Robert Krier has a fascinating piece in this morning’s San Diego Union Tribune suggesting a linkage between arctic melting and drought in the Southwest:
Three years ago, computer forecast models predicted that in 2050, the reduced ice mass would cause climate shifts that would result in a drought in the western United States.
But the ice is melting far faster than climatologists thought it would.
So much ice has disappeared that the Arctic today looks much like what scientists thought it would in 2050. It’s as if the atmosphere hit the fast-forward button.
The predicted climate changes also may have arrived, with much of the West in the midst of the kind of severe drought that geoscientist Jacob Sewall had envisioned for 2050.
The sort of dry spell they’re having in Southern California focuses the mind marvelously. I haven’t gone back and read the Sewall paper (if anyone has, I’d love to hear their thoughts), but this looks like a fascinating line of inquiry. I’ll keep you posted.