Copyright 2006
More cries of Global Warming in the News.  One of our Ex-Vice Presidents is even on the band wagon tooting his horn.  There is no question that we are enjoying warm/ dry summer temperatures that relate to the latest cycle of drought that mother nature has provided us. I seems that this year’s drought is a continuation of the one that started in the late 1990s.  The 1999 to 2006 drought now ranks only behind the 1930s and the 1950s which make the current weather equal to the third worst drought on historical record in northeastern Wyoming. Ground zero of this drought is just east of here in south central North Dakota downto central South Dakota.
The drought of the 1950’s lasted five years and affected much of the central and southern Great Plains.  The 1930’s Dust Bowl lasted about seven years.  It actually effected almost 70 percent of the land area of the United States. Much more severe central continent prehistorical droughts, (known from tree ring data, lake/river/sand dune sediment analysis, and archaeological evidence)occurred from 1580 to 1600 and the last quarter of the 13th century.  The good new is that prior to the 13th century, droughts were MORE severe/MORE frequent and LONGER lasting than now.  Apparently a long term moderating trend is underway.
No matter from what the cause of the hotter planet, (man made ornatural cycle) a warmer world will experience greater hydrologic extremes.  Warmer land will evaporate water faster than the ocean (which warms more slowly) which will lag behind providing enough water vapor to balance the cycle. Precipitation will not keep up with evaporation and therefore more droughts are predicted on a warmer planet.
I emphasize that all weather is local and anyone predicting weather 50 years is the future has a problem.  I dare any forecaster to predict the temperature next Christmas Day to a degree let alone predicting that global temperature will rise by X number of degreesin 100 years.  Take it from a non-biased earth scientist that you should not believe propagandistic “documentaries” that make claims on the causes of “global warming”.  In the 1970’s, the big story was that we were going into a new ice age.  Nature is full of cycles but it isn’t always easy to see them.  Some researchers are more predictable base on their funding cycles.  Research is big business.