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GW aggravates drought

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  • dmgan106
    The study (published in the journal Science) compared drought in the USA, southern Europe and southwest Asia from 1998 through 2002 with unprecedented warming
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2 7:17 PM
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      "The study (published in the journal Science) compared drought in the
      USA, southern Europe and southwest Asia from 1998 through 2002 with
      unprecedented warming of seawater in the western Pacific and Indian
      oceans. An existing ''warm pool'' in those oceans grew warmer during
      that period. The study attributes that rise to global warming.


      The warming, an increase of 2 degrees Fahrenheit, combined with the
      drying effects of a La Niña weather pattern in the eastern Pacific
      during the same time, Hoerling said.


      The combination shifted tropical rainfall and caused the jet stream
      to move north of its usual location, the study said. This meant many
      major winter storms missed most of North America. As a result, many
      parts of the country grew drier, including much of the West, parts of
      the South and the Eastern Seaboard. Some areas received as little as
      50% of normal rainfall.


      ''Absent this warm-pool warming, the likelihood is that the drought
      would not have been as severe and prolonged,'' says Hoerling, a
      meteorologist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
      Administration's Climate Diagnostics Center in Boulder, Colo. Kumar
      is with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md.


      Drought, which persists in several Western states, could have
      occurred without global warming or La Niña, a climate phenomenon in
      which cooler eastern Pacific waters produces drier conditions. But it
      would not have been as bad or as persistent, Hoerling says.


      The study ''should make a number of people sit up and take note,''
      says Kevin Trenberth, the head of climate analysis for the National
      Center for Atmospheric Research."


      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
      tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20030131/ts_usatoday/4828112
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