Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gore's hysterics on drought.

As much as I admire Al Gore for his famed speech on the imperial presidency at Constitution Hall I find his global warming hysterics borderline psychotic. Gore becomes unglued emotionally and mentally when the topic of global warming comes up. Either the man is nuts or entirely dishonest, I will let his own fans decide which. On Larry King Live he went into how global warming will cause increases in sea levels from 3 feet to 20 feet.

His much praised International Panel on Climate Control has stated that a 1 foot increase is the most likely scenario. He also claimed that half (49% to be precise) of the US is currently “in conditions of drought or near drought.” But is this true? The National Climate Data Center actually keeps track of such things. And using their data here are a few charts.

First, I assume that drought is more of an issue during the warm summer months when it is hottest. So I graphed out the actual average precipitation in the US since 1895. The black line is the average precipitation since 1895. The green bars that go up show years with above average precipitation. The brownish lines going down are years with less than average precipitation. And that red line is the trend over the last century plus. The conclusion is unmistakable, the US is not suffering from less rain at all. Precipitation is up. (Remember if you want to see the charts enlarged just click on them.)

If we drop the summer weather and look at spring when crops are planted we find the same sort of upward trend in precipitation.

And if not then perhaps it is the fall season just as crops need to be harvested. Nope, the trend for more precipitation, not less, is even stronger.

And if we try for the entire year the trend is still for more rain not droughts.

Gore said: “We have a very serious threat of losing enough soil moisture in a hotter world that agriculture here in the United States would be greatly affected.” How are we losing soil moisture when precipitation is up, on average, across the United States?

Gore was claiming that this drought was ongoing right now and that half the country was involved. The National Drought Mitigation Center didn’t seem to get the message. Here is their map on “Reported Drought Impacts for Entire US” based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It shows only California having problems and those are relatively mild at this time. But then California is perpetually having problems.

There do appear to be some areas of the American Southeast which have below average rainfall for this time of year, mainly Georgia and the Carolinas. Interestingly this is one region of the US which has clearly cooled over recent decades. And none of this is nearly the half of the country that Gore claimed.
And from data I've looked at this area of the US received above average rain in January and normal or above average rain until the end of March and since then some areas have had moderate shortages of rain but even so most of the Carolinas remained near normal with nmost only Georgia being moderately affected. On the other hand states like Texas, New Mexico, Okalahoma, Nebraska and Iowa have been through a moist spell as has New England.

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