Mediterranean droughts man made or not?

NOAA study: Human-caused climate change a major factor in more frequent Mediterranean droughts

Winter precipitation trends.

Winter precipitation trends in the Mediterranean region for the period 1902 – 2010.

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Wintertime droughts are increasingly common in the Mediterranean region, and human-caused climate change is partly responsible, according to a new analysis by NOAA scientists and colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). In the last 20 years, 10 of the driest 12 winters have taken place in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

“The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone,” said Martin Hoerling, Ph.D. of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., lead author of a paper published online in the Journal of Climate this month. “This is not encouraging news for a region that already experiences water stress, because it implies natural variability alone is unlikely to return the region’s climate to normal.”

The Mediterranean region accumulates most of its precipitation during the winter, and Hoerling’s team uncovered a pattern of increasing wintertime dryness that stretched from Gibraltar to the Middle East. Scientists used observations and climate models to investigate several possible culprits, including natural variability, a cyclical climate pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and climate change caused by greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere during fossil fuel use and other human activities.

Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found. This means that other processes, none specifically identified in the new investigation, also have contributed to increasing drought frequency in the region.

The team also found agreement between the observed increase in winter droughts and in the projections of climate models that include known increases in greenhouse gases. Both observations and model simulations show a sudden shift to drier conditions in the Mediterranean beginning in the 1970s. The analysis began with the year 1902, the first year of a recorded rainfall dataset.

Reds and oranges highlight lands around the Mediterranean that experienced significantly drier winters during 1971-2010 than the comparison period of 1902-2010.

Reds and oranges highlight lands around the Mediterranean that experienced significantly drier winters during 1971-2010 than the comparison period of 1902-2010.

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

In this analysis, sea surface temperature patterns emerged as the primary reason for the relationship between climate change and Mediterranean drought. In recent decades, greenhouse-induced climate change has caused somewhat greater warming of the tropical oceans compared to other ocean regions. That pattern acts to drive drought-conducive weather patterns around the Mediterranean. The timing of ocean temperature changes coincides closely with the timing of increased droughts, the scientists found.

The Mediterranean has long been identified as a “hot spot” for substantial impact from climate change in the latter decades of this century because of water scarcity in the region, a rapidly increasing population, and climate modeling that projects increased risk of drought.

“The question has been whether this projected drying has already begun to occur in winter, the most important season for water resources,” Hoerling said. “The answer is yes.”

Climate is a global phenomenon with global impacts on food prices and water security, and NOAA researchers are engaged in understanding changes in climate across many regions of the world. In the Mediterranean, winter drought has emerged as a new normal that could threaten food security. Lessons learned from studying climate in that region may also be relevant for the U.S. West Coast, which has a similar climate to the Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

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50 thoughts on “Mediterranean droughts man made or not?

  1. “Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found.”

    Oh, how I would love to hear this explained in detail!

  2. Living in Germany and working in Italy all I can say is that NOAA is in never never land, Italy has had this week rains that caused billions of $ of damage,and more to come, Northern Germany has had rain nearly every day for years, friends in Denmark say the sun is in NOAALAND because it is not shinning in Denmark.

  3. Those 36mm less rain in the middle of the Libyan desert appear particularly suspect, alongside Tunisia’s border-confined blessing.

    I surmise there are many little devils in many of the paper’s little details (those start years for example) to render the whole exercise meaningless as usual. Note that the reddish bit by Italy’s “neck” is the same place affected by the recent flash floods. Who knows what’s the meaning of “winter”? (Rhetorical question)

  4. Because we know that climate does NOT EVER change naturally over a period of more than 100 years.

    If they really did their homework, they’d discover that it was actually a side effect of all the bombs going off on the eastern side of the sea since the 60’s.

  5. “Sometime during the past 6,000 years, the southern boundary of the Sahara desert moved 500 kilometers south” “Without including the vegetation as a variable (rather than a fixed parameter), the models were not able to show the region’s transformation from a fertile expanse of vegetation 6,000 years ago to an arid stretch of mostly sand and mountains today.”

    A couple of quotes off a webpage I found having remembered that the Sahara was supposed to not be desert about 6000 years ago. The models may be correct so far as a trend but it does not mean that CO2 must be the culprit. Basically our understanding is still very limited.

