11 Aug 2008

Heavy Rains

The greatest danger from global warming is not higher temperatures but more extreme weather. The bad news is that reality has turned out to be harsher than models predicted, i.e.,
The satellite review of tropical rainstorms since the 1980s gave the first observational evidence to confirm computer models that predict more intense cloudbursts because of global warming stoked by human activities, they said.

Writing in the journal Science, they also said the trend to extreme soakings was stronger than predicted by computer models "implying that projections of future changes in rainfall extremes ... may be underestimated".

[snip]

The UN Climate Panel, drawing on the work of 2,500 scientists, said last year that rainfall was likely to get more intense in many tropical regions, raising risks of flash floods, erosion and mudslides.
Bottom Line: Start building your ark.

1 comment:

  1. The actual evidence here seems to provide a rather sketchy basis for building an ark. There's definitely not a consensus on how AGW affects weather extremes.

    See for example Roger Pielke Jr.'s nice summary of the US CCSP Climate Extreme's report. A sampling:

    - Nationwide there have been no long-term increases in drought.

    - There have been no observed changes in the occurrence of tornadoes or thunderstorms

    - There have been no long-term increases in strong East Coast winter storms (ECWS), called Nor’easters.

    This new study is interesting and trends can obviously shift. But I wouldn't order the wood for your ark yet. Better to wait until this study is confirmed over land rather than just water and tied to actual rain gauge or peak flow measurements.

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