From this morning’s Albuquerque Journal, a piece on Marty Hoerling’s new work using the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report climate models to generate Palmer Drought Severity Index numbers for Western U.S. climate divisions over the next century:
Global warming is driving the Southwest toward “a new era for drought,” according to a top federal climate researcher.
Extreme conditions seen during the worst droughts of the last 50 years could become the norm during the next half century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at their current rate, according to Marty Hoerling of the federal government’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory in Boulder.
Rising temperatures are the reason. Whatever happens to rain and snow patterns, a projected temperature increase of more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 50 years will create a long-term drying trend, according to Hoerling.
“Temperature is going to become increasingly important,” Hoerling said in an interview.