    The above quotes taken from http://eltahir.mit.edu/news/climate-change-6000-years-ago-sahara-desert-explained

  6. Apparently the National Geographic had not gotten the message:
    Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change? James Owen, National Geographic News July 31, 2009

    Desertification, drought, and despair—that’s what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear. Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.
    Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. . . .
    This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago. . . .
    Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences. The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan.

    Once Lush Sahara Dried Up Over Millennia, Study Says, James Owen, National Geographic News, May 8, 2008

    The grassy prehistoric Sahara turned into Earth’s largest hot desert more slowly than previously thought, a new report says—and some say global warming may turn the desert green once again. . . .
    Pollen samples revealed, for example, that the decrease in tropical trees accelerated after 4,800 years ago, while desert plants took root between 3,900 and 3,100 years ago.

    So is yes climate is changing – it is getting drier . . . and it is getting wetter! And it did so before the major increase in fossil fuel CO2.

  7. George Tetley says:
    October 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Living in Germany and working in Italy all I can say is that NOAA is in never never land, Italy has had this week rains that caused billions of $ of damage,and more to come, Northern Germany has had rain nearly every day for years, friends in Denmark say the sun is in NOAALAND because it is not shinning in Denmark.

    ——————

    George, if you look at the graph, you can see that the last two winters are shown as wetter than normal. But as always, it is the trend that matters.

  8. “Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found.”

    An explanation would of this obviously alarmist statement be good, but I doubt if that will ever be forthcoming ……… Unless, of course, after a decade long, grant funded, research grant. ‘Climate science’ never changes – it’s all about generating scare stories by grant addicted individuals.

    In southern Spain, the winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 were amongst the wettest of all time and for the first time all the the country’s dams were full. Just another one of those inconvenient facts in ‘climate science’.

  9. Did the researchers look at the NAO? It is clear from many surveys that a negative NAO (as in the period 1950-1970) gives more wet air in the Mediterranean, while the opposite happens for a (strong) positive NAO. The year 1972 shows a sudden shift to a positive NAO, which was leading over the period 1972-current, which makes the Mediterranean countries a lot drier in winter. See:
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/NAO/ and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Winter-NAO-Index.svg

    Thus that “man-made” climate change is the cause of the reduced rainfall should be taken with a lot of salt…

  10. “The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone,” said Martin Hoerling, Ph.D. of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo… Reds and oranges highlight lands around the Mediterranean that experienced significantly drier winters during 1971-2010 than the comparison period of 1902-2010.

    Forty years ago, I’m pretty sure Dr. Hoerling would have said that the significantly wetter winters during 1958-1970 were evidence that the magnitude and frequency of the wetting that had occurred was too great to be explained by natural variability alone.

    These sort of stories always remind me of a classic episode of Jungle Jim

    Jungle Jim (TV series 1955)
    Power of Darkness

    Jungle Jim leads a party into the Himalayas to observe a solar eclipse. They stumble into a strange Tibetan kingdom ruled by a white man. Jim must effect their escape by trying to convince the superstitious natives that he can make the sun disappear.

  11. The rainfall patterns in the Mediterranean Region follow the ocean surface temperature patterns. This should be obvious, since the rainfall comes from ocean evaporation. However, there is no connection between ocean surface temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

    Evaporation depends on surface temperature and wind speed. (http://oaflux.whoi.edu/publications.html). The wind direction determines where the rainfall will end up. The average ocean latent heat flux, or evaporation at low and mid latitudes is over 100 W.m-2 or 8.6 MJ.m-2 per day. This evaporation is roughly linear in wind speed. So try 100 ±50 W.m-2 for wind speeds of 8 ±4 m.s-1. This means that the short term variation in the ocean latent heat flux is at least 4 MJ.m-2 per day.

    Now, full summer sun is about 25 MJ.m-2 per day. About half of the solar flux is absorbed in the first 50 cm level of the ocean. That is over 10 MJ.m-2 per day. The daily temperature variation in top few meters of the ocean is about 1 C. The heat capacity of the ocean is about 1 MJ.m-3.

    Over the last 200 years, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration has been ~100 ppm. This has produced a ~1.7 W.m-2 increase in the downward long wave IR (LWIR) radiation coupled into the ocean for ‘ clear sky’ conditions. This is 0.15 MJ.m-2 per day. The penetration depth of this LWIR flux into the ocean is less than 100 micron. That is about the width of a human hair.

    Look at the numbers:
    Daily solar flux (full summer sun) coupled into the first 50 cm ocean layer >10 MJ.m-2
    Variation in wind driven evaporation: >±4 MJ.m-2
    Increase in downward flux from CO2: 0.15 MJ.m-2
    The oceans just don’t respond to these small changes in LWIR flux. It just evaporates!

    Note: There is no such thing as climate equilibrium. The change in CO2 flux has to be added to the short term ocean flux balance where it disappears into the noise of the wind driven evaporation.

    So stop this global warming causes everything nonsense.

  12. Hmm like to see that graph against AMO. The Atlantic is switching to colder so one might expect winter droughts to decrease sharply :D:D

  13. “In the last 20 years, 10 of the driest 12 winters have taken place in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea”

    And if there was a 30 year natural cycle during that period, does that affect the study?

  14. Is there data about the atmospheric absolute water content trends?

    I predict that the amount of water vapour has been rising, aerosol numbers falling, while cloud extent has been decreasing. In ’72 I was flying over the Med and we go back there every few years. It is _covered_ in oil sheen.

    More oil, fewer aerosols, less cloud, less rain, more water vapour. A couple of Latham and Salter’s cloud ships parked a few miles west of Cyprus might produce some beneficial results.

    JF

  15. “This is not encouraging news for a region that already experiences water stress, because it implies natural variability alone is unlikely to return the region’s climate to normal.”

    And where does it say what the “normal” climate in the region is?

    Carved on the back of Moses’s Tablet of Stone, perhaps?

  16. I’d like to see the details of this paper where they reveal the “missing link” that actually shows greenhouse gases are causing this to happen.

  17. The team also found agreement between the observed increase in winter droughts and in the projections of climate models that include known increases in greenhouse gases.

    I’m just a poor old country boy, but this sure looks like they might be confusing correlation with causation.

  18. Farming in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1970s on granite sandveld soils we planted our corn in marginal wetlands to increase yields in dry years. To forecast the coming summer season we took note of the el nino/ la nina cycle, the South African Cape winter rainfall, the advice of our agronomist and gut feeling. Rhodesia was known as the breadbasket of Southern Africa but Zimbabwe is now in ruins. NOAA should pay attention to Will Alexanders papers on African droughts these can be found at NZ climate science

  19. Seems these researches no nothing about the climate regarding the AO, NAO, AMO, PDO and ENSO or the cherry picking continues and other factors are conviently ignored.

    There has been a major switch in the climate in the NH since 2007 and that means more -ve AO, -ve NAO, -ve PDO and -ve ENSO (ie La Nina). It shouldn’t be too long in future with increasing cloud albedo that the AMO follows and becomes -ve too.

    As already at least partly mentioned, the simple observation of how the NAO behaves explains the situation.

    +ve NAO

    -ve NAO

    These images above say it all really.

  20. WHOA!! They used a “baseline” of only 8 years??!!?? WUWT??? Quick, while it lasts, would someone please add the NOAA logo to the wiki with the humorous photo of a modern day buffoon? http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jester&oldid=457440048#Modern_usage

    **Whatever happened to “10 years isn’t long enough to establish a climate trend?”
    **Whatever happened to “15 years isn’t long enough to establish a climate trend?”
    **Isn’t the latest peer reviewed paper “It takes 17 years or longer to extablish a climate trend?”

    **How about we pick a baseline of about 1945 thru 1953? (significantly drier than the baseline they used)
    **How do they explain the extreme and unusual WETNESS of the 8 years starting at about 1960 thru 1968?

    **I’d love to see how these people explain the Dust Bowl years in the USA and Canada.

    **Whatever happened to “increased aerosols over the past decade has counteracted the continuing trend of global warming?”
    **Increased aerosols also supposedly means increased cloud nuclie and increased rain, right? So how does that square with Med. drought?

    **Whatever happened to “global warming causes greater evaporation?” As all of those lands border ocean, greater evaporation ought to be causing greater rainfall in the ocean adjacent areas.
    **Whatever happened to “increased ocean temps have caused greater snowfall over Antarctica, thus accounting for the overall increase in ice?”

    All the contradictions just keep piling up when it comes to “climate science.”

  21. “…Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found. This means that other processes, none specifically identified in the new investigation, also have contributed to increasing drought frequency in the region…”

    So half of the dryness by GHG, and the other half by “other processes”.

    And naturally, they won’t talk about the other processes.

    If their statement were re-worded, they’d get this: “…Other, un-named processes explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found…”, then nobody would have paid attention to it.

  22. “The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone,”

    Given that currently climate science cannot explain past climate change, this seems simply assertion not science. We don’t know the mechanisms for the changes observed just within the Holocene, let alone before, yet we know this *can’t* be natural.

    What would they say were we slipping into the next glacial period? The range for “natural variability” is very large, yet it is discounted out of hand.

  23. lgl says:
    October 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Wow! That is quite a correlation! At first glance looks like that the NAO explains 90% (or more) of the rainfall in the Mediterranean. Not much left for the influence of CO2/AGW/ACC…

  24. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    October 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Did the researchers look at the NAO?

    ———————–

    From the original post: “Scientists used observations and climate models to investigate several possible culprits, including natural variability, a cyclical climate pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and climate change caused by greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere during fossil fuel use and other human activities.”

    So, the answer is, “Yes”.

  25. The area has been slowly drying for almost 25,000 years. That being said, deforestation has undoubtedly affected, if not destroyed, watersheds throughout the region, thus aggravating both drought and flooding. These idiots need to reforest the area like America, China,Germany, Poland, and other countries that faced similar challenges have done or are doing.

  26. Gator says:
    October 28, 2011 at 10:14 am

    “Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found.”

    It’s simple really. The main greenhouse gas is water vapour. so, obviously, in some places around the Meditrranean there has been a reduction in rainfall from the condensed variety of this greenhouse gas.

    The remainder of the change is caused by that highly selective greenhouse gas CO² which is well known to be the reason for anything else otherwise unexplained.

  27. “The analysis began with the year 1902, the first year of a recorded rainfall dataset.”

    From under developped France. The instrumental data in France start in 1952, but perhaps it’s better in Lybia…

    Sorry if my english is very poor.

  28. pat says:
    October 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    The area has been slowly drying for almost 25,000 years. That being said, deforestation has undoubtedly affected, if not destroyed, watersheds throughout the region, thus aggravating both drought and flooding. These idiots need to reforest the area like America, China,Germany, Poland, and other countries that faced similar challenges have done or are doing.
    ___________________________________

    Unfortunately the idiots here in the USA in charge of regulating farms seem to have forgotten the Dust bowl Era They are now agitating to put in place Scorched-Earth Farming

    “….UC Berkeley food expert Michael Pollanz, … nicely summarized these industry rules as “sanitizing” agriculture…”

    In the name of food safety, farmers in California are compelled to comply with “scorched-earth strategies” in the “quest for an antiseptic field of greens.”

    ,,,,,,Ponds and trees are “poisoned and bulldozed” in the name of food safety. “Farmers are told that ponds used to recycle irrigation water are unsafe. So they bulldoze the ponds and pump more groundwater, opening more of the aquifer to saltwater intrusion… .
    “Vegetation buffers used to filter storm runoff and harbor pollinators are cleared.
    Yet, there is science indicating that removing these vegetation buffers located near field crops can render food less safe because vegetation and wetlands serve as a filter of pathogens.

    UC Davis scientists found that vegetation buffers can remove as much as 98 percent of E. coli from surface water. UC Davis advisers warn that some rodents prefer cleared areas.

    ….The rules are based on what the large farming industry deems to be secret “super metrics” standards…. Many of the known rules are unscientific, and conflict with environmental and organic standards.

    Farmers must follow them if they expect to sell their crops. These can include vast bare-dirt buffers, elimination of wildlife, and strict rules on water sources……” http://antemedius.com/content/scorched-earth-farming-foolishness

    This was written in 2009. We (farmers) expect these “industry standards” to soon be enshrined in USDA/FDA regulations thanks to the new Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010.

    Expect to see grass filter strips and the trees planted during the dust bowl era replaced by by bare dirt “buffer zones” and fence. I am afraid we will need another major problem before sanity rules again.

  29. Nicias says:
    October 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    “The analysis began with the year 1902, the first year of a recorded rainfall dataset.”

    From under developped France. The instrumental data in France start in 1952, but perhaps it’s better in Lybia…

    Sorry if my english is very poor.
    ______________________________

    Your English is quite good.

    No doubt they used Mike Mann’s famous tree pluviometers (rain gauges)

  30. What does “Climate is a global phenomenon” mean?
    Looks like another meaningless ‘duh!’ statement to me.

  31. “Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found.” Was this really what they stated in the paper, or did they refer to one variable (temperature) explaining 50% of the variance in the dependent variable (rainfall) using a multivariate statistical method? Whatever method was used, correlation does not equal causation. I was really surprised a few years ago, when I actually read some climate science papers and realized how different the standards are for inferring causation in climate science and just about all other fields. I have read many on epidemiology relating to human health problems, and the difference between them and climate science (which use some of the same statistical methods) is remarkable. Epidemiology papers typically have long lists of potential confounders and how they were controlled for or the degree to which they might contribute to the results, possible sampling errors, diagnostics of the statistical analysis, and other critical matters. Even so, conclusions are almost always stated in terms of correlation, association, or statistical relationship, not in terms of confident statements about causality. If anything, climate science should be more tentative, because it isn’t possible to use experimental interventions to test causation as can be done in many cases in health-related research (in animal models if not in humans directly). Even more amazing is the tendency to string several correlations together to state that warming will cause, for example, millions of Mexicans to migrate to the U.S. A paper in PNAS concluded that (based on climate models, not real data) projected temperature increases would decrease crop yields and this would cause migration. There is so much uncertainty in each of these three relationships that predicting outcomes by stringing them together (remember, not beginning with actual data but with output from non-validated climate models) is ridiculous. Yet, this type of analysis has been vigorously defended by climate scientists. Strange.

  32. ‘The analysis began with the year 1902, the first year of a recorded rainfall dataset’.

    What might a ‘recorded rainfall dataset’ be?
    Why could it only start in 1902?

  33. I thought WUWT readers were smart. Haven’t you noticed the sudden increase in dodgy papers all showing that man made CO2 is wrecking the planet are coming out just in time for the COP17. They did it before Cancun and they did it before Copenhagen. The papers don’t have to be scientific nor do they need to be peer reviewed any more. They just have to show humans bad. Ban Ki Moon needs your dough and he is getting desperate. Every year that passes shows the warming( and the great scare) losing traction and the dream of untold wealth for the UN slipping away. The end is nigh I tell you. Nigh.

  34. If I read the nifty graph accompanying the article correctly, we are agonizing over a total anomaly of +/- 2.5″ of rainfall. That would seem to be a fairly stable climate. But what do I know.

  35. When the globe is warming the climate zones drift poleward. In the case of the Mediterranean region the dry North African conditions can spread poleward too causing increased dryness around the Mediterranean.

    There were reports during the late 20th century warming spell that Mediterranean dryness would spread poleward into southern England where we were encouraged to acquire drought resistant plants for our gardens.

    However since about 2000 the climate zones have been drifting back equatorward and the severity of Mediterranean dryness has been reducing as per Figure one in the article. Many sensitive plants were destroyed in the UK and Eire by recent cold outbreaks.

    If human activity were the cause of the earlier poleward drift then that drift could not have reversed at a time when human emissions are higher than ever.

    The evidence is quite clear that something else drives the shifts of climate zones poleward and equatorward.

  36. “In recent decades, greenhouse-induced climate change has caused somewhat greater warming of the tropical oceans compared to other ocean regions.”

    I thought that greenhouse-induced warming was supposed to have a greater effect on the higher latitudes.

  37. David L Hagen provided a quote from National Geographic : “Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. . . .This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago. . . .“.

    My question is this : did the climate models predict increased Saharan rainfall before it was observed?

    If they did, then I should be able to find it in the Regional Climate Projections of the IPPC report (AR4 chapter 11):-

    Executive Summary : “Annual rainfall is likely to decrease in much of Mediterranean Africa and the northern Sahara, with a greater likelihood of decreasing rainfall as the Mediterranean coast is approached. Rainfall in southern Africa is likely to decrease in much of the winter rainfall region and western margins. There is likely to be an increase in annual mean rainfall in East Africa. It is unclear how rainfall in the Sahel, the Guinean Coast and the southern Sahara will evolve.
    —–
    Table 11.1: Regional averages of temperature and precipitation projections from a set of 21 global models in the MMD for the A1B scenario. The mean temperature and precipitation responses are first averaged for each model over all available realisations of the 1980 to 1999 period from the 20th Century Climate in Coupled Models (20C3M) simulations and the 2080 to 2099 period of A1B. Computing the difference between these two periods, the table shows the minimum, maximum, median (50%), and 25 and 75% quartile values among the 21 models, for temperature (°C) and precipitation (%) change.

    Precipitation Response (%)
    Min 25 50 75 Max

    SAH DJF -47 -31 -18 -12 31
    MAM -42 -37 -18 -10 13

    So – is there support in the IPCC report for the statement that “This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago“?

    No. The median prediction is an 18% decrease in precipitation over a century.

  38. That entire sea has dried up before when the Strait of Gibraltar closed. Geologists estimate it would only take a thousand years for the sea to dessicate when the Strait closes again. So, it’s pretty dry there.

  39. Additionally, since they claim to have an attribution figure, what is the volume of water CO2 is responsible for? What is the absolute volume of ‘missing’ water?

    Additionally, can someone explain why the wording in these statements is ok for a climate scientist:

    “Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found. This means that other processes, none specifically identified in the new investigation, also have contributed to increasing drought frequency in the region.”

    If you haven’t identified the ‘other processes’, how did you eliminate them in attributing the dryness to carbon dioxide? Did you? If not, why do you think that’s okay?

    Wintertime droughts are increasingly common in the Mediterranean region, and human-caused climate change is partly responsible, according to a new analysis by NOAA scientists and colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). In the last 20 years, 10 of the driest 12 winters have taken place in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

    I know it’s just the press release, but did you check the adjoining seasons for your missing precipitation? What’s the annual net change in precipitation? How has winter impacted that?

  40. Sorry about using ‘additionally’ twice in a row. I’m trying to keep track of a baseball game also. :-)

  41. Gail Combs
    An excellent point. I am now terrified that the trees planted during the dust bowl, in the most affected regions, appear to be dying of natural age and are not being replanted (The belts are often too thin for self generation). Likewise your well deserved point on bio remediation of natural waste products. Which is encouraged by multiple other government agencies. We have a country gone insane with bureaucracies inhabited by fools with unlimited power and no education.

  42. Julian Flood says:
    October 28, 2011 at 11:40 am
    “I predict that the amount of water vapour has been rising, aerosol numbers falling, while cloud extent has been decreasing. In ’72 I was flying over the Med and we go back there every few years. It is _covered_ in oil sheen.
    More oil, fewer aerosols, less cloud, less rain, more water vapour. A couple of Latham and Salter’s cloud ships parked a few miles west of Cyprus might produce some beneficial results.”

    Really Julian? Covered in “Oil Sheen”? Pictures? information? I have swum, every day of every year since 1963 (even in winter) in the sea around Cyprus. There is no oil sheen and the azure blue waters are pristine! Back in the 60’s some ship captains were responsible for washing out their tanks but that is a rare occurrence nowadays with huge penalties.

    Cyprus get plenty of precipitation every winter (we have had huge downpours already over the last two weeks) and it gives us great snow up on the mountains, come late January we take huge sporting advantage of. It is the lack of storage space that can affect us in the summer. The huge increase in the amount of private swimming pools and tourists has added to any water shortage. That said, new desalination plants and a huge find of gas offshore to power them has already alleviated any water shortage the island has from time to time. Not one water cut this year.

    Water shortage around the coastal towns is nothing new. Simply observe the remains of the Roman/Ottoman aqueducts that used to run all the way to the mountains to supply their towns/cities!

  43. ” Mushrooming of Desalination Systems in the Middle East & Environmental Disasters Around World . INSTAL ZERO DISCHARGE SYSTEMS ( ZDS ) in Heavy Duty DESALTERS & solve all Major Environmental problems –> No Iceshelves melt, No Sea rise, No Ozone Holes, No droughts, No flooding of Cities & Low lying Islands, More icemasess near poles & Himalayas, Intencities of Hurricanes will reduce, GLOBAL COOLING —> AIRCONDITIONING OF MOTHER EARTH “

  44. Do we have accurate precipitation data for early 20th century Med. countries? No we do not which makes any proposed trend suspicious.

  45. Roman records indicate that desertification happened in North Africa following the destruction of the local forests to create farmland.
    I’m not a climate scientist but maybe the massive increase in population over the last 100 years and consequent changes in land use would be high on my list of things to investigate.
    Something that has been observed to happen repeatedly (changes in land use leading to changes in rainfall patterns) can be tested against something that is yet to be proven (higher temperatures leading to desertification). Deserts are caused by a lack of rainfall, not by ambient temperature. If heat alone caused a lack of rainfall can a climate scientist explain to me why tropical rainforests can exist at all.

  46. Someone needs to tell them about the present trend toward floods all over the world, now that the solar cycle and PDO / AMO have shifted…

    Droughts are just Sooo last panic…

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