As a student of drought, I can’t help but feel a little sheepishly overshadowed by hurricanes – I think it was Steve Bloom who coined the description “charismatic megaweather.”So I was happy to see none other than Jeff Masters, the Weather Underground hurricane guy, recognize drought’s importance in his review of the Al Gore movie, calling drought and reduced water supplies “the most serious climate change issue our generation is likely to face.”
While we gnash our climate wars teeth over the hurricane question, it continues to puzzle me that this – Aiguo Dai’s evidence for expanding drought as the planet warms – has gotten such relatively little attention. Not charismatic enough, I guess.
While we’re on the subject, it’s also worth noting that Jeff’s not quite on board with the “emerging consensus” yet, criticizing Gore’s handling of the hurricane question:
We are told that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes, but not provided information on the great amount of uncertainty and vigorous scientific debate on this issue. Graphs showing recent record insurance losses from natural disasters are presented, but no mention is made of how increasing population and insistence on building in vulnerable areas are the predominant factors causing recent high insurance claims from disasters such as Katrina.