Sunday, May 27, 2012

James Hansen Is Correct About Catastrophic Projections For U.S. Drought If We Don’t Act Now

The response by NOAA’s Martin Hoerling to James Hansen’s recent op-ed does not reflect the scientific literature.

I’m traveling, so let me focus first on Hoerling’s incorrect statements — posted on this blog and DotEarth — about drought. As readers know, the journal Nature asked me to write a Comment piece on the threat posed by drought after they read one of my posts examining the latest science on prolonged drought and “Dust-Bowlification.”

The Nature article, which is basically a review of recent drought literature, is here (subs. req’d). Most of the text is here.

The research I did for that article — along with the comments of the expert reviewers I sent it to — is why I know Hoerling is quite wrong. Hoerling begins by quoting Hansen’s recent New York Times Op-Ed piece:

“Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Read More