-made global warming from The Weather Channel, Dr. Heidi Cullen. She has daily segments on the channel warning about global warming if your interested, never allowing any information out that may dispute man-made global warming. But what do you expect, it pays her bills.
In the editorial she says:
“One thing people always loved about the Weather Channel was that it was nobody’s fault,” Ms. Cullen explained. “We didn’t point fingers. Our news was not political. And then Katrina came along, and suddenly the weather wasn’t the weather anymore. It was something else. Suddenly the weather was potentially our fault.”
Nevermind the fact that hurricanes occurs in cycles of 20 to 45 years. The 2004-2005 hurricane season was quite full but was no worse then the 1900-1905 season, and the 1926-1935 season was actually worse. The 2006 season was predicted to have 9 hurricanes, it only had five and none hit our shores.
But I will agree the good Doctor a bit on the fires. It was our fault. Our meaning the human race, seeing as how many of the fires were actually set by human beings, on purpose. Houses being built by human beings in areas that have not been cleared of fire dangers (thanks environazi’s) is one more reason I suspect.
But to blame a drought on global warming, which is today’s meme, seems a bit silly. Global warming would actually increase the amount of water going into the sky as the temperatures in the air and in our oceans rise…causing more rain. Not less.
Steven Malloy on the drought conditions:
During the period 1900-2005, precipitation seems to have
actually increased in areas above 30 degrees north latitude — including
California and the rest of the U.S. — according to the most recent assessment
from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
does not mean, of course, that droughts haven’t occurred in North America over
the last 100 years, but it doesn’t support a link between rising global
temperature and increased drought.
Examining the occurrence of drought in
southern California since 1900 is also illuminating.
According to data
maintained by the federal National Climatic Data Center, drought conditions are
no stranger to southern California.
During the period 1900 to 2005,
moderate-to-severe drought conditions occurred in Southern California during 34
of those 106 years — that is, about one-third of the time.
southern California drought record against the global temperature record reveals
— During the period 1900-1940, when most of the 20th
century’s one-degree Fahrenheit temperature increase occurred, there were 7
years of moderate-to-severe drought.
— During the period 1941-1975, when
global temperatures cooled, giving rise to concerns of a looming ice age, there
were 11 years of moderate-to-severe drought.
— During the period 1976 to
1990, when global temperatures rose back to the 1940 level, there were 8 years
of moderate-to-severe drought.
— Since 1991, when global temperatures
rose slightly past the 1940 levels, there have been 7 years of
Warren Meyer put together a few graphs that reveal how silly the man-made global warming caused the drought conditions argument is. He also put together this 50+ minutes film that is a must see:
But rest assured, when the next big weather incident hits, it too will be blamed on global warming. As I said, there are bills to pay and man-made global warming “experts” won’t get paid unless they scare the wallet from our of your back pocket